!Geirangerfjord: Norwegian nature at its most beautiful

Text: Anne Bloksgaard Nielsen Published 15.02.2021

Geirangerfjord is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and with good reason: images of the fjord are used in almost every Norwegian tourist brochure and it has captured popular imagination more than any other tourist destination in Norway.

Geirangerfjord is Norway at its most dramatic and spectacular. Majestic mountains raise their lofty and forbidding peaks above the fjord, where rays of sunlight create sparkling rainbows over the powerful waterfalls plunging down the craggy cliff walls. Cruise ship passengers come from all over the world to be fascinated by the unique natural phenomena, which for many of them is the experience of a lifetime.

But, you don’t need to go on a cruise to experience the beauty of Geirangerfjord: Hurtigruten sails here from Bergen during the summer season and once you arrive at Geiranger, you can further explore the fjord on one of the local sightseeing boats or ferry routes to Hellesylt or Valldal. The local ferries all have viewing decks and lounges, so the spectacular view can be enjoyed in comfort. Guides are also available in a number of different languages.

Experience Geirangerfjord on your own

For those who wish to explore the unique mountain landscape alone, there are many spectacular drives with viewpoints of stunning mountain vistas, fjords, waterfalls, rivers, valleys and all the singular elements that make this a UNESCO World Heritage area.

One of the most breathtaking drives in the area is the 106-km long “golden route” from Geiranger to Trollstigen. The road takes you though some of Norway’s most beautiful landscapes with dizzying views, incredible fjords, impressive waterfalls and lush valleys. The drive up Trollstigen’s 11 hairpin bends can make even the most experienced motorist a little fearful, although once at the top, the unbelievable view makes all the gritted teeth worth it! There are six panoramic viewpoints along the way, which is also a designated national tourist route.

Walking tours to soothe both body and soul

If an intense experience of being at one with nature is also part of your holiday plan, then the area around Geirangerfjord is the perfect place to be. There are both short and long hiking trails for the lesser and more experienced hiker, and you can choose from many small huts in the area for overnight stays. Clearly-marked trails make it easy to find your way, so all you need think about is enjoying the peace and tranquillity and sense of freedom as you make your way through the enchanting landscape.

Fishing trips with fjord view

If fishing is part of your holiday plan, then there’s no better place than Geirangerfjord. Prices depend on the time of year, but it’s possible to catch salmon, sea trout, pollock, cod, Atlantic catfish, mackerel and Atlantic halibut in the fjords, and salmon and sea trout in the rivers.

Local cuisine

The area around Geirangerfjord also offers some unique food experiences. Due to its mild climate, despite being so far north, Valldal is known for its fruits and berries. Don’t miss the Jordbærstova restaurant’s famous strawberry tart; it’s a local delicacy.

Herdalssetra which is within the UNESCO conservation area, also has a number of specialities, including local goat’s cheese and goat milk toffee. The area has been a “sæter” or shieling, where cattle have been brought for summer grazing for over 300 years. It is a settlement of around 30 houses where visitors can get a unique glimpse into the history of this ancient farmstead, experience the traditional production of meat and milk products and also sample traditional “sæter” food.