Bergen, the city between seven mountains, is famous for having a lot to offer. Few of us have visited the city as tourists without taking a trip on the Fløibanen funicular or the Ulriksbanen cable car to see the beautiful city from above.
But did you know that it’s also possible to walk the mountain paths from one cable car to the next?
This trip is called ‘Across the Vidden.’
In the summer of 2017, we tried this classic, and what a trip it was! We, (myself with my two daughters aged 9 and 11), drove over the Hardangervidda to Bergen in the beginning of July and even managed to get the only sunny day the city had to offer that month for our mountain trip. Not much beats sunny Bergen in glorious weather!
We stayed at the Scandic Neptun hotel, in the city centre, which was a perfect distance from the fish market, Torgalmenningen (the main square), the Fløibanen funicular, the cinema, restaurants and more (highly recommend it!).
You can decide yourself if you want to take the tour from Fløyen to Ulriken or vice versa. We chose to go from Ulriken to Fløyen so that we wouldn’t be restricted by bus times etc. on our way back. With Fløyen being the final station we could just walk from the station to the hotel – which was perfect for us.
We started the tour by taking the Ulriksbussen (a double decker bus; it was fun for the kids to sit on the top deck!) from Torgalmenningen. The bus has departures every hour, on the hour, from 09:00 – 18:00. We chose to take the 10 o’clock bus. (NB! Be at the bus stop in good time. Our bus filled up quickly and some people had to wait another hour for the next one).
Ticket prices: 60NOK for adults, 40NOK for children. It is also possible to buy a bus/Ulriksbanen combination ticket from the bus driver. The drive from the city centre to the cable car takes around fifteen minutes.
You can of course use public transport. Take bus number 2, 3 or 12 heading south from the city centre. Get off at Haukeland hospital (before the tunnel). Cross over the bridge and follow the signs up the Haukeland hill.
Ticket prices: 110NOK for adults and 70NOK for children.
The ride up to the top takes ca. 7 minutes from the bottom station at Haukelandsbakken to the end point, 607 metres above sea level. The tramway is 1,120 metres long.
At the top, the mountain met us in all its lush splendor – in glorious sunshine. Then it was just a matter of setting off from cairn to cairn. Along the entire path, from mountain to mountain, stone cairns had been set up to mark out where we were going. Good for anyone who wants to break away from the crowd and go up ahead, it’s easy to see where to go.
It can be a bit tricky to find the right path in the very beginning, the signage isn’t great there, so we (with some others) took an accidental detour (which, however, gave us a fabulous view). But we quickly learned that we should have kept to the right from the start, even when it didn’t seem logical…but when we did, we quickly came to the cairn markings.
And what a lovely day it was! Stunning nature and a fantastic view in every direction.
Bergen city, the fjords around the city and the islands beyond – beautiful!! You could even see the Folgefonna glaciers. The fact that we could always see our goal, the Fløyen mountain, was a motivation in itself.
The trip is approximately 15 kilometres, and around half way, there is a beautiful lake, Tarlebøvatnet, where you can fill your water bottles (it’s drinking water so you’re not allowed to swim). We had lunch there in glorious sunshine and wonderful surroundings.
The last 1.5 kilometres are on a gravel path. You then go over Rundemannen to Fløyen. Ca. 15 minutes before Fløyen is the Brushytta cabin, where you can buy a long-awaited ice cream or soft drink. There is little or no queue, like there almost always is at the kiosks on Fløyen…
The path between the two mountains is fine to walk on, but in some places the terrain was a bit rough with the occasional steep hill to climb. We thought it was fun, but if you have any problems with bumpy terrain, it’s good to be prepared for that.
We spent a total of 6-7 hours on the trip, including a long lunch and a few breaks for snacks and drinks.
You can, of course, go down the lovely path from Fløyen to the city, but we decided to give up while we were literally at the top, and took the tramway back down again. It’s great fun for both big and small, and when you are in Bergen, you have to try the Fløibanen. 😀
Back down at the bottom, you are right in the centre of Bergen. It’s amazing that the city and the mountain plateau are so close to each other!
It was great eating dinner at one of the many restaurants (and we even saw an Expa cycling jersey on a man at one of the outdoor areas), before we walked the short way back to the hotel again.
What a day – what a wonderful experience!!!
The trip was definitely a success regardless of the age of the participants, and can be highly recommended!
Tip: When you arrive at Ulriken you can stop by the mountain shop and ask for free bracelets for the children as a reward for a successfully completed trip. It’s nice to have visible proof that you have hiked ‘across the Vidden.’😀
Enjoy your trip! All the best, from Team Expa/Cat