The best fjords in Norway

Geirangerfjorden, (photo by Glyn Genin)

Fjords: the soul of Norway

Norway’s long coastline is punctuated by fjords all the way from Oslo in the southeast to the Arctic north. The most dramatic are those found along the west coast, with steep mountain walls rising up from the water, and small farms clinging to every ledge and hectare of green. The fjords are beautiful, timeless, and everyone’s idea of the soul of Norway.

The western fjords begin at Stavanger in the south, now Norway’s oil capital, not far from Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), the great slab of rock standing a dizzying 600 metres (2,000ft) above Lysefjord. They stretch north to Hardangerfjord, one of the largest in the country and an early favourite, where the old traditions of music and storytelling influenced travellers such as the 19th-century composer Edvard Grieg.

Further north along the coast lies the port of Bergen, known as the gateway to the fjords; then Sognefjord (the longest and deepest fjord) and Nordfjord, in an area of glaciers, lakes and mountain massifs; Storfjord, parts of which bite far into the land; and, finally, the calm of the Geiranger, arguably the prettiest fjord of them all. 


Our Favorite Fjords in Norway


A Unesco World Heritage Site, Geirangerfjord is famous for its emerald waters and stunning waterfalls; it is arguably the most beautiful of the Norwegian fjords.


Snow-capped mountains and many shades of blue define the 100km- (62- mile) -long Nordfjord. Nearby you’ll find the Jostedal Glacier, mainland Europe’s largest, where you can take glacier walks and ski in summer.


Norway’s deepest and longest fjord, and one of its most spectacular. Here you’ll find the newly renovated Urnes stave church and the Norwegian Glacier Museum. The Flåm railway ends in Aurland on Sognefjord, and is a must too.


An arm of the Sognefjord, and only 250 metres (820ft) at its narrowest, the peaceful “Narrow fjord” is another Unesco World Heritage Site. The fjord freezes over in winter, but in summer it is popular with kayakers.


Visit this fjord in spring, when the many orchards are in full bloom, or in summer to gorge on the delicious moreller (black cherries), then visit the manor house of Baroniet Rosendal, and the excellent folk museum at Utne.


An arm of the Hardangerfjord, this small, peaceful fjord is within easy reach of both the 182-metre (600ft) -high Vøringsfossen, Norway’s most famous waterfall, and the Hardangervidda. The Hardangervidda Nature Centre is located here.


Barren and windswept, Lysefjord is home to Preikestolen, a huge block of granite jutting out 600 metres (2,000ft) above sea level, and Kjerag, a big boulder pre-cariously stuck between two mountain walls. A popular destination for extreme sport enthusiasts and hikers.


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