In Norwegian, the word Flam translates as ‘little place between steep mountains’. And, although that description hits the nail on the head, it fails to really conjure up the incredible scale of the place. Flam is cradled in a deep tributary of the Sognefjord which, at 204 kilometres long and 1308 deep, is the world’s longest and deepest fjord. Surrounded by towering cliff faces, the rustic wooden lodges of Flam’s town centre look like miniature models, which adds to the charm when you’re walking around.
• Ride on the world’s steepest railway. The Flamsbana travels to 865 metres above sea level and the line is made up of a series of sharp bends and cliff-edge tunnels. The journey may seem white-knuckle, but the railway has been running safely since the Forties.
• Adventure into the White Caves of Gudvangen. This underground labyrinth is made all the more spectacular with light shows and a soundtrack of classical music.
• Sip your way through a frothy cappuccino from the coffee shop of the Stalheim Hotel. This historic building is perched at the top of the Naeroy Valley, and the views are jaw-dropping.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
Flam Railway Adventure►
Flam Railway is one of the most famous and spectacular train journeys in the world – not to mention a masterpiece of engineering. Your tour starts on this very railway, which sends you skywards to a height of 867 metres at Myrdal station, on the mainline between Oslo and Bergen. At the most scenic parts, the train slows down so you can capture the views on camera. At Myrdal station your adventure continues as you change trains and snake your way down the Raundalen mountain valley to the well-known resort of Voss. Here you’ll stop for a traditional lunch before taking a bus to famous Stalheim, taking in waterfalls, mountains and lakes along the way. When you reach Stalheim, get ready as we weave our way through 13 hairpin bends to Naeroy Valley and arriving back in Flam.
Naeroy Fjord & Stalheim►
Flam finds a home on one of the inner arms of the Sognefjord – the longest fjord in Norway. Take a boat trip through the inner part of Aurlandsfjord and continue into the jaw-dropping Næroyfjord – which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005. This gentle boat ride takes you through the 17 kilometre-long fjord, surrounded by steep mountainsides, waterfalls and narrow passages. It brings you to the head of the fjord and the small settlement of Gudvangen where you’ll change from boat to bus. Carry on through the Naeroy Valley, to the Stalheim Hotel. Enjoy a coffee break as you look out on the valley below and drive down the 13 steep curves of Stalheimskleiva road – with waterfalls on two sides. Then it’s time to return to Flam, heading back through the valley and several tunnels along the way.
Flam Railway Half Day►
Lonely Planet and National Geographic have both billed Flam Railway as one of the world’s best train journeys, and you’ll soon discover why today. There are two things this rail route excels at – scenery and steepness. In an hour, you’ll be whisked from the bottom of a fjord to 867 metres above sea level. In fact, it’s one of the steepest lines in the world, with 80% of the journey taking place on a gradient of 5.5%. Along the way, you’ll pass landscapes that’ll have you running from one window to the next to snap photos – think mountains, glaciers and tumbling waterfalls. Once you’ve chugged up the mountainside, you’ll reach the family-run Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell. The property’s got a prime position, high above the Aurlandsfjord, so it’s the perfect place to stop for a coffee break, before taking the train back to Flam.