The Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord were recently included by UNESCO on its World Heritage List. The Chicago Tribune has our fjords listed on its “21 Wonders of the World”, and National Geographic Traveler Magazine rates Fjord Norway as the best unspoiled travel destination in the world. The Hardangerfjord is famous for its flowering fruit trees; the Sognefjord stretches halfway to the Swedish border; the Lysefjord winds past the sheer 600-metre Pulpit Rock and the Kjerag that towers even higher.
What unfolds as you travel Fjord Norway is a fantastic story of water, with many chapters. The fjords you see were carved by a massive sheet of ice up to three kilometres thick that covered Northern Europe in a succession of ice ages. As you peer up at the towering mountains surrounding the Nærøyfjord, the narrowest fjord in the world, you can appreciate the immense power of those forces of nature.
As you cross the fjord, you travel in the wake of fishing boats and merchant ships. Most of the landscape has changed little since Viking longboats set sail for distant shores. From the air, you see how unspoiled Fjord Norway really is. Most is still wilderness.
Waterfalls cascade down the dark mountainsides, roaring as you approach. Did you know that many of the highest waterfalls in the world are in Norway? Whether you’re inland or travelling along the fjord, chances are there is a dramatic waterfall nearby.
Even in the midst of summer you may see snow-capped mountains. In fact, there are places where you can ski on the warmest summer day. Or perhaps you want to join a guide and walk the glacier? One more amazing thing to write home about!
Along the sheltered fjords you see farms and villages built long ago where the soil was most fertile. Up and down the coast there are towns worth exploring – Ålesund with its amazing Art Nouveau architecture, and Bergen with its seven mountains and Hanseatic Wharf, Bryggen, yet another World Heritage attraction. So is Urnes stave church, which has weathered 850 years, on a headland overlooking the Lustrafjord, far from any town.
Don’t plan too many details ahead. Half the fun of travelling Fjord Norway is allowing yourself to be seduced – a few extra days in a magic place, a detour that brings you to hidden treasures. By the way, public transportation, even to remote areas, is excellent in Fjord Norway. Explore! And you will find that fulfilment lies in the journey.
FjordNorway_logoFjord Norge AS/Fjord Norway is a service company which markets the Fjord Norway region, aiming at travel operators and the international tourist public. The company is owned by public and private sector companies with an interest in tourism.