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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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The Njardarheimr Viking Valleyis 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.
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!
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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.