The Fjords of Norway

I’ve always wanted to see fjords. They’re supposedly beautiful and mind-numbingly stunning. Plus the word’s cool. I mean, just pronounce that word—f j o r d. It sounds so cool. I just like saying it. Fjord. Fjord. Fjord.

And when I was planning my trip to Norway, the only thing I made the tourism board promise me was that my trip would include lots of time in the fjord area. Seeing the fjords was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Not my whole life, but my travel life. (After all, when I was younger, I didn’t like traveling.) After spending 48 hours in Oslo, I took the train through the mountains on the scenic Rauma Railway and arrived in Alesund, the gateway to the fjord area. It’s about a six-hour ride up there through the mountains. Even though there were fog, clouds, and rain the whole time, the area was spectacular. And spending the next seven days boating down the fjords towards Bergen is most certainly one of the highlights of all my travels. It’s that good.

I could sit here and describe the fjords to you, using terms like majestic, pristine, beautiful, grand, etc. But just like in the Galapagos Islands, a place with this much natural beauty can’t be described with words. I’m just going to show you pictures.

Mountainous view of the Alesund Fjord in Norway
Alesund Fjord

Historic homes in old Alesund
Historic homes in old Alesund

Alesund's Fjord emptying into the ocean
Alesund’s Fjord emptying into the ocean

Mountains around the Geiranger Fjord in Norway
Geiranger Fjord

Some town in the Fjord with a snow-capped mountain overhead
Some town in the Fjord

The Alesund Fjord is quite a sight to see in Norway
Alesund Fjord

A boat in the water around Geiranger town
Geiranger town

Photo of the naturally gorgeous mountains of the Fjords near Stryn
Fjords near Stryn

Moss and grass covered rocks in a forest near Stryn
Cool forest near Styrn

Photo of the reflection of the snowy mountains by Stryn
Fjords near Stryn

Rippling water in the Sunnylvs Fjord in Norway
Sunnylvs Fjord

The fjords were one of the most dramatic natural things I’ve seen. They lived up to the hype, and one day I’ll go back (when it’s sunny) and do the many hiking trails I didn’t get a chance to do this time around.

Editor’s Note: My trip to Norway was paid for by Norway Tourism. They paid for everything but my meals.

  1. Jennifer

    Wow, such amazing pictures! It’s also a travel dream of mine to visit the fjords of Norway. I remember watching on the discovery channel about orcas, and how they often visit there. Since then I hope to one day visit Norway while they’re there and see live wild orcas. Thanks for sharing!

    • NomadicMatt

      I wasn’t there during the whale season which is sort of disappointing but I’d love to cruise up the coast of Norway and go whale spotting!

  2. Heia Norge! These are some beautiful pictures. In terms of natural beauty, Norway definitely ranks number 1 in my book. Happy 30th, Gratulerer Med Dagen.
    Safe travels,

    • NomadicMatt

      They are very common in Norway. It’s a natural way to heat and cool homes during the various seasons. It’s actually very popular with big office buildings now because of the energy savings it gives.

  3. After I went to Spitsbergen a few years ago, I stayed around in Oslo with a friend for a week and she rented us a cabin overlooking Geirangerfjorden. Possibly my favorite place on Earth–there’s nothing more pristine and refreshing than Norway’s fjords!

    • NomadicMatt

      Geiranger fjord was beautiful. I’d like to come back in nicer weather and hike the trails around it. Simply stunning.

      • Ching teng

        Its possible to travel during winter time ? I’m going to Oslo this new year time. And after 2days in Oslo, I will travel all the way to north kiruna/narvik. Do you think it’s possible for me to add this into my itinerary ?

  4. David

    Wow, apart from the fact that of course the landscape seems great (never been to Norway, but I LOVE mountains, hiking, trail running etc), I am currently even more amazed by your Editor’s Note and that the trip was paid for by somebody! Awesome! I need to go into the ‘nomad business’ as well, I think 😀

    • NomadicMatt

      I didn’t get paid by them. They simply covered the costs of the trip. (i.e. accommodation, transportation, tours)

  5. Best way to see the fjords is to travel around by public transportation bus/boat/train or rent a car and drive. Stay in hotels/hostels in the fjord towns and villages and enjoy the beautiful nature. Welcome!

  6. Norwegian fjords have been on a list of my top dream destinations for a while. This sort of natural beauty with added drama simply takes my breath away.

    Great article, I’m going to plan a trip to Norway for next summer!

  7. The Fjords are amazing, but! I too spent seven days like you boating (except from Bergen, going North), on the Hurtigruten., and I found it a bit claustrophobic after day 2. I think sitting on deck for 7 days becomes monotonous and with hindsight would have loved to break up the trip: stopping for a few days, maybe in Tromso, or wherever, and hiking/walking the area just to get a real sense of connection.

  8. Your photos are so beautiful that Norway Tourism must be congratulating themselves on a brilliant way to advertise by subsidising you! I toured these long ago and was amazed at the impact they left on me. Norway has a sense of familiarity because it reminds me of Newfoundland and Austria (I am an Austrian-Canadian) and Scotland (which was a special place to me) even while remaining incredibly unique. And it is so worth travelling far enough north to pass the Arctic Circle and see the midnight sun, which on e CAN do in Norway :)

    • NomadicMatt

      I’m sure they are happy with the results I gave them but it’s really hard to take bad pictures of such a beautiful place.

  9. Helga

    My country is unbelievable stunning. Somehow i doesnt appreciate it enough, always travelling abroad instead of here. That will from now on change! So Matt is you loved fjords, you should really go up further north, above the arctic circle. The fjords up there are, in my opinion, someplaces even more spectacular. Not to mention the Lofoten islands. Perfect place to go hiking, dry fish..and god forbid you should like the beer (nordlandspils) up there which taste like fish. Ugh..but people seem to like them along with dry fish that replace chips! And of course northern light at Nordkapp and those bloody reindeers stopping traffic in Hammerfest and Nordkapp is a must-see. Along with everything else in Norway from Kristiansand – Vardø of course. Just …just have a big budget though and some friends here!

  10. If you want to know what an Englishman makes of Norway after living here for 14 years, try this article for size (and don’t take it too seriously, now…)

    PS He loves it, of course, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else :-)

  11. Farheen

    Beautiful pictures! Patiently waiting for your post on European visas and long term stays for non EU. I’m hoping youve found something I can’t find!

  12. What is the minimum amount of time you would recommend alotting for fjords if someone only had 8 days in Scandinavia? My cousin wants to get up there when she visits me but also wants to squeeze in a day or two in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Don’t think that’s going to happen. Thoughts?

  13. Peter

    Going to Norway end of August. Is flying the best or only way to get there? What is there to see around Trondheim? Is three days enought?

  14. maddie

    $10 Fjord Tours? Please Give More Details. My Friend And I Are Going To Norway In Less Than A Week And Spending One Night On Bergen. We Have Been Researching Fjord Options ButEverything We Find Is At Least 150 Euros…We Ill Be Short On Time And Have A Super Tight Budget So We Really Cant Affotd To Gamble AndWait Until We Get There TO Find One. Please Help. Thanks

  15. Ad

    Just got back from norway – you have to factor in the crazy prices for food and drink, unfririendly locals and vicious traffic police – scenery and wildlife remain stunning

  16. Wow Matt, you got the Norway trip paid for!?! Lucky you! Its the most expensive place I have ever visited. Its necessary just to forget to calculate the currency when you buy stuff at the supermarket, because one just gets a heart attack every time one does goe like “467 NOK.. wow that is XX iin my currency for a loaf of bread and some veggies..” Jesus Christ.. !!

    The thing about Norway though is that its just annoyingly beautiful, stunning and amazing and the people are whonderfully frienly!

  17. If you are a more adventurous traveller you could try exploring Norway’s fjords and islands under sail with us (SchoonerSail) on our traditional schooner. We reckon it’s one of the cheapest ways to see Norway too.
    The other commentators are right it is an unbelievably stunning country. We could spend a life time exploring in Norway and never run out of new places to see.

  18. Roger Carew

    Great, inspirational waffle-free write up. We are coming to Oslo on a Friday night at 10pm, staying overnight. We want to get to Naeroyfjord area early next day. We want to experience the fjords in the area all Saturday and Sunday and get back to Oslo late night. We would like to have a 5 min tour of Oslo and head back to Berlin around noon. Can you kindly help us with details of getting the best in the short time we have and websites to book the trips that you suggest. Many thanks and Much appreciated.
    Aussie Roger

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