The fjord villages of Norway resemble a rather impressive train set. I began my visit in Bergen, where the Hanseatic League once monopolised commerce. Arriving in the city, I stumbled immediately across an annual classical concert in the main square where the audience stood, throughout the entire performance, noticeably and respectfully still, as though in church.

Bergen is fantastically pedestrian-friendly, which makes travelling around extremely easy and the back streets are refreshingly smart and not at all dingy.

It’s no surprise what’s on the restaurant menus. Indeed the whole area was built on cod trading. I came off the famous Bryggen quayside, down a wooden corridor of former fish warehouses to To Kokker (, the oldest fish restaurant in town.

Stepping inside felt like going into someone’s home, so warm-hearted and lived-in was this cabin, so private and personal was the vibe.

Intrigued by the carpaccio of elk, I nonetheless opted for a steamed salmon and halibut with pairing sauces and then strawberries with rhubarb tart. The portions were generous and the meal was beautifully presented, flavoursome and delicious. A happy time in a happy place.

I stayed at Bergen’s top hotel, namely Bergen Bors Hotel (, where rooms start from £146. Trumpeted by two grand red-carpet entrances it occupies the old stock exchange building. My room had a modern Scandinavian design with trendy spotted carpets and all I needed for a comfortable stay.

The hotel’s most striking feature is the Frescohallen restaurant, where I had breakfast: a vast vaulted hall with Corinthian columns and painted murals of industrial scenes reminiscent of Diego Riviera.

If you want to witness the magic and mystery of the fjords’ dramatic scenery in supreme style and comfort, I recommend unreservedly See the Fjords (, which offers a “private custom fjord-cruise”. Upstairs there’s panoramic flybridge. Conducted by Captain Svein and sleeping six in immense comfort, it offers utter luxury during trips which can stretch from three hours to four days, including tours of both Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord.

Norway is the land of waterfalls, with nine out of the 10 tallest in the world. They leap from the tops of huge cliffs, sending their immense spray a considerable distance. As I sat on the aft of his boat, Captain Svein took me to within touching distance of one cascading crescendo to feel playfully the spray above. It was a baptismal moment.

Looking straight out over the harbour and the fish market towards Bryggen is Bjerck Restaurant ( which attracts a young crowd. Get there early to get the best view. With floor-to-ceiling windows it’s extremely light and the vibe and furnishing is hip and cool. Here I was to enjoy their famous, Prinsefisk, a dish of cod, asparagus, shrimps, creamy sauce, dill and potatoes.

I next stayed at The Hanseatic Hotel (, which is wonderfully sited on the famous Bryggen waterfront. It’s reasonably priced (with rooms from £122) and rucksacks in the hallway confirmed it to be very much a real travellers’ resting spot.

The hotel is located close to the Fløibanen funicular, which took me a thousand feet up to the top of Mount Fløyen, from which I walked the gorgeous one-hour descent back to Bergen along zig-zag paths through forests and across streams, with views of the city.

Early the next morning I set off for a tour with Go Fjords (, hopping on a bus from Bergen to get the most out of my day trip along Hardangerfjord on an open-deck catamaran that took me past farms, orchards and mountains and charming villages with their small harbours and their posh hotels.

The serene, sturdy and majestic boat stops at cute villages such as Eidfjord where some passengers got off to see the stunning Vøringsfossen waterfall.

The broad 116-mile stretch that is Hardangerfjord is up to 4,000 feet deep. Most visitors come in spring or summer when the trees are blossoming, waterfalls are roaring and the trails are full of hikers. Here I smelt the aromatic woods of silver birches and pines and paused for a moment just to appreciate the profound silence and watch a fish rise, leaving circles of light blue ripples on the surface, accentuating the sleepy stillness of the water.

I got off at Norheimsund to stay at Thon Hotel Sandven (, where rooms start from £128. It has a front-row waterside view and the heart of the hotel, where the dining and socialising happens, is traditional with a “female room” referencing years gone by. There is also a library and a grand piano.

My room was in the modern part of the hotel, and from my window I could see the small island of trees bang in the middle of the water giving the vista a scale by which to appreciate the snow-capped mountains beyond.

During my time at Norheimsund, amidst the tinkling boats and children at play, the hiking and biking, the boating and bathing, I went on a heavenly walk across meadows and farmland, forests and pasture before reaching the beautiful, wonderful waterfall that is Steinsdalsfossen.

Here, I was able to get behind the waterfall and look through the tumbling water without getting wet. And as the sun came out, so too did a rainbow. It was a truly blessed moment.

After this bracing walk, I headed to La Fiesta, a reassuringly familiar Italian restaurant run by Nandor and his assistant Attila. Sitting outside in the sun looking out over the harbour and toy-town houses to the fjord, I ordered pesto pasta (which was was unbelievably fresh and scrumptious) and pizza with toppings including jalapenos and rocket.

This chalet-cum-cabin is evidently popular with the locals, which is always a good sign.

For another meal I entered Sånn Mat ( and I was instantly struck by how clean and stylish it looked with the only decoration being the simple but effective and highly trendy supersized light bulbs designed to resemble lanterns.

Here I enjoyed a delicious traditional Thai soup with shrimps, cream, lime, lemongrass, lime leaf, galangal, onions, chilli and rice before a wonderfully light wrap with chicken and barbecue sauce.

Norway can prove very expensive so I recommend visitors get a Bergen Card ( to gain free entry or discounts to many museums, attractions, tours, restaurants and travel and use it to take a tram from the airport to the centre (passing through suburbs with exotic names such as Florida, Paradis and Hop) rather than suffer a pricey taxi ride stuck in traffic jams.

I must make a return trip to Norway soon.

Travel facts:

Adam travelled with (0800 316 5678) who offer airport lounges at all major UK airports and many international destinations. In Norway he had further support from Visit Norway