Travelling to the coast of Norway may seem like a slightly bizarre idea in January- but the city of Bergen has plenty to offer even at minus temperatures.
Bergen is Norway’s second largest city located in the Southwest of the country and home to Fløyen Mountain and Sognefjord. The city is filled with colourful wooden houses built up on a backdrop of snowy mountains.
I spent 4 days staying in Askøy, an island across the fjord from Bergen. The Ask retreat which is ran by a local couple is home to various sized log cabins, apartments and a sauna. We found the site on Air B&B– the perfect place to find private accommodation which encapsulates the local community spirit. It was a 50 minute bus journey from Bergen with beautiful views for the entire journey.
One of Bergen’s top attractions is it’s funicular railway. The train takes 6 minutes to get to the top of Mount Fløyen where the view across Bergen is sensational. From snow topped mountains, to cosy log cabins- you can see it all from the top. A one way trip costs only 90NKR which is around £9- for one of the most expensive countries in the world that is a deal not worth missing. Once you have taken in the views you can get the train back down or spend an hour or so walking back. The views on the walk down continue to amaze- as well as being a great active activity to warm yourself up.
In January, Bergen has very limited daylight time.The sun rises at around 9.30am and sets around 4pm- so by the time you have gone up a mountain and walked back down it’s time to head back to the cosy log cabin for a winter warming dinner.
Bergen is famous for its fish market- being so close to the fjords it’s clear to see why. The fish are as huge as they are delicious as well as being a great healthy meal choice.
If mountain walks aren’t your thing- perhaps travelling alongside the fish is? There are many boat cruises that run through the fjords exploring all of the nearby villages and mountains in a much closer range. We took a Rødne fjord cruise trip from Zachariasbryggen in Bergen down the 27-kilometer long Osterfjorden. The cruise lasts around 3 hours and the sights leave you in awe of the world that you are living in. As sunrise is much later than normal we saw the sun rise over the mountains and reflect onto the fjord and the icy waters. If you do nothing else in Bergen- make sure you do this. The boats have a sundeck that passengers can see the sights from as well as a lower level with windows when the sea air gets too cold.
If you’re considering a short getaway somewhere a bit different- Bergen in Norway is a perfect choice. An unforgettable place.