Norway, this northern Scandinavian country has incredibly beautiful yet wild geography. It is all about lakes, mountains, glaciers, and beautiful fjords. Travelers from around the world are constantly visiting us due to our magical geography, a natural beauty that is hard to compare. Norway is the paradise for hikers due to many reasons, and some of those reasons are that there are different types of fjords, with lots of different shapes, for different types of hikers: beginners and more experienced ones, there are more than 1,000 (1,190 to be precise) fjords you can choose from, and they all are outstanding.
Since there are more than a thousand fjords, it is obvious you cannot visit them all. Unless, of course, you plan to move to Norway and spend your life visiting each one of them. That would be in fact a very cool yet complicated idea. But since it is not the case for most of you, I will help you decide which fjords are a must, those you cannot miss no matter what.
Let’s jump into the Norway fjords: Our top five rank, but first, a brief explanation of what a fjord is: A fjord is a very deep and narrow sea or body water that reaches far inland. They usually have a U-shape valley with enormous rock walls and towering mountains.
How were fjords created?
These rock formations have their typical shape due to the action of the glaciers. Thanks to the last Earth’s ice age, glaciers took over the globe and covered pretty much everything. Since these massive pieces of ice move very slowly, they carved very deeply overtime altering the land shape and therefore, forming these beautiful landscapes.
Our Top Five Norwegian fjords:
To begin, we will talk about the second-longest fjord in the world and Norway’s longest and also deepest one: Sognefjord. Located in Vestland county, Western Norway.
The gigantic fjord starts from the coast, north of Bergen, reaching up the incredible mountains of the Jotunheimen National Park, which by the way is home of the biggest glacier in Europe, the Jostendalsbreen. The mighty fjord stretches 205 kilometers (127 miles) inland from the sea to a very small yet enchanting village of Skjolden.
The deepest part of it reaches a bit more than 1,300 meters (4,265 feet) and the very tall mountains along the fjord of Sognejord rise up to 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) approximately.
Now that we know the dimensions of this natural wonder, you can guess that there are plenty of activities that you could do here, which are not limited to hiking. This place is one of the most famous in Norway and a must for our visitors, and it will give you a warm welcome with all it has to offer.
You might think that it is hard to explore the fjord, due to its wild nature. But the truth is that it is actually quite easy, and there are many different ways to get to know it. Whether you want to walk, or rather sit and sightsee, there is always a great alternative for you, such as biking, a trip by car, train and even by boat. This last option is a very beautiful way to see the fjord and the favorite of many visitors.
You can even take a cruise ship. Yes, you’ve read that right! A fjord cruise, isn’t that unique? Hurtigruten, the famous cruises company offers different alternatives to choose from.
I cannot leave behind the Flåm Railway, which is considered one of the world’s most beautiful trail journeys. And undoubtedly one of the most preferred activities in Norway.
The train starts from the enchanting Village of Flåmgoing up to the Myrdal mountain station, which is also part of the Bergen railway line, where you can connect to other trains from Bergen to Oslo.
Next up, Nærøyfjord and it has a direct relation with the previous fjord, as it is actually a branch of it. It ranked on the second position, on a separate place from its brother fjord, because Nærøyfjord is, in fact, the most beautiful fjord in the world. Thus it was listed in the Unesco World Heritage site since 2005.
This beauty is 18 kilometers long (11 miles) and 500 meters wide (1,600 approximately) and the narrowest point is only 250 meters wide (820 feet).
You can also see this fjord from a cruise, and a very good alternative for more adventurous tourists, by kayak. It is really a one of a kind experience, trust me!
For Disney lovers out there: Arendelle, the kingdom from the popular movie Frozen was inspired in Nærøyfjord. Now you can tell your kids this fact, they will love it!
This fjord is located in the largest national park in Norway: Hardangervidda national park and it is the third-largest fjord in the world, and the second-largest in our country, with 179 kilometers length (111 miles). The most famous point within this fjord is the Trolltunga, a breath-taking plateau which raises 1,100 meters above the sea level. The views of the fjord from there will remain in your memories forever!
The smallest fjord of this list, only 24 kilometers (26 miles) long. The size is not an issue though, it is still very charming. I chose Lysefjorden to be on this list for two main reasons: The incredibly and imposing Pulpit rock, one of the world’s natural wonders. It is 604 meters (1981 feet) above the fjord. You really cannot miss the views from this point.
The second reason is the Wooden staircase: Flørli 4444, it is the longest stairway in the world, with 4,444 steps, hence they call it Flørli 4444. Would you take the challenge?
Last but not least, Balsfjorden. Located approximately 1 hour away from Tromso, with 57 kilometers (35 miles). Many people may think Norway is all about fjords, but they are not the only thing that makes this country special. The magic of this Scandinavian country relies also upon the magnificent Northern Lights. There are only a few fjords from where you can enjoy them. And that's exactly why Balsfjord is on this list. From this fjord, you get to enjoy both the striking beauty of the land and the enchanting light show of the skies.
Norway Fjords: Our Top Five
To wrap things up, Norway holds the most iconic fjords but where are the fjords in Norway? Well, the simple answer is: they are indeed everywhere, but the ones I have mentioned and the best-known ones are located in Western Norway, so please add this to your travel bucket list. Pack your bags, get your rental RV ready and start this adventure by following our top five Norway fjords rank! God tur! (have a nice trip!)