The Norwegian fjords have long been a fantastic and popular cruise region, but there’s no reason why you have to climb aboard a ship if you prefer travelling by land. This beautiful part of the world is just as breathtaking when viewed from the shore and you’ll enjoy the added benefit of not having to share your holiday with thousands of other travellers.
Whilst your trip will involve plenty of travelling around (if you want to see as much as possible), it will all be worth it to enjoy these otherworldly landscapes up close. Here are some great tips if you do decide to explore the Norwegian fjords by land.
How To Get There
Many of the most picturesque places in the fjords are small towns and villages, but there are four main cities into which you can fly. Direct flights to Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim are available from Norwegian Air, whilst KLM, Norwegian and SAS all offer flights to Ålesund via either Oslo or Amsterdam.
Selecting an indirect flight may open up more options, so if your dates and times aren’t very flexible, this may be the better option. Plus, doing it this way would also mean that you could add an Oslo city break to the start or end of your fjords adventure.
When To Go
Peak season for the Norwegian fjords is between June and September, but bear in mind that this is when the cruise ships are likely to be in town. Travelling during these months will limit the risk of rainy days and, hopefully, you’ll be enjoying temperatures around 20 degrees. At this time of year, the trees lining the mountainsides will be a lush green colour and there’s more chance of spotting some wildlife.
Visiting in the spring or autumn is by no means a bad idea though. Temperatures are still bearable and the crowds will be much smaller. Having spent some time in the fjords this October, we can attest to minimal tourist numbers and a spectacular palette of reds, oranges and yellows in terms of foliage. Yes, it rained on a couple of the days, but it was nothing a mug of hot chocolate and a plate of waffles couldn’t solve. Also, a light dusting of snow on the peaks gave everything a magical appearance.
Any later than October, though, and you’ll find roads will start to close because of snow and flooding, limiting the places you can reach.
Where To Stay
Depending on which part of the fjords you would like to visit, there are a few options as to where to base yourself during your holiday. Staying in a major city will mean that you have more accommodation options to choose from, more access to great restaurants and other facilities, and you’ll still be able to explore the smaller places in the surrounding areas.
If you wish to discover the northern part of the fjords, staying somewhere like Ålesund would be best. This will put you in easy reach of places such as Olden, Åndalsnes and Geirangerfjord (often considered the most alluring fjord). If you are more interested in seeing Flåm, Eidfjord and Hardangerfjord then Bergen is a great choice, whereas staying in Stavanger will mean you’re closer to southern destinations like Lysefjord.
As for getting around, the best option is to hire a car. The general infrastructure is good, especially since a range of mountain tunnels were built in the 90s, and ferries can take you further when the roads momentarily run out. Another option, particularly for larger groups, is to hire a private tour bus along with a guide who can add to your experience with their knowledge.
What To Do
If you’re planning a trip to the Norwegian fjords, the chances are that you already have some things in mind which you want to do. A playground for walkers and fans of adventure sports, the fjords offer many places to enjoy kayaking, cycling, skiing (in the winter), rafting and more. The other big draw is the opportunity to bring home some amazing pictures of the scenery. There are various vantage points and lookouts where you can capture nature at its best, and the good news is that these are relatively easy to get to.
Other activities include the Flåm railway, cable cars like those found in Loen and Bergen, glacier walks and fishing trips. Plus, if you want to take things easy for a while, there are plenty of Nordic spas to help you warm up and chill out.
If you would like us to put together a holiday to the Norwegian fjords, we can tailor-make a trip to suit your personal preferences. Call us 0800 988 3369 or click here to contact us online.