The Fjord Region of Norway is without a doubt one of the world’s most magnificent destinations, one that feels both serene but incredibly wild at the same time. Created as a result of retreating glaciers, the fjords cover Norway’s coastline and you can spend weeks exploring the different branches and valleys, all with something different to offer; whether that’s sailing, swimming or simply viewing.
The best thing about the Fjords is that the region has become popular enough to attract transport operators who want to provide routes through the area. From scenic train journeys to picturesque cruises, there are virtually endless ways to soak up the rugged beauty of the glacial wonders. We’ve put together our best tips to help you plan a trip to this epic region of Norway!
Travel Guide to Norway’s Fjord Region
Norway boasts one of the longest coastlines in the world, so it stands to reason that one of the best ways to see it would be from the water. Its a favorite for many travelers because its a leisurely, all-inclusive way to navigate the numerous fjords while enjoying all the comforts of a hotel room in your cabin.
The biggest advantage is that you won’t have to continuously worry about packing and unpacking your luggage every time you reach a destination, you only have to do it once when you board and once when you leave!
The coastal steamer Hurtigruten is one of the best options for cruises in the Fjord Region. Heading north from Bergen, the ship passes through islets, archipelagos, and towns like Ålesund and Molde, both great destinations to hop off at and explore. Finally, if you really want to have a cruise-filled vacation, you can combine the trip around the Fjord with an in or outbound cruise ship to another European destination.
Read more: What to Pack for a Trip to Norway
Rent a Car in Bergen
Bergen is Norway’s wonderfully picturesque second-largest city, surrounded by seven mountains and overlooking the sea. It’s definitely worth spending a day here exploring the town, full of white and red barn houses standing at the water’s edge and photo opportunities around every corner.
Once you’re ready to set off, head north to the Trollstigen National Tourist Route where you’ll be treated to one of the world’s best mountain drives, complete with 180 degree bends in the roads that rise up past the clouds. The great thing about renting a car is that you’ve got complete control over where you stop, and with this much incredible scenery, you’ll be glad!
To get to some deep fjords where you can sometimes see whales and seals playing in the water, you’ll need to head back down to Åndalsnes where the land begins to open up until you get to Molde, a beautiful seaside community that looks similar to Alaskan waterfront towns on account of the visible snow peaks dotted around the horizon.
From here it’s a question of heading north up the coast for as long as you wish, though you have the freedom to deviate as far up into the mountains as you please.
Fly Into Alesund
We chose to fly into Alesund, rented a car there and drove one way from Alesund to Bergen — stopping at several fjords along the way. This cut down on our driving time so we were able to spend more time hiking and less time stuck in the car. This also gave us the opportunity to spend a few nights in the beautiful town of Alesund — which is definitely worth a visit!
Read more: How to Travel in Norway on a Budget
The rail lines running through the Fjord Region offer a different perspective to cruise ships and cars on account of how quickly they rise and descend in and out of the mountains.
The Flam railway is one of the most stunning train routes on the planet and it’s easy to see why. In the short space of one hour, you travel from sea level at Sognefjord to over 800 meters above at Myrdal. Expect spectacular scenery including enormous waterfalls, towering mountains and numerous tunnels taking you from one landscape to the next.
With literally hundreds of fjords in the region, it really depends on preference when deciding which ones to prioritize, so I’ve decided to include two of my favorite to give you a place to start.
For many people, the magnificent Geirangerfjord is at the top of their list of favorite fjords and after visiting, it becomes apparent why. The valley is surreally beautiful, with banks of cloud adorning the steep, forested mountains and a group of waterfalls known as the Seven Sisters falling from 250m into the fjord itself.
Don’t miss out on Flydalsjuvet and the Geiranger Skywalk in Dalsnibba, both absolutely breathtaking viewpoints that will give you unprecedented panoramic views of the fjord below.
Also known as the “King of the fjords”, Sognefjord is easily the longest fjord in Norway and the second-longest in the entire world! It truly is a humbling sight to behold and the vast expanses of glassy water are perfect for wide-angle shots and even monochrome photography if you’re trying to capture the icy tones.
For more frozen expanses, you can head up to the fjord’s inner end, which is covered by Jostedalsbreen, continental Europe’s largest glacier!