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Flam, Norway

Flam, Norway
Flam, Norway
Flam, Norway

Beautiful FlÄm is situated in the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the 204 kilometres long and up to 1308 metres deep Sognefjord.

The name "FlÄm" means "little place between steep mountains," and at the end of the 1800's many cruise ships with English and German travellers found their way here to experience Norwegian fjords, mountains and waterfalls. The ships' passengers laid the foundation for hotel operations and a steady stream of tourists, who were transported in two-wheeled buggies through the spectacular scenery. After the Bergensbanen railway was opened in 1909, FlÄm became a crossroad for passengers, mail and freight to and from the trains between Oslo and Bergen, in connection with the steamships on the fjord. The old Navvy road from HaugastÞl and Finse down to FlÄm - Rallarvegen - has now become an attraction in itself, with thousands of cyclists every summer and autumn.

FlÄm is the perfect starting point for a memorable vacation! In our busy, stressful lives, contact with nature and outdoor experiences are like a salve for the soul. FlÄm offers activities for adults and children alike, in harmony with local culture and traditions. Here you can take your children on a fishing trip in the mountains or on the fjord, or just enjoy the silence of nature. There are also many opportunities for cycling or hiking along one of the many trails in the FlÄm Valley or in the mountains. Otternes Bygdetun, with 27 different buildings dating back to the 1600's, should also be experienced. This "Klyngetun" farmyard is a local cultural treasure and a living museum, with a fabulous view towards FlÄm and the quiet Aurlandsfjord.

With roots dating back to 1870 and traditional atmosphere intact, the Fretheim Hotel distinguishes itself today as a leading, modern tourist hotel. Its distinctive architecture and stunning fjord view, 118 comfortable rooms, several suites, large restaurant and modern conference facilities, make Fretheim Hotel one of Fjord Norway's most exciting hotel experiences. The restaurant offers first-class dining with fresh ingredients obtained from local producers and nature's own pantry. To sharpen your appetite, the hotel has a rich and varied programme of activities such as salmon fishing in the FlÄm River, a fjord safari, back-country camping, ice fishing in the mountains and "Gastronomy in the Out of Doors".

With nature-based activities, many nearby attractions, exciting culture and historic traditions - FlÄm is the perfect holiday resort for the entire family!

From FlÄm Port and the many fjord boats it is only a short walk to a trip on the famous FlÄm Railway, or maybe a stay at one of Fjord Norway's long-established tourist hotels.

Surrounded by steep mountainsides, roaring waterfalls and deep valleys, FlÄm is a paradise for everyone looking for a one-of-a-kind experience with nature.


Flam Railway

The world famous Flam Railway is a marvel of engineering. The only thing lacking when the railway line between Oslo and Bergen was opened in 1909, was a branch line to the Sognefjord. In order to assure a transport route to the fjord, work was begun on the FlÄm Railway in 1920. It was to take 20 years to complete. The most time-consuming work was on the tunnels. These were excavated manually. By regular gauge track it ascends 865 meters (about 2,900 ft) in less than an hour, going through 20 tunnels and making a photo stop at the mighty Kjoss waterfall. You will hear a chorus of "oohs" and "aahs" as the incredible scenery shifts from one side to the other. The views on the train varies from the wild, barren inhospitable Hardanger Plateau at the top to the green and fertile Flam Valley that meanders down to the fjord.

Hiking the Old Trails

Experience the beautiful scenery and cultural history of the FlÄm Valley!

A wondeful starts by taking the FlÄm Railway up to Berekvam Station, which is half-way up to Myrdal. Here there is a tiny museum, an old cottage with many objects from the begining of the last century. This will give you an impression of the daily lives on the local farms back then.

You can then walk from the museum to the Berkvam Ravine and further down the old road, crossing the river and ending up at a place called Timbrahellaren. This was the road between farms in the past century, before the new road was built on the other side of the river in 1898.

This is a fine excursion allowing you to experience the FlÄm Valley from the opposite side to the railway and the new road.

Salmon and Trout Fishing

Historically speaking and in many ways the FlÄm River made the FlÄm tourist trade possible. As early as the 1870s the British aristocracy started coming to FlÄm to fish for salmon in the abundant river.

The FlÄm River is four kilometres, and separated in upper and lower part. You can fish both salmon and trout.

If you are not an experienced angler, a guide can offer a fly-fishing course by the fjord where you can learn the most important and fundamental casting techniques. If you want some further hands-on guiding in addition to the course, the same guide will take you up the river to make sure that you both catch something and have a wonderful experience!

The Witches Cauldrons at Fureberget

At the viewpoint Fureberget you can see the fantastic prehistoric witches' cauldrons.

To get there you first pass through the coniferous forest that used to provide the FlÄm families with Christmas trees the time-honoured way, before emerging onto the top of Fureberget with its fantastic view over the FlÄm valley. Here you can enjoy the view both right down to the fjord and up to the high mountains. It is a magnificent spot for a picnic.

The walk continues past Skori, where you see the remains of the old foundations for a telephone line, and finally to the witches' cauldrons. These were formed during the last ice age, and are big enough for all kinds of activities - everything from tasting local and traditional food to plays and concerts.

Otternes Farm Museum

The Otternes Farm Museum is an old farm that was inhabited right up to the early 1990s. It is situated up on the hillside between Aurland and FlÄm with spectacular view towards the Sognefjord! It was probably abandoned after the Black Death, but subsequently reoccupied. The farm includes 27 separate buildings with different functions: the main house, the retired farmers' house, cookhouse, storehouse, barn and byre. The buildings are largely preserved as they were in the 17th century.

Here you can see several hundred years of history hidden in the old houses. If you want you can enjoy a banquet here at the farm, based on locally-grown and locally-processed traditional fare. Another alternative is just to have coffee and pancakes here.

During summer the farm operates as a "living" farm housing goats, sheep, rabbits and poultry - a big hit among visiting children!

Wilderness Camp

A wilderness camp with meals served in a lavvo (SĂĄmi tent) and exciting activities!

The lavvo is ready with all the equipment needed for activities and a good time.

Activity menu:


· Axe-throwing - are you a Viking at heart?

· Bow and arrow - or Robin Hood?

· Casting at a target. The big salmon is in the hole!

Or other games:

· Tug-of-war. Which team is the stronger?

· Team ski race - cooperation needed!

· The duel - who can stand his ground?

Here there are many possibilities - pure competitions or the various activities combined with team-building. After the activities, there will be a cosy gathering in the warm lavvo, and hot food and drink will be served. The participants can argue about their performance! Perhaps a prize-giving? The activity includes guides, equipment, food and drink, but mind you bring clothes appropriate for the season!

Bicyclying the Rallarvegen

Rallarvegen (The Old Navvy Road) is a cultural heritage that was used as a supply road during the construction of the Bergen Railway. It has now become known as one of the most spectacular cycling events in Norway. The bike trip starts at HaugastÞl, passes through Finse and Hallingskeid and ends up in FlÄm.

Finse, which is located 1222 metres above sea level, is Norway's highest railway station. Here you will also find the Rallarmuseet (The Navvy Museum), which is well worth a visit. The next natural stop is Fagernut, which is the highest lineman's cottage in the country, located at 1310 metres above sea level. This is also the place where you will find Rallarkafeen (The Navvy Cafe), which offers the original Sluskesuppe (soup)!

Early in the season there is a lot of snow on the highest elevations, we recommend taking the train from Finse to Hallingskeid which is also an alternative starting point for your trip. From here the descent becomes gradually steeper, and you will be surrounded by thundering waterfalls and the breathtaking scenery of Western Norway! Kleivagjelet offers some dramatic scenery, but it is very narrow here, so we advise you to walk your bicycle. After all these wonderful natural experiences, what could be better than arriving at the idyllic Seltuftvatnet lake and enjoying a bite to eat and a refreshing drink at Seltuftstova!

The last 20 kilometres is a descending stretch of the road, through FlÄm Valley, which is world renowned for the FlÄm Railway and its fantastic scenery! There is an elevation drop of 865 metres here, which shows the contrasts between the high mountains and rural life along the fjord. This stretch can also be a good alternative to cycling the entire length of Rallarvegen (The Navvy Road), since the season is longer here.