Mentioning the Fjords might conjure images of enormous cruise ships packed with pensioners, but this is an undeniably and staggeringly beautiful part of the world, and there are ways and means of seeing it besides from the deck of a cruise liner. While the likes of the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord are rightly UNESCO World Heritage Sites there are other, less well known, places to explore in the region including a 'private' fjord at the end of which sits a tiny and remote homestead hotel. There's also the impossibly pretty shoreline hugging city of Alesund and to the north of the city the Atlantic Road,
recently voted the most incredible road (as Jeremy Clarkson would no doubt say) '... IN THE WORLD.' Then there's Bergen, Norway's second city, built in the 11th century and still as charming today with its beautiful harbour, fresh fish markets and many museums and art galleries. Both Bergen and Alesund are pretty stepping stones to the most spectacular mountains and fjords in the region and once you've explored this stunning area in all its panoramic glory on your Fjords holidays, it won't just be Monty Python's Norwegian Blue parrot who'll be pining for the Fjords.
Contact one of our Norway specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Just home from the most incredible trip to Northern Norway. We had it all from clear skies and bright sunshine to full snowstorms, and saw plenty of the northern lights.
Thank you again to The Voyageurs Collection for organising such an incredible experience for us.
What you can find in the Fjords that you won’t find elsewhere:
Well, the Fjords! But also Bergen - Norway's second city - which delivers a major dose of Norwegian culture, history and charm combined with a natural landscape that demands attention. Bergen sits on the west coast of the country, enveloped by the glorious surrounding nature, with the sea at its fore and mountains at every other side. In Norwegian terms, Bergen is a large city with a population of around 280,000, but it retains a charming, small-town vibe with strong communities and friendly locals. Once a key part of the Hanseatic League and a European hub of commerce for several hundred years, the city's historic, UNESCO-Listed Bryggen wharf is a reminder of the city’s prosperous past. A visit here during your Bergen and the Fjords holidays will take you back in time as you pass by the meticulously preserved, multi-coloured wooden houses that line the water’s edge and spend an afternoon wandering Bryggen’s back streets. As a European City of Culture, the city is overflowing with museums and art galleries, while it’s large student population means there’s always a vibrant, energetic hum in the air. Nature is only ever a hair’s breath away in Bergen, too; the city is the self-proclaimed ‘gateway to the fjords’ and it provides an ideal jumping off point for boat tours of Norway’s biggest scenic attraction – the fjords. For a view of them that’s hard to beat, Mount Fløyen is the place to go. You can get to the top via a five-minute ride on the funicular rail from the centre, but once you arrive and soak in the scene you’ll feel worlds apart from city life. End your stay with a trip on the The Flåm Railway - reportedly one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world - and feel humbled by nature as you roll through the awe-inspiring Norwegian landscape. Famous for its role in the Middle Ages as an essential Scandinavian centre of commerce with the rest of the world, Bergen has a bounty of cultural sites.
Who are Fjords holidays best for?
If you can’t quite decide between a city break or a nature escape for your next holiday, Bergen expertly fuses the two. You can walk in the beautiful old streets of Bryggen, peruse boutique shops and sample the city’s famed fish soup on one day, then head off on a two-wheeled adventure around the mountains or gaze in awe at the beauty of the fjords from a bobbing boat the next; every type of holiday is on offer in Bergen. The city is also perfectly geared towards children and offers families a brilliant mix of activities to suit all ages.
Experiences in the Fjords:
Stay in a hotel facing the Folgefonna Glacier, a national park and the collective term for the three plateau glaciers in Hordaland County, just outside of Bergen. Go for a guided walk or kayak through the glaciers and you’ll enter an icy world that’s nothing short of magical. If a touring trip is more your thing, cruise through Norway’s most astounding fjords, including Sognefjord - the country’s longest and deepest - before returning to dry land to explore the rich flora and fauna while keeping your eyes peeled for wild boar, fox and reindeer that call these mighty mountains home. Head back to the city to learn about Vikings at the Bergen Maritime Museum and end your stay in style with a whistle-stop tour of the incredible Lofoten Islands.
Special things to do in the Fjords:
- Immerse yourself in the watery wilderness of Hardangerfjord – Norway’s second-largest fjord (and the fourth largest in the world) – with a kayaking trip on its deep, calm waters. Glide over the fjord’s sparkling surface and approach quietly for you might just catch an exhilarating glimpse of the seal colony that has taken up residence there. Time will stand still as you witness the natural wonder of the fjords in close range.
- Head to the Nigardsbreen Glacier and spend a day walking on the ice with the help of a guide who will navigate you through the glacier’s stunning twists and turns to discover sparkling ice towers and deep blue crevasses carved by Mother Nature. No learning curve is needed to master glacier hiking and the the Nigardsbreen Glacier is a great place to start – even children above the age of five are welcome to join.