Fjords may not be unique to Norway, but they are undoubtedly associated
most with the Scandinavian nation - particularly as Norway boasts more
fjords along its west coast than anywhere else in the world.
Whether you're visiting Norway for business or leisure, you should
consider a trip to see the fjords as a definite must. These awe-inspiring
formations were created by retreating glaciers during ice ages, and
remain for modern visitors to explore. It's no wonder so many of Norway's
famous artists have been inspired by the landscape when creating their
works, and even the country's architects couldn't resist complementing
the natural beauty with remarkable structures of their own - like
Kvikne's Hotel in Balestrand, Norway's largest wooden building.
Some of Norway's fjords are protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, due
to their significance, but that doesn't mean you'll be restricted from
visiting and exploring. Quite the contrary, with the 17-kilometre
Nærøyfjord being one of the most popular destinations for fjord cruises
and cycling trips today.
Other fjords are longer still, most notably the Sognefjord, which is the
country's longest at 205 kilometres. Hardangerfjorden is another
prominent fjord, 179 kilometres in length, and both can be easily reached
on day trips from Oslo or Bergen hotels. There's more to the fjords than
just photo opportunities too, with nearby Folgefonna being a popular
destination for skiing, and Hardangervidda similarly drawing hikers to
one of the largest plateaus in Europe.
If you're eager to see the key sights on your fjord tour, head to the
Lysefjord, around 400 kilometres south-west of Oslo, where you'll see the
Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock. At 40 kilometres in length, the rock
stretches 604 metres over the fjord itself, which can be a stunning sight
Waterfalls are other prominent features of Norway's fjords, such as those
at the Geirangerfjord which helped it earn its UNESCO status. The two
waterfalls along the 15-kilometre stretch of rugged coastline are among
the most idyllic sights in all of Norway, and if you're keen to get
active on your Norwegian break, you can also take to the waters for
rafting, canoeing or even summer skiing.
Visiting the beautiful fjords can be the perfect way to escape the crowds
and bustle of Norway's cities during your visit, and will help you
discover why the country proved so popular with British and European
visitors from the 19th century to the present.