Your Guide to Exploring the Beautiful Norwegian Fjords
It’s hard to rival the beauty of the Norwegian Fjords. The perfectly carved out mountains are flooded with the bluest water and splattered with waterfalls and colourful cabins. If you’re venturing to Norway, exploring the renowned fjords is a must.
There are more than 1000 fjords scattered around the country some of which are UNESCO protected and some that are more iconic than others. No matter which one you see there is nothing quite like discovering the unspoiled landscapes as you breathe in the fresh crisp air in the middle of one of the infamous fjords.
Which Fjords should I explore?
Each one of Norway’s fjords is stunning and unique but there are some that are more well-known than others and some that are much easier to discover.
Sognefjorden is the longest and deepest of the fjords in Norway and at 200 kilometres long it’s the second-longest fjord in the world. It may be long but the journey will be worth it because at the end you’ll find the largest and most spectacular glacier in continental Europe, Jostedalsbreen.
Nærøyfjorden is arguably the most beautiful yet underrated fjord in Norway. It’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage collection but isn’t one that is often shouted about. It’s one of the narrowest fjords in Europe and branches off from Sognefjord.
Geirangerfjord is one of the most popular and another UNESCO protected fjord. Take a trip down this fjord and you’ll find several fantastic waterfalls cascading down the side of the mountains and abandoned farms littering the landscape.
Hardangerfjorden is the second largest fjord in Norway and is often referred to as ‘Queen of the Fjords’. This picture-perfect fjord doesn’t just offer gorgeous views but there are also lots of exciting activities you can take part in such as hiking up to the tip of the Instagram famous, Trolltunga.
Lyngenfjord, Aurlandsfjord and Lysefjord are other fjords you should also consider researching and potentially visiting whilst in Norway.
How can I see the fjords?
There are several ways you can see the flawless landscapes of the fjords. The most popular way to explore the fjords is a half or full-day cruise from Bergen but there are also several other exciting ways you can experience them.
Cruise along the fjords
Bergen is known as the gateway to the fjords because you can take tours north and south of the city and discover the many islands and inlets along the way.
The fjords can be reached in just a few hours from the city centre and there are plenty of cruise options so that you can find one to suit you. You can take a three-hour cruise that will take you along the Osterfjorden from Bergen to the adorable village of Mostraumen. Alternatively, you can go on a full-day adventure to Rosendal on the Hardangerfjord.
See the wonders by rail
If you hop on the Flåm Railway you’ll not only see the fantastic fjords but you’ll also experience the world’s most amazing train journey. The journey lasts approximately one hour and takes you from Myrdal to Flåm Valley. Along the way, you’ll zoom past impressive mountain scenery, cascading waterfalls, deep gorges and crystal-clear rivers.
Hike through the natural beauty
One of the best ways to appreciate the terrific terrain is to walk or hike through it. Thousands of hikers flock to the Norwegian fjords where there are plenty of trails to choose from with paths suitable for all different kinds of fitness.
Kayak down the fjords
If you’re feeling adventurous you can paddle across the calm waters of the fjord when at Flåm. This could be one of the most amazing ways to experience the Norwegian fjords as you can truly immerse yourself in the serenity of the surroundings.
When should I visit?
There’s no right or wrong time to visit the fjords in Norway as each season has its pros and cons. Summer, of course, has better weather but this does bring all the tourists. Winter, will be cold and potentially very wet but you could have the fjords all to yourself. For a happy medium spring and autumn can be ideal, they may be chilly but crowds are small and the mountains are alive with colour.
How to prepare?
If possible pre-book your fjord cruise or adventure so that you are guaranteed a space. You can book your cruise online before arriving in Norway or you can head to the Tourist Information Office in the centre of Bergen to book your tour once you’ve arrived.
It can get very windy when out on the boat so make sure you have layers and hats, or any loose items are secured. Bergen is also known for being very rainy so you may want to pack a waterproof to be prepared for any unexpected precipitation. Have cameras, phones or video cameras to hand as you are not going to want to miss snapping the incredible scenery that you’re going to see.