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When you’re in need of a little rest and relaxation, forget the beach – the pristine waters of Norway’s majestic fjords can soothe even the most stressed of souls. Fjords are formed by retreating glaciers, which leave in their wake dramatic U-shaped valleys, characterised by steep mountains on either side. A cruise through the fjords positions you in the heart of the action – you can sail directly through jaw-dropping scenery, admiring snow-capped peaks and undisturbed alpine forests. Come with us to Norway, the “Land of Fjords”, to discover some of our favourite fjords in the world. Ready to relax?
Geirangerfjord is one of Norway’s top tourist attractions – and for good reason. Snow-dusted mountains are carpeted with lush and vibrant vegetation, and frame a fjord of the deepest blue. Waterfalls crash down the steep valley sides (look out for the famous “Seven Sisters”), and rainbows can often be seen dancing across the water, creating a natural spectacle that looks to be straight out of a fairy-tale. In fact, Geirangerfjord is so universally impressive, that the area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There’s plenty to do during your visit to Norway’s Geirangerfjord. Hike in the majestic forests, take to the water in a kayak or check out the photogenic Trollstigen road. This narrow and winding route opened way back in 1936, and it snakes its way up the near-vertical mountainside. These days, it’s considered a testament to the engineering ingenuity of the time.
Next, it’s time to explore Sognefjord on your Norwegian cruise. This one is Norway’s biggest, and the third largest in the world, stretching for a vast 220km inland before it reaches the picturesque village of Skjolden, which is home to only around 200 people. At its deepest, Sognefjord plummets 1,308m beneath the sea. One of this fjord’s narrow arms, Nærøyfjorden, is listed as the country’s number one UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside Geirangerfjord – so remember that camera as we make our way through!
In addition, the steep valley walls of the Sognefjord are scattered with quaint villages. Check out Flåm, where you can hop aboard the Flåmsbana Railway from the fjord to the misty peaks of the mountains. Food is a huge part of the local culture here – make sure to try some local berries or mountain trout before we leave.
Feeling energetic? The Lysefjord area is a fitness enthusiast’s haven, and is also home to the world’s longest wooden staircase. Test yourself with 4444 steps, which will take you soaring 740 metres above sea level. If you’d rather kick back and take it easy, simply enjoy the views of the dramatic granite mountainsides as they rise up around you from the comfort of your Celebrity Cruises ship.
Lysefjord may be one of the smaller fjords in Norway, but it still attracts around 300,000 visitors annually thanks to its wild hikes that lead to once in a lifetime views. Priekestolen – or Pulpit Rock – is one of the most famous. Climb it and tower 2,000 feet above the fjord, letting the fresh alpine air reinvigorate you.
Welcome to Hardangerfjord, the world’s third longest fjord at 179km. You’ll also find plenty of thundering waterfalls here – in fact, Hardangerfjord is home to one of Norway’s most spectacular, Voringsfossen. With a free fall of 475 feet, it’s a humbling experience to watch the water tumble endlessly down the mountainside.
But the main aspect which makes this area so distinctive are its orchards. Vibrant fruit trees scatter the mountainsides, creating a unique and colourful effect. If you’re visiting Norway in the spring, particularly around May, you may be lucky enough to see cherries, apples and pears ready for picking on the trees.
During your visit to the Hardangerfjord, a visit to Trolltunga is a must. This huge rock juts from the mountainside, providing unforgettable photo opportunities for those brave enough to stand out on it.
Nordfjord sits nestled between Europe’s largest mainland glacier (Jostedal Glacier) and Norway’s scenic west coast, and provides visitors with incredible scenery. This fjord is perfect for those looking for peaceful and unspoilt wilderness. While exploring the 106km of the fjord, you’ll discover Europe’s deepest lake, the majestic Hornindalsvatnet, as well as the Briksdalsbreen glacier.
There’s plenty to do in the Nordfjord – in the Stryn area, you can enjoy alpine skiing year-round at the Summer Ski Centre, as well as water activities such as fishing, speed-boating and rafting. If you’d prefer to hike take a tour with us to discover Selja Monastery – the remains of a 12th century monastery, and Skåla – the highest peak in all of Norway.
Which Norwegian fjord will you discover first? Get up close and personal to some of the world’s most beautiful fjords for yourself on one of our Scandinavia cruises or Norway cruises.
Athens is packed full of world-class galleries as well as outdoor sculptures and art boutiques. Find out more here.
Amsterdam is well-known for its bustling districts, lively café culture and world-class museums. However, look a little closer and you’ll discover relaxing attractions, from spas to green parks.
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