The Sognefjord

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.

Read also: Fjordguide
Read also: From Oslo to the Fjords

 

Norway in a Nutshell by Fjord Tours

Some highlights from the Sognefjord area

Join a Fjord Safari, a Fjord Cruise og experience the fjord in a kayak on the Nærøyfjord. See the view from Stegastein Lookout by the Aurlandsfjord.

A one hour hike to Svarthiller or 2 hours hike to Mt. Molden (1118 masl) in Luster gives you a tremendous view towards the Lustrafjord and the surrounding mountains.

Experience Norwegian nature and culture by bike and join a ready made roundtrip from Bergen to the Sognefjord.

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.

Fjærland is a picturesque village surrounded by the Fjærlandsfjord, steep mountains and glaciers.

Video: The Sognefjord

The Aurlandsfjord and the UNESCO Protected Nærøyfjord

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.

The Lustrafjord in Luster

The Lustrafjord and the Luster area is one of the most beautiful spots in Norway, where the fjord meets the top of Norway with it´s numerous mountains and glaciers. The Lustrafjord is the innermost branch of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord.

Fjærland – From Fjord to Glacier

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.

The Vikings and the Fjords

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.

 

Fjord Cycling – Guided Cycling by the Fjords

Small, idyllic villages. Thundering Waterfalls. Experience Norwegian nature and culture by bike and join a self-guided and guided ready made round trip from Bergen, to and through the fjord landscape surrounding the Sognefjord. 256 kilometer of idyllic roads with little or no traffic and a guide that shows you where the gems are hidden.

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.

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). This “Norway in a Nutshell” tour starts in Oslo or Bergen. Season: All year.

 

Fjord Safari on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord

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.

Kayaking the Lustrafjord to Urnes Stave Church

Marifjøra in Sogn is a great place to start kayaking on the Lustrafjord which is a branch of the 204 kilometre long SognefjordMarifjøra 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.

Kayaking the Lustrafjord and part of the Sognefjord

In 1999, I was kayaking the Lustrafjord for the first time. In June 2019, twenty years later, I did it again. It almost went wrong, but I was lucky and “Saved by the Bell”. The Lustrafjord and the Luster area is one of the most beautiful spots in Norway, where the fjord meets the top of Norway with it´s numerous mountains and glaciers.

Glacier Hike on Nigardsbreen Glacier

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.

 

Kayaking the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord

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.

 

Hiking along the Nærøyfjord – A Turbo Trip to the Fjords

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.

Fjord Hike to Mt. Molden in Luster

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.

Sengjaberget Viewpoint at Skjolden

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 Gaularfjellet Mountain Road

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.

The Sognefjellet Mountain 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.

Stegastein Lookout 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-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 and Urnes in Luster

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.

The UNESCO Protected Urnes Stave Church

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 the historic Hotel Kviknes

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.

 

Hiking the Aurlandsdalen Valley

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.

 

Cycling Rallarvegen (the Navvie´s Road) from mountain to fjord

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

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.

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.

The Lærdal Tunnel between Lærdal and Aurland

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.

 

frozen fjords winter in the fjords by fjord tours

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.

 

Frozen Fjords

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.

 

Winter in the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord

Winter 2017, I had a trip to the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord together with furmanek.com. We joined a Fjord Cruise, visited Stegastein Lookout and tried our kayaks. See the pictures and video.

FJORDS – Useful Links:

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
UNESCO World Heritage: 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/

Fjærlandsfjord

The Norwegian Glacier Museum in Fjærland
The Norwegian Booktown in Fjærland
Glacier Tour from Bergen to Fjærland
Fjærland Fjordstove in Fjærland
Kviknes Historic Hotel in Balestrand

Lustrafjord

Tourist Information about Luster and the Lustrafjord: Sognefjord.com
Skjolden – Where fjord meets the mountains: Skjolden.com
The UNESCO Protected Urnes Stave Church
Ferry across the Lustrafjord: Lustrabaatane
Glacier Guiding on Nigardsbreen Glacier: Jostedalen Breførarlag
Breheimsenteret Glacier Center in Jostedal: Breheimsenteret
Mountain Hotel in the Hurrungane Mountains: Turtagrø Hotel
Sognefjellet National Tourist Route: Norwegian Scenic Routes
Guided Kayak Trip on the Lustrafjord: Fjordseal at Marifjøra
Hvitserk Expeditions: Guided kayak-adventure on the Lustrafjord
Guided Motor Boat Tours at Lake Styggevatnet: Ice Troll

Map Overview – The Sognefjord Area