Western Norway is famed for its spectacular and easily accessible fjords and mountains, which form a dramatic landscape and pave the way for myriad adventures, a plethora of picturesque towns and villages, and some excellent food.
With snow-covered peaks, wild waterfalls, lush vegetation, shimmering glaciers, precipitous viewpoints and charming mountain communities, Norway’s fjords are a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Activities range from hiking and cycling to kayaking and fishing, but the chance to simply relax and soak up some of Scandinavia’s impressive landscapes is reason alone to visit.
Bergen is, perhaps unsurprisingly, one of Norway’s most popular cities. Highlights here include a colourful Hanseatic quay, a vibrant market and a delightful setting in the shadow of no less than seven mountains. It also provides easy access to nearby Hardangerfjord.
Geiranger lies tucked away at the eastern end of UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, one of the smallest of Norway’s fjords but also one of its most beautiful. Highlights include the Seven Sisters Waterfall and the spectacular Eagle’s Highway.
Surrounded by orchards of plum, cherry and apple trees, which blossom in April and May, Western Norway is famed for its spectacular and easily accessible fjords and mountains, which form a dramatic landscape and pave the way for myriad adventures, a plethora of picturesque towns and villages, and some excellent food.
Located at the northeastern end of Hardangerfjord is Eidfjord. Dwarfed by towering mountains and surrounded by several cascading waterfalls, it’s reputation as one of Norway’s most beautiful towns is richly deserved.
Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, located in the heart of the region, extends to the foot of the Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen National Parks. Some of Norway’s most striking landscapes are perfectly complemented by a collection of charming villages, including picturesque Balestrand, Vík and Aurland.
Situated at the head of Aurlandsfjorden, this little village is surrounded by some big landscapes. A sought-after stop for cruise ships and also those on the popular ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ tour, it attracts more than half a million visitors a year, many of which come to ride the Flåm railway, one of the steepest in the world.
While it’s no match for Bergen’s prettiness, the coastal city of Stavanger still has its charms. A regular stopping point for cruise ships, the towns bustling harbour sets the scene for some colourful dockside warehouses and a maze of 18th century streets beyond.
When to go
It’s possible to visit Norway’s fjords at any time, but by far the most popular season is summer, when the days are warm and long, and hiking, kayaking and other outdoor pursuits are in full swing. In autumn, the landscapes are a rich gold and berries hang from the trees, while in spring, blossoming orchards and fields of flowers are a sight to behold.
Who to cruise with?
Azamara, Crystal Cruises, Silversea, Seabourn, Celebrity, Regent Seven Seas, Oceania and local specialists Hurtigruten all operate cruises to Norway’s fjords.
Scott Anderson is General Manager at The Luxury Cruise Company. The Luxury Cruise Company is your port of call for incredible cruise holidays.
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