Fun Things To Do In Flam Norway In Winter
Flam Norway is one of the most popular destinations for those traveling between the major cities of Oslo and Bergen. Its picturesque location puts Flam among some of the most breathtaking fjord landscapes in the country. Its incredible location has made it one of the key stops on the legendary Norway in a Nutshell tour. But, through much of the summer, Flam is overrun with tourists, both local and international. In fact, it can be a veritable traffic jam of tourism. That’s why we suggest checking out all the things to do in Flam Norway in winter.
Why Visit Flam In Winter?
During the summer months, Flam is jam-packed with tourists taking in the UNESCO World Heritage fjords and epic waterfalls. Visiting Flam in winter offers a unique change of pace from the frenzy of summer activity. Gone are the crowds and the flowing waterfalls. Those have been replaced by silent waters and frozen walls of ice. The fjords become silent pools, crusted with thin layers of ice. Yet, with the lack of tourist crowds, there are still plenty of things to do in Flam in winter.
Our journey from Bergen to Flam after we had just finished our incredible Hurtigruten Northern Lights cruise (Another great reason to visit Norway in winter). That epic tour started in the Arctic town of Kirkenes. We made our way on a Norway in a Nutshell connection before continuing on to Oslo for a short visit before heading back home to Canada. We opted to spend more time in Flam on our stop here in order to discover as much of the area as possible. And we are so glad that we did. Because Flam is one of the most incredible places in Norway.
Best Things To Do In Flam Norway In Winter
Depending on when you plan to visit Flam Norway the attractions can vary. In fact, if you visit Flam in the summer, there can be a veritable traffic jam of explorers and adventure seekers. By checking out all the things to in Flam in winter you can completely avoid the crowds and get a unique perspective on this beautiful region through off-season travel.
Visiting Norway in Winter requires a bit more preparation. But if you pack for Norway correctly, you are in for one of the most incredible travel experiences in the world. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Flam Norway in winter.
1. Historic Flam Railway – Flamsbana
The Flamsbana railway is a magical train journey offered year-round between the towns of Flam and Myrdal. This gorgeous Norwegian train journey is one of the two main highlights of the Norway in a Nutshell tour. The Flamsbana glides through steep valleys along through the Norwegian mountains and has been declared by many travelers as one of the most scenic train rides in the world.
The Flam scenic railway can be taken on a 20 km (12.5 miles) 1-hour one-way either into and out of Flam from the connecting Bergen Railway or as a 2-hour round trip. The Flamsbana scenic rail route makes one short stop along the route for photos including at the base of Kjossen waterfall, which in the winter is completely frozen making for an awesome spectacle. And sometimes these frozen waterfalls are watched over by some of the local trolls.
The Flam railway rises an impressive 866-meters (2841 ft) during it’s ascent to Myrdal station. This incredible climb has it listed as one of, if not the steepest railway in the world! And the views from Myrdal station are worth the stop as well. This sleepy Nordic town looks to be straight out of a postcard.
2. Norwegian Fjord Cruise Through Naeroyfjord and Aurlandsfjord
There are few things more iconic of Norway than the incredible Norwegian fjords. And there is no place in Norway where it is easier to see the spectacular fjords of Norway than in Flam. Flam sits at the tip of Aurlandsfjord. But one of the best things to do in Flam is to take a cruise up Aurlandsfjord to the UNESCO World Heritage site Naeroyfjord to the town of Gudvangen on the Flam to Gudvangen ferry.
The surrounding mountains are striped with frozen waterfalls. They almost appear like soft long-exposure photos that you could reach out and touch. And combined with the colorful villages that dot the valleys of the fjord, there’s no surprise why this is one of the most popular places in Norway. The stillness of the mountains and the light crunch of the thin layer of ice covering the fjord adds a magical atmosphere to the Flam fjord cruise that just can’t be matched in the summer.
3. Snowshoe Hike To The Stegastein Viewpoint
The Stegastein viewpoint near the town of Aurlandsvangen offers one of the most awesome views of the fjords near Flam. While it’s possible to make the drive to the Stegastein overlook by taking the E16 to Skulevegen to Bjorgavegen, one of the most popular ways of getting to the Stegastein viewpoint in winter is on a snowshoe tour.
Snowshoeing in Norway is one of the most amazing ways to experience the Norwegian landscapes up close and in-person. But the ultimate end of the Flam snowshoeing excursion is arriving at the epic Stegastein viewpoint for the unrivaled views of Aurland Fjord.
The Stegastein is a wood and steel platform that juts out 30 meters (98 ft) from the mountain. The viewpoint is a staggering 650 meters (2132 ft) above the fjord and offers a panoramic view that will leave you speechless.
4. Wander The Sleepy Village Of Undredal
Undredal is a highlight of the fjord tour. This colorful village sits on the edge of Naeroyfjord and is so dreamy it just begs to be explored. This picturesque town features a 12th-century stave church, one of Norway’s remaining 28 stave churches. You can reach Undredal Norway by boat along the Aurland fjord or by car by taking E16 to 601.
It’s possible to take a group tour to Undredal, but if you have access to a car it’s easy to do it yourself. Don’t expect the village to offer much beyond some cheese shops and the stave church though. Undredal is a tiny town of 90 people and 500 goats. Beyond being a great photo spot, there really isn’t isn’t as much here as there are things to do in Flam. The Stave Church in Undredal dates back to 1147. This tiny structure only has 40 seats and is Norway’s smallest stave church.
5. Take a Fjord RIB Boat Safari
If a slow cruise through the fjords doesn’t thrill you enough, you can also take a RIB boat safari in Flam. The Flam RIB boat tour rips through Naeroyfjord to Skjerdal wharf. What makes the winter RIB boat safari in Flam so great is that you don’t just get to see the landscape from the water. The Flam safari stops at small towns like Undredal.
We had spent a lot of time out in the cold on our travel in Norway so the boys let us know that they weren’t interested in being out on the cold water for 2-hours so we opted out of this tour. But if you decide to take the RIB boat tour during winter in Flam, make sure to dress warmly. The wind can be extremely cold out on the water. You can also rent warm clothing from FjordSafari as well if you need it.
6. Explore The Local History At The Flam Railway Museum
The Flam Railway Museum is just steps from the marina and the Flam railway station. The Flam museum explores the history of the Flam railway, local history, and the development of transit in the area over the years. You can learn about the technical challenges of building one of the steepest railways in the world including the challenges of both the engineers and those tasked with building it.
The Flam railway museum is small but definitely worth a visit if you are spending some time in the area. You can pick up some fun Flam souvenirs here as well. It’s perfect for those who love trains, so our kids got a kick out of it.
7. Look Over The Town From The Flam Art Hike
There are quite a few wonderful hikes in Flam. In fact, if you drop by the Flam Visitors Center, you can pick up a map with of some of the best hikes in the area. One of our favorite hikes in Flam is a trail that winds up along hills behind the Fretheim Hotel. This short but fascinating hike took us up to some viewpoints overlooking the city and the Aurlandsfjord.
Along the way, there are pieces of unique artwork hidden among the natural scenery. There are no descriptions accompanying the art, so each piece is left to your own interpretation. While there are definitely more scenic hikes in Flam, including one that takes you to the towering Brekkenfossen waterfall, this one lets you walk over small waterfalls and is easy enough that even those visiting Flam with kids will have no trouble.
This small, quirky trail is unique and does a wonderful job of capturing the personality of this small, remote village. If you decide to visit Flam Norway, exploring the trails near the city is a must.
How To Get To Flam Norway
Flam is situated directly between the major cities of Oslo and Bergen in southern Norway. It’s popularity and scenic location make it one of the most popular attractions in Norway for both locals and tourists alike. All of this popularity means that getting to Flam isn’t difficult, although it may take some logistics depending on how you like to travel. Here are our tips on how to get to Flam Norway
- Getting To Flam By Bus – There is regular transit service year-round to Flam.
- Getting To Flam By Car – Flam sits on Highway E16 which is a popular route between Oslo and Bergen. The drive is a scenic one that can be navigated year-round.
- Getting to Flam By Train – Flam is the main junction between Bergen and Oslo. The Bergen Train to Oslo is about a 4.5-hour journey from Myrdal. From Myrdal, the Flamsbana rail connects directly to Flam. This part of the journey is about an hour.
- Getting To Flam By Norway In A Nutshell – Flam is the halfway point in the Norway In A Nutshell Tour. The Norway in a Nutshell tour enters Flam via ferry from Gudvangen and leaves via the Flamsbana railway.
Visiting Flam With Kids
Flam is very kid-friendly. Like many small towns in Norway, there are many things for kids to do in Flam Norway. Even the snowshoe trek to Stegastein Viewpoint can be a family expedition. The Fjord Safari in Flam is also open to children over 4-years of age. So rest assured if you want to visit Flam with kids, you will have an incredible time. I know we did!
Best Hotels In Flam Norway
There are several great hotels in Flam that are worth staying in. And depending on how close to the town you want to stay, there aren’t many places that you can go wrong. Almost all of the Flam hotels have incredible views of the fjord and the surrounding landscape. But there are a few hotels in Flam that really stand out. These are our favorites.
The Historic Fretheim Hotel
The Flam hotel that we chose was the historic Fretheim Hotel. Even for those just passing through Flam, this beautiful hotel is worth visiting. Its classy interior is perfect for exploring, and a trip up to the top viewing deck offers incredible panoramic views of the village and the fjord.
The Fretheim Hotel also has one of the best dining experiences in Flam, so even if you aren’t staying here, it’s worth coming by for dinner in this converted 1800’s manor.
Flam Marina and Apartments
The Flam Marina and Apartments is located just steps from the Marina and not far from the Fretheim Hotel. The Flam Marina and Apartments sits just across the road offering unobstructed views of the fjord. And the apartment-style accommodations in Flam mean that you have access to a kitchen, wifi and all the things necessary to cater yourself.
The Flam Ferdaminne hotel is located just outside of the town center. Similar to the Flam Marina and Apartments, most Flam Ferdaminne units have kitchens. It’s slightly more remote location makes it a more romantic option for those looking for quiet hotels in Flam.
Best Places To Eat In Flam Norway
For a small town, there are some great places to eat in Flam. It’s in its dining experiences that the position of Flam as a popular tourist destination in Norway. In fact, Flam is one of the best places to try many of the traditional Norwegian delicacies such as smoked salmon, cloudberries, and goat cheese.
The Fretheim Hotel is a wonderful spot for fine dining in Flam. Not only are the meals well put together, but the panoramic views from the Fretheim’s renovated dining area are incredible.
Aegir Brewery and Pub
The Aegir pub in Flam is a great place for pub fare such as burgers, ribs, and soup. In the evening the pub takes on a Viking theme with a roaring hearth. They have six different beers on tap as well, all brewed in-house.
The Flam Bakery is located right next to the Flam Visitors Center. They have a great selection of pastries, croissants, and cakes. Our kids loved the giant cookies they had for sale.
So you can see that there are many things to do in Flam Norway in winter. Have you been? Tell us your favorite experiences in the comments below. Or swing by our Facebook page and post a photo of your experience. We would love to share in your journey.
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With the birth of their two boys, Kevin and Christina have made it their mission to show others that travelling with children isn't as scary as it sounds and that kids can benefit from experiencing the world outside of their front door and beyond.
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