Visiting the Fjords of Norway

Photo of Visiting the Fjords of Norway 1/1 by Anshu Kumar

The definition of a fjord is ‘A long, winding, narrow and deep inlet of sea water between the steep slopes of a mountain.’ The dramatic scenery that unfolds as you cruise along a fjord is to be seen to be believed. If you want to experience the beauty of these fjords, Norway is a good option because its coastline is teeming with thousands of them. The most famous among them are the Sognefjord and the Hardanger fjord - the second and third longest fjords in the world (the longest one being in Iceland).

Obviously, the Sognefjord and the Hardanger fjord are must visits. But Norway has several other smaller but equally spectacular fjords as well. So if you want to add another one to your wish list, the Geirangerfjord is an ideal choice. It is one of the most beautiful fjords in the world and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The best way to experience the spectacular beauty of the Geirangerfjord or any of the fjords for that matter is of course by boat. To visit the Geirangerfjord, you can take a cruise on the Hurtigruten. You can begin your cruise at the charming town of Alesund, which is closest to the fjord. Book your tickets in advance. If you are arriving at Oslo, the best way to reach Alesund would be the train. The Dovrebanen Railway and the extremely scenic Raumabanen Railway operate on this route. The train will leave you at the town of Åndalsnes from where a bus will take you to Alesund.

Take a night’s rest and board the cruise the next day. If the weather is in your favour and it’s bright and sunny, the cruise along this fjord will be nothing short of magical. Don’t miss the famous Seven Sisters waterfall midway along the fjord. The Hurtigruten will drop you off at the village of Geiranger, which is at the end of the fjord. Have a great lunch and enjoy the spectacular views all around and then board the Eagle bus back to Alesund. The bus will stop at a specific viewpoint for a panoramic view of the fjord. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Next on your list should be the Sognefjord and the Hardanger Fjord. To visit these fjords, you might first want to get to Bergen, a stunning town in the western region of Norway. Flying to Bergen from Alesund is a good idea. Bergen warrants a few days stay in itself even if you don’t visit any of the fjords but that’s a story for another day. For the fjords, you can plan day trips or overnight trips from Bergen. The Sognefjord has several distinctive arms (like the tributaries of a river), each charming in its own way but among them the most famous is the Nærøyfjord. It is the narrowest fjord in the world and visiting it is an experience of a lifetime! Like the Geiranerfjord, the Nærøyfjord is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. There are several options to visit the Sognefjord from Bergen – car (2-3 hors), bus, express boats or train that connects to the very famous and steep Flam Railway that runs all the way to the Flam station on one of the arms of the fjord.

The Hardanger fjord is relatively closer to Bergen than the Sognefjord. It is one of the most beautiful areas of Norway. Reaching the fjord will be a combination of train, bus and boat. Just book a tour to the fjord – they will take care of everything. Just sit back and enjoy the experience!

In case you want to get back to Oslo from Bergen, take the train. You will find that the train journey from Bergen to Oslo is equally if not more scenic than any of journeys you might have taken while visiting the fjords. A pleasant surprise!