This is a country of picturesque landscapes with jagged mountain chains, valleys, glaciers and narrow inlets along its steep coastline. It beckons with its majestic landscapes, legends about incursive Vikings and fairytales about trolls. It reaches the Arctic Circle and boasts numerous glaciers. All of this is Norway, the kingdom of fjords that attracts travelers from all over the world.
The kingdom of Norway occupies the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. To the rest of the world, the country is famous for its fjords — long, narrow and deep inlets with a steep coastline. They are real pieces of art created by Nature, herself. These inlets on the Atlantic Ocean were formed millions of years ago as a result of glaciers melting and moving. They made it over the land and settled gracefully among the cliffs and high mountains.
The majority of the fjords are found in western Norway. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream current, they enjoy a moderate climate, and the water almost never freezes. These narrow inlets with their pristine landscapes are considered to be some of the most wonderful places on the planet. Seals, sturgeon and different kinds of fish inhabit the fjord waters, and up the air you can see eagles and other birds. The shape of the fjord coastline enchants with its beauty. The rivers intertwine with breathtaking waterfalls.
Do you dream of fishing in the open sea or going down an impetuous river or making a short canoe trip?
Or maybe you want to see the glaciers with your own eyes. Norway’s fjords will give you these unforgettable experiences. We advise you to embark on your voyage of discovery in Bergen, the so-called gateway to the kingdom of the fjords. Southward on the western coast, you will see green fields, narrow beaches and little houses. One cannot overestimate the beauty of the cozy Jossing-fjord, the long curves of Lyse-fjord near magnificent Kjerag Mountain and the famous top of Preikestolen. Numerous islands and cozy bays hide in the fjords between the towns Stavanger and Haugesund. For maximum pleasure, feast your eyes on the cliffs towering over the fjord coasts and breathe in the sea air.
Sognefjord is surrounded by unbelievably picturesque landscapes. It is the longest fjord in Norway and the second longest in the world (the inlet extends for 204 kilometers). Along its perimeter are unapproachable cliffs. If you strike out into the adjacent area, you can see sparkling waterfalls and ancient cultural monuments. Sognefjord has five arms, the most beautiful of which are Aurlandfjord and N?r?yfjord. The width of the latter at its narrowest place is just 250 meters, and the cliffs above its calm waters shoot up 1800 meters into the sky. The mystic beauty of these fjords has given birth to numerous legends about trolls, who are said to live in these wild places.
Near Sognefjord are the magnificent Nigard and Justedalsbreen glaciers — the largest in continental Europe. The inlet offers loads of fun to fans of various activities, including hiking, bike riding, canoeing, horseback riding and kayaking. On the water, you can admire the most beautiful views of the fjord, watch the seals and even go fishing for salmon or trout. Jotunheimen National Park, located northeast of Sognefjord, gladly welcomes those who enjoy hiking. The saturated green of its forests, the impetuous torrents of its waterfalls, the cold, blue lakes and the sparkling top of the Stegastein — all of this excites sincere admiration and the strong conviction that you are in the most beautiful place on the planet.
The eastern arm of the splendid Storfjord Geirangerfjord can be regarded as a decent competitor to the striking Sognefjord. Surrounded by high, steep cliffs and glaciers, it is considered to be the most beautiful in Norway. This 16-kilometer fjord is famous for its waterfalls, the most prominent of which are the Seven Sisters (named after seven streams that merge into one), the Groom and the Bridal Veil. The strip of emerald waters in the inlet wends its way to distant Geiranger, a village inhabited by only 240 people. It is also where the royal family goes for vacation. Huge rocks scattered along the coast of the fjord heat up in the warm weather, creating a unique microclimate.
Fishing, rafting (navigating a river in an inflatable boat or canoe), horseback riding, skiing in summer on Folgefonna glacier, hiking in Hardangervidda — the biggest mountain plateau in Norway — as well as cruising along the inlet—all of this can be found in Geirangerfjord, one of the most popular fjords among tourists.
Equally magnificent is Lysefjord, located in the southern part of western Norway, in Ryfylke. Above all, it is famous for Preikestolen cliff— the region’s main attraction. From its top, you can see landscape worthy of admiration. If you peer down into the abyss, it will take your breath away. Another famous spot in the region is Kjerag cliff. If you take the path to the plateau, you can take a picture on the massive boulder Kjeragbolten, which is stuck in a crack in the cliff. It is exhilarating to stand on it, because more than 1,000 meters separate you from the ground. In addition, Kjerag is a favorite spot for base-jumpers, who climb hundreds of meters to make the jump, as well as hikers and horseback riders.
Nordfjord is another famous Norwegian inlet. It stretches from Jostedalsbreen Glacier to the Atlantic Ocean. There, you can see and feel the unique landscape — severe glaciers, lofty mountains, green valleys, the deepest lake in Europe and mighty breakwaters. On the coast of the Nordfjord is Jostedalsbreen National Park. Travelling through it is a pleasant way to enjoy the alpine mountains and valleys. It will also give you a chance to see the largest glacier in continental Europe — Jostedalsbreen. From the east, Nordfjord lowers its huge tongues — Briksdalsbreen and Kjenndalsbreen.
And it is there, in the north of Norway, that you will come to understand what a real arctic climate is.
The sound of waterfalls, inimitable inlets, the reflection of clouds in the crystal-clear water, fresh air, majestic cliffs and glaciers — all of this makes up the primeval nature of Norway. When travelling along the Norwegian fjords, it is easy to feel admiration and amazement. Should you see the fjords once, Nature will carve these wonderful places into your memory forever, giving them a new home in your heart.