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The Top 10 Fjords of Norway
The long Norwegian coastline is famous around the world for its magnificent fjords, but with hundreds of fjords to choose from it can be difficult to know which ones you should definitely see when on a holiday in Norway.
In this guide you will get the round up of the 10 biggest, longest, most spectacular and hidden treasures of fjordland Norway.
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The magnificent Naeroyfjord is probably the most spectacular of all of the Norwegian fjords, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fjord is actually an arm of the longest fjord in Norway, the Sognefjord, and is considered the most rugged and dramatic of them all.
Naeroyfjord is 17km long and it is very narrow in places – the narrowest point is only 250 metres wide.
To see the fjord you can join one of the many fjord cruises that go up the 204 km long Sognefjord, you can rent kayaks and take a closer look at the dramatic surroundings or hike in the mountains around the fjord. The village at the end of the fjord, Gudvangen, is a popular place to spend a night or two when exploring the region.
If you are travelling by car, a daily car ferry between Gudvangen-Kaupanger-Laerdal operates from May to September. A smaller foot passenger ferry runs all year round.
A visit to western Norway will not be complete without seeing the fjord which is also called “The King of Fjords”.
At 204 km long it is the longest fjord in Norway, and the second longest in the world.
Most cruise ships visiting the west coast of Norway will cruise up the Sognefjord, and at the same time also visit the Naeroy- and Aurlandfjords.
One of the most famous sights along the fjord is the massive Jostedals Glacier, which covers the mountains towards the inner end of the fjord and is the largest glacier in mainland Europe. Guided walks on the glacier are available from several providers in the area.
Other sights include some of Norway’s best preserved stave churches which can be seen from the fjord in Kaupanger and Urnes.
The Geirangerfjord is one of Norway’s most well known fjords, and also one of the most visited.
This 20km, S-shaped fjord is not to be missed when visiting Norway. Mountains of 1700 metres tower straight up from the water, impressive waterfalls thunder into the fjord, and old farms nestle the mountain sides as you cruise up the fjord.
The Geirangerfjord is also listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the stretch between villages Geiranger and Hellesylt is also known as “The Pearl of the Fjords”.
Most cruise ships visiting western Norway will take the trip into the Geiranger fjord, but it is also possible to experience the fjord by car. A daily ferry service between Hellesylt and Geiranger is a good option, or you can join one of the many fjord cruises on offer.
The fjord can also be seen by car, by following the scenic and dramatic Oernevegen (Eagle’s Road), which creeps up the mountain from Geiranger to Eidsdal.
The Hardangerfjord is another one of the “must see” fjords of Norway. Located only a short distance from Bergen, the Hardangerfjord is an easy option for visitors who don’t have the time for longer fjord cruises.
Sights include the Folgefonna glacier, the Voeringsfossen waterfall as well as The Barony of Rosendal.
Most cruise ships will visit the Hardangerfjord, but you can also visit the fjord by car following road number 7 or 13, or join one of the many fjord cruises or kayak trips arranged from Bergen or Voss.
Another easy option for visitors without the time for a full fjord cruise. Lysefjord is home to one of Norway’s most famous landmarks, the Pulpit Rock, the characteristic rock formation which towers above the fjord.
Lysefjord is easily reached from the oil capital of Norway, Stavanger, and is often included on the cruise ships visiting the western coast of Norway.
You can only see the fjord from a boat, as the mountains around here are too steep for roads, but you can join day trips to the fjord from Stavanger.
The area is also a favoured spot for hikers, with the Pulprit Rock and the Kjerag mountain being the most popular summits.
Right next to the Naeroyfjord, you find the equally spectacular Aurlandsfjord. The fjord is located towards the end of the long Sognefjord, and is the home of the picturesque village of Flaam.
In Flaam you have the chance to take the world famous Flaam Railway which is one of the steepest in the world.
The fjord can also be seen from the Aurlandsvegen Mountain Road which gives panoramic views of the fjord at 650 metres above sea level.
The area is also a great spot for hiking, offering unspoilt, wild nature and amazing views in what is known as the Grand Canyon of Norway, the Aurlands Valley.
You can join day cruises to Flaam from Bergen.
Not far away from the Geirangerfjord and the Sognefjord, Nordfjord offers amazing sights such as the Jostedalsbreen and Birksdalsbreen glaciers.
The fjord can be seen by fjord cruises, RIB safaris or kayaks, or you can take the scenic drive along the Panorama Road which runs along the northern side of the fjord.
Nordfjord is also the home of the village of Stryn, which is a year-round winter sports resort. At the other end of the fjord, you will find some of the best surf spots in Norway.
The area is another favourite with hikers, and you can join one of the many guided glacier walks on offer.
The Trondheimsfjord is the fjord that ends in Norway’s third largest city, Trondheim, and most people cruising here will be on their way to the city.
Hurtigruten sails up the fjord every day, offering passengers great views of this 170km long fjord.
Even if you are not making your way to the fjords of western Norway, the fjord by Norway’s capital city offers some great marine experiences.
In the summer, the fjord is buzzing with boats and people heading to some of the many small islands to soak up the sun, swim and enjoy the weather.
Regular ferries connect many of the islands and towns along the fjord and places like Nesodden and Drobak are favoured daytrip spots for the capital’s inhabitants.
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10) The Atlantic Road
Although the Atlantic Road is not really a fjord, it still deserves a spot on this list.
The road, which was named “Engineering Feat of the Century” in 2005, has also been called one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
If you are driving along the west coast of Norway this stretch of road, which connects Averoy with the mainland, is a must see.
In rough weather the waves spray the road and it’s many bridges, and has made into many visitors’ holiday snaps.
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