How to visit the fjords of Norway

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How to Visit the Fjords of Norway?


A trip to Norway inevitably includes visiting the fjords. The country boasts over a thousand of them, spread from north to south along the West Coast, from the longest (the Sognefjord) to the most majestic. Notably, the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

But before delving into these saltwater and freshwater channels, let’s travel back in time a bit. The word “fjord” hails directly from the vernacular Scandinavian language, Old Norse, and more precisely from the term “fjoror”. For the Vikings, it meant to cross or pass.

Indeed, fjords are passageways, sea arms carved by melting glaciers that extend inland between steep mountains. The landscapes are breathtaking, wild, and especially emblematic of Norway. These genuine natural masterpieces can be explored in any season and by various means, making them accessible to all visitors. It’s worth noting that visiting Norway in autumn or winter often allows you to avoid the crowds and experience another Norwegian wonder, the Northern Lights. However, the weather might be less forgiving.

Which Norwegian fjords do you dream of visiting, and how? Are you planning a road trip along the west coast or a peaceful cruise? The Rocking Trip guides provide tailored advice to ensure you have a unique experience.


Which are the Most Beautiful Fjords of Norway?


Among the hundreds of Norwegian fjords, from the most intimate bordered by colorful wooden huts of a fishing village to the grandest, some stand out. Let’s mention, in no particular order, some of the most beautiful fjords of Western Norway.

The Sognefjord

To the most majestic, all respect: often called “the king of fjords”. This title is given to the Sognefjord because of its length of 204 kilometers and depth of up to 1,300 meters, bordered by cliffs that can reach 1,700 meters. The mouth of the Sognefjord is located just north of Bergen, a charming city worth exploring, with its UNESCO-listed district.

Beyond the mountains, the Sognefjord is flanked by coniferous forests, perfect for hiking, where you might encounter moose and reindeer.

The Nærøyfjord

Staying in the same region, the Nærøyfjord is actually an arm of the Sognefjord, stretching 17 km long. A breathtaking spectacle awaits, with the fjord being a UNESCO World Heritage site for its emerald waters, steep cliffs, and waterfalls. Among its attractions are the quaint village of Bakka with its famous white wooden church, and the Stivy, the world’s smallest post office.

The Geirangerfjord

It’s said that the Geirangerfjord is worth a trip to Norway all on its own. It’s a branch of the Storfjord, with the village of Geiranger at its end – remarkably, Norway’s third-largest cruise port due to the tourist influx in summer.

As a UNESCO-listed fjord, the Geirangerfjord offers breathtaking views, especially of its famous waterfalls cascading down the mountainous slopes: De syv søstrene (the “Seven Sisters”), Brudesløret (the “Bride’s Veil”), and Friaren (the “Suitor”)…

The Geirangerfjord and the Storfjord are located in central western Norway, making it a great location for a scenic road trip.

This is just a glimpse of what Norway has to offer, but this guide can serve as a starting point for your next Norwegian adventure.




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How to get around in the fjords of Norway?


The fjords of Norway cover the west coast of the country. The easiest way to get there is to land at Bergen airport or Stavanger. However, if you have the time, the train line between Oslo and Bergen offers breathtaking landscapes.

Give it a try… The discovery of the fjords can even start on the rails. The Flåm railway is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. It is also one of the steepest (thrills guaranteed, especially in winter), connecting sea level at the edge of Sognefjord to the Myrdal mountain station, 860 meters above sea level.

By car or motorhome

A road-trip in the fjord region ensures you’ll witness breathtaking landscapes. Nothing stops you from hopping on a boat or even a kayak to sail on the fjord waters.

Having the freedom to drive a car, van or motorhome allows you to move from one fjord to another effortlessly. After all, there are only 200 kilometers and two ferry crossings between Bergen (and the Sognefjord) and Stavanger. Along the Sognefjord, you can also turn towards other fjords to discover some Norwegian gems, the Fjaerlandsfjord, its small village of Fjaerland, and nature reserve, to name just one.

But the most spectacular sight when traveling through the fjords of Norway is undoubtedly the scenic routes. Even the most sensitive souls should not miss out, as the views from the top are worth it! Like Ørnevegen, the Eagle’s Road, between Trollstigen and Geiranger. Navigate the turns with caution; at the top, a platform provides a breathtaking view of the UNESCO World Heritage fjord.


By boat

The cruise, whether for a day or a week, is a popular mode of transport to discover the Norwegian fjords. Numerous companies specialize in this, with stopovers allowing visitors to explore towns and engage in various activities.

There are also express coastal boats. Two companies, the historic Hurtriguten and the new Havila, operate daily between Bergen and Kirkenes, the northernmost town before the Russian border. They serve 34 ports, with boats powered exclusively by liquefied natural gas and electricity. Guaranteed serenity onboard!

If you wish to complete the entire journey, note that twelve days are necessary for a round trip. However, it remains a great opportunity to discover the Norwegian coast and its beauties.

There are countless ways to explore the fjords. Beautiful hikes are offered throughout this region, suitable for all levels. From autumn to early spring, the fjords from snow-capped peaks thanks to ski touring offer unforgettable vistas. Most of these magnificent arms of the sea can also be explored by kayak, summer or winter.

Ultimately, it’s up to everyone to visit the fjords of Norway in their own way and at their own pace. For a fully personalized trip, trust Rocking Trip and our local guides.


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