Norway. It’s no secret that this Scandinavian gem of Northern Europe is as enchanting as it is diverse – making it the perfect playground for the avid adventurer. It’s steeped in a rich Viking legacy, home to gorgeous coastal towns, has the best seats in the house to see the Northern Lights, and – my personal favourite – trolls, yes, Norwegian locals are into trolls.
But if it’s one thing the Nordic region is almost universally known for, its fjords. In fact, with nearly 1200 in total, Norway is undisputedly the fjord capital of the world! So how do you know which ones to prioritise and look out for!?
Don’t worry, we’ve saved you the legwork, read on for our list of the 6 best fjords in Norway.
The 6 best Fjords in Norway
Nærøyfjord by Oleksandr Dibrova
While this fjord is technically a side arm that branches off the mighty Sognefjord (see below), it is often lauded as one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway and arguably one of the most important since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2005.
At just 18 kilometres long, it is on the smaller side as far as fjords go, while also being one of the narrowest with some sections being as narrow as 500 metres. But what it makes up for in size is the spectacular photo opportunities. The surrounding snow-capped mountains soar more than a kilometre above sea level, and this makes for an unspeakably breathtaking composition that will have you reaching for the camera.
Urnes Stave Church in the Sognefjord region. The oldest stave church in Norway and the only one to be UNESCO World Heritage-Listed, by Oleksandr Dibrova
Aptly nicknamed the ‘King of Fjords’, the Sognefjord is the longest and deepest glaciated valley to make its mark on our wonderful world. Located in the district of Sogn og Fjordane and stretching more than 200 kilometres into Norway, there’s a lot to do in the Sognefjord region – which makes it among the best Fjords in Norway.
You can take a walking trail in the Jotunheimen National Park, admire the exceptional craftsmanship of some of Norway’s oldest stave churches, fish, or cycle around the quaint villages. At 6 kilometres wide (and more than 1300 metres deep in some parts), cruising through the spectacular fjord is by far the best way to experience the natural wonder.
Aerial view of the Stegastein viewing platform at the Aurlandsfjord by Lucas Bischoff
Another narrow offshoot of the enormous Sognefjord, Aurlandsfjord is one of Norway’s most visited and picturesque fjords. This 17 kilometre arm starts at the village of Flåm and ends at Mount Beitelen, before transitioning into the scenic Nærøyfjord.
Cruising the Aurlandfjord is popular among tourists due to its snow-covered peaks, waterfalls and idyllic farms that are studded down the mountainsides. For the most dramatic views over the water and along the fjord, the Stegastein viewing platform sits 650 metres above the waterline and is a must for any budding photographer looking for that magic shot to take home with them.
Suitor Falls at Geirangerfjord by Saiko. Can you see the wine bottle?
Ever since the Disney animated classic, Frozen, hit the big screen, this little Norwegian fjord – which inspired the film’s fantasy kingdom of Arendelle – quickly became one of the most visited fjords in Norway. Despite its fame, the 15 kilometre Geirangerfjord has always been one of the best fjords in Norway.
Deep blue waters, glorious mountain peaks and mesmerising waterfalls grace the fjords path. The famous Seven Sisters and Suitor waterfalls that sit opposite each other are an absolute must-see. While the waterfalls descending into the calm waterline are a spectacular sight to behold, if you look hard enough, you can also see how the Suitor Falls splits into two parts and creates the appearance of a wine bottle.
Trolltunga rock at Hardangerfjord, by Max Topchii
The Hardangerfjord is the second-longest fjord in Norway and the fifth-longest in the world, stretching 179 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean into the mountainous interior of Norway. Size aside, the fjord is primarily known for its picturesque hiking trails and Hardanger apples which are among the most exclusive in the world.
I don’t know about you but, I can’t think of a more serene and dramatic space to enjoy a cider tasting than being surrounded by a beautiful fjord landscape. Some of the most amazing hikes are also based in the Hardangerfjord region with the most famous being the trek to the Trolltunga or, ‘troll’s tongue.’ This magical rock outcrop jutting into the thin air 1100 metres above the rocky valley affords magnificent views that will leave you speechless at the end of your long hike.
Nigardsbreen, one of the many glacier arms of the Jostedalsbreen in the Nordfjord region, by Dmitry Naumov
The sixth-longest fjord in Norway, this once epicentre of Viking power can be described as a fjord of extremes. That is because Nordfjord is not only home to Europe’s deepest lake, Hornindalsvatnet, at 514 metres below sea level, but it’s also home to the highest sea cliff, the Hornelen, standing at an impressive 860 metres above sea level.
The continent’s largest ice cap also lives in Nordfjord and is the largest white area you’ll find on the map of Norway. The mighty Jostedalsbreen glacier covers an area of 487 square kilometres and is 60 kilometres in length – extreme right? It is said though that this body of ice is retreating fast, so you better catch this marvel of nature before it’s too late!
Visit Norway with Bunnik Tours
While you can certainly get impressions of places by reading about them and seeing them on Instagram – some places you just need to see, feel, and experience for yourself. Take it from us, the best fjords in Norway are absolutely breathtaking and worth travelling across the world to see. At Bunnik Tours, our Scandinavian Discovery tour includes the very best Norway has to offer, including spectacular cruises of the Nærøyfjord and Sognefjord. You’ll also get to ride the famous Flåm Railway to take in the incredible scenery and mountains of Aurlandsfjord. We also include local tipping, some meals, transport, and accommodation for all of our tours. Plus, with our small group philosophy, you’ll spend less time waiting, and more time adventuring.
What is the best way to see the Norwegian fjords?
There are many ways to view Norway’s incredibly complex and beautiful fjord system. Some people prefer to take a hiking trail for the incredible lookout points while others might prefer to take a fjord cruise to enjoy the scenic views from the water.
What is the best time of year to visit the Norwegian fjords?
A visit to one of Norway’s fjords is a great idea no matter the time of the year but, if it’s the sun you’re after, go around June through to August. If you want to chase the Northern Lights, aim for October through to March.
What is the most beautiful fjord in Norway?
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the fjords in Norway, because they all offer a beauty that’s simply out-of-this-world. But, we do have a bit of a soft spot for Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord; the view from the Stegastein viewing platform at the Aurlandsfjord is something else.
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