The Sognefjord, the king of the fjords, is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The fjord is 204 kilometres long and 1308 meters deep. The Nærøyfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Hike on the Nigardsbreen Glacier, see the Stave Churches and take a Fjord Cruise on the Nærøyfjord. The Sognefjord is located in the southern part of the county of Sogn og Fjordane, in the middle of Western Norway.
Some highlights from the Sognefjord area
Solvorn nearby is a beautiful village down by the Lustrafjord. At Solvorn you can take the small ferry across the Lustrafjord to Urnes and visit Urnes Stave Church and the Feigumfossen Waterfall. Join a Short Blue Ice Hike on the Nigardsbreen Glacier, one of the easiest accessible glaciers in the fjords area in Western Norway.
Video: The Sognefjord
The word Fjord is from the Viking age and origins from the norse word “fjörðr”. It means “where you travel across” (Norwegian “der man ferder over”) or to “put across to the other side” (“å sette over på den andre siden”).
The verb “travel” (norwegian “fare”) and the substantive “ferry” (norwegian “ferje”) has the same origin (source: wikipedia).
One of the main historic events in the Viking age, the battle of Fimreite, happened in Sognefjorden. 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.
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). This “Norway in a Nutshell” tour starts in Oslo or Bergen. Season: All year.
FjordSafari 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 Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord are branches of the 204 kilometre long Sognefjord, the second longest fjord in the world. The area represents extreme, dramatic and stunning fjord scenery.
The Nærøyfjord in Sogn is one 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. Together with the Aurlandsfjord they are two of many branches in the 204 km long Sognefjord. In 2005, the Nærøyfjord became a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage.
It was late May. We drove from Oslo to visit Fjærland in Sogn, to spend some days in this picturesque village surrounded by fjord, mountains and glaciers. May is a great month to visit the fjords. There are still snow in the mountains, the valleys are green, and the apple trees are blossoming. Kayaking on the Fjærlandsfjord and hiking to the Bøyabreen Glacier were some of of the adventures we experienced.
Marifjøra in Sogn is a great place to start kayaking on the Lustrafjord which is a branch of the 204 kilometre long Sognefjord. Marifjøra is in the middle of the Lustrafjord, and from there you can easily explore this beautiful area in all directions. My goal was just to have a nice day in my kayak on the fjord, but I also wanted to visit Urnes and Solvorn, two idyllic villages on each side of the fjord.
Nigardsbreen Glacier in Jostedal is one of the easiest accessible glaciers in the fjords area in Western Norway. A short boat trip and a short hike, and you stand by the foot of the glacier. We joined a Short Blue Ice Hike on the glacier, and had a great experience in wild and beautiful surroundings.
It was late August, and we drove towards the Aurlandsfjord, a fjordarm of the 204 kilometre long Sognefjord in western Norway. We had our kayaks on the car roof, and planned to kayak on the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord for a few days. We started the adventure from Undredal, a small and beautiful village by the Aurlandsfjord. It was a perfect day for kayaking.
In the next 31 hours, I would experience the Bergen Railway, Biking the Flåmsdalen Valley, join a Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, hike along the Nærøyfjord and before taking the Flåm Railway from Flåm to Myrdal.
Mt. Molden in Luster in Sogn og Fjordane is a popular hiking goal amongst the locals. The hike is short, and the fjord view is fantastic. The two to three hours hike gives you a tremendous view towards the Lustrafjord and the surrounding mountains.
This is a short and easy hike with a great view, 120 metres above Skjolden and the Lustrafjord. You can hike along the road from Skjolden Hotel (1 hour hike – 3.2 kilometer) or drive up to the start of the trail and hike from there (15 minutes hike – 320 meter). From Sengjaberget you have great view towards Eidsvatnet and Eidselva River, Skjolden, the Lustrafjord and Mt. Molden in the horizon.
The road over Gaularfjellet takes the traveller into the waterfalls from the mighty Sognefjord, which is Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. The 130 kilometre long drive is exciting and varied, and is closed during winter. The new viewpoint at Utsikten at the top of Gaularfjellet is one of many great viewpoints along this road.
High in the Jotunheimen mountains, the Sognefjellet Mountain Road runs between the Sognefjord and the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. The Sognefjellet National Tourist Route is the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe with its 1,434 metres. The 106 kilometre long road is closed during winter.
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-kilometre-long stretch of road between Aurland by the Aurlandsfjord and Lærdal by the Sognefjord. The Road is closed during winter.
Stegastein Lookout is part of the Aurlandsfjellet National Tourist Route, 650 metres 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 Lookout.
Solvorn nearby is a beautiful village down by the Lustrafjord. Here you have the oldest historical hotel in Norway, the beautiful Walaker Hotel. At Solvorn you can take the small ferry across the Lustrafjord to Urnes and visit Urnes Stave Church and the Feigumfossen Waterfall.
At Urnes, you will find the UNESCO-protected Urnes Stave Church, the oldest of a total of 28 remaining Stave Churches in Norway. The church was built around year 1130. A nice way to explore Urnes Stave Church and the beautiful surroundings is to cross the Lustrafjord by ferry from Lustrabaatane from Solvorn to Urnes. During summer you can join a guided “tour” outside and inside the church.
Balestrand and Hotel kviknes is beautifully located beside the Sognefjord. The Kvikne family have been the hosts in this historic hotel since 1877. Hotel Kviknes is now a modern hotel with old-world charm and atmosphere – with 190 guest rooms. The hotel is graced with an extensive collection of artworks and antiques, which give it its special style.
Balestrand is a beautiful village in the middle of the Sognefjord, and the view towards the fjord and the surrounding mountains is breathtaking in all directions. Balestrand is a great base for hiking, fjord safari, kayaking and fjord fishing. It is also the start of the Gaularfjellet Mountain Road. The 130 kilometre long drive is exciting and varied, and is closed during winter. The new viewpoint at Utsikten at the top of Gaularfjellet is one of many great viewpoints along this road.
The Aurlandsdalen Valley is wild and beautiful. It is situated in the Aurland area in Sogn, and is one of Norway´s most popular hiking destinations. Read about the lowest part of the valley, a 20 kilometre long hike starting at Østerbø and ending at Vassbygdi in Aurland.
One of the finest and most famous cycle roads in Norway is the 82-kilometre 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 metres above sea level, to Flåm down by the Aurlandsfjord.
Otternes Farm Yard is a cluster of 27 old buildings from the 1700s. Great view towards the Aurlandsfjord and to Flåm from the farm yard. The road up to Otternes Farm Yard is marked with a small sign on the main road between Aurland and Flåm. Small parking area beside the farm yard.
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.
The worlds longest car-tunnel is 24 509 metres long, and goes between Lærdal and Aurland by the Sognefjord. There are three illuminated mountain halls inside the tunnel with six kilometres intervals between the halls. The coloured enlightened halls will give a feeling of being out in the daylight for a few seconds and partly prevent motorists fall asleep during the passage.
Winter in the Sognefjord
You can visit the Sognefjord all year round. But during the winter, some of the fjord-arms may be periodically covered by ice. More and more tourists are visiting the fjords during the winter. The Sognefjord is a great playground for those who want to ski, go snow-shoe hiking, take a winter-fjord-cruise or join a RIB-boat on the fjords or just take in the cold, crispy air and enjoy the beautiful winter-landscape.
It was winter, and we visited Aurland and Flåm by the Sognefjord, seeking for some cold adventures. And we got what we wanted; Frozen Fjords. It is easy to understand why more and more people discover how beautiful and exotic the Norwegian Fjords are during winter.
Official page for the Sognefjord: Sognefjord.com
Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell
Fjord Tours: Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities
Go Fjords: Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Fjord Pass: Great Discounts on Activities and Attractions in the Fjords
Visit Norway: Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway: Official page for Fjord Norway
Flåm – Aurlandsfjord – Nærøyfjord
Flåm: Ferry on the Nærøyfjord and Sognefjord
Nærøyfjorden World Heritage park
Tourist Information: Flåm and the Nærøyfjord Area
Fjordsafari RIB Boat, Snowshoe Hiking and adventures: fjordsafari.com
Flåm Railway: visitflam.com/en/flamsbana
Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell Winter Tour
Vangsgaarden Guesthouse in Aurland: vangsgaarden.com
Flåm Marina & Apartments in Flåm: flammarina.no
Fretheim Hotel in Flåm: fretheimhotel.no/en/
Glacier Guiding on Nigardsbreen Glacier in Jostedal
Breheimsenteret Glacier Center in Jostedal
Information about Urnes Stave Church
Guided Kayak Trip on the Lustrafjord: Fjordseal at Marifjøra
Urnes Stave Church
Ferry across the Lustrafjord: www.lustrabaatane.no
Norway`s oldest hotel: Walaker Hotel at Solvorn
Bed & Breakfast at Solvorn: Eplet Hostel & Juice Factory
Hotel at Marifjøra: Tørvis Hotel
Map Overview – The Sognefjord Area