Norway’s fjords are picture perfect nuggets of nature at its unadulterated best. Whether you want to appreciate their remote tranquillity on a cruise or take in an alternative spectacle through a fjord-side hike, there are plenty of opportunities for both and much more on one of Norway’s many inland waterways.
Whilst plenty of savvy tourists would argue that a trip to Lysefjord is the quintessential Norwegian adventure, this little compilation should show you that there are many more fjords to explore during your time here...
In terms of sheer size, Sognefjord is the very best that Norway has to offer. Sognefjord is the largest ice-free fjord in the world and reaches an incredible depth of over 1300 meters and reaches a grand total of 205 kilometers inland. The fjord branches out into many smaller fjords, most notably Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord.
Among the highlights of Sognefjord are the sheer cliffs on either side of the water towering over 1000 meters high, as well as its famous inland inlet, Nærøyfjord as mentioned above. Nærøyfjord is a world heritage site and world-renowned for its dramatic scenery and unspoiled nature. A great way to experience the sheer beauty of Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord is on the Heritage FjordSafari RIB-boat tours, that departs from the village of Flåm.
Hardangerfjord is best known for its hiking opportunities, as well as the abundance of plant life which calls it home. At a length of over 179km, Hardangerfjord is the second largest in Norway and the fourth largest on the planet. Once the fjord reaches inland it branches out into smaller fjords. The biggest branches are Eirfjord and the impressive Sørfjorden, which has the Folgefonna peninsula on one side and the Hardangervidda mountain plateau on the other.
The mouth of the fjord meets the Atlantic just south of Bergen, making it easily accessible to adventurous visitors looking to enjoy what is a fabulously serene spectacle. This fjord is much less remote than some of its Norwegian cousins, and its stunning sunsets will complement any of the waterside settlements you choose to visit on your trip.
At 40 km in length, Lysefjord may not sound so spectacular, but the breathtaking sights and views on display combine with its untamed charm to make it the most popular fjord in the world. The star of the show is undoubtedly Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen), which juts out over the Lysefjord at a staggering 604 meters high.
Needless to say, the view from the top is well worth the three-hour hike and will leave you with scenic memories that will stay with you forever.
Located in the county of Møre and Romsdal in North West Norway, the 15 km long Geirangerfjord is a Unesco World Heritage Site famous for its dramatic mountain peaks, tranquil blue water and monstrous waterfall pair of the Bridal Veil and The Seven Sisters. Kayaking and scenic cruises are available on the water, whilst hiking enthusiasts will enjoy the breathtaking lookout points of Ørnevegen, Dalsnibba and Flydalsjuvet.
Trondheimsfjord is most notable for its incredibly diverse marine life, harboring at least 90 species of fish and countless more ocean dwellers of the smaller variety. Norway’s third largest fjord provides a calming serenity thanks to it being relatively inaccessible, rewarding the perseverance of enthusiastic adventurous looking for a truly unspoiled natural spectacle.
For any keen fisherman planning to visit the metropolis of Trondheim, a trip on the fjord just north of the city is a fantastic opportunity to catch some Norwegian fish, including cod, pollock, catfish, ling, haddock, and plaice.
Famous for the adventure of the nearby Briksdalsbreen Glacier, Nordfjord contains environmental extremes and some culturally significant sites. Located between Geirangerfjord and the imperious Sognefjord, the 110 km journey of Nordfjord features a stunning ride from its glacial origin all the way to the sea. Apart from activities like summer skiing, canoeing, and rafting, you can also take a trip to the ruins of the Selje Monastery, a unique monument to Norway’s Viking history.
Just over 100km in length, the narrow straits of the Oslofjord tie the capital to the open sea. Though not a fjord in a strict, geographical sense, the channel has long been Norway’s busiest and is known to have inspired a young Roald Dahl who spent his summers here from 1920 to 1932.
To this day the Oslofjord offers wonderful sailing, whilst a cruise from Oslo to Drøbak - a quaint town on the fjord’s eastern shore - offers a charming introduction to Norway’s nautical scene.
The rest of the fjord is dotted with potential day trip destinations, including the town of Fredrikstad, also on the eastern shore, which contains the flawlessly conserved ruins of a 16th-century fortress. The highlight of the western shore is the collection of Viking burial mounds at Borre, near to the port of Horten.