21/06 – 24/06: Flam, Bergen, Preikestolen & Tourists Everywhere

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the western fjords region is Flåm, best known for the Flåmsbana Railway, which runs from Flåm, up through the Flåmsdal Valley, to Myrdal, a village which cannot be reached by car. The train takes 50 minutes to climb 900m, passing through numerous tunnels including one with a hairpin bend, through which the track changes height by 300m. It took some years to build in the 1920s, and much of the tunnel excavation was done by hand.

Flamsbana railway
Ascending from Flam to Myral

We took the train both ways, although you can choose to walk all or part of the way up/down. The scenery from the train is good and it stops around halfway up for a photo opportunity by an impressive waterfall. To get the best views, sit on opposite sides on the way up and way down and get a seat with a window that opens (for taking photos).

Cunard Queen Mary 2 leaving Flam
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 leaving Flam - we were to see her again in Bergen. The western fjords are very popular with cruise ships and package tourists.

Flåm is also a cruise ship port and we had our first (of two) sightings of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 whilst there. Our second sighting came two days later, when we visited Bergen. This is a city I would recommend and was worth a look around. Parking is pretty difficult for motorhomes – there is a dedicated overnight parking area for motorhomes that is easy to find with a map, but which is not signposted. We did not use it and managed to find another pay and display space (Nkr16/hour) for our van – but only because it can fit into a car parking space.

Bergen waterfront
Bergen's old waterfront is touristy but attractive and well preserved.

Much of the city’s signposted parking is multi-storey – no use for motorhomes. On street parking for up to two hours is easy enough to find, but this does not really give you enough time, especially if you want to go up Bergen’s funicular railway, the Fløibanen, which costs around £10 per person and gives a great view of the city from the summit (320m) of Mount Fløyen.

Bergen Floibanen
Bergen's Floibanen funicular railway, which takes about 10 minutes to ascend Mount Floyen
View from Mount Floyen, Bergen
The view over Bergen from the top of Mount Floyen - including the Queen Mary 2 again!

After leaving Bergen, our route took us on route 7 to Norheimsund, then on another ferry and along route 550, one of Norway’s designated tourist routes. Although it was scenic, it was by no means the best of the designated tourist routes which we followed while in Norway. After the 550, we continued via the 520 and 13 towards Jørpeland, last stop for provisions before Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). This is a major tourist attraction that’s well covered by guidebooks and is well signposted. The size of the overflow car park (unused when we visited in June) gives an idea of how busy the path must be in summer.

Preikestolen car park
The car park was busy when we were there - there's also a similarly-sized overflow car park for peak summer. It can be a bit of a procession up and down the path.

The guide time for the walk is 2 hours each way and it is steep and rocky in places. It took us 1h40 going up and about the same coming down, but we were not dawdling. A bit of clambering around is required – decent footwear is the most useful thing you can take with you.

Preikestolen car park
A section of the path up to the top
Preikestolen - Pulpit Rock
The view from the top is good, unfortunately visibility wasn't perfect when we were there

The view from the top is very impressive, although the changeable weather on the day we visited meant that for about 50% of the time we spent at the top, all you could see was cloud. It’s good when it clears, though, although the number of visitors is such that there can be a queue for the best photo opportunities.

Pulpit Rock, Norway

4 thoughts on “21/06 – 24/06: Flam, Bergen, Preikestolen & Tourists Everywhere

  • December 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve read with a lot of interest your trip to Norway, because we are planing to do a similar one from Spain that would include to arrive from Egersund to Lysebotn and then going to Lauvvika by ferry trough the Lysefjord, but still we don’t know if we can get in the boat with the motorhome.

    We are plannig to arrive Lysebotn from Egersund during the last wek of May 2013, and our motor home is 7 meters long.
    I know you finally did not take that ferry, but I wondered if you have that information.

    Thanks in advance

    Paco Pastor

    Reply
    • December 17, 2012 at 8:07 am
      Permalink

      Hello Paco,

      Thank you for your comment. I don’t know the details of this service but the information I have found suggests you can take motorhomes on at least some of the ferries.

      The information on this page (click here) suggests that you can take motorhomes on the Lysebton-Lauvik ferry but there may be a 3,500kg weight restriction.

      You can also find some information for a ferry that operates the fast ferry service on the Lysefjord: http://www.fiskepirterminalen.com/ (the ‘ferger’ option allows you to book a motorhome). The booking form allows motorhomes over 7m and 8m.

      There is also this service, which looks like the slow, sightseeing service for tourists: http://www.norledfjordcruise.no/event/dolink/famid/207608 There are email contact details on this page you can use to contact the ferry operator to ask about motorhome prices/booking.

      I hope this information is of some use, it is not always easy to confirm every detail before you go, but one good thing is that most Norwegians speak good English and we found that the companies we emailed before we left were very helpful. Google Translate is also very helpful!

      Enjoy your trip to Norway, it’s an amazing country.

      Regards,

      Roland

      Reply
      • December 17, 2012 at 11:00 pm
        Permalink

        Thank you very much for your quick and helpful answer.

        I have alredy received confirmation from Norled that there is no problem in bringing our motorhome onboard.

        Regards

        Paco

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.