8 Best Things To Do In Olden Cruise Port, Norway + Port Guide

Olden cruise port, Norway

Situated at the eastern end of the Nordfjorden, Olden cruise port is a gateway to stunning Norwegian fjords and breathtaking sceneries. Olden cruise port is conveniently located around 1 km north of Olden, a small yet vibrant village with a population of around 500 residents who mainly rely on tourism and agriculture.

Like many other Norwegian cruise ports, Olden’s scenic location and proximity to natural attractions make it a favorite port of call for travelers exploring this region by sea. The main attractions include the iconic Briksdal Glacier and Loen Skylift, favorite shore excursions in the port of Olden.

The port itself offers a blend of outdoor activities and cultural experiences, so there’s something for everyone’s taste. In this Older cruise port guide,

I share with you practical information about Olden cruise port, along with the 6 best things to do in Olden port (and how to get there!).

Visit also our cruise port guides to Tromso, Bergen, Alesund, Stavanger, Olso

Olden Cruise Port Guide

As mentioned above, cruise ships dock at Olden cruise terminal, located around 1 km north of the village. The cruise ship terminal can accommodate up to one cruise vessel at a time, so in case there are more ships in port, anchoring in the fjord is also an option.

There is no terminal building, however, you will find basic facilities within the port area. Briksdal Adventure AS (aka Olden Active) is a tour operator housed inside the Mølla Gjestehus building, located right on the Olden kai (Olden pier).

They offer tourist information with maps, Briksdal Glacier Shuttle Bus transfers, Open Top Sightseeing tours, bike and segway rentals, RIB fjord safari tours, kayak tours and car rentals. Internet, souvenir shops and a couple of cafes are also available within the area.

Getting Around Olden Port & Useful Info

  • The center of Olden village is located within a 15-minute walk from the port, so you can either walk or take a public bus to the village. Taxis are quite limited, so walking or booking a Hop on Hop off tour or a guided shore excursion are the best options to get around the area.
  • There are two local taxi companies (https://www.stryntaxi.no/ and Olden Taxis at +47 95086146) and it’s advisable to book in advance because they are limited.
  • Olden Hop on Hop off buses depart frequently from the pier and include a 1-hour loop that includes three stops. One stop is at the village itself, while two other stops are outside the town. One stop is at the lake from where you can spot the glaciers in the distance on a clear day, however, these buses do not go close to glaciers so keep that in mind to avoid disappointment (for glaciers, you need to book a guided tour or a shuttle bus).
  • Besides Hop on Hop off sightseeing bus, a Tourist Train departs from Olden cruise ship terminal every 15 minutes and makes a 6-km loop around the village and beautiful Floen Lake, set around 3 km south of the village. The trains are wheelchair accessible.
  • The currency in Norway is the Norwegian krone (NOK). 1 USD equals 10.60 NOK; 1 EUR equals 11.50 NOK; 1 GBP equals 13.50 NOK. ATMs are available in Olden village. Credit/debit cards are accepted almost everywhere, including the port area.
  • The high season in Olden is in the summer from June to August, however, even during the summertime the weather can be unpredictable. Keep this in mind because it may result in the shore excursions’ last-minute cancelations.
  • Olden is a frequent stop in the Baltic and Norwegian Fjords cruise itineraries. Major cruise lines sailing to Olden Norway include P&O Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Azamara, Seabourn and Windstar Cruises.

What To See in Olden Village

Just a 15-minute pleasant walk from the cruise ship, you will reach Olden, a quaint village with approximately 500 residents. Nestled at the mouth of the Oldeelva River at the northern end of the Oldedalen Valley on the southern shore of the Nordfjorden, the location of this village is scenic, with towering mountains and icy streams of glacier water crossed by wooden bridges.

Despite its small size, the village boasts amenities like a supermarket, gift shops and outlet stores, an art gallery, bars and cafes. The main landmarks are two churches: the 18th-century Old Olden Church featuring a carved altar and simple, wooden interior, and the Olden Church, a newer red church dating from 1934. 

If you continue walking further down the road, 2 km south of the village, you’ll come across one of the area’s natural attractions, a shallow yet beautiful Laukifossen waterfall. Both a tourist train and sightseeing bus stop here, so you can opt for that in case you mind walking (the walk takes about 40 minutes).

A kilometer further down the river, you’ll reach Floen Lake which serves as a reservoir for water from the Briksdal Glacier, a branch of the expansive Josterdalsbreen Glacier. The walk here is pleasant and the roads are well-signposted, but there are no facilities along the way. This walk is perfect for nature enthusiasts looking to escape the crowded touristy places. The area is completely flat and the walk is along the road.

Old Olden Church is one of the main landmarks in Olden cruise port, and is located within 1 km from the port.
Old Olden Church. Source: Pixabay.com

6 Best Things To Do In Olden Cruise Port

1. Briksdal Glacier

Also known as Briksdalsbreen, the spectacular Briksdal Glacier is located around 22 km/14 miles south of the port of Olden. The glacier descends from an altitude of 1,910 meters above sea level to the Briksdalsvatnet lake, forming a spectacular sight not to be missed!

The glacier forms a part of the Jostedal Glacier National Park and the drive there may take between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on the method of transportation and local conditions. Guided tours and a bus/shuttle bus usually take you to the Briksdalen Mountain Lodge (Fjellstove) where you will find parking and a few cafes and shops.

From there, you can take a scenic yet strenuous 2.5 km hike to the lake along the river, or take a “Troll car“, a 6-seater passenger jeep that cuts out the steepest and roughest part of the road. The cars are available for an extra charge however even they cannot bring you to the top. You will still need to walk an additional 15-20 minutes from the drop-off point to the lake.

The hike is more scenic and one of the stops along the way is a breathtaking Kleivafossen waterfall, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Norway.

Briksdal Glacier Olden Norway
Briksdal Glacier. Source: Pixabay.com

How to get from Olden cruise port to Briksdal Glacier?

To get to Briksdal Glacier from Olden cruise port, you can take a public bus (this option is not recommended as buses do not run frequently, you can check the schedules at https://www.skyss.no/) or a taxi, book a Briksdal Glacier Shuttle Bus from the port (a 3.5-hour round trip tour, two departures daily), rent a car at the port (parking is available at a Mountain Lodge) or book a guided shore excursion (which is recommended to cruise ship passengers).

You can get more info on the official website https://www.briksdal.com/.

2. Loen Skylift

Located only 5.6 km/3.5 miles (less than a 10-minute drive) northeast of port Olden, Loen Skylift attracts those in search of spectacular views of Norwegian fjords. Said to be one of the steepest cable cars in the world, this cable car takes you from the fjord to the top of Mount Hoven (1,011 meters) in only 5 minutes.

Hoven Restaurant is available at the upper lift station, so you can enjoy a local meal or a coffee while enjoying panoramic views that spread as far as the eye can see.

However, it is highly recommended to check the weather in advance. If it’s cloudy or rainy, you probably won’t get the chance to clearly see the fjords and glaciers which may be disappointing. It may be better to wait until you get there and then decide whether to book a guided tour or a shuttle.

Via Ferrata, zipline, hiking, and kayaking are some of the activities offered in the summertime. You can read more at https://www.loenskylift.com/

Loen Skylift Olden, Norway
Loen Skylift. Source: Pixabay.com

How to get from Olden port to Loen Skylift?

The distance between Olden cruise terminal and Loen Skylift is short, less than a 10-minute drive, so the best way is to take a shuttle bus from the port. Shuttle buses depart every 30 minutes from the pier and they are a great option as you can choose how much time you want to spend at the top station.

Cruise lines usually organize shore excursions but they stay only a limited time at the top and you cannot cancel the excursion last minute if the visibility is low (you won’t get a refund). During the day the sky might clear up, so if you choose to come by shuttle bus, you can stay as long as you want.

3. RIB Boat Adventure

If you are in for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, you should book a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) excursion on Olden’s breathtaking Nordfjord. This high-speed and exhilarating ride provides a unique and dynamic perspective of the stunning scenery that surrounds this picturesque destination.

Hold on tight as the RIB boat accelerates across the fjord’s crystal-clear emerald waters and take in the panoramic views of Olden’s majestic cliffs, serene waters, and lush greenery.

To secure your spot and ensure availability, it’s advisable to consider pre-booking the RIB boat adventure online before your visit to Olden. The tours depart from Mølla Gjestehus in front of the ship and are organized by Olden Active.

Alternative activities include kayaking on the Nordfjord, SUP (stand-up paddling), and glacier hiking.

4. Huaren Viewpoint

If you’re into hiking, there’s a nature trail that starts at the cruise port and goes up to Huaren viewpoint, located around 4 km/2.5 miles (a 1-hour walk) from the pier. The route is well-marked and the first part of it is a smooth, paved road with minimal traffic, followed by a pleasant gravel road.

The hike is pleasant and suitable even for those who aren’t in perfect shape. It takes about 1.5 hours each way, including the stops along the way. Of course, panoramic views of the town and surrounding fjords are magnificent and well worth the climb. No facilities are available, just a few benches to sit and relax along the way.

5. Oldevatnet Lake (Olden Lake)

Oldevatnet Lake, also known as Olden Lake, is located approximately 8 km/5 miles south of Olden cruise dock, and the drive takes around 10 minutes. Set in the heart of Oldedalen Valley, this is where you’ll experience wild nature at its best.

You’ll see this lake on your way to Briksdal Glacier, and if you’re coming there on your own, you’ll probably want to stop and take some Instagram-worthy pictures along the way. The mirror-like waters capture the surrounding mountains, creating a breathtaking scene where you can just enjoy your alone time or spend some relaxing time with family and friends.

Olden Lake
Source: Pixabay.com

6. Singerheimen

Only 1.5 km/1 mile (a 20-minute walk) from Olden port, a bit outside the heart of Olden village, stands Singerheimen, the former house of American millionaire and painter William Henry Singer Jr. and his wife Anna.

Renowned for its unique mint green color, Singerheimen is ideal for those of you looking to learn more about local culture. The property stands at the top of a hill and provides breathtaking views of the fjord and the Oldedalen Valley.

Singerheimen has been recognized and preserved as a building of Cultural Heritage by the Norwegian Directorate of Cultural Heritage. Visitors interested in exploring this historic residence can arrange private tours through their official website, https://singerheimen.com/. So, if you’re planning to visit, make sure to book in advance!

Wrapping Up

I hope this Olden cruise port guide provided you with some helpful information about this stunning destination.

Visit also our cruise port guides to Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Akureyri, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Zeebrugge (Bruges)

You may also like our cruise port guides to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Western Europe, Baltic & Scandinavia, USA & Canada, Australia & New Zealand

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