Flåm is a village in Sogn og Fjordane county, at the innermost point of an arm of the Sognefjord. Flåm is among the busiest cruiseports in Norway. This article also covers the neighbouring villages of Aurland and Undredal, located approximately 10 km (6 mi) away in either direction.
Flåm sits at the south end of the Aurlandsfjord, an arm of the great Sognefjord. Flåm is also the end station for the Flåm railway, the only railway in Sogn og Fjordane and connection to the Bergen railway between Oslo and Bergen. Thanks to the railway and the sightseeing boat to Gudvangen (as well as a large number of cruise ships), Flåm has become one of the most visited places in the Western Fjords. These deep fjords allow the largest cruise ships to enter.
- Flåm is the end station for Flåmsbana.
- Aurland or more correctly Aurlandsvangen is the municipal centre, with a notably little masonry church
- Undredal is inhabitated by 100 people and 500 goats. Undredal is a small beautiful village. There you will also find Undredal stave church, built in 1147. It only seats 40 people, it is therefore Norways smallest church. Undredal is 16 km (10 mi) from Flåm. With car follow E16 towards Gudvangen, turn right after the first tunnel. Undredal is also accessible by the boat between Flåm and Gudvangen.
Flåm is on the European route 16, and could be reached along this from Bergen in 2 hr 45 min. Driving from Oslo would require 5 hr 30 min. Flåm can be reached from Geilo in Buskerud on route 50. In summer this is also the quickest connection from Oslo. In winter, the route 50 can be closed due to bad weather conditions.
A catamaran route links Flåm with Bergen and other villages along the Sognefjord. This is a great way to see the fjord. Departures once daily between 1 May and 30 September. There is also a car ferry which goes from Flåm to Gudvangen (kr 665 for a car and its driver).
The famous Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana) from Myrdal, a station on the main Oslo-Bergen line, is in itself a major tourist attraction. Many travellers continue onwards with a scenic cruise through the fjord itself to Gudvangen, from where you can catch a bus back to the mainline. This roundtrip is known as Norway in a nutshell.
Walking is a good option since Flåm is a small village. Bus, car or cycle are the options between Flåm and Aurland. Undredal is accessed through a 5 km tunnel, hiking and cycling not possible.
- 1 Flåm railway (Flåmsbana), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. This railway climbs from sealevel to 866 m (2841 ft) in 20 km (12 mi), making it the third steepest normal railroad in the world. The railway is an engineering achievement. Several switchbacks are needed to climb the steep valley, one tight switchback is inside a tunnel. One tunnel, known as the Shelf, has a "window" allowing view from within. The switchback system at one point creates 3 or 4 levels of rail stacked up. The rail was opened in 1940 after 17 years of construction. Tunnels were largely built by hand and 1000 meters required 10 years labour. With 5,5 % gradient it is one of the steepest rail tracks in the world. View of high mountains and waterfalls through the gorge-like valley. A power station was built at the waterfall to provide electricity for the trains. Single ticket: Adults: kr 300, Children: kr 150, kr 210 for holder of Eurail and InterRail; Return ticket: Adults: kr 400, Children: kr 300.
- 2 Flåm railway museum (Flåmsbana Museet) (next to the train station opposite pier 1), ☎ , fax: . 1 May-20 May: 9AM-7PM, 21 May-30 Sep: 9AM-8PM, 1 Oct-30 Apr: 1.30PM-3PM. Museum telling about the Flåm railroad and how it was constructed. Exhibits include an authentic El 9 locomotive, an old electric shunting engine, and a number of rail inspection trolleys. Photography permitted. No toilets and no wifi in the museum, but you can find toilet facilities and free wifi in the adjacent train station. Free.
- Fretheim Cultural Park (Fretheim Kulturpark) (behind Fretheim Hotel). Easy walking trails, playground, artworks, and the Bakkastova Cultural Café, all in the midst of the fjord and mountain.
- Flåm Panorama, Flåm, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-7PM. 180 degree surround cinema. Showing a film about Flåm.
- Gallery Vinjum, Aurland, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. 9AM-3PM. Art gallery showing the painting of Johannes Vinjum, who was inspired by the fjord landscape. Free.
- Flåm church (Flåm kyrkje), Flåm. The little 1670 church has richly decorated interior.
- Vangen church (Vangen kyrkje). Vangen church, parish church for Aurland, is the largest of the few masonry churches in Sognefjord area, often referred to as Sogn Cathedral. Built around year 1200. William Gladstone, UK prime minister, visited the church in 1885.
- Undredal stave church (Undredal stavkyrkje). A tiny stave church, seats 40 only, white painted exterior, decorated interior. Medieval origin, 12th century, exact age unclear.
- Hiking in Aurlandsdalen valley. Different marked route. One great option is using the bus from Aurland to Østerbø and walk back. You will walk between high mountains and waterfalls. On the way you will pass abandoned, but preserved old farms. You will wonder how the farmers could make a living here.
- Njord, ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Two hour tours start, 1 Jun-15 Sep: 11AM, 2PM and 5PM. Kayaking in the fjord. Tours lasting from two hours to three days. Two hour tour: kr 370.
- Cycling the Rallarvegen, ☎ . Taking the scenic train from Flam up to Myrdal and beyond, you may rent a cycle at particular train stops and cycle back down to Flam leaving your rental at the station there.
Goat milk cheese, geitost from Undredal is considered a delicacy. Norwegian goat milk cheese differs from the Greek feta cheese. There are several types, but the most common one has a sweet taste.
- Toget Café, ☎ , fax: . Eateries in two old railroad cars.
- 1 Ægir Bryggeri, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 12.00-22.00 in the summer. Craft brewery in a beautiful building.
- 2 Vangsgaarden Gjestgiveri, Aurland, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 Garnes private accommodation, Flåm, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. From kr 300.
- 4 Flåm Camping og Vandrarheim, Nedre Brekkevegen 12, 5743 Flåm, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Not a very quiet place (lying underneath the mouth of Flenjatunnelen (E16)), but quite good sanitary facilities and near the harbour and station of Flamsbana.
- Flåm Hotell, Flåm, ☎ .
- Flåm Marina & Apartments, Flåm, ☎ , fax: .
- Flåmsbrygga Hotell, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. A newly opened hotel (2008). All rooms have a balcony and fjord view. The hotel has a modern design, making use of Norwegian pine, driftwood, natural stone and glas.
- The mountain road to Lærdal. This road reach an altitude of 1306 m (4285 ft). It is named the Snow Road because snow is piled up beside it, several metres high, in summer. From the top of the serpentine road from Aurland there is an awesome view over Aurland, and the fjord.
- Catch the train to Finse, and cycle back on Rallarvegen(Navvies Road). This road was used under the construction of the railway. You will pass over mountain passes, before cycling down the steep valley to Flåm. The distance is 55 km (34 mi), the trip takes about five to eight hours. Bicycles are available for hire in Flåm or Finse for 250 NOK.
|Routes through Flåm|
|Bergen ← Gudvangen ←||W E||→ Lærdal → Oslo|