2. Nærøyfjord — Norway’s best fjord?
The village of Flåm is the starting point for countless activities in and around Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, one of two Norwegian fjords to be found on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It shares this honour with Geirangerfjord and Bryggen in Bergen.
If you only have a few hours to spare, we recommend a fjord cruise on Nærøyfjord, which will give you the opportunity to experience this unique natural gem close up. The extremely narrow UNESCO-listed fjord is surrounded by towering mountains and tiny villages. Here and there, waterfalls cascade down the mountainside, leaving a lasting impression on even the most hardened globetrotting tourists. Nærøyfjord has been voted one of the wonders of the natural world by CNN, and National Geographic has previously given Nærøyfjord the title "The best unspoiled travel destination in the world”.
Fjord cruises on Nærøyfjord run all year round. The fjords are a beautiful sight at any time of year too. This is wonderful news for those looking to experience these destinations outside the peak tourist season. In spring, you can see cascading waterfalls of meltwater and pale green hillsides studded with flowering fruit trees. During the summer, the fjord is clad in green, with snow still lying on the surrounding mountain peaks. In autumn, you can enjoy clear, bright blue skies that mirror the water, and mountainsides in yellow and red hues. The winter brings snow-covered, tranquil landscapes, where you can hear a pin drop. Every season has its own special beauty, and these natural gems are a must-see at any time of year.
Fjord cruises on Nærøyfjord
For a cruise with more action which takes you even closer to the nature around Nærøyfjord, try a fjord safari by RIB-boat on the world heritage fjord. The tour stops at the idyllic village of Undredal, where you can taste the delicious local goat’s cheese.
On the water, you will get close to the wildlife too. You can often see eagles and seals, and perhaps even harbour porpoise too.
If your preference is for a more tranquil cruise on Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord, you can enjoy nature, culture and wildlife from custom-built sightseeing vessels which glide quietly through the fjords. Vision of the Fjords is a hybrid vessel which carries tourists between Flåm in Aurlandsfjord and Gudvangen at the head of Nærøyfjord. The vessel’s electric motor is used on the route, minimising both emissions and noise.
You can also travel just like the locals, on local boats and ferries. Either way, you’ll get as close to the fjord as is possible without getting your feet wet.
The Flåm Railway, hiking and the Vikings
If you’re feeling energetic, there are plenty of things to do on land too. You could for example take a trip on the famous Flåm Railway, which winds its way up steep mountainsides, past cascading waterfalls, right up to the picturesque Myrdal Station on the mountain plateau.
If you enjoy hiking and cycling, then there’s no doubt you’ve come to the right place either. Hire a bike and try the famous Rallar Road cycle way, or set out on a long or short hike through the forests and mountains surrounding the fjords. You can also hire an electric car and tour the area, including the stunning Stegastein viewpoint, where you can enjoy extensive views across snow-capped mountains and Aurlandsfjord far below.
If you are curious about Viking culture, you can visit the Viking Village in Gudvangen, taste Viking food and experience life as a Viking for a few hours.