Balestrand’s Golden Circle
A full-day tour with a fjord cruise, mountain bus, and glacier visit. You can start with the bus or the boat.
Gaularfjellet Scenic Route by bus
Norwegian Glacier Museum
Jostedalsbreen glacier visit
Fjærlandsfjord by boat
Optional visit to an extra glacier the Norwegian Book Town
Start with the bus at 10:00 from the Balestrand Tourist Information Office. The trip to Fjærland takes three hours, most of it on the Gaularfjellet Scenic Route. It goes over two mountain passes, Gaularfjellet and Røyrvikfjellet, and there are two short photo stops at the waterfall Likholefossen and the Utsikten viewpoint. The bus makes a 30-minute stop at Bøyabreen glacier before continuing to the Norwegian Glacier Museum and Ulltveit-Moe climate centre. There you have one hour and 10 minutes. There is a small café in the museum which serves light meals and drinks.
At 15:00 the bus leaves the museum and goes to the dock, where the boat to Balestrand is waiting. The trip to Balestrand takes one hour and 45 minutes. It goes the entire length of the Fjærlandsfjord. This ferry connection was the only way to get to Fjærland until 1994, when a tunnel was opened. The ferry has a small café which serves light meals and drinks. There is an open upper deck and closed lower deck, so you can sit outside in sunny weather and inside in rainy weather. The boat arrives in Balestrand at 16:35, in time to make the Express Boat towards Bergen.
Start with the boat at 8:00 from the Balestrand dock. When you arrive in Fjærland, you are met by a bus that takes you to the Norwegian Glacier Museum and Ulltveit-Moe climate centre. There you have an hour and 10 minutes. At 11:00 the bus leaves the museum and drives ten minutes to Supphellebreen, an arm of the Jostedalsbreen glacier that is visible from the valley floor. The bus makes a ten-minute photo stop before continuing another 20 minutes to Bøyabreen glacier, where you stop for an hour and ten minutes. Here there is also a small restaurant, Brevasshytta, which serves substantial meals. You can also take a short walk on a gravel path closer to the glacier.
At 12:55 the bus leaves back to Mundal, the Norwegian book town, where you have two hours and ten minutes. Here there are about 300 residents, but many thousands of books. There are small used bookstores in many old buildings, the ferry waiting room, bank, post office, and grocery store. The Book Town has many rare and unusual books, in many different languages. At 15:30 the Gaularfjell bus departs from Mundal, from the same place that the ferry arrived. The trip back to Balestrand takes three hours, arriving back in the center of Balestrand at 18:30.
More About the Tour
Lunch is not included, but can be purchased several places along the way.
It is not possible to walk on the glacier on this tour.
The temperature by the glacier is not much colder than in the village, so you do not need to bring special clothes. (The viewpoint is only 60 meters above sea level, and the viewpoint by Bøyabreen is only 150 meters above sea level.)
There are restrooms at the Glacier Museum, Supphellebreen, and at Bøyabreen.
During the Gaularfjell Bus ride, there are restrooms at Likholefossen and Utsikten.
Note that if you take the boat first and return by bus, you arrive at 18:15, after the Norled Express Boat to Bergen has left at 16:55. If you need to make that boat, you can choose “Bus first” option, returning by boat to Balestrand. You then arrive at 16:35, and this boat corresponds with the Express Boat towards Bergen.
This tour is partially wheelchair accessible. Please contact us.