Flåmsbana 01 Header
sverrehjornevik.com/Flåm AS
sverrehjornevik.com/Flåm AS

Flåmsbana Railway

Flåmsbana

Climb the mountain by train

There are few places in the world where the local train station is such a big attraction as in Flåm, a small village located on the spectacular Aurlandsfjord in Norway. This is the departure point of the Flåmsbana, one of the steepest train routes in the world. The journey takes passengers along deep fjords, idyllic mountain lakes and roaring waterfalls.

All aboard!

Steep grade

The world-famous Flåmsbana railroad is only 20 km long and runs between Flåm, at sea level, and the mountain village of Myrdal, at 866 metres of elevation. This significant difference in altitude makes the Flåmsbana one of the steepest train rides in the world. The spectacular grade is matched by stunning views: the train chugs its way up the mountain along rugged rock faces with roaring waterfalls, deep river gorges and brightly coloured wooden houses set against snow-capped mountain peaks. A round trip ride from Flåm takes approximately two hours. The train keeps a slow leisurely pace and allows for plenty of stops at the most photogenic locations.

Flåmsbana 02 Intro Map En
Flåmsbana 03 Waterfall Bg Mob
sverrehjornevik.com/Flåm AS
Flåmsbana 03 Waterfall Bg
sverrehjornevik.com/Flåm AS

Power shower

During a 5-minute stop passengers on the Flåmsbana train can admire the power of the Kjosfossen Waterfall. The water crashes down from an elevation of 225 metres. Not just a spectacular sight; the water also generates power that keeps the Flåmsbana going!

Flåmsbana 03 Waterfall 1

Rallarvegen

The Flåmsbana railroad runs parallel to the famous Rallarvegen. This popular biking and hiking trail starts in the mountains near Haugastøl, ascends to 1,300 metres and then winds its way down via Hallingskeid and Myrdal to Flåm.

Flåmsbana 04 Rallsvegen 1
sverrehjornevik.com/Flåm AS
Flåmsbana 04 Rallsvegen 2
Sveinung Myrlid - Visitnorway.com
Flåmsbana 05 Myrdal 2
In Green / Shutterstock.com

Myrdal Station

At 866 metres, you reach the literal and figurative highest point of the Flåmsbana. The tiny village of Myrdal is the gateway to the beautiful hiking trails and ski runs of the Hardangervidda plateau. As there isn’t much to see except for the station, after a 10-minute stop the train heads back down the mountain to Flåm.

Flåmsbana 05 Myrdal 1
saiko3p / Shutterstock.com
Flåmsbana 06 Flam
sverrehjornevik.com/Flåm AS

Flåm

Spectacular fjord scenery

Back down at sea level it is time to explore Flåm. This small village seems to have won the location jackpot, as it’s nestled on the stunning Aurlandsfjord, surrounded by steep mountains, waterfalls and narrow valleys. Year-round, Flåm is home to only 400 people, but in summertime nature lovers and cyclists flock here to begin or end their tour over the Rallarvegen. The picturesque village is also the perfect home base to explore the Norwegian fjords.

Tip

For the most beautiful view over the Aurlandsfjord, head to the spectacular Stegastein panorama lookout, where a 30-metre platform juts out from the rock face, 650 metres above the fjord.

Flåmsbana 07 Nærøyfjord 2

Nærøyfjord

Norway’s most beautiful fjord

Flåmsbana 07 Nærøyfjord 1
Tomasz Furmanek - Visitnorway.com

From Flåm it is only few minutes by car to the stunning Nærøyfjord: this side arm of the mighty Sognefjord has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The narrow Nærøyfjord is framed by steep cliffs and snow-capped mountains that rise up to 1,400 metres above the water. Waterfalls and tiny villages with brightly coloured wooden houses complete the breathtaking Norwegian landscape. For an even better view of Nærøyfjord, head out on the water, for example by canoe.

Fretheim Hotel

A hotel for English lords

A night at the historic Fretheim Hotel is the perfect start for a round trip on the Flåmsbana train. The hotel dates back to 1870, when English lords discovered the great fishing spots of Flåmselva. On a good day, a fisherman could easily hook up to ten salmon.

Flåmsbana 08 Fretheim Hotel 3
Marius Moldvær/Flåm AS
Flåmsbana 08 Fretheim Hotel 2
Karina Lange/Visit Flåm

Flåm’s wealthiest resident, Christen Fretheim, saw a great opportunity and opened this hotel to accommodate the English visitors. Today guests spend the night in a classically furnished room and enjoy healthy cuisine prepared with local ingredients in the hotel restaurant.

Flåmsbana 08 Fretheim Hotel 1
Marius Moldvær/Flåm AS
Flåmsbana 09 Ægir Brew Bg V2
Rolf Richardson / Alamy Stock Photo

Ægir Brewery

Viking beer

The topsy-turvy building of the Ægir Brewery looks like the movie set of a Viking saga. Inside the driftwood walls await dragon heads, a large fireplace, hearty meals and, most importantly, great beer. The Ægir lagers, ales and porters have garnered numerous international awards: a great excuse to sit down for a tasting!

Flåmsbana 09 Ægir Brew 1

Stave church

Medieval stave church

About a 45-minute drive from Flåm you will find one of the oldest stave churches of Norway. The Borgund Stave Church was built around 1180 using 16 standards, also known as staves. Since then, very little has changed about this unique wooden structure.

Flåmsbana 10 Staafkerk 1 V2
Mark Mercer / Alamy Stock Photo

On the outside, four dragon heads adorn the gables, and inside you can read rune inscriptions such as: “Thor wrote these runes on the evening of Saint Olaf” and “Ave Maria”.

Flåmsbana 10 Staafkerk 2
Dickson
Flåmsbana 10 Staafkerk 3 V2
Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo

KLM

iFly Magazine

April 2018

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