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Flam, Norway

Flåm is a village in Flåmsdalen, at the inner end of the

Aurlandsfjorden

—a branch of

Sognefjorden

. The village is located in the municipality of Aurland in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway.

The name Flåm is documented as early as 1340 as Flaam. It is derived from the plural dative form of the Old Norse word flá meaning "plain, flat piece of land", and it refers to the floodplains of the Flåm River. ("A plain between steep mountains" is the toponomy of the encyclopedia Store Norske Leksikon.)

The village of Flåm has since the late 19th century been a tourist destination. It currently receives almost 450,000... Read more

Flam, Norway

Destination:
Flåm is a village in Flåmsdalen, at the inner end of the

Aurlandsfjorden

—a branch of

Sognefjorden

. The village is located in the municipality of Aurland in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway.

The name Flåm is documented as early as 1340 as Flaam. It is derived from the plural dative form of the Old Norse word flá meaning "plain, flat piece of land", and it refers to the floodplains of the Flåm River. ("A plain between steep mountains" is the toponomy of the encyclopedia Store Norske Leksikon.)

The village of Flåm has since the late 19th century been a tourist destination. It currently receives almost 450,000 visitors a year. 
The harbor of Flåm receives some 160 cruise ships per year.

History

In 1670 

Flåm Church

was built.

In 1923 the construction of the Flåm Line was financed by parliament. (In 1908, the decision to build the line was made.)

In 1942 ordinary operation of (steam powered) trains started on the Flåm Line.

"In the 1960s, cruise ships stayed on the fjord" without reaching the port, according to Dagens Næringsliv.

In 2000, the "new pier" was referred to in a government document. ("The pier was built at the entrance to the new millennium," according to Dagens Næringsliv.)

 

 


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Flam, Norway: Port Information


Flåm is Norway's fourth largest cruise port, with about 175 cruise ship calls annually, bringing hundreds of thousand visitors to the tiny town. Flåm has space for one cruise ship to dock at its pier; others would tender to the central pier.
From spring to autumn cruise liners visit the port almost every day.

Get around Flam, Norway


Walking is a good option since Flåm near the fjord is very compact. More of the village is located a few miles up the river, along the route of the Flåmbana. A good place to start is at the Flåm Railway Station and Visitor Center (Flåm Turistinformasjon), where one can pick up a map of the village, browse a large gift shop, and buy tickets for the boat, train, and bus sightseeing tours/rides. They also have wifi (must purchase vouchers) and washrooms. The rest of Flåm near the fjord can easily be covered by foot.

Bus, car or cycle are the options between Flåm and Aurland. Undredal is accessed through a 5 km tunnel, and hiking and cycling to Undredal are not possible. The European route E16 highway passes by Flåm and Aurland. Heading west, E16 enters the Gudvanga Tunnel on its way to the village of Gudvangen, located at the end of the narrow Nærøyfjord where the Nærøydalselvi river empties into the Nærøyfjord.

What to see in Flam, Norway


  • Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana), ☎ +47 57632100, fax: +47 57632350, e-mail: flaamsbana@visitflam.com. This railway climbs from sea level to 866 m (2841 ft) in 20 km (12 mi), making it the third steepest normal railroad in the world. The railway is an engineering achievement. Several switchbacks are needed to climb the steep valley, one tight switchback is inside a tunnel. One tunnel, known as the Shelf, has a "window" allowing a view from within. The switchback system at one point creates 3 or 4 levels of rail stacked up. The rail was opened in 1940 after 17 years of construction. Tunnels were largely built by hand and 1000 meters required 10 years labor. With 5,5 % gradient, it is one of the steepest rail tracks in the world. View of high mountains and waterfalls through the gorge-like valley. A power station was built at the waterfall to provide electricity for the trains.
  • Flåm railway museum (Flåmsbana Museet) (near the train station/visitor center, opposite pier 1), ☎ +47 57632310, fax: +47 57632311. 1 May-20 May: 9 AM-7 PM, 21 May-30 Sep: 9 AM-8 PM, 1 Oct-30 Apr: 1.30 PM-3 PM. A museum telling about the Flåm railroad and how it was constructed. Exhibits include an authentic El 9 locomotive, an old electric shunting engine, and a number of rail inspection trolleys. Photography permitted. No toilets and no wifi in the museum, but you can find toilet facilities and wifi in the nearby train station/visitor center. Free. 
  • Fretheim Cultural Park (Fretheim Kulturpark) (behind Fretheim Hotel in Flåm). Many walking trails up the hill behind the hotel, playground, artworks, and the Bakkastova Cultural Café, with good views of the fjord and mountain.
  • Flåm Panorama, Flåm (next to Torget Cafe), ☎ +47 47462727, fax: +47 63836147, e-mail: post@flampanorama.no. 11 AM-7 PM. 180-degree surround cinema. Showing a 23-minute film about Flåm.
  • Gallery Vinjum, Aurland, ☎ +47 57632975, fax: +47 57632901, e-mail: lokalhistorie@aurland.kommune.no. 9 AM-3 PM. Art gallery showing the painting of Johannes Vinjum, who was inspired by the fjord landscape. Free. 
  • Flåm church (Flåm kyrkje), Flåm (a few miles up the river, in the valley, in the view of Flåmbana). The little 1670 church has a richly decorated interior. 
  • Vangen church (Vangen kyrkje). Vangen church, parish church for Aurland, is the largest of the few masonry churches in Sognefjord area, often referred to as Sogn Cathedral. Built around the year 1200. William Gladstone, UK prime minister, visited the church in 1885. 
  • Undredal stave church (Undredal stavkyrkje). A tiny stave church, seats 40 only, white painted exterior, decorated interior. Medieval origin, 12th century, exact age unclear.
  • Nærøyfjord. The scenic and narrow Nærøyfjord, a branch of the large Sognefjord, is 18-kilometer (11 mi) long and only 500 meters (1,600 ft) wide in some parts. Since 2005, the Nærøyfjord has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also featured on the Norway in a Nutshell day trips, which includes a ferry, bus, Bergen train, and Flåmbana segments. To see Nærøyfjord from Flåm, one can take a 20-minute bus shuttle through the Gudvanga Tunnel to Gudvangen and then take a 2-hour ferry from Gudvangen through Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord back to Flåm. Or try the reverse direction, ferry from Flåm to Gudvanger and bus back to Flåm. Alternatively, you could do a Norway in a Nutshell tour from Flåm.

What to do in Flam, Norway


  • Hiking in Aurlandsdalen valley. Different marked route. One great option is using the bus from Aurland to Østerbø and walk back. You will walk between high mountains and waterfalls. On the way, you will pass abandoned, but preserved old farms. You will wonder how the farmers could make a living here.
  • Njord, ☎ +47 97194511, +47 91326628, e-mail: office@njord.as. Two-hour tours start, 1 Jun-15 Sep: 11 AM, 2 PM and 5 PM. Kayaking in the fjord. Tours lasting from two hours to three days.
  • Cycling the Rallarvegen, ☎ +47 7 32 08 75 64. Taking the scenic train from Flam up to Myrdal and beyond, you may rent a cycle at particular train stops and cycle back down to Flam leaving your rental at the station there.

What to eat and drink in Flam, Norway


Eat

  • Furukroa (Between the railwaystation and the harbour), ☎ +47 57632050, fax: +47 57632051, e-mail: mail@furukroa.no.
  • Toget Café, ☎ +47 57632155, fax: +47 57632329. Eateries in two old railroad cars.

Drink

Ægir Bryggeri, ☎ +47 57000400, e-mail: info@aegirbryggeri.no. 12.00-22.00 in the summer. A craft brewery in a beautiful building. 

Shopping in Flam, Norway


Goat milk cheese, geitost from Undredal is considered a delicacy. Norwegian goat milk cheese differs from the Greek feta cheese. There are several types, but the most common one has a sweet taste.

Safety in Flam, Norway


The crime rate in Sogn og Fjordane is low. But even so, common sense applies.

Language spoken in Flam, Norway


Norwegian is the official language. English is widely spoken.

LOCAL TIME

12:02 pm
October 31, 2020
Europe/Oslo

CURRENT WEATHER

5.68 °C / 42.224 °F
broken clouds
Sun

6.62 °C/44 °F
moderate rain
Mon

9.81 °C/50 °F
heavy intensity rain
Tue

4.59 °C/40 °F
overcast clouds
Wed

3.68 °C/39 °F
overcast clouds

LOCAL CURRENCY

NOK

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