SOGNEFJORD – THE KING OF THE FJORDS

The Sognefjord is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The fjord is 204 kilometers long and 1308 meters deep. The Nærøyfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

The Sognefjord consists of the many fjord arms. The Fjærlandsfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Nærøyfjord, Lærdalsfjord, Sogndalsfjord, Årdalsfjord and Lustrafjord are some of them in addition to the Sognefjord itself, which is the main fjord. The Sognefjord is located in the northern part of the county of Vestland, in the middle of Western Norway.

Visit Sognefjord

Visit Sognefjord is the official destination company for the Sognefjord area.

Hotels and accommodation in the Sognefjord area

Overview of hotels and where you can spend the night in the area around the Sognefjord.

Some highlights from the Sognefjord – The King of the Fjords

The Sognefjord seen from Orrabenken above Balestrand.
The Sognefjord seen from Orrabenken above Balestrand.

The Sognefjord, the king of the fjords, is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The Sognefjord is 204 kilometres long and 1308 metres deep at its deepest.

Join a guided glacier walk on the Nigardsbreen glacier. Take a short hike to Mt Molden in Luster and you will get a fantastic view down towards the Lustrafjord. See the beautiful stave churches around the Sognefjord. Urnes Stave Church is one of them, it is located at Ornes by the Lustrafjord and is part of our common world heritage.

Join a fjord safari or a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Experience the view from Stegastein viewpoint above the Aurlandsfjord. Flåm Railway has been named one of the ten most beautiful railways in the world. This is the train journey from mountain to fjord, and many people take the train ride both ways.

FJORDS NORWAY - Fjordfulness on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.
From a Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord.

In the middle of the Sognefjord, where the fjord is at its widest and the mountains starts to rise, you’ll find Balestrand, an idyllic village down by the fjord. The fjord village of Fjærland is located deep in the Fjærlandsfjord. It is so beautiful there that it is almost unreal. Fjærland is also called The Norwegian Book Town because of all the book sales in the tiny village.

Borgund Stave Church was built around year 1181 AD. and is the most visited stave church in Norway. Close by is the old Vindhellavegen Road that runs between Borgund and Husum in the Lærdalen valley in Lærdal. The old Vindhellavegen Road is part of the old King´s Road between east and west in Norway.

The Fjærlandsfjord, Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, the Årdalsfjord and the Lustrafjord are all branches of the Sognefjord. These side fjords are perhaps even more famous than the Sognefjord itself, which is located in the middle of Western Norway. The Sognefjord is so long that it almost divides Norway in two.

Below you will find information about the Sognefjord in addition to links to other branches of the Sognefjord. The links to the other branches will lead you to more information about the specific sidefjords.

How the Sognefjord was formed

FJORDS NORWAY - Read about how the Sognefjord was formed. This is the Nærøyfjord seen from the mountain Bakkanosi.
The Nærøyfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord, seen from the mountain Bakkanosi.

Fjords are found in places where current or former glaciers extend below today’s sea level. A fjord is formed when a glacier retreats after forming its typical U-shaped valley and the sea fills the resulting valley floor.

We will now take a closer look at how the Sognefjord was formed. The Sognefjord, which is 204 kilometers long and 1,308 meters deep at its deepest point, is the second longest and second deepest fjord on earth.

However, it is the longest without glaciers and where people live along the entire fjord. The Sognefjord is so long that it almost divides Norway in two.

Most of the Sognefjord relief as we know it today began with a glacial erosion process at the beginning of the Quaternary/Pleistocene, about 2.5 million years before the present.

Excluding the Quaternary sediments at the bottom of the Sognefjord, the volume difference between the reconstructed Palean surface and the current topography is approximately 7610 km3.

Read more about what a fjord is and how the Sognefjord was formed.

Kayaking in Kaupangerbukta towards the Sognefjord offers fantastic scenery.
Kayaking in Kaupangerbukta towards the Sognefjord offers fantastic scenery.

Solvorn, Fjærland and Undredal – Vibrant Fjord Villages by the Sognefjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Fjærland by the Fjærlandsfjord which is part of the 204 kilometre long Sognefjord.
Fjærland is located deep in the Fjærlandsfjord.

The Sognefjord is the lifeblood, indeed the main artery of the villages that lie along the fjord and of the fjord people who live there. The longest fjord is the very reason why these fjord villages exist and that they are located where they do.

Solvorn by the Lustrafjord, Fjærland by the Fjærlandsfjord and Undredal by the Aurlandsfjord are three great examples of vibrant fjord villages in the area around the Sognefjord.

These fjord villages have welcomed tourists since they began visiting Norway in the 17th century. At the same time, time has in a way stood still in these beautiful fjord villages. Many of the original buildings have been preserved and refined.

FJORDS NORWAY - Ferry heading towards Ornes. The beautiful village of Solvorn can be seen on the other side of the Lustrafjord.
Ferry heading towards Ornes. The beautiful village of Solvorn can be seen on the other side of the Lustrafjord.

Balestrand by the Sognefjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Balestrand by the Sognefjord
Balestrand by the Sognefjord.

In the middle of the Sognefjord, where the fjord is at its widest and the mountains begin to rise, you will find Balestrand, an idyllic village down by the fjord.

Balestrand is one of the first places visited by foreign tourists when they discovered Norway in the middle of the 19th century.

The magnificent villas from the 18th and 19th centuries, which were built in Dragestil and Swiss style, among them Villa Strandheim, Villa Lorne and Villa Normann, the St. Olaf’s Church and Hotel Kviknes, are reasons enough to visit Balestrand. St. Olaf’s Church was the inspiration for the chapel where Elsa was crowned in Disney’s film Frozen I.

Due to the beautiful nature, the wild mountains and the location down by the fjord, Balestrand became a favorite place among artists and the Norwegian and foreign society from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the First World War.

Flåm Railway – From mountain to fjord

Flåm Railway in the Aurlandsfjord area.
Flåm Railway in the Aurlandsfjord area.

Flåm Railway has been named one of the ten most beautiful railways in the world. It starts at Flåm at the inner part of the Aurlandsfjord and ends at Myrdal Train Station which is part of the Bergen Railway.

This is the train journey from fjord to mountain, and many people take the train ride both ways.

Flåm Railway is one of Norway’s most spectacular railways with its 20 tunnels and a gradient of 1 to 18 on almost 80% of the line.

The train stops at Kjosfossen Waterfall where passengers can experience and take pictures of the wild and beautiful waterfall before the train continues on to the end stations which is Myrdal on the high mountain or Flåm down by the fjord.

Flåmsbana is also a fantastic experience in winter. It is highly recommended! Season: all year.

Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Undredal by the Aurlandsfjord.
Undredal by the Aurlandsfjord.

Here you will experience the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord (UNESCO World Heritage) in a fjord cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen.

The boats run on batteries that are charged with electricity from short-distance hydroelectric power. The boat trips are both sustainable, climate-friendly and silent, which makes the trips on the fjord an even better experience.

Numerous wild and beautiful waterfalls and rivers characterize the landscape, crossing the rugged mountains and deciduous and coniferous forests on their way down to the fjords.

Beautiful villages with a sustained cultivated landscape with remainders of old farms and mountain pastures and unique cultural monuments gives a extra dimension to the dramatic natural landscape. Season: all year.

From Oslo and Bergen to the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord in one day

FJORDS NORWAY - Fjord Cruise. Here the boat leaves the Nærøyfjord and enters the Aurlandsfjord.
Fjord Cruise. Here the boat leaves the Nærøyfjord and enters the Aurlandsfjord.

You can travel by train from Oslo or from Bergen to Myrdal and further by train down the Flåmsdalen Valley to Flåm. In Flåm, you can buy yourself a good cup of coffee and something good to eat at Flåm Bakery before you board the boat and join a Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. You can do all of this in one day, and best of all, the entire trip is sustainable.

You get to experience Bergen Railway, Flåm Railway, Flåmsdalen Valley, Flåm and the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Both train and boat on this round trip are electric. The boats run on batteries that are charged up on short-distance hydropower. The boats are both sustainable and silent, which makes the trips on the fjord an even better experience.

The Nærøyfjord in winter can be like a beautiful postcard.
The Nærøyfjord in winter can be like a beautiful postcard.

Winter – It is easy to understand why more and more people are discovering how beautiful and exotic the Norwegian fjords are in winter. The fjords is a fantastic playground for those who want to ski, go snowshoeing, take a winter fjord cruise or a RIB boat trip on the fjords or just take in the cold and fresh air and enjoy the beautiful winter landscape.

Flåm and Aurland are perfect starting points for exploring this area. It is a short distance to the fjords and the mountains and all the activities, attractions and sights you can do starting from these two fjord villages. Read about our winter trip to Aurland. The video below is from a winter trip from Oslo to Flåm. In the video we see Bergen Railway, Flåm Railway, Flåmsdalen Valley, Flåm, the Aurlandsfjord and Stegastein in winter clothes.

Season and Time to use – Day trip or more, season all year round. We recommend staying longer and experiencing more in this wonderful area.

Undredal by the Aurlandsfjord

Undredal by the Aurlandsfjord.
Undredal by the Aurlandsfjord.

Undredal is an idyllic little village down by the Aurlandsfjord which is known for the many goats and the local white and brown goat’s cheese.

The movie Frozen I is inspired by this small village, with the surrounding steep mountains rising straight up from the fjord.

Undredal Stave Church in Undredal is Norway’s smallest church. In Undredal you will also find what is believed to be the smallest fire station in Europe.

You do not need to go hiking or onto a fjord adventure when visiting Undredal.

Many people just want so see and experience this beautiful village and the fjord from land, to buy some goat cheese from Underdalsbui and to learn about the tradition of goat’s cheese and farming in Undredal with tasting at Undredal Bryggje/Café.

Fjordsafari on the Sognefjord to Finnabotn in a RIB Boat

Finnabotn by the Sognefjord.
Finnabotn by the Sognefjord.

Balestrand Fjord Adventures offers fjord sightseeing in a RIB-boat. A tour to Finnabotn on the other side of the Sognefjord is an adventure you´ll never forget.

The boat trips to Finnabotn start and end in Balestrand. On the tours you will see the mighty Sognefjord and the beautiful nature that surrounds the fjord. The highlight is the Finnafjord, one of the Sognefjord’s most spectacular side fjords.

Here we guarantee that you will get a kink in your neck. The Finnafjord is narrow, the mountains are precipitous and the countless waterfalls plunge down the steep mountain sides.

Balestrand Fjord Adventures also offers private RIB-tours.

Finnabotnen – A Fjord Lodge in the untouched Finnafjord

Finnabotn, beautiful and wild. The Finnafjord is a branch of the Sognefjord.
Finnabotn, beautiful and wild. The Finnafjord is a branch of the Sognefjord.

Finnabotnen Fjord Lodge is located in Finnabotnen, deep inside the Finnafjord, which is an arm of the Sognefjord.

There you can stay in wonderful surroundings. If the Sognefjord is mighty, the roadless Finnafjord is even more mighty.

The mountains that surround the Finnafjord are precipitous, and the countless waterfalls are a great sight as they plunge down towards the fjord.

Finnabotn is part of the Stølsheimen Protected Landscape area, which consists of a beautiful Western mountain- and fjord landscape.

The Gaularfjellet Mountain Road

FJORDS NORWAY - Utsikten Viewpoint at Gaularfjellet Scenic Route
The Viewpoint “Utsikten” at Gaularfjellet Scenic Route.

The road over Gaularfjellet takes the traveller into the waterfalls from the mighty Sognefjord, which is Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. The 130 kilometer 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.

Gaularfjellet Mountain Road runs between Balestrand by the Sognefjord and Moskog and Sande in Sunnfjord and is part of Norway´s National Tourist Routes.

Vik in Sogn

FJORDS NORWAY - Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn.
Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn.

Vik in Sogn is best known for Hopperstad Stave Church and as the Old Chees’ home village.

The TINE Dairy which is based in the center of Vik, has its own Cheese Bar with a main focus on Old Cheese. The facility in Vik produces more than 65 tonnes of Old Cheese annually. In addition, they produce Mylsa which is a traditional cheese and they also receive large quantities of local raspberries that are turned into juice.

Vik Adventure take you in a RIB-Boat to beautiful and hidden gems in the Sognefjord area, like Arnafjorden and Finnabotn. They also do tours to other branches of the Sognefjord on private tours, such as the UNESCO Protected Nærøyfjord.

Sylvringen arrange Guided Cultural Tours in Vik, like the Historical Tour where you will visit both Hopperstad Stave Church and Hove Stone Church. They also do a tour to Hovsåsen which is a 12 kilometer long hike where you get to see the beautiful view of Vik from “above”. On some of the tours you will get the chance to taste the Old Cheese that is produced in Vik.

Vik is also the gateway to Stølsheimen Protected Landscape area. The protected landscape area represents a beautiful Western mountain- and fjord landscape and covers a total of 373 km². Vikafjellet is the most common approach to Stølsheimen, the Vikafjellsvegen between Vik and Vinje goes over Vikafjellet.

The area in and around Vik is also a popular starting point for many great mountain hikes. Most of them have fantastic fjord view over the Sognefjord, the King of the Fjords.

FJORDS NORWAY - View from Vikafjellsvegen Road towards Vik in Sogn. The Sognefjord, the King of the Fjords, in the background.
View from Vikafjellsvegen Road towards Vik in Sogn. The Sognefjord, the King of the Fjords, in the background.

Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn

FJORDS NORWAY - Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn by the Sognefjord.
Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn.

Hopperstad Stave Church is situated on the farm Hopperstad in Vik in Sogn. The stave church was built around year 1130 AD and is one of the oldest stave churches in Norway. Dating that has been carried out in recent times from several samples of the timber shows that the timber in the stave church were cut between the years 1034 and 1116 AD.

Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn has a similar construction as Borgund Stave Church in Lærdal. It was built around year 1130 AD and is one of our oldest Stave Churches.

Hove Stone Church, built around year 1170 AD, is one of the oldest Stone Churches in Norway and is also situated in Vik in Sogn. Both churches are open for visit during summer.

The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes

The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes by the Sognefjord.
The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes.

Due to the beautiful nature, the wild mountains and the location down by the fjord, Balestrand became a favorite place to visit among artists and the Norwegian and foreign society from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of World War I.

Germany´s Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany visited Balestrand several times, and it was an impressive sight when he entered the Sognefjord with his warships to spend his holidays there. Emperor Wilhelm II was a great enthusiast of Norway and especially the fjords in Western Norway. He vacationed in Balestrand over a period of more than 20 years, and he travelled there with his imperial ship Hohenzollern, which was followed by several other ships from the German navy.

The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne that is placed at Vangsnes, 11 kilometers from Vik in Sogn, was a gift from the Emperor to the Norwegian people. The statue is 12 meters high, it is placed on a plinth which is 10 meters high. The enormous statue was unveiled on 31 July 1913.

FJORDS NORWAY - The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes by the Sognefjord. Balestrand on the other side of the fjord.
The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes by the Sognefjord. Balestrand on the other side of the fjord.

Fjærland and the Fjærlandsfjord – From Fjord to Glacier

FJORDS NORGE - Fjærland and the surroundings of the inner part of the Fjærlandsfjord.
Fjærland and the surroundings of the inner part of the Fjærlandsfjord.

Fjærland is a picturesque fjord village surrounded by fjord, mountains and glaciers. Early summer is a great time to visit Fjærland and the Sognefjord. There are still snow in the mountains, the valleys are green, and the apple trees are blossoming.

The Norwegian Booktown, Norwegian Glacier Museum, Guided Kayak Trip on the Fjærlandsfjord, Guided Hike to the Glaciers and the Historic Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel are some of the things you can experience in beautiful Fjærland.

Fjærland Guiding also offers you to experience the Floating Sauna “Dampen” which is situated on the Fjærlandsfjord just outside the center of Fjærland.

FJORDS NORWAY - Fjærland by the Fjærlandsfjord, part of the Sognefjord area.
Fjærland by the Fjærlandsfjord, part of the Sognefjord area.

Ferry trip on the Sognefjord between Kaupanger and Gudvangen

Ferry on the Nærøyfjord.
Ferry on the Nærøyfjord.

Kaupanger is one of two ports where the iconic ferry trip along the inner part of the Sognefjord departs and arrives.

This is a two and a half hour long fjord cruise on the Sognefjord and the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, between Kaupanger and Gudvangen.

On this ferry trip you will see the mighty Sognefjord, where the fjord is at its widest. The outermost part of the Aurlandsfjord is narrower than the Sognefjord, but still quite wide. The Nærøyfjord is narrow and the precipitous mountains rise high above the fjord.

Countless rivers and waterfalls cascade down the steep mountain sides. On this ferry trip you can see and experience the stark contrasts and the beautiful and wild nature of this wonderful piece of Norway.

You can take your car on this ferry trip.

Season: Summer, see link for more information about season and scedule.

FJORDS NORWAY - The Sognefjord
The Sognefjord and Lærdalsfjord seen from Haukåsen near Kaupanger. The ferry that runs between Kaupanger and Gudvangen is small compared to the gigantic Sognefjord.

Kaupanger Stave Church at Kaupanger by the Sognefjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Kaupanger Stave Church at Kaupanger by the Sognefjord.
Kaupanger Stave Church at Kaupanger.

Kaupanger Stave Church has been in continous use since it was built around year 1140 AD. It is one of the largest Stave Churches in Norway, and is built with wood from the forest around Kaupanger.

The church is situated on the hillside above the Kaupanger Bay by the Sognefjord, which originally is an old Viking trading town. The name Kaupanger origins from the two norse words “Kaup” (to buy) and “angr” (bay).

Kaupanger Stave Church is still in use as a parish church and is used both for services, baptisms and weddings. Apart from Kaupanger, Sogndal is the closest town to the church, it is about 12 kilometers to drive from Sogndal to Kaupanger Stave Church.

Sogndal and the Sogndalsfjord – in the heart of the Sognefjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Sogndal in the heart of the Sognefjord
Sogndal is the heart of the Sognefjord.

Sogndal is the very heart of the Sognefjord, and is a great area for activities and experiences in beautiful and wild nature. From Sogndal there is a short way to all the sidefjords of the Sognefjord. In addition, it is a great area for hiking along the fjord, kayaking, fjord cruises, mountain biking, climbing and bouldering, mountain hikes and skiing.

Some of the side fjords are the Lustrafjord, Årdalsfjord, Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord and the Fjærlandsfjord.

Sogndal is surrounded by some of the most famous mountains for skiing and mountaineering in western Norway. The mountains in the Sogndal Area are well known for it´s powder snow, and many of the mountains have great fjord view. Hodlekve Ski Resort in the Sogndalsdalen valley is great for skiing in well prepared slopes and also for it´s crosscountry skiing.

FJORDS NORWAY - Sogndal by the Sogndalsfjord
Sogndal by the Sogndalsfjord which is a branch of the Sognefjord.

The Viking Battle of Fimreite in year 1184 AD.

One of the main historic events in the Viking age, the battle of Fimreite,  happened in the Sogndalsfjord. In year 1184 AD, King Sverre Sigurdsson with his 14 Viking Ships and King Magnus Erlingsson with his 26 Viking Ships met in the Sogndalsfjord outside Fimreite for the final battle about the Kingship of Norway.

The reason for the battle of Fimreite was because the people in Sogn had killed King Sverre’s governor. King Sverre sentenced the people of Sogn to pay a fine because of this, but they refused to pay. Both the villages of Kaupanger and Sogndal and everything they came across in the area were then burned down by King Sverre’s men. When King Magnus heard about this, he and his army sailed to Sogndalsfjorden and met King Sverre for battle. King Sverre won, and King Magnus and more than 2000 men were killed in the battle.

Fjord X offers fjord cruises from Sogndal to Fimreite in the summer months June to August where you will be told the story of the Battle of Fimreite.

FJORDS NORWAY - The Sogndalsfjord between Fimreite and Nornes, where the Battle of Fimreite took place in 1184 AD.
Sogndalsfjorden between Fimreite and Nornes, where the Battle of Fimreite took place in year 1184 AD. Fimreite to the left.

Fjord Cruises from Sogndal in the summer

Fjord Cruise on the Sogndalsfjord.
Fjord Cruise on the Sogndalsfjord.

Fjord X offers fjord cruises starting from Dampskipskaien in Sogndal in the summer months of June to August. You can choose between Historic Viking Cruise, Evening Cruise and Cider Cruise.

Historic Viking Cruise is a great fjord adventure that goes out the Sogndalsfjord from Sogndal to Fimreite and back to Sogndal. Experience the story of the Viking-battle of Fimreite in year 1184 AD. and the famous submarine-hunt in the Sognefjord during the cold war.

On the Cider Cruise you combine Cider Tasting on the local farm Haug Gard with a beautiful Fjord Cruise and bike ride along the Sognefjord.

The Evening Cruise is a nice and quiet fjord cruise from Sogndal and into the idyllic Barsnesfjord.

Solvorn – the idyllic village by the Lustrafjord

Kvitabui Boathouse in Solvorn by the Lustrafjord.
Kvitabui Boathouse in Solvorn by the Lustrafjord.

Solvorn is an idyllic village located by the Lustrafjord, which is the innermost arm of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord. In Solvorn you can experience calm and peace while taking a break from the hectic everyday life.

Solvorn is a typical fjordvillage from the time when the fjord was the most important transport route. Today, the boathouses lie in a row and bear witness to a bygone era from when Solvorn was an important trading center with bustling life both on the Lustrafjord and in the village.

Walaker Hotel in Solvorn is the oldest hotel in Norway, and one of the finest. The hotel has been owned and run by the same family since year 1690. Ole Henrik, who runs the hotel today, is the ninth generation Nitter Walaker at Walaker Hotel.

The idyllic fjord village of Solvorn, seen from the Lustrafjord.
The idyllic fjord village of Solvorn, seen from the Lustrafjord.

Hike to Mt Molden in Luster

FJORDS NORWAY - View from Svarthiller towards Ornes and the Lustrafjord.
View from Svarthiller towards Ornes and the Lustrafjord.

Mt Molden in Luster is a popular hiking destination among the locals. The hike is relatively short, and the fjord view is fantastic.

The trail is marked, and it takes about an hour to hike to the abandoned mountain farm Svarthiller. From Svarthiller you have a great view towards the southern part of the Lustrafjord.

The hike continues from Svarthiller (865 masl) towards Mt Molden at 1116 masl. Parts of the trail to Mt Molden consist of stone stairs built by Sherpas from Nepal.

From the top of Mt Molden you can see the Lustrafjord in all directions. Locals claim that this is the best view in Luster, and in Luster there are many great viewpoints.

Fjord Cycling – Bike tours and mountain hikes by the Sognefjord

On a bike ride by the Lustrafjord. Photo: Veri Media and Fjord Cycling.
On a bike ride by the Lustrafjord. Photo: Veri Media and Fjord Cycling.

Small, idyllic villages. Thundering Waterfalls. Experience Norwegian nature and culture by bike and hike and join self-guided ready made roundtrips from Bergen, to and through the fjord landscape surrounding the Sognefjord.

More than 250 kilometer of idyllic roads with little or no traffic where you will see and experience the hidden gems.

Fjord Cycling has picked from the best of accommodation and sights and made tailored tours for you. You can combine cycling with great hikes, you will experience some of the most beautiful mountain-hikes that the Sognefjord has to offer.

Stay in unique hotels, enjoy fantastic short-travelled food and discover the hidden gems by the Sognefjord, the King of the Fjords. Video by Fjord Cycling.

Lærdal, Gamle (Old) Lærdalsøyri and Lærdalsdalen Valley

FJORDS NORWAY - Borgund Stave Church at Borgund in the Lærdal valley by the Sognefjord.
Borgund Stave Church.

“All roads lead to Lærdal” – and Lærdal is for many of us the gateway to the Sognefjord. On your way down the Lærdalsdalen valley you can stop and experience our heritage from the Vikings and the Middle Ages.

Borgund Stave Church and the old Vindhellavegen Road, which is part of the old King’s Road, are the most famous cultural monuments in the Lærdalsdalen valley.

Visit Lærdal and the beautiful old town of Gamle Lærdalsøyri. Experience Galleri Bryggja where the local painter and artist Kristen Olav Grøttebø show his beautiful paintings in the exhibition in his painting studio/workshop.

Lærdal by the Sognefjord.
Lærdal by the Sognefjord.

Also a visit to Fredag & Fretland is recommended. This is the local bakery and patisserie near by the old town in Gamle Lærdalsøyri.

TIP – If you are in Lærdal, we recommend that you treat yourself to a moment of well-being at the sauna AUGA, which is located down by the Lærdalsfjord. Remember to book an appointment in the sauna in advance.

The National Wild Salmon Centre (Villakssenteret) is located between Lærdalselvi river and the center of Lærda, not far from Gamle Lærdalsøyri. In the Wild Salmon Centre you can see the salmon “live” when they go up the river.

A wild salmon in the Wild Salmon Centre in Lærdal.
A wild salmon in the Wild Salmon Centre in Lærdal.

Laksen bakery & café at Villakssenteret has a large selection of fresh baked goods, good coffee and homemade pizza. That alone is reason enough to visit Villakssenteret in Lærdal.

Aurlandsfjellet National Tourist Route is a 47-kilometer-long stretch of road between Aurland in the Aurlandsfjord area and Lærdal by the Sognefjord. Stegastein Viewpoint is part of the road, 650 meters above Aurland and the Aurlandsfjord.

NOTE – The road from Aurland up to Stegastein is open all year, but in winter the road is closed between Stegastein Viewpoint above Aurland and Erdal by the Lærdalsfjord.

The sauna AUGA is located down by the Lærdalsfjord.
The sauna AUGA is located down by the Lærdalsfjord.

The Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord – UNESCO World Heritage

FJORDS NORWAY - Happy sheep above the Aurlandsfjord.
Happy sheep above the Aurlandsfjord.

Flåm, Aurland and Gudvangen are perfect starting points for experiences in and around the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, two of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic fjords. On 14 July 2005, the Nærøyfjord together with the Geirangerfjord became part of our common UNESCO’s world heritage.

From Flåm you can take part in a fjord safari or a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. You can take this fjord cruise as a round trip (both ways) or one way combined with bus between Flåm and Gudvangen. See the great view from Stegastein viewpoint, 650 meters above Aurland. Taste the local goat’s cheese in Undredal or in Skjerdal, two villages by the Aurlandsfjord.

Flåm Railway is the train journey from fjord to mountain, perhaps the most beautiful railway in the world. You can combine this train journey with cycling along Rallarvegen which goes from the high mountains via Flåmsdalen Valley to Flåm. Aurlandsdalen Valley is one of Norway’s most popular hikes. The lower part of Aurlandsdalen, which is also the most popular, starts from Østerbø and ends at Vassbygdi in Aurland.

Flåm Railway in the Aurlandsfjord area.
Flåm Railway in the Aurlandsfjord area.

The Flåm Valley is a beautiful 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.

By the Nærøyfjord, we have the small villages of Gudvangen, Bakka, Styvi and Dyrdal. Styvi is the only place without permanent inhabitants during the winter, and is together with Dyrdal without road connection. Gudvangen is one of two ports where the iconic ferry trip along the inner part of the Sognefjord departs and arrives. Visit the Viking village Njardarheimr in Gudvangen and experience the history and culture of the Viking Age.

The Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord are both part of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord which is located in the northern part of the county of Vestland, in the middle of Western Norway.

FJORDS NORWAY - View from Mt Skomakarnipa. The Aurlandsfjord, which is a branch of the Sognefjord, further divides into the Nærøyfjord (right).
View from Mt Skomakarnipa. The Aurlandsfjord, which is a branch of the Sognefjord, further divides into the Nærøyfjord (right).

Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord, part of the Sognefjord in Norway
Indre Ofredal by the Årdalsfjord.

The Årdalsfjord is the part of the Sognefjord that runs between the outer part of the Lustrafjord and the industrial town of Årdalstangen. The surrounding nature has facilitated amounts of cheap hydroelectric energy which in turn has facilitated industry. Årdalstangen and Øvre Årdal are the result of this.

The dramatic nature attracts guests who seek adventures all year round. Vettisfossen Waterfall, Utladalen Valley, the Jotunheimen Mountains and the Årdalsfjord and the surrounding dramatic mountains are great areas for activities.

Small idyllic fjord villages are located along the Årdalsfjord, squeezed between steep mountains, waterfalls, rivers and the fjord. The abandoned fjord village Indre Ofredal is one of these villages. After many years of decay, the association Ne fø´ Sjøen has now restored many of the houses at Indre Ofredal. They have a small cafeteria and offer accommodation in the old restored Boat House down by the fjord.

FJORDS NORWAY - Panoramic view of the Årdalsfjord, part of the Sognefjord.
Panoramic view of the Årdalsfjord, part of the Sognefjord. Indre Ofredal in the middle of the picture.

Luster and the Lustrafjord – The top of Norway

The Lustrafjord is beautiful, and just behind the headland is the fjord village of Solvorn.
The Lustrafjord is beautiful, and just behind the headland is the fjord village of Solvorn.

The Lustrafjord and Luster area is deemed to be one of the most beautiful spots in the country. It is where the fjords meet the top of Norway and the mountains and glaciers never ends. There are many wonderful and exciting things to see and do there.

Solvorn is an idyllic village located down by the Lustrafjord. The oldest historical hotel and one of the finest, the Walaker Hotel, is located in the village. Time has in a way stood still in Solvorn. Many of the original buildings have been preserved and refined.

From Solvorn, you can take the small ferry across the Lustrafjord to Ornes and visit Urnes Stave Church and see the mighty Feigefossen waterfall which reveals itself in the spring. Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of our remaining stave churches in Norway, and is one of four world heritage sites in Western Norway.

The hike to Mt Molden gives you a fantastic view both in and out of the Lustrafjord. The locals claim this is the best view in Luster, and in Luster there are many great viewpoints.

FJORDS NORWAY - Nigardsbreen Glacier in Jostedalen in the Sognefjord area.
Nigardsbreen Glacier in Jostedal.

Nigardsbreen glacier in Jostedal and Austerdalsbreen glacier at Veitastrond are two of the most beautiful and most easily accessible glaciers in Norway. Mørkridsdalen and Fortunsdalen are two classic areas for mountain hikes near Skjolden, which is located at the innermost part of the Lustrafjord. Stay at Skjolden Hotel in Skjolden, a great hotel with short-travelled food and drinks from the top shelf.

High in the Jotunheimen mountains, the Sognefjellet Mountain Road runs between the Lustrafjord and the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. The Sognefjellet National Tourist Route is the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe with its 1434 meters above sea level at the highest point. Along the road is Turtagrø Hotel, Sognefjellshytta and Krossbu where you can stay and get information and guide to Hurrungane and the mountains and glaciers around Sognefjellet, which is one of Norway’s wildest mountain areas.

The Lustrafjord is approximately 40 kilometers long and is the innermost branch of the 204 kilometer long Sognefjord which is located in the middle of Western Norway.

FJORDS NORWAY - Urnes Stave Church at Ornes by the Lustrafjord. The idyllic Fjord Village Solvorn on the other side of the fjord.
Urnes Stave Church at Ornes by the Lustrafjord. The idyllic Fjord Village Solvorn on the other side of the fjord.

Hotels and accommodation in the Sognefjord area

Overview of hotels and where you can spend the night in the area around the Sognefjord.

 

HOTELS - LINKS - FAQ

Here you will find an overview of recommended HOTELS in addition to SPA & BATH HOTELS and OTHER ACCOMMODATION PLACES in Western Norway. The combination of beautiful nature, activities that you can do in all four seasons and a stay at a great accommodation is unique. A stay in one of these places will do you good, both for body and mind.

There are ten restaurants that have awarded Michelin stars and Michelin awards in Western Norway. Eight of the Michelin restaurants are in Stavanger and two in Bergen. Here you will find FJORDS MICHELIN, where you will also find a list of recommended hotels in Western Norway, recommended by Michelin.

USEFUL LINKS is a list of websites with great information on Norway and the Fjords. FAQ is an overview of articles that answer the most common questions you have when planning to visit the fjords in Western Norway.

The Sognefjord Area – Map Overview