IT CAN be a little strange to think you can catch a flight from Sumburgh Airport and land in another country just over an hour later.
But that’s exactly what you get with Loganair’s direct summer service to Bergen.
The airline operates flights to and from Sumburgh and the Norwegian city on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer months.
The service leaves Sumburgh on Wednesdays at 2.50pm and Saturdays at 11.30am, while it departs Bergen at 5.50pm on Wednesdays and 2.15pm on Saturdays.
In one hour and 10 minutes you can touch down in Norway’s second largest city, which is also known as the gateway to the fjords.
While in Bergen there is plenty to see and do, from sightseeing and eating out to visiting the city’s numerous museums and attractions.
Or you can step out of the city by taking a trip to Norway’s famous fjords.
You can save money too by buying the Bergen Card, which gives you free access to a host of attractions – as well as a number of discounts – for either 24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours.
Take trip on the Fløibanen funicular railway up Mount Floyen to catch an awe-inspiring view of Bergen – and a chance to meet a flock of goats which reside at the summit.
There’s also the famous Bryggen waterfront, resplendent with its colourful wooden buildings, and the Lille Lungegaardsvannet park which gives inspiring views up towards Mount Floyen.
For travellers watching their time, a three-hour round trip to Mostraumen gives you a chance to experience Norway’s fjords up close without spending a full day on the water.
So close, in fact, that staff will edge up to a waterfall to grab a bucket of fresh water for passengers to sample.
Bergen’s history can be delved into at the Bryggens Museum, or the Bergenhus fortress, while there’s the Hanseatic Museum too.
Not too far away at Bryggen is a statue dedicated to Leif Andreas Larsen, who played an important role in the Shetland Bus operation between the isles and Norway in World War II.
The nearby fish market is one of Norway’s most visited outdoor markets and since the 1200s it has been a meeting place for merchants and fishermen, while the KODE art museums house work by Edvard Munch among others.
For something a bit different, try the Fantoft Stave Church – a unique-looking reconstruction of a church, surrounded by woodland, which was burnt down in the 1990s.
There’s also the leprosy museum, a preserved 18th century hospital complex exploring Norway’s leprosy history, where you can have a look inside its adjoining church.
The Bergen Card also gives free transport on the light rail network, as well as buses, meaning that attractions are easy to access.
The city itself is home to less than 300,000 people, giving it a cosy feel while offering all the attractions you would expect in a European city.
Bergen has a variety of accommodation to suit all travellers, but try the funky Hotel Oleana for a prime central location and uniquely fresh decor.
Loganair also offers year-round flights to Bergen from Inverness, while there are flights from Kirkwall and Glasgow in the summer.
The airline’s commercial director Kay Ryan said: “Loganair have been operating a summer schedule for several years now connecting Sumburgh and Bergen which is a popular route for leisure travellers both inbound from Norway and for those in Shetland wanting to travel to Bergen and farther afield into Norway.”