Whether you have visited the lengthy northern European country of Norway before or not, you will most certainly be aware of its claim to fame – a series of stunning fjords that contribute to the breath-takingly beautiful scenery that exists throughout this dazzling landscape.
Fjords are formed when glaciers retreat and create a narrow inlet between cliffs allowing the sea to fill the space, and Norway has over 1,100 of these naturally occurring wonders among its whopping 100,915km of coastline. The natural beauty of Norway’s fjords – think beautiful crisp blues as far as the eye can see among dramatic, deep-sided cliffs – is what attracts large numbers of visitors to this Scandinavian country from the world over.
If you’re planning a trip to this delightful destination, then the fjords are a must-see along with the collection of picturesque towns, vibrant cities and other natural wonders that grace the landscape. Whether you’re heading there by water, traversing by train or taking a driving tour, it certainly is worth travelling to a number of destinations on your visit here.
We’ve taken the hard work out of planning for you with our Norwegian fjords travel guide, so read on for the best way to see as much as you can of these magnificent natural wonders.
We all know that one of the finest ways of traversing any country is do it via train. The perfect opportunity to sit back, relax, dine as you travel and gaze out at the miles and miles of stunning scenery only serves to add to the experience.
Of course, cruises are popular, but only allow visitors limited time on land, and hiring a car is an option if you want the freedom to go wherever you fancy, but Norway trains are the perfect way to truly enjoy the surrounding landscape as you travel and have some truly picturesque journeys worth seeing, which we will go into greater detail about below.
When to visit?
The fjords will always be there, so it’s good to consider other factors when it comes to deciding when to visit Norway. Winter sees plenty of potential to spot the Northern Lights thanks to longer nights, while early spring means winter sporting activities are still possible thanks to more daylight. Autumn is a great time to enjoy the colours of the season while enjoying hikes in nature, but summer – June to August – is the prime time to enjoy the beauty of the scenery with plenty of greenery, warmer days and long, lighter nights thanks to the midnight sun.
Where to go?
Norway’s capital city is a great place to start as it not only sits at the head of the Oslofjord, but it is also host to many cultural highlights including the waterside Norwegian Maritime Museum, the Viking Ship Museum, Akershus Fortress, The Vigeland Park, The Royal Palace, which opens to the public in summer, and the contemporary waterside Oslo Opera House. Enjoy the green spaces, the fresh food and take a boat tour to immerse yourself in the surrounding sights.
Make your way to Bergen via rail and enjoy Norway’s most spectacular rail journey, with a detour from Myrdal to Flam and back to really make the best of the trip, taking in countryside, fjords and waterfalls as you go. The lively city of Bergen with its 15th-century waterfront is surrounded by seven hills and seven fjords, and a fjord tour is a great way to take in a few at a time.
Deserving special mention as Norway’s deepest fjord at 1,308m and the world’s second longest at 203km, Sognefjord is a beauty worth seeing in western Norway. From 1,000m-high sheer drops to softer shorelines boasting villages, and the arms of Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, this is a must-visit.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an absolute must-see is Geirangerfjord for is jaw-dropping beauty thanks to resplendent waterfalls, including the Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil, deep waters, tall peaks and possibly the best scenery to be found over anywhere else in Norway. Take a boat trip, RIB or even kayak to get some thrills on the water or head up 1,500 metres-high for sublime views from the Geiranger Skywalk.
Other visit-worthy fjords include Lysefjord and Hardangerfjord for the hiking, as well as a visit to famed lookout point, Pulpit Rock located at the former. Trondheim for the historic city situated around the fjord, Romsdalsfjord and Nordfjord are also worth a visit when travelling around this beautiful country.