People have been trekking through Hellesylt since the end of the last ice age, but tourists began staying overnight only in 1875, when the village's first hotel was built. Hellesylt was the inspiration for Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's long play in verse, Brand (1865). Despite more than 200,000 tourists and 100 cruise ships visiting annually, there's not much to see here besides the waterfall in the village center, oddly wedged between two bridges. A handful of tourists visit for the mountain walks, climbing, boating, and fishing in the region. View more
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This stop in Hellesylt is only for guests to debark and join the Overland from Hellesylt to Geiranger.
Embrace the stunning beauty of the typical west Norwegian scenery of farmland, surrounded by towering mountains, dotted with calm lakes.
Depart the pier by coach on this full day excursion from Hellesylt to Geiranger. Pass Lake Hornindalsvatn that is well stocked with trout and is the deepest lake in northern Europe. Continue along the lake towards the Nordfjord to the village of Stryn, where there will be a comfort stop.
Reboard the coach and follow the river Stryn up the valley, this river is one of the best salmon rivers in Norway. Continue along the emerald-colored lake Stryn. Ascending up the narrow valley to the Stryn Mountains; this road is a masterpiece of engineering, built for horse-drawn vehicles and opened in 1895.
You drive across the mountain plateau with the well-known summer skiing center of Tystigen, thereafter heading for mount Dalsnibba.
Climbing higher and higher, winding up mountain road relax in the coach and view the ever-changing kaleidoscope of mountain farms, waterfalls, lakes and rivers. From Lake Djupvatn you ascend the hairpin road to the summit of mount Dalsnibba, from where there is a spectacular view of the Geirangerfjord far below and the magnificent mountain peaks. From the summit of 4921 feet (1500 meters) above sea level, the coach will carefully make the way down the road to Djupvasshytta Mountain Lodge.
From the Flydal gorge there is another stupendous view - the classical Geiranger motif - the fjord with your cruise ship anchored in the bay.
Tour ends at the pier in the village of Geiranger.
A three course lunch will be served at a local restaurant en route
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, with some uneven ground at the Dalsnibba Summit. This tour is suitable for guests who utlise a collapsible wheelchair and guests with limited mobility that can embark and disembark the coach multiple times via steps without assistance. Local currency is required for restroom facilities. Local vehicles are utilised; coaches may not be equipped with air-conditioned cooling. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing, and bring water and your camera from the ship. Please bring local currency or credit cards for any local purchases made.
Venture into Norway's hinterland on our one-night Mid-Voyage Land Adventure that delivers the Mountains, Fjords and Glaciers that make this such a picturesque destination. From Hellesylt to Bergen, our guests encounter the most breath-taking landscapes around every bend and corner.
01MIDHLL-A Mountains, Glaciers & Fjords of Norway
Offered on Voyage 4421
Departure: August 15, 2014 from Hellesylt
Duration: 2 Days/1 Night
Re-join ship: August 16, 2014 in Bergen
Reserve by: July 15, 2014
This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires advance booking through Silversea Reservations by July 15, 2014. Payment in full is due within 120 days prior to sailing or at the time of booking, if within 120 days of sailing. This programme is non-refundable if cancelled within 90 days of the start of your cruise. Although a minimum number of participants is required to operate this programme, only a limited number of hotel rooms are available. We suggest you book early to avoid disappointment. Requests received after the Reserve By date may be accommodated on a space-available basis if possible and the programme price is subject to change.
Nothing quite prepares the visitor to Norway for the incredibly stunning scenery that unfolds travelling inland. Mountains, fjords and glacial ice vie for your attention around every corner of the way. In between, you will find gushing waterfalls, unique stave churches and quaint villages. This two-day Mid-Voyage Land Adventure offers a marvellous perspective of all that is characteristic in scenic Norway.
DAY ONE - Hellesylt/Briksdal/Bøya Glacier/Geilo
Upon arrival in Hellesylt, meet your driver/guide and begin your scenic adventure. Please eat a hearty breakfast as lunch is served later in the afternoon, upon completion of your glacier hike.
This morning, your route travels past Hellesylt Waterfall and Hornindalsvannet, Europe's deepest lake. You continue along the Nordfjord to Olden before ascending the valley, passing scattered farms, waterfalls and ice fields and finally arrive at Briksdal Glacier.
The driver makes a photo stop along with way at one of the more picturesque areas - the Hellesylt Waterfall, cascading into the blue-green fjord. It was here that Henrik Ibsen was inspired to write his immortal drama Brand. The Geirangerfjord is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful which is perhaps why the road you travel today was originally opened in 1889. As you wind along the mountain path, imagine the road's construction, without the air of power tools.
After the coach ascends, drive through a lovely mountain valley with weekend cottages before arriving to Europe's deepest freshwater lake, Hornindalsvannet. Stop for photos at this crystal clear water, with a depth of nearly 1700 feet (514 metres). Be sure to take some shots of the old Hornindal Bridge and the 'Virgin Stone'. The charismatic bridge was built between 1810 and 1813 and this ring-shaped stone was visited by bridal parties, pre-nuptials, Listen to the two stories associated with its moniker. Continue with the drive and pass Olden.
The village of Olden is situated at the end of the innermost arm of the lovely Nordfjord, which cuts its way into the county of 'Sogn & Fjordane' for almost 65 miles (100 kilometres) to the mighty ice fields of the Briksdal Glacier. Steep mountains tower both sides of the valley making the village of Olden one of the most charming and idyllic in Western Norway. Its main attraction is the Briksdal Glacier, which is one of the most popular destinations during the summer months.
Visit this famous glacier arm set attractively between roaring waterfalls and high peaks. Located in Jostedalsbreen National Park, the Briksdal Glacier, one of the three outlets of the famous Jostedal Glacier, the largest in Europe The glacier rises from 1,135 feet (346 metres) above sea level at its lowest to 6,400 feet (1,950 metres) above sea level at its highest. At its thickest part, the ice is over 1,300 feet (400 metres) deep. Here, get ready for a hike along a track crossing the river and climbing in sharp bends to the viewpoint at the top. From here you can enjoy a fantastic view of this arm of the Briksdal Glacier. The hike to the foot of the glacier takes approximately 45 minutes each way on initially steep, but afterwards relatively flat surface until you reach the actual glacier.
With its various colours and different shades of blue and turquoise, the glacier presents an amazing sight. If lucky, you may even experience the thunderous sounds of 'calving'. For the sake of security, visitors are urged to respect the warning signs posted near the glacier. A limited number of motorized buggies will be available for hire here for those who do not wish to walk to the viewpoint near the face of the glacier.
After retracing your way to Briksdal Mountain Lodge, you are greeted with a three-course lunch. Afterwards, begin the drive to the ferry that will take you to Mannheller. Travel south, passing small farms and orchards before beginning the climb towards Utvik Mountain where a photo stop is made at the viewpoint to take in the splendid panorama offered. Down on the other side of the mountain, pass through Vaatedalen, the wet valley that is very green and home to the many sheep and goats that graze here. Journey via Jølster to Bøya Glacier, an arm of the mighty Jostedal glacier, stretching steeply down the mountainside. Stop to take photographs. Arriving in Fodnes, take the public ferry across to Mannheller, a ride of approximately 60 minutes. Return to the vehicle and continue with the drive to Borgund Stave Church.
Borgund Stave Church
Our next stop is Borgund stave church, the best preserved and most typical of the remaining mediaeval stave-churches in Norway. Built around 1150 A.D, be sure to take note of the carved portal and dragonheads placed there to protect the church against evil spirits. A welcomed coffee break concludes your visit.
The last two hours of this day you will spend while driving through wonderful Norwegian landscapes towards Geilo. Check-in at the Dr. Holms Hotel and re-join the group for a buffet dinner. The hotel is Geilo's oldest and most prestigious hotel, welcoming guests since the early 19th century. The remainder of the evening is at your leisure.
Overnight accommodations are at the at four-star Dr. Holms Hotel (or similar) - Geilo
DAY TWO - Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau/Ulvik/Bergen
Begin the morning with breakfast, followed by check-out. Start today's journey by crossing the Hardangervidda, a vast mountain plateau that is one of Europe's largest. It is also home to Northern Europe's largest stock of reindeer. Covering an area of about 2,500 square miles (6,500 sq. km) at an average elevation of 3,500 feet (1,100 metres), the plateau's highest point is the Sandfloeggi, at 5,646 feet (1,721 metres). Much of the Hardangervidda's geology is extremely ancient. The rolling fells of the Hardangervidda are the remnants of mountains that were worn down by the action of glaciers during the Ice Ages.
Continue to the Sysen dam, one of the four dams supplying the nearby hydro-electric plant. The dam itself is an impressive sight with its 262-foot (80-metre)-high wall built from natural stone and gravel. Walk on the dam and if nature is cooperating, you may have a view of the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier. Next, stop at the Fossli Hotel. In front of the hotel a path leads down to a viewing platform for the best look at the Vøring waterfall which cascades down into a deep canyon almost 600 feet (180 metres) below. Re-join the vehicle and make your way down to the Hardangerfjord, where a short ferry ride takes you across the fjord.
Hardangerfjord is the second longest fjord in Norway and the third longest in the world at over 100 miles (179 kilometres) long and over 2,600 feet (800 metres) deep. The fjord starts at the Atlantic Ocean just south of Bergen and ends where it meets the grand mountain plateau of Hardangervidda and is one of four major fish farming regions in the world.
After a ferry-crossing you than arrive to Ulvik for lunch. Ulvik is the main village in the area, situated at the north end of the Ulvikafjord, an arm of the Hardangerfjord. It is surrounded by high mountains, and the mountains facing the fjords have spectacular steep faces. On the afternoon-ride towards Bergen, stop at the impressive Steinsdal waterfall, with a fall of over 160 feet (50 metres). Plan for interesting photos here as you can walk behind the waterfall.
Drive through small communities with their typical west-coast scenery to Eide where you visit the farm hamlet, a cluster of old farmhouses. In Medieval times it was customary to have up to 15-20 houses on the farms, each serving a special purpose such as storage of food, sheep, and even a sauna (badstue). Take in the architecture and note the roofs of the houses are covered with slabs of slate that is found in the region.
Finally you arrive at the outskirts of Bergen. A short sight-seeing tour of the city by bus concludes your Mid-Voyage Land adventure.
Please note: This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure involves an extensive amount of driving and a train journey, with some walking required and an optional hike to a glacier. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility who may opt out of the hike, able to climb in and out of the touring vehicle and climb some steps. It is not wheelchair accessible. We recommend wearing layered clothing and packing overnight essentials into carry-on luggage. Be sure to bring some warm clothing, sturdy shoes for hiking on the glacier, a cap, sunglasses and sun protection. Dress code throughout the trip is casual. Some of the driving will be on winding mountain roads; the tour sequence may vary. Operation of this excursion is subject to minimum participation. Guests on this tour will miss the ship's call at Geiranger. Bring local currency or a credit card for any purchases or personal expenses. It is recommended that you leave jewellery and valuables on board. The Dr. Holms Hotel is a four-star property and the best available on these dates. This description is a general overview of the programme only and changes may be made if local conditions require. The weather can affect the quality of the viewing.
· One-night stay at four-star Dr. Holms Hotel (or similar) - Geilo
· One breakfast, two lunches, one dinner (buffet-style dinner includes choice of two glasses of local beer, house wine, soft drinks, water)
· All sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary
Any meals and drinks not specified above, gratuities to drivers and tour guides, laundry, telephone calls, cancellation insurance and other personal items.
All Land Adventures require a minimum number of participants in order to operate as described. If this minimum number is not met, Silversea reserves the right to offer the programme at a different rate based on private arrangements, or to cancel the specific departure. Silversea's published cruise cancellation policy will remain in effect. All Land Adventure fares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is received in full by Silversea. Onboard Spending Credit may not be applied to the purchase of this programme. All Land Adventures are non-transferable and non-refundable for any reason, within 90 days of sailing and are recommended to guests 18 years of age and older. This description is a general overview of this programme. Our local operator reserves the right to substitute other sites if local situations, including holidays, changes made by airlines, government/citizens' activities, and weather, require. The programme described in this brochure is provided by independent contractors. Silversea acts solely as ticketing agent. Silversea shall have no obligation or liability of any kind to guests for the business practices, acts or omissions in connection with or arising out of arrangements with independent contractors, including but not limited to airline carriers, ground-tour operators, and hotels since they are neither agents for nor employees of Silversea Cruises. Silversea's liability does not extend beyond the vessel.