Exploring Flåm: A Trip to Charming Fjord Norway

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A first visit to Flåm, a popular tourist destination on the Aurlandsfjord in the Norwegian fjords region.

After our epic rail journey, my parents and I finally made it to Flåm. This was somewhere I'd long wanted to go, based on the photos I'd seen. But I didn't tell my parents too much so it would be a surprise.

Flåm valley in fjord Norway.

Situated deep within centre-west Norway on an arm of the mighty Sognefjord and nestled tightly below towering peaks, Flåm is a prime example of a Norwegian fjord village.

Words alone can't do this place justice, so I'm going to start with some photos:

An eerie evening in Flåm

Thousands of tourists visit each year, many on one of the massive cruise ships that dock here through the summer months.

The main bridge in Flåm bridge

It's quite the spectacular journey along the Sognefjord to reach Flåm, but it's an equally spectacular sight when a cruise ship is in dock at this tiny village:

A cruise ship in dock at Flåm

Once we found our accommodation, we strolled around the port. Orienting ourselves wasn't hard as it's a very small place. A couple of hotels, a pub, one supermarket, a couple of cafes and a few touristy shops.

Tourists from a cruise ship in Flåm

There is a smattering of houses and cabins, but the main residential area of Flåm is a couple of kilometeres back along the river. The port is very busy and touristy when a ship is docked, but delightfully quiet when not.

Birthday beers at the brewpub

The purpose of our trip was to celebrate my Dad's 60th Birthday. When asked how he wanted to celebrate, instead of a posh meal at the Fretheim Hotel, he smiled and said, “let's go to the pub!”

It turned out to be a great idea. Flåm might be small, but it has the Ægir Brewery (named after the Norse king of the sea creatures) and a Viking-themed brewpub.

The Ægir brewpub exterior

Yes I know, it sounds awful! But it's tastefully done and we thoroughly enjoyed our evening. The beer was excellent, the atmosphere wonderful, and the food surprisingly good.

Inside the Ægir Brewpub in Flåm

I devoured a thoroughly local pizza, featuring Ægir ale bread for the base, cheese from the mountain goats of Undredal, locally-made aquavit sausage, and a gorgeous berry dressing made with lingonberries from… yep you guessed it!

Ægir beers tasting

I wasn't shocked to hear the Ægir Brewpub won Brewpub of the Year three-years on the trot.

Like Father Like Son

After all that beer (the day after, of course), we needed a good walk to clear our heads. So we chose to head up the river to the old village of Flåm.

My parents wanted to take a look at the old church, but I was more interested in the spectacular valley and seeing how people lived in this relatively remote part of Norway. As it turned out, the church was great too.

Flåm kyrkje

The walk to Flåm church was lovely. You follow the course of the river, passing small farms, homes, cabins, other walkers, and local people tending to their gardens and walking their dogs.

A river bridge near Flåm in Norway

We tried to understand how people made a living here, as it wasn't just retirees. There was a school, nursery, and other local facilities. I guess without the mass tourism, life here would be trickier.

Photos cannot even begin to demonstrate the scale and beauty of the setting, but I tried.

Flåm village, Norway
Flåm river valley
Goats on a farm near Flåm

After some erroneous directions (naughty Google Maps), we found ourselves at Flåm Kyrkje, a wooden church built nearly 350 years ago.

Incidentally kyrkje is a nynorsk variant on kirke. It's one of the trickier Norwegian words to pronounce, but I find putting on a broad scouse accent gets the job done! That, or a few beers.

Anyway, I digress. Here's the church:

Flåm Kyrkje
Flåm Churchyard in rural Norway
Inside Flåm Church

On our final day we were blessed with the wonder of sunshine, something we haven't seen much of in Norway so far this summer!

So down to the water we went, for one final look at the Aurlandsfjord. Memories of our boat trip on the Aurlandsfjord and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Nærøyfjord came flooding back. I'll be writing about that next time 🙂

Aurlandsfjord on a sunny day
Overlooking the Aurlandsfjord

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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6 thoughts on “Exploring Flåm: A Trip to Charming Fjord Norway”

  1. What is the pronunciation of ‘flam’? – annotated in English phonetics, please, if you can. We hope to go soon and would like to be polite by knowing the name of the town. Thank you.

    • Hi Mary, great question. The only difficult one is the letter å which is pronounced sort of like the o in more, but not like an o in general usage! So it’s not Flam or Flom, but a much shortened version of Florm. Hope this helps!


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