Monday, 22 October 2018

Viking Valley & Tvinde Waterfall Excursion from Flåm, Norway

The Stalheimskleiva, Norway's steepest road, World's most dangerous roads

The Viking Valley and Tvinde Waterfall excursion from Flåm is a new offering from P&O Cruises (who kindly sponsored this trip) during my spectacular Norwegian Fjords cruise onboard Britannia in September.

The Flam Railway
Flamsbana, The Flam Railways Excursion

If you're cruising to the Fjords for the first time you've probably been recommended the Flåm railway to Myrdal, but for those of you who have enjoyed the railway then this excursion is a fascinating alternative.

Quaint Norwegian Villages in Hordaland
Tvinde Waterfall in September

Firstly you board a coach and head to Tvinde Waterfall, a picture perfect scene where water cascades step-by-step down the mountainside. It takes roughly 45 minutes to reach here but the journey is breathtaking.

Read more: What's a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords like?

Waterfall near The Stalheimskleiva Road
The clear Nærøydalselvi river

Along the way you pass through two of Norway's longest tunnels and follow the Nærøydalselvi river, flanked by mountains that soar high above the clouds. The mineral-rich mountains purifies the salmon river which we're told is clean enough to drink - even the locals flocked to Tvinde Waterfall as it was believed to be the fountain of youth.

Tvinde Waterfall up close
Tvindefossen near Voss, Norway
Typical white panelled Norwegian Church

Tvinde Waterfall is a short stop, so after taking a few photos we returned to the coach and ventured towards the Njardarheimr Viking Valley. To reach it you travel around the beautiful Oppheim lake and descend Norway's steepest road, the Stalheimskleiva, a road that has 13 hairpin bends and the most spectacular views of the valley below.

View from the Stalheimskleiva road
Waterfall viewed from Norway's steepest road

Read more: The pros and cons of a cruise holiday

The Njardarheimr Viking Valley experience in Gudvangen
Njardarheimr Viking Valley town

The Njardarheimr Viking Valley is situated near Gudvangen, 12 miles from Flåm. A guided tour around the town takes you back a 1000 years as the locals still live like the Vikings did in many ways. You learn about how they made their ships, what they wore and the Gods they worshiped. You then have free time to roam around the community so you can try on armour and test your archery and axe throwing skills.

Guided tour of the Njardarheimr Viking Valley
Viking Valley experience, learning about Viking armour and history
Textiles, clothing made in Njardarheimr Viking Valley
Communal dining room at the Njardarheimr Viking Valley

The excursion was around £60 per person and 4 hours long which I'd hope to see lengthened to allow more free time in the village (either that or a shortened guided tour) as we didn't have quite enough time to see it all. That said, it was a fascinating snapshot into Viking history, as well as Norway's most scenic landscapes - don't forget your camera!

You may also like: A Christmas cruise to Bruges and Amsterdam

A typical Viking house at the Njardarheimr Viking Valley
The port of Flam in Norway
Sailing through the Fjord from the port of Flam in Norway
The port of Flam and docked cruise ship P&O Britannia

Once you've booked a cruise you can explore the excursion options on their website and add them to your booking. It is possible to do many of these excursions independently, however a lot of passengers prefer the reassurance and guarantees of booking directly. You can see an example of the benefits (and the alternatives) in my guide to Olden to Briksdal Glacier, another port on a Norwegian Fjords cruise.

Disclosure: All opinions my own. 
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