One of Europe’s most attractive travel destinations, the fjords of Norway are place host to an eclectic collection of cultural intrigues and natural phenomena. Only truly accessible by boats, the sharp peaks of the mountains and the steep rise of their cliff edges make the construction of even a small airport impossible, a fact which has no doubt helped the area preserve its unique character. As if ripped from the pages of Game of Thrones, the fjords are a breathtaking collection of narrow waterways that were cut between Norway’s mountain ranges thousands of years ago by mighty glaciers. To cruise into this little corner of the world is to cruise into one of the most stunning landscapes on the planet.
An unparalleled visual feast, as you glide in on smooth and vibrant blue waters, you are treated to rustic hillsides, snowy mountain tops, clouds clinging to the side of mountain ranges and traditional Norwegian towns. The contrast of the soft white mount peaks against the luscious green wilderness below, combined with the enormous sense of scale you get from being right down near sea-level, is an unmissable experience. The fjord’s, however, have more to offer travellers than incredible, otherworldly landscapes.
Towns and culture
Stretching across the waterways of the fjords, in the shadows of mountains, visitors will find small and traditional Norwegian fishing towns. Here you can enjoy classic Norwegian cuisine and music, relish in their customs and admire the Scandinavian architecture. Just like the fjords themselves, the towns and villages are peaceful places to be, allowing you to savour every moment.
The ways of the fjords were not always this peaceful, however, and were once home to the brutish and barbaric viking hordes. In the former municipality of Moster, travellers will find one of the most bizarre, yet entrancing open-air theatre shows in the world. In a tribute to the viking way of life and norse mythology put on my locals at the moster amfi, you can experience one of the truest retellings of viking legend first hand.
Things to do
Thanks to its rugged nature, the Norwegian fjords play host to a number of immersive wilderness activities:
- The mountain ranges of the fjords offer excellent hiking opportunities, those that range from easy-going to extreme. Taking you up through beautiful terrain, hiking trails will allow you to discover even more of these incredible locations. Lakes, waterfalls and rocky pinnacles will be just some of the sights to be enjoyed along the way, and as you reach the higher altitudes you’ll get a view of the fjords from a whole new perspective.
- The protected nature of Norway’s fjords make it the perfect place for Kayaking. Setting out on the clear waters, you’ll experience a calm and beautiful silence, accompanied only by the gentle sound of birdsong and your paddle gliding through the water. Here, without boats, people or towns at your back, you can truly connect to this beautiful place.
- In the furthest reaches of the fords, an ancient being prowls. Moving at around 0.02 mph, the massive glaciers that formed the deep ravines still roam the country to this day. Travellers who have the stamina are able to wander along these icey goliaths and experience their majesty first hand.
Words by Paul of Edge of Cruise Club UK.