AURLANDSFJORD AND NÆRØYFJORD – UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE

The Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord in Sogn are two of the worlds most beautiful and dramatic fjords. The name Nærøyfjord origin from the norse god ‘Njord’, the God of the Seafarer and the sea.

The Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord are two of many fjordarms in the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord. In 2005, the Nærøyfjord became a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage together with the Geirangerfjord.

Season and Safety

Many of the activities and attractions mentioned on this website are open only in summer and are closed in winter. This also applies to many of the roads and accommodations mentioned. Season and opening time will vary. It depends on where it is and what activity, attraction, road and accommodation it is, it usually opens in the summer and closes in the autumn, depending on i.a. the amount of snow and the risk of avalanches in the area. Read more about season, important safety information and your own responsibility…
FJORDS NORWAY - From Holmo by the Nærøyfjord
From Holmo by the Nærøyfjord

The Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Bakka by the Nærøyfjord - UNESCO World Heritage.
Bakka by the Nærøyfjord – UNESCO World Heritage.

The Aurlandsfjord is a 29 kilometer long branch of the Sognefjord. At Mt Beitelen, 11 kilometers from where the Aurlandsfjord starts, the Aurlandsfjord devides into two fjords; the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord.

Along the Aurlandsfjord we have the villages Undredal, Aurland and Flåm. The Aurlandsfjord continues 18 kilometer inwards to Flåm where it ends.

The Nærøyfjord is a 17 kilometer long branch of the Aurlandsfjord. It is only 250 meters at the narrowest, and more than one kilometer at the widest. The depth varies between 10 and 500 meters. The surrounding mountains are up to more than 1400 meters high.

The Nærøyfjord start at Mt Beitelen, which devides the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, and ends at Gudvangen.

By the Nærøyfjord, we have the small villages Gudvangen, Bakka, Styvi and Dyrdal. Dyrdal and Styvi are the only places without permanent inhabitants during the winter, and is without road connection.

On July 14th 2005, the Nærøyfjord and the surrounding area was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List together with the Geirangerfjord. Read UNESCO’s own characterization of the Fjord heritage.

Visit Sognefjord

Visit Sognefjord is the local Tourist Information for the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord Area.

What to do and see in the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord area

There are activities to do in this area all year round. You can join a Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord or a Fjord Safari to even get closer to the surrounding nature.

You can visit the Viking Village Njardarheimr in Gudvangen and experience the real history and culture of the Viking age. You can hike along the Nærøyfjord or in the surrounding mountains. This will give you a tremendous view over the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord area.

Aurland by the Aurlandsfjord

In the middle between Oslo and Bergen lies beautiful Aurland. The idyllic fjord village that offers adventures and nature experiences in beautiful and wild nature. In Aurland, there is something for everyone and not least a treasure trove of local food and drink, and is a perfect place to spend your holiday.

Aurland has a lot to offer. It is a short way to well known tourist attractions such as Aurlandsdalen Valley, Aurlandsfjellet, Aurlandsvegen Mountain Road and Stegastein Viewpoint. But the Aurlandsfjord itself is perhaps the most beautiful and most famous of them all.

Flåm by the Aurlandsfjord

Flåm is a fantastic starting point for many great dventures in beautiful and wild nature. Where the Aurlandsfjord ends, the Flåmsdalen Valley starts. If the Aurlandsfjord is an adventure, the Flåmsdalen Valley is an even more beautiful adventure, and both should be experienced.

It is easy to get to Flåm. “All roads” leads to Flåm, and you can also get there by train via Bergensbanen and Flåm Railways. If you take the Flåm Railway, you get to experience the beautiful Flåmsdalen Valley at the same time.

Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord

You can start this tour with train from Oslo or Bergen. You will enjoy the Flåm Railway, one of Norways most spectacular railways, from Myrdal Station down to Flåm and the Aurlandsfjord. You can experience some of Norways greatest hotels. You will have a fjord cruise in the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord (UNESCO World Heritage). Season: All year.

Fjord Safari on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord

Fjord Safari offer fjord excursions where you explore the UNESCO World Heritage area of the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord. The excursions can be done all year round. The area represents extreme, dramatic and stunning fjord scenery.

Flåm Railway

Flåm Railway is one of top 10 scenic railways in the world. This is the train journey from fjord to mountain. It starts at Flåm at the inner part of the Aurlandsfjord and ends at Myrdal Train Station which is part of the Bergen Railway.

Flåm Valley

The Flåm Valley is a beautiful small adventure. The valley between Myrdal (866.8 masl) and Flåm by the Aurlandsfjord is 18 kilometer long. The valley is narrow and the mountains are steep, and there are waterfalls and rivers wherever you turn around. Flåm Valley is a great place for hiking and biking. Flåm Zipline sends you off at over 100 kilometers per hour, you are just hanging in a thin steel wire high above the valley. Rallarvegen ends in the Flåm Valley, and you can take the train up and down the Flåm Valley with Flåm Railway. Brekkefossen Waterfall is a popular hiking goal in the Flåm Valley.

Flåm Zipline – The longest zipline in Norway

Take the Flåm Railway from Flåm to Vatnahalsen Station or Bergensbanen Railway from Oslo or Bergen to Myrdal Station. From Vatnahalsen it is only a couple of minutes to walk to Flåm Zipline. From Myrdal Station it is 1.5 kilometers to walk. When you have finished the zipline, you can rent a bike and cycle down the Flåmsdalen Valley to Flåm. Remember to book everything in advance (package with train, zipline and bike rental).

Skjerdal Stølsysteri and Café

Meet goats, sheep and horses at a traditional Norwegian mountain farm. The  brown and white goats cheese has been produced in this valley for hundred of years. Experience the life on the farm and taste traditional, local food at Skjerdal Stølsysteri and Cafè. The mountain farm is about 30 minutes hike from Skjerdal outside Aurland. Follow an old farm road up through steep landscape, with beautiful views over the Aurlandsfjord and the surrounding steep mountains.

Fjordsauna at Flåm

Enjoy the heat in a sauna on the Aurlandsfjord and jump into the fresh water in the Aurlandsfjord. FJORD SAUNA is a floating sauna that is heated with electricity when it is at the quay and with wood when it is out on the fjord.

Fjord Photography – Fjord Photoshoots

More and more people are choosing the fjords of Norway to do their engagement and wedding photos in the spectacular nature. And for good reason. With so many gorgeous and inspiring locations, the photos are spectacular.

Paul Edmundson of Fjord Photography in Aurland offers his product Fjord Photoshoot for couples to have their pictures taken in front of stunning fjords, mountaintops, waterfalls, forests and historic sites such as Otternes Mountain Farm and Borgund Stave Church. You can even have a Viking theme photoshoot, dressing up with authentic Viking gear and swords.

See some of the stunning locations around the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord with some of his pictures below.

Fjord Photoshoot by Fjord Photography Paul Edmundson

Christopher Seymour´s Roadtrip to the Nærøyfjord

Christopher´s own word: Join me as I travel to Nærøyfjord capturing beautiful scenery along the way. The road-trip was absolutely amazing but pales in comparison to finally seeing Nærøyfjord for the first time. See video below.

The Vikings and the Fjords

One of the main historic events in the Viking age, the battle of Fimreite,  happened in the Sognefjord. In year 1184, King Sverre Sigurdsson with his 14 Viking Ships and King Magnus Erlingsson with his 26 Viking Ships met in the Sognefjord outside Fimreite for the final battle about the Kingship of Norway. King Sverre won the battle and King Magnus and more than 2000 men were killed in the battle.

Today you can visit the Viking Village Njardarheimr in Gudvangen and experience the real history and culture of the Viking age. Learn and experience how the Vikings lived, worked, travelled, discovered and conquered. Video by Visit Sognefjord.

Stalheim Hotel

From Stalheim Hotel you have a great view towards the narrow Nærøydalen Valley which is surrounded by steep mountains and waterfalls. IMPORTANT! Due to the great danger of rock falls and both rock- and snow avalanches, the road Stalheimskleiva and the road and trail below Stalheimskleiva are now permanently closed, both for cars, for cycling and for hiking/walking. Do not stay in this area at all due to the high risk of rockfall and avalanches!

Skaldegard Cultural and Historic Farm

Come and visit Skaldegard, an old farmstead that clings to the mountain-side and enjoys splendid views over the Aurlandsfjord and surrounding mountains. Skaldegard invites small groups to come and learn about the local area’s natural environment, history, agriculture and way of life, both past and present. The farm is situated at Skjerdal above the Aurlandsfjord, outside Aurland.

Cycling Rallarvegen from mountain to fjord

One of the finest and most famous cycle roads in Norway is the 82-kilometer long Rallarvegen (the Navvie`s Road) running from the high mountains to the fjord. The most popular part of the cycle route is from Finse, at 1222 meters above sea level, to Flåm down by the Aurlandsfjord.

Hiking the Aurlandsdalen Valley

If you want to have a day or two hiking in the Aurland and Flåm area, you should hike the Aurlandsdalen Valley. Wild scenery, wild rivers, narrow valleys, much history from old Norway and how they lived at that time. Many people consider this as the most beautiful and wildest hike in Norway.

Stegastein Viewpoint and Aurlandsfjellet Mountain Road

The road across Aurlandsfjellet is a journey across a mountain landscape of snow and rocks with the occasional sprig of grass. Aurlandsfjellet National Tourist Route is a 47-kilometer-long stretch of road between Aurland by the Aurlandsfjord and Lærdal by the Sognefjord. The road is closed during winter.

Stegastein Viewpoint is part of the Aurlandsfjellet National Tourist Route, 650 meters above Aurland and the Aurlandsfjord. Great view towards the Aurlandsfjord and the surrounding mountains. The road up to Stegastein is open all year, also during winter. But during winter, the road is closed just above Stegastein.

Otternes farmyard between Aurland and Flåm

Otternes farmyard is a cluster of 27 old buildings from the 1700s. Great view towards the Aurlandsfjord and to Flåm from the farmyard. The road up to Otternes is marked with a small sign by the main road between Aurland and Flåm. Small parking area beside the farmyard.

Undredal Fjord Village

Visit the fjord village Undredal, a beautiful village down by the Aurlandsfjord. The village is famous for the many goats and it´s local made White- and Brown Goat Cheese. You can visit Undredal Stave Church, Norway´s smallest church which had its 850-years celebration in 1997. Enjoy the view towards the Aurlandsfjord from the local restaurant by the dock. Undredal with the surrounding steep mountains rising straight up from the fjord will take your breath away.

Undredal Stave Church in Sogn

Undredal Stave Church in Undredal is Norways smallest church and had its 850-years celebration in 1997. The year 1147 is found in the carvings inside the church and is used as the official date of the building.

A visit or a guided tour included folk music inside the church can be ordered via Explore Undredal or at Undredalsbui Grocery Store during the opening hours. You should also taste the local made brown and white goat cheese that is made in Undredal, you can taste and buy the rewarded Cheese at Underdalsbui.

Sakte – Stay and Explore the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord 



“Sakte” is a collaboration between companies that provide adventures, accommodation, dining and short-travelled food- and products. “Sakte” are located in the area around the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord and is an offer for those who want to contribute to a sustainable society in the world heritage area.

FJORDS NORWAY - Reis Sakte - Hiking towards Skjerdal and the Aurlandsfjord
Reis Sakte – Hiking towards Skjerdal and the Aurlandsfjord

Accommodation in the  Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord area

Overview of where you can spend the night in the area around the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.

FJORDS – Accommodation in Western Norway

Great Hotels in the Fjords of Norway
Bath and Spa Hotels in the Fjords of Norway
Fjords Living – Special Accommodation in the Fjords of Norway

FJORDS – Useful Links

Go Fjords – Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Visit Norway – Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway – Official page for Fjord Norway

The Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord – Map Overview