Norway’s Most Famous Fjords
It’s no secret that Norway is famous for its magnificent fjords. No trip to Norway would be complete without a visit to one of the world-famous fjords! We’ve put together a list of the most famous and beautiful fjords Norway has to offer, so you can plan your next trip to our fair land.
Before we list Norway’s most famous fjords, let’s take a quick look at what fjords are. Fjords are long and narrow inlets of water with steep cliffs on either side, and they were formed over millions of years by glacial movement. There are over 1,000 fjords dotted along the Norwegian coast, and the fjord landscape is one of the main things travelers are keen to see when they visit Norway. The fjords are so spectacular that UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List has included the Norwegian fjords Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord as natural sites of wonder.
People who want to visit fjord Norway often find themselves a little confused by the many options. There are a huge amount of fjords, and they often have several branches or side-arms. Another point of confusion for some visitors is the fact that certain branches are more well-known than the main fjords they’re part of. Luckily, our list of the most well-known fjords in Norway will help you cut through any confusion and get ready to plan your next trip!
The Sognefjord is known as “the King of the Fjords”, and it isn’t difficult to figure out why. Located right in the middle of Fjord Norway, this is the longest and deepest of Norway’s many fjords. The Sognefjord is also one of the widest fjords, and it has several side-arms, including the famous Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. For those hoping to explore the true wilderness of Norway, Sognefjord is a great destination due to its location, nestled between the two national parks, Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen.
The UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord is considered one of the most stunning fjords in Norway. The Geirangerfjord is the innermost branch of Storfjorden. Here, deep blue waters, stunning waterfalls, and towering mountains provide a dramatic landscape which attracts plenty of hobby photographers hoping to capture the natural splendour on camera. It’s a true fairytale scene and a sight you’ll never forget!
The Hardangerfjord is the second-longest fjord in Norway, and one of the longest fjords in the world. Springtime is a fantastic period to explore the Hardangerfjord, as it’s known for its beautiful blossoming fruit trees that line the hillside surrounding the fjord. The area around the Hardangerfjord is very popular with hikers, cyclists and other active travellers, since it offers fantastic opportunities for hiking up Trolltunga, exploring the famous Steinsdalsfossen waterfall, or going for a glacial walk along the Folgefonna glacier.
The Nærøyfjord is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list due to its stunning natural beauty. Surrounded by towering mountain sides and abundant waterfalls, the narrow fjord finishes at the historic village of Gudvangen. The sight of the dramatic fjord landscape is made even more special by the charming hillside houses and farms along the fjord, and exploring the area by boat is a great way to get to know one of Norway’s most beautiful fjords.
The picturesque Aurlandsfjord is a narrow branch of the huge Sognefjord. It’s set within an idyllic landscape, with the charming village of Flåm located at the end of the fjord. Enjoying the stunning fjord landscape from the unique vantage point of a train is a popular option for many travelers, as the world-famous Flåm Railway is one of Norway’s biggest tourist attractions. In fact, the steep train journey from the mountains to the fjords is considered one of the most beautiful railway trips in the world!
The narrow Lysefjord is located east of Stavanger. Lysefjord is a fantastic destination for travelers focused on environmentally-friendly travel, as it is one of 13 areas in Norway to be declared a Sustainable Destination. The Lysefjord is also popular among hikers, as it boasts a range of excellent hiking trails, such as the world-famous Pulpit Rock.
What’s the best time to visit the fjords?
The best time to visit the fjords depends on what type of trip you’d like to have. You can see the fjords all year round, so it all depends on what you’d prefer. Norway’s fjord landscape enjoys a fairly mild climate, and there’s thriving wildlife both on land, in the sea, and in the sky – meaning wildlife enthusiasts and bird spotters will have plenty to look out for.
To see the fjords in all their glory, the summer is a great time to visit, but it’s also the height of the tourist season. The best way to experience the fjords also depends on what you’d prefer and what time of year you’ll be visiting. In the spring and summer, kayaking along the fjord is a fantastic way to experience the natural wonder of it. During winter, the dramatic fjords surrounded by snow-capped mountains are a true sight to behold as you sail through the water on a boat. Join our popular Norway in a nutshell® tour if you’d like to see all the best of what fjord Norway has to offer in one trip, and enjoy your visit to fjord Norway!