The heart of fjord Norway: Flåm offers an authentic experience
Norwegian American Weekly
Flåm, Norway, is gaining attention among international tourists as a popular destination along the Norway in a Nutshell tour. The small town welcomes travelers to the relaxed, laid-back lifestyle of everyday life in the Norwegian fjords.
It would be a sin to visit Flåm without taking a ride on the Flåm Railway! This train ride takes you 12.5 miles from Myrdal to the Flåm station. You will see a plethora of waterfalls, valleys, and little red houses along the 2,837-foot descent. The train even makes a stop at the Kjosfossen Waterfall for guests to snap some pictures with this magnificent view.
If you enjoyed the Flåm Railway—which you certainly will—you should visit the Flåm Railway Museum to learn more about the history of this attraction. The museum is conveniently located right next to the railway station and is free of charge.
If you have a car, be sure to hit the viewpoint at Stegastein, along Bjørgavegen, just north of Aurland. Designed like a bridge to nowhere, the viewpoint provides stellar views of the fjord for those who do not fear heights.
For outdoor adventurers, there are many opportunities to hike, bike, and kayak. Flåm Guide Service provides local and experienced guides for various hiking and cycling tours. There are also guided kayaking trips every day throughout summer, for both experienced and novice kayakers. And if you enjoy kayaking at your local lake, you will absolutely love kayaking in the middle of a Norwegian fjord!
There are a variety of accomodations to choose from in Flåm, ranging from historic hotels to camp sites.
The two most popular hotels are Fretheim Hotel and Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell.
The historic Fretheim Hotel—located right near the railway station—once hosted English lords, traveling to Norway to fish. Its distinctive architecture and stunning fjord view, 118 comfortable rooms, several suites, large restaurant and modern conference facilities make this hotel a destination to remember for Norwegian tourists.
Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell also has a long history, dating back to 1896. This hotel boasts breathtaking views of the Flåm valley, attracting international tourists, including those cycling the fantastic Rallarvegen.
For travelers on a budget, a hostel is a great choice. Flåm Vandrerhjem offers both rooms and campgrounds. The cabin-style hostels give guests an authentic Norwegian experience. It is conveniently located in walking distance from the railway station, a grocery store, and the water. Of course, if you wish to truly immerse yourself in Norwegian nature, you are welcome to grab a campsite and pitch a tent.
From Flåm, you might as well hop on a boat and explore the surrounding fjords!
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 19, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.