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Best place to stay to explore Sognefjord without a car

In cooperation with: Visit Norway
Chicago, Illinois
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Best place to stay to explore Sognefjord without a car

Hello,

I am planning a trip to Norway in mid-July with my husband. We plan to arrive in Oslo by overnight ferry from Copenhagen, stay 1 night in Oslo, then continue by train to Myrdal and Flam, explore Sognefjord (stay 2-3 nights, Friday, Sat, Sun) and then on to Bergen for 1-2 nights before flying home.

We are in our early 30s, and would prefer not to spend too much, but could spend up to $150 or $175/night for lodging. I'm trying to figure out the best place for us to stay in Sognefjord area. I would like a place that is a good base for day trips (e.g., excursion to the glacier, another to a stave church - ideally Urnes, potentially a half day of kayaking or cycling). Although we do a lot of outdoor activities in the US - including wilderness trips - we may not have the necessary gear for really serious outdoor activities (as we are adding this vacation to the end of a professional conference, and trying to travel light) - i.e., hopefully we will not need to bring hiking boots, if we could get by with tennis shoes. The perfect place would provide or arrange day trips with transportation by bus or ferry to places we could do these activities, or be near public transportation we could walk to. Given we will not have a car, it would be nice to stay somewhere that had a couple cafes or restaurants within walking distance, but it seems only a few towns are this large (Balenstrand?).

It seems like Solvorn in particular, or maybe Fjaerland, are closer to the glacier (and Solvorn to Urnes chuch), but that they have few lodging options and dining. Balenstrand seems to have more lodging and eating options, but sounds like transportation to see the glacier (Nigardsbeern, ideally) would be lengthy, and Urnes Church is also difficult to reach. Although it seems like the transportation for these day excursions is probably scenic and interesting in itself, I sometimes have problems with motion sickness, so I don't necessarily want to spend 4+ hours each day in a boat or on a bus (I understand that substantial boat travel - and some bus travel - are necessary, but it would be nice to choose a "base camp" that minimizes the travel required each day for excursions).

Am I correct in thinking that Solvorn would be a better base for these activities?

Are there other towns that would be a good compromise between proximity to these day trip activities, places to eat and sleep, and that we could reach without a car?

Thanks very much for any advice!

Harstad, Norway
Destination Expert
for Bergen, Norway
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1. Re: Best place to stay to explore Sognefjord without a car

Honestly, Balestrand is the only place that fits your requirements unless you are willing to do self-catering. Mid July is also peak season so budget accomodtation may well be fully booked already.

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Best place to stay to explore Sognefjord without a car

Sogndal is the largest town in the area, but still small. But I would check out the options there

Harstad, Norway
Destination Expert
for Bergen, Norway
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28,025 posts
39 reviews
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3. Re: Best place to stay to explore Sognefjord without a car

Sogndal is not a very charming place but good for logistics.

Chicago, Illinois
7 posts
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4. Re: Best place to stay to explore Sognefjord without a car

Thank you both for your comments!

Birmingham, UK
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5. Re: Best place to stay to explore Sognefjord without a car

We have just returned from solvorn and there are plenty of activities there - we did one day of cycling along the fjord to a waterfall and includes urnes stave church as the ferry goes over every hour. The next day we did another cycle ride and the most amazing hike up molden mountain. You can also do kayak trips from this area - we had no car and this was no problem for these activities. We arrived by bus from lom - scenery wonderful. Only problem is that solvorn only has a hostel or posh hotel called the walaker. We returned to bergen by getting the 835 bus to kaupanger then the ferry to gudvagen to see the famous arm of the fjord. Then we hopped on a shuttle bus to flam where we got the railway up to Myrdal to join train to bergen . We arrived bergen at 6pm. The public transport is really good it just needs advance research ! The glacier bus also goes from solvorn by the way but we didn't do the trip as didn't have enough days there. Re eating - in the hotel you would have to dine in pricey restaurant but in hostel you'd have to travel with some provisions to make food in the kitchen - they do have basic items for sale but very limited. Our bus went through sogndal - didn't look like a very touristy town in comparison to elsewhere. Another hotel I would consider is nes gard as our bus went by it and stopped outside so you could see what activities are possible from there as it's not that far from solvorn

6. Re: Best place to stay to explore Sognefjord without a car

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