Norway’s most magnificent fjords

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Some of nature’s most stunning creations, fjords, were formed by a succession of ice ages that left long, narrow inlets of the sea between towering cliffs in their wake. 

Most famous for having an abundance of such structures is Norway, bordered by the Norwegian and North Seas and home to over 1,000 fjords. Get up close and personal with the fjords by hiking, kayaking, boating and even riding a railway. Whatever way you decide to see the fjords, make it memorable by visiting these destinations. 

Aurlandsfjord

The Aurlandsfjord is a massive 18 miles long. For a fantastic view of this area, head to the scenic village of Flåm and ride the Flåmsbana (Flåm Railway), which chugs along a 12-mile track from the Aurlandsfjord to the top of the mountains. The views are jaw dropping, and include ravines, waterfalls and farms perched on the hillsides. 

For another incredible view, check out the Stegastein Viewpoint. The viewing platform sticks out 98 feet from the mountain side and is not for the faint of heart; however, this fjord is considered one of the most picturesque in the world, so venturing onto the viewpoint might be worth it. This fjord is an arm of the world’s second longest fjord, the Sognefjord. 

Sognefjord

This natural wonder reaches depths of over 4,264 feet, with mountains towering along the fjord at over 5,570 feet. In order to combat the impact of tourism, the Sognefjord is in the process of being certified as a sustainable destination. The area is putting forth their best efforts to maintain the nature, culture and environment of the fjord, while also being economically viable. The end goal is for the Sognefjord to be both a wonderful tourist destination and place for people to live. 

Hiking in this area is some of Norway’s most popular. The Jotunheimen, Jostedalsbreen and Breheimen National Parks and Aurlandsdalen Valley are amongst the best places to lace up your boots and hit the trails. There is also an abundance of rock climbing, rafting, mountaineering and mountain biking in the area. 

Nærøyfjord

The Nærøyfjord is another famous arm of the Sognefjord and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boat cruises through this fjord are incredibly dramatic, as the fjord is only 820 feet wide at its narrowest point and over 10.5 miles long. Known to be the most beautiful and wildest, this fjord is not to be missed. The steep mountainsides, hanging valleys, towering peaks and waterfalls add to the grandeur of this area. Keep your eyes peeled for goats grazing along the side of the fjord and seals sunning themselves on the rocks. 

Geirangerfjord

The most visited and famous fjord in Norway is the Geirangerfjord. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Nærøyfjord. For an astounding view of the area, head to the Geiranger Skywalk. This viewing platform is Europe’s highest fjord view from a road and sits at almost 5,000 feet above sea level. For an eco-friendly tour of the fjord, rent a two-person electric car and go zooming around the area. The in-car GPS will take you on a tour and present information in Norwegian, English or German. Visit www.visitnorway.com for more information. 

Whether you take the time to visit one or all four of these magnificent fjords, you’re sure to find stunning scenery and amazing adventures throughout Norway. From hiking to peacefully floating through the water on a ferry, the ways to experience these natural beauties created thousands of years ago are endless. Don’t miss out on seeing some of nature’s most spectacular wonders, the fjords of Norway. 

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