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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 to behold. 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.
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