When you get to the end of the Flam line, the area is so lovely that you will find yourself wanting to stay a few days. One of the nicest hotels in the area is the historic Fretheim Hotel, which being located just steps away from the train stop makes your trip that much easier. Originally a farm and built into a guesthouse in the 1800s, it boasts locally grown food, historical guest rooms, cozy atmosphere and beautiful views, as it is located upon the Naeroyfjord UNESCO World Heritage site. Literally steps away are a local museum, restaurants, shops, tours of the area, and of course the train station and boats.
On the Flam harbor, you can take a Heritage Fjord Safari on a rigid inflatable boat which will give you not only amazing views, but the guide will provide you with information about the area history and scenery, and oftentimes riders will have the chance to see wildlife such as eagles, seals and porpoises. Come a bit early, as you will have to “suit up” in protective winter gear — even in summertime. You will wear snowsuit-like gear — a one piece suit to zip into, a hat, mittens and even goggles.
Head next to Balestrand, an easy (and beautiful) boat ride from Flam. Here you can see Sognefjord, the largest fjord in all of Norway, also the second largest in the world. Known as “The King of the Fjords,” it is the longest, deepest in Norway, where you can see the highest mountains in the country as well as the clear green waters of the fjord. This area is considered to be one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world, and has had artists flocking to visit for many years. It is one of the most photographed and painted places in Norway.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Balestrand, try the Kvikne’s Hotel. A splendid, historic hotel that has been in the same family since 1877, it combines the best of both modern amenities with the charm and old world elegance that will make one feel instantly relaxed. It offers the most alluring views of the fjord right outside, with doors and windows that are easily opened wide to let the fresh, sweet smelling air into your room. The food served in the restaurant is quite palate pleasing, with local foods and specialties served by warm and friendly staff.
The Sognefjord is another place you might want to consider taking a inflatable boat tour - so much more personal then the larger lake tours, and you will get much out of it. If you have not taken a safari yet, here is another chance. If you have, try a guided fishing trip instead. You will still get the tour and the guide, but you will also get another experience of your visit to Norway — and yes, you can keep anything you catch should you want to.The Malsnes Aktiv tour agency (located in the tourist office and very easy to find) offers several different versions and trips. You can go with a large or a quite small group, and children are welcome. On your tour, you will have time to fish in the fjord, as well as visit stunning waterfalls, see the tallest mountains in the country, and see Swiss-style villas and homes from the boat. It’s a very peaceful time, and a lovely way to see Balestrand, one you will not soon forget. In the area are also many hiking trails, bike rentals and other opportunities to get back to nature.
Norway is quite an experience. For the traveler who is seeking adventure, nature or simply beauty, there is simply nothing like it.