Norwegian Fjords

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Norwegian Fjords

Probably the two main reasons people visit Norway are to see the fjords and the northern lights. Norway’s coastline is estimated at 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi) with nearly 1,200 fjords, but only 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) when fjords are excluded.

In large parts of Norway the fjords create a particular kind of landscape, a wide tangle of islands and peninsulas, lakes and valleys. Along the south coast (Agder and Telemark) fjords are short and the “fjord-land” is a mere 30 km wide.

There are well over 1,000 named fjords. Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord are on inscribed on UNESCO world heritage list.

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As there are fjords all over Norway there is little general advice about entry points or how to get in, advice mostly depends on fjord region.

The Western Norwegian fjords, approximately from *Stavanger (map) to *Molde (map), are rated as the worlds best travel destination by the magazine National Geographic Traveler.

Romsdalsfjord (map) – picturesque fjord with famous alpine summits around Åndalsnes (map), several pretty islands, Molde on the north shore.

Nordfjord (map) – a major fjord surrounded by glaciers and picturesque lakes, notably Stryn and Olden villages (*Sogn og Fjordane county).

Hjørundfjord (map) – picturesque fjord surrounded by breathtaking summits.

Geirangerfjord (map) and Hellesylt are villages in Møre og Romsdal. The Geirangerfjord is one of the most beautiful mainland fjords and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway. In a rating of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geirangerfjord (along with Nærøyfjord in Sogn og Fjordane) obtained top score in a survey conducted by the prestigious National Geographic Magazine.

Sognefjord (map) – The district surrounding the fjord is known as Sogn. Sognefjorden is the longest fjord in Europe and the second longest in the world. Nærøyfjord, a World Heritage Site, is one of the fjords of Sognefjorden.

Hardangerfjord (map) is 180 km long and about 850 meters deep. This the second longest and second deepest fjord in Norway, only surpassed by Sognefjord, and outside Norway these are only surpassed by fjords in Greenland.

Lysefjorden (map) the first fjord when you arrive from the south, is one of the most famous fjord in Norway. The 40 km long fjord surrounded by impressive mountains and cliffs carved out during successive Ice Ages is the dominant feature of Forsand municipality.

Public transport

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Ruter – ruter.no (Oslo and Akershus area)

Entur – online travel planner for public transportation (trains, buses and ferries)

Getting around (visitnorway.com)

 BUS >   An extensive range of express buses connect cities all over Norway and even most national parks. NOR-WAY Bussekspress and Boreal Transport are the biggest operators. Nettbuss also runs some express routes.

 RAIL >   Train schedules can be found on the website of the Norwegian State Railways and the Swedish Railways. You can buy a Norwegian Rail Pass or the equivalent InterRail One Country Pass to travel relatively cheaply by train through Norway. If your itinerary is fixed and you don’t have too many destinations, it might be cheaper to buy ‘Minipris’ tickets online.

 AIRPORTS >   Avinor.no – Norway airports information

 WATERWAYS >  Hurtigruten «Express Route»Color LineStena LineFjord LineDFDS Seaways.

In regions with lots of fjords and islands, particularly along all the coast from Stavanger to Tromsø, an extensive network of catamaran express passenger boats (“hurtigbåt”) shuttle between towns and cities, and connect islands otherwise accessible only with difficulty.

+ Norwegian Cyclist Association

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