It all started in the 1870’s, when Lord Wigram from England leased the fishing rights to the Flåm river. The first tourists to Flåm were sport fishermen, who came for the large salmon and trout in the waters. The local farmer Christen Fretheim saw the potential and started renting out rooms in his house for the British lords.
After a while, Christen built a separate swiss-style house for the anglers and travellers. It was colloquially referred to as 'The English Villa' by the locals. From around 1900 the Villa began to operate as a hotel, with the increasing tourism traffic.
In 1909 the Bergen railway line between Norway’s two largest cities opened, with links to Flåm via the construction road that goes from fjord to mountain. This is when Christen Fretheim’s cousin, Marthe Fretheim came to assist. After Christen Fretheim died in 1916, Marthe continued running the hotel until she died in 1933. The hotel stayed in the family till 1979.
Throughout the years Fretheim has been rebuilt and extended several times. The largest extension was finished in 2000, when the millennium wing with 88 rooms opened. The connection between the historic and modern sections of the hotel, contains the reception, lobby bar and Restaurant Arven. An eye-catching glass façade offers up stunning views to Flåm centre and the fjord landscape.
As a member of the Norwegian Historic Hotels & Restaurants, the goal has always been to help our guests create new stories and unforgettable memories during their stay with us. Memories to be taken home and cherished long after they return. Our history is full of these stories and we are proud to be a part of them.
Vy runs daily services between Oslo and Bergen. The train from Oslo to Myrdal takes around 4.5 hours. The train from Bergen to Myrdal takes around 2 hours. In Myrdal, you can change to the Flåm Railway. This will take you down to Flåm in one hour.
See train times and fares here.
To book tickets for the Flåm Railway, click here.
Between 1 May and 30 September, a daily Norled express ferry runs from Bergen to Flåm. Departure from Bergen Strandkaiterminal is at 08.00. The return journey leaves Flåm at 15.30. The trip takes approximately 5.5 hours. Timetable and fares are available at www.norledfjordcruise.no
Flåm has good road connections from east to west between Oslo and Bergen. It takes approximately 5 hours to drive from Oslo to Flåm. 2.5 hours to drive from Bergen. From Voss the drive is approximately 1 hour.
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