The fjords are the reason why you are taking a trip to Norway, right? Whilst Norway is home to some cool towns and cities, most people… Visiting Norway’s fjords

Fjord Focus: a guide to visiting Norway's fjords

The fjords are the reason why you are taking a trip to Norway, right?
 
Whilst Norway is home to some cool towns and cities, its natural beauty is the real reason for visiting. Glistening fjords, ice capped mountains, lush green forests and the magic of the Northern Lights. You will be spoilt for choice.
 
I was full of excitement and anticipation to visit some of Norway’s fjords. During our trip to Norway, we managed to visit two of its most famous fjords: the Nærøfjord and the Hardangerfjord. In this post I will let you know what to expect and a few practical tips to help book your trip.

The Aurlandsfjord, which is the gateway to the Nærøfjord, as seen from Flåm.

~ Visiting Norway's Fjords: Nærøfjord ~

The first fjord which we visited was the world heritage Nærøfjord, using the small town of Flam as a base. If you are planning to stay in Flam, or want to know more about it, click here.

The Nærofjord is a branch of the much larger Sognefjord. It received Unesco World Heritage status in 2005. The Nærøfjord section itself is only 18km long. What makes it so special is that at its narrowest point it is only 250 metres wide and lined by mountains which are more than 1km tall. It is a stunning and dramatic landscape.

Steep and imposing - the dramatic setting of the Nærøfjord

Ferries depart from Flam throughout the day. You can book tickets through the Visit Flåm website or, if you are using the Norway in a Nutshell tour, built in as part of your trip. We booked the trip ourselves and used the Visit Flam website. The trip is a circular one: a boat trip over the fjords and then a coach back to the starting point (or vice-versa).

One of the most picturesque scenes that I have ever enjoyed.

There are two ferry options: standard or premium. The standard option is an old car ferry. Whilst there is a fair amount of outside decking, if the weather turns you’ll have a restricted view from the interior.
 
The premium ferry is a sleek, modern box with decking running around the entire boat. When sitting inside, the windows are floor to ceiling and offer good panoramic views. We visited in September which is very much on the cusp between summer and winter. Out on the fjord the weather was cold and windy with intermittent raining. The premium option allowed me to see the fjords from the warmth of the interior (accompanied by a hot, strong coffee). When I wanted to take pictures, I was able to brave the elements on deck before retreating back to the warm interior.

Braving the elements

~ Visiting Norway's Fjords: Hardangerfjord ~

Whilst in Bergen, we booked onto a day trip to see the Hardangerfjord – the second longest fjord in Norway and fourth longest on the planet. After an early morning stroll to the Bergen bus terminal, we jumped on a bus to Norheimsund. From here a ferry takes passengers across the great expanse of the Hardangerfjord. The ferry stops at the small town of Eidfjord before retracing its steps back to Norheimsund.

During the 3 hours of downtime, we joined the Eidfjord sightseeing excursion. This excursion includes the Hardangervidda Nature Centre and Vøringfossen waterfall. Whilst the rest of our group went into the nature centre, my friend and I had spotted a nearby fjord which we wanted to photograph. From here the bus continues to the magnificent Vøringfossen waterfall. With an impressive free fall of over 140 meters, it’s one of Norways most famous waterfalls and makes for some great photographs.

Looking down on the mighty Vøringfossen waterfall

As with the Nærofjord, you can include a Hardangerfjord as part of a Norway in a Nutshell tour, or brook direct through Norled. We arranged our trip somewhat last minute and popped into the Norled office in Bergen. It’s located close to the fish market, across the water from Bryggen. Alternatively, you can book through the Norled website.  The route out to Hardanger and beyond is a national tourist route and one ticket will cover all the different modes of travel. As we were staying in Bergen, we opted for a round trip, beginning and ending in Bergen.

Are you planning on visiting Norway’s fjords? Or have you been lucky enough to have experienced them already? Which was your favourite?

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