Norway offers an enchanting blend of natural wonders and cultural treasures, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking awe-inspiring experiences. Nestled within the stunning landscapes of Scandinavia, cities like Bergen, Flam, Oslo, Trondheim, and Bødo beckon with their rich heritage and distinctive attractions. From the bustling Bergen Fish Market to Oslo's iconic Opera House and the ethereal sunsets of Flam, Norway promises a voyage filled with unforgettable moments.

​Norway, with its majestic fjords, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage, offers a captivating destination for travelers seeking unforgettable experiences. As a seasoned Rail Expert, I had the privilege of embarking on the Grand Norway in a Nutshell tour, traversing Oslo, Flam, and Bergen. Let me take you through my firsthand experiences and insights from this remarkable adventure.

Scenic Railway Journey

Norway boasts three breathtaking scenic railway routes that are must-adds to any traveler's bucket list. Let's dive into these awe-inspiring journeys:

Flam Railway

The Flåm Railway, often hailed as "the world's most beautiful train journey," spans 20 kilometers, linking the elevated Myrdal station on the Bergen railway with the village of Flåm, situated by the Aurlandsfjord, which in turn connects to the UNESCO heritage site Nærøyfjord. This remarkable ride treats passengers to breathtaking views of steep mountainsides, lush valleys, and cascading waterfalls.

Along the way, passengers can marvel at engineering marvels such as tunnels, bridges, and dramatic hairpin bends, offering panoramic vistas at every turn. For a more tranquil Flåm Railway experience and a less crowded Flåm village, it's advisable to travel between September and May. Adventurous travelers can enhance their trip with a bike ride from Finse station to Flåm on the "Rallarvegen," the old railway construction road, or an exhilarating zipline experience from Vatnahalsen station.

Rauma Railway

The Rauma Railway, also known as The Golden Train, embarks on a captivating 114-kilometer journey northwest from Dombås on the Dovre line, connecting the mountaineering town of Åndalsnes to Dombås. This scenic route traverses the picturesque Romsdalen valley, offering views of the emerald waters of the Rauma River framed by striking peaks like the iconic Troll Wall (Trollveggen) and crossing the remarkable cantilevered Kylling Bridge.

The Rauma Railway serves as a gateway to some of Norway's most incredible hiking trails and outdoor adventures, as well as a selection of the region's finest boutique hotels in the Møre fjord and alpine area.

Insider Tip: For an immersive experience, watch the Norwegian film "The Gold Run" (Gulltransporten) released in 2022, based on the true story of Fredrik Haslund, who was tasked with transporting the entire Norwegian gold reserve away from the Germans during the invasion of Norway in 1940. Parts of this movie were filmed on the Rauma Railway.

Good to know as of November 2023: Due to flood damage on a bridge along the Dovre line, there is a temporary bus service for train transfers between Lillehammer and Dombås.

Oftonen Line

The Ofoten Line, also known as the Arctic Train, offers a remarkable journey northward, connecting the Norwegian town of Narvik to the Swedish iron ore mines of Kiruna. This extraordinary route cuts through the stark Arctic wilderness, where snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear lakes create an otherworldly atmosphere. Additionally, it provides insight into Second World War history. During the winter months, the northern lights often adorn the skies, adding to the already breathtaking experience. The Ofoten Line is a paradise for photographers, offering numerous opportunities to capture stunning images of nature's most remarkable displays.

Onboard Adventures

​The Norway in a Nutshell journey is an immersive experience, combining train rides, a ferry voyage, and a scenic bus ride. As we ascended from Oslo to Myrdal aboard the train, the landscape unfolded before us, transitioning from lush forests to glistening waters against snow-capped peaks. Despite opting for standard class, the journey was comfortable, allowing ample space for luggage and relaxation. Securing a window seat ensured unobstructed views, capturing the breathtaking scenery along the way. The ferry ride from Flam to Gudvangen was a tranquil interlude, offering panoramic views of the fjord and quaint villages. The final leg of our journey, from Gudvangen to Voss by bus, provided intimate encounters with nature's wonders along winding roads.

Charming Flam

​Flam, a quaint village nestled by the fjord, captivated us with its serene ambiance and stunning vistas. Our stay at Flamsbrygga, overlooking the fjord, offered unparalleled views and hospitality. Indulging in a traditional Viking plank dinner with local delicacies like reindeer was a highlight, complemented by the surreal sunset painting the sky in pastel hues.

Exploring Fjords

​The Heritage Fjord Safari Tour was a must-do experience in Flam. Clad in winter gear, we embarked on a boat excursion, marveling at cascading waterfalls, picturesque cottages, and playful seals. Our guide's insights into the fjord's history and folklore enriched our appreciation of this enchanting landscape.

Unforgettable Highlights

​From the Flam Railway journey to strolling along Bryggen in Bergen, every moment of the trip was filled with wonder. The convenience of centrally located train stations and seamless connections made exploration effortless. Traveling in October offered a picturesque backdrop of autumn foliage and mild weather, ideal for outdoor adventures.

Tips For Travellers

​For prospective travelers, I recommend booking early, especially for popular destinations like Bergen and Oslo. Opting for an overnight stay in Flam allows for a more immersive experience. Additionally, note that the bus ticket from Gudvangen to Voss is included in the train ticket from Voss to Bergen.

Conclusion

​Exploring Norway with Railbookers was a seamless and enriching experience. From the comfort of train journeys to the breathtaking beauty of the fjords, every aspect of the trip left an indelible impression. Whether it's admiring the sculptures at Vigeland Park or savoring seafood in Bergen, Norway offers a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. As I reflect on this journey, I'm filled with gratitude for the opportunity to explore this enchanting destination, and I eagerly anticipate returning to Norway for future adventures.​​