Discover more about the mountains and fjords of Norway!
What is a fjord?
The fjords of Norway were dug out by ice, stone and rock during successive ice ages.
Norway has the highest concentration of fjords in the world, and nowhere on earth are there more fjords than in Fjord Norway. The fjords are nature’s own work of art, formed when the glaciers retreated, and sea water flooded the U-shaped valleys.
Thanks to the warming Gulf Stream and air currents caused by the coriolis effect, the Norwegian fjords enjoy a mild climate and remain virtually ice-free. Seals, porpoises and an abundance of different fish swim in the fjords, while eagles and other birds soar in the skies above.
The fjords, which consist of saltwater, are often very deep in their upper and middle reaches. Take the Sognefjord as an example – it drops 1,308 metres below sea level, making it Norway’s deepest fjord. Because fjords are so deep, they permit navigation by large ships, allowing you to experience their beauty at close range.
Along most fjord shores there is lush flora and fertile soil. In many places the land has been farmed for thousands of years. Blossoming fruit trees along the Hardangerfjord in May make for an impressive sight.
The Nærøyfjord and the Geirangerfjord
UNESCO has included the fjords of Norway, exemplified by the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord, on its prestigious World Heritage List.
The Nærøyfjord is at one point 250 metres across, while mountains tower up to 1,800 metres above its tranquil waters. The Geirangerfjord is known for its beauty and magnificent waterfalls, the best known being the Seven Sisters.
Gudvangen and Geiranger, the two innermost villages of these two fjords, are among the most popular cruise ship ports in Scandinavia.
National Geographic and Chicago Tribune
It is not only UNESCO that views the Norwegian fjords as exceptional. National Geographic Magazine has named the fjords “the best unspoiled travel destinations in the world”. And the respected American newspaper Chicago Tribune has included Norway’s fjords on its list Seven Wonders of Nature. Source: visitnorway.com
Fjords are not unique to Norway. There are many other fjords in Canada (Nunavut, British Columbia, Newfoundland), Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and Chile.
Want to find out more? Join one of our tours! Our guides are extremely knowledgeable on all matters relating to fjord regions around the world!
Norway not only has spectacular fjords, but also numerous mountain regions. Galdhøpiggen in Jotunheimen is the tallest mountain at 2,469 metres above sea level, but you can also visit Hardangervidda, one of Europe’s largest plateaus, or Trollheimen, home of the trolls.
Click HERE to find more information on each of the regions in the country.
Norwegians are also avid skiers and hikers, and every season has something to offer for all ages. The Norwegian Trekking Association is responsible for maintaining trails across Norway, as well as for providing information on a variety of outdoor activities. They manage a vast network of huts and cabins, making hut-to-hut skiing immensely popular with families. You can find more information on the organisation at the following LINK.