Q I love hiking and fancy a trip to Scandinavia. Where should I go for a great walking holiday?
Rachel Jelley, Marketing Manager, Sunvil: The landscape of Scandinavia changes from the gentle countryside of southern Sweden to the lofty mountain peaks of northern Norway. For outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers there are few places in the world with such appeal, and with scenery that’s so easy on the eye. I love the fjord region of Norway for walking and my favourite destination is the Hardangerfjord, a sentiment shared with Queen Sonja of Norway who chooses to hike here annually. From gentle strolls through the fruit orchards lining the shore, to the strenuous HM Queen Sonja’s Panoramic Hiking Trail, there’s something for every level of hiker. You can even try hiking on the Folgefonna glacier. I recommend our itinerary, Walking in the Hardangerfjord (from £1,498 per person), as a brilliant way for walkers to explore this beautiful region.
Clive Stacey, Managing Director and Co-founder, Discover the World: The Norwegian fjords offer spectacular hiking opportunities, and one of the best places to break in your boots is Bergen. Take the Fløibanen funicular from the city centre to the summit of Mount Fløyen, where walks range from an easy two-mile forest amble to a more challenging six-mile circuit in the Våkendalen valley. Next, take the train from Bergen to Voss, followed by a bus towards Gudvangen, stopping near the Hotel Stalheim, a superb base for hiking in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nærøyfjord — a breathtaking 11-mile-long inlet, narrowing to just 1,600ft in parts.
Start with beautiful fjordside strolls, then tackle the two-hour hike to Nåli high above the valley, following a well-marked trail past farms and waterfalls. For a different perspective of the fjords, take a boat trip along Nærøyfjord to reach the village of Flåm where you can combine the famous Flåm Line mountain railway with a walk back down to the shores of Sognefjord. Our five-night Walk Bergen and Beyond itinerary is available May to September and costs from £826 per person.
Published in the May 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)