The magical Norwegian fjords
From Oslo fjord in the east to Varangerfjord in the north-east, there are over 1000 fjords in Norway: some are long, some are short, others are deep and still others are so breath-taking that they’ve become UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But the most famous fjords – the ones you usually find on postcards – are found in Western Norway.
The longest: Sognefjorden
Sognefjorden is Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. It stretches from the coast just north of Bergen to the mighty mountains in Jotunheimen National Park and the glacial blue ice in Jostedalsbreen National Park. The surrounding mountains are home to a treasure trove of delightful villages, charming historical buildings and exquisite restaurants that enchant you with local produce.
The second longest: Hardangerfjorden
Hardangerfjorden is the fourth-longest fjord in the world and the second longest in Norway. This beautiful fjord meanders through a wild and impressive landscape and the area is home to a number of Norway’s national symbols, such as the Hardanger fiddle and Hardanger embroidery. The region is also known for its fertile agricultural areas, where apple orchards are found in abundance.
Also visit: Nærøyfjorden
Nærøyfjorden is the most beautiful and wildest branch of Sognefjorden – and is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The boat trip through the 17 km long fjord, which is only 250 m wide at the narrowest point, is known as one of the most dramatic fjord trips in Europe, with views of steep, snow-capped mountains, wild waterfalls and a thriving cultural landscape.
Like Nærøyfjorden, Geirangerfjorden is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a true cornucopia of spectacular nature experiences. The route along the fjord winds from one hairpin turn to another, offering several awe-inspiring lookout points. Step out onto Geiranger Skywalk, Europe’s highest landscaped fjord viewpoint 1500 metres above sea level, or make a stop at Flydalsjuvet, where you watch the fjord’s many cruise ships go by.
Lysefjorden near Stavanger is best known for its spectacular tourist destinations like Preikestolen and Kjerag, but the 40 km long fjord also offers countless other nature and cultural experiences. For example, you can take the route along the world’s longest wooden stairway (an impressive 4444 steps) in Flørli, visit the historical village of Landa Park or go on a guided kayak tour between the fjord’s steep cliff walls