The Ultimate Wilderness in Norway
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The Norwegian fjords, it doesn't get much nicer. The history of the stunning Norwegian fjords is a rough one. Ice ages and rivers created the current landscape, which year after year is labeled as the most beautiful landscape in the world.
You just have to explore the rugged landscape of the fjords of Norway. Go hiking or kayaking, but also take the ferry and drive by car. See how the glaciers still mould the landscape. Every fjord is worth a visit, so take your time.
The Geirangerfjord is only a 15-kilometer arm of the huge Storfjord. But it is one of the most impressive you can find in the Norwegian fjords. I'm going to explore it by car, on foot and by ferry.
The Naerøyfjord is a relatively small fjord, compared to the other Norwegian fjords. This fjord in Norway is only 17 kilometers long. But this side branch of the immense Sognefjord is perhaps the most beautiful in the world. It is easy to visit. One of the best tips is to go in a kayak. You will feel dwarfed by the rocks.
The fjords are not only surprising above water. In the year 2000, a deep-sea diver encountered a remarkably large cold-water coral reef in the Trondheim Fjord. Scientists have been aware of the existence of such reefs for a long time, but not much else is know about them. They are located at a depth of 40 to 1,000 meters and research has shown that they are present along the entire Norwegian coast.
Where the regular coral reef consists of 8,000 species, the cold-water reef is built by not even ten species. It does, however, harbour unprecedented riches, in an almost extra-terrestrial world. on several locations you can book a diving trip with all the needed gear. A guide will show you this remarkable reefs.
Thanks to new scientific technologies they can be studied in detail. The bottom is precisely charted from ships and also from unmanned submarines that map out this unknown (and ice cold) world. Robotic arms grasp samples and cameras take high-resolution photographs. Despite this, up to now, only 10 percent of the sea bed here has been charted in detail. It shows that wilderness like this is more than meets the eye.
The mountains around the fjords are popular places for active sports, but also extreme sports like BASE jumping. This is a dangerous sport, where people will jump off a cliff and come down by parachute. Especially Kjerag in the Lysefjord and Loen are famous for many successful attempts.
It is also notorious because there have been casualties here as well. On 10 June 2000, the well-known British stuntman Terry Forestal dies, when he jumps and smashes into the mountain. He participated in a number of James Bond movies. Unfortunately, he is not the only one who did not live to tell the tale of Kjerag.
The fjords, surrounding mountains and glaciers attract millions of people every year. Because the distances are great, it is not always easy to choose a good route. Certainly not when you know that Norway has more than 100 fjords. Some of them end in the sea, but also have side branches, which are also called fjord. But anyone who explores this area understands why it is voted the most pristine piece of nature in the world almost every year.
You can easily explore this area by car. The roads are good, as are all facilities along the way. Even in winter, although some roads may be closed. An alternative to the car is a cruise through the fjords with the Hurtigruten.
This old ferry is ideal for discovering the fjords, sleeping on the boat. You can leave the boat whenever you want and get back on when it suits you. There is nothing more relaxed than this cruise. Especially in winter.
See my tips for the Hurtigruten
The fjords can be visited all year round. It depends a lot on what you want to do.
In winter, the landscape is often even rougher with the chance of snow, with countless skiing options. But you also have a chance of clouds and rain. It is relatively quiet with tourists. And you see this rugged area at its roughest.
In spring you can see how the flowers bloom, which gives the fjords an extra dimension. Most waterfalls are also still at full strength.
Because you can ski on the glaciers in summer and stand on top of a glacier, this season is by far the most popular.
This season is relatively quiet, while the weather is often still fine. Although it can also rain for several days. So come prepared.