The Geirangerfjord. Miracles are lurking nearby!

Geirangerfjord: the best fjord in Norway? Photo: © Alexey Ponomarenko

Contents:

  1. What to do in Geirangerfjord
  2. How to reach the Geirangerfjord
  3. The best time to visit
  4. Where to stay
  5. What to see near the Geirangerfjord

The Geirangerfjord is one of the most picturesque and popular fjords in Norway as evidenced by a great number of tourists annually coming to see its beauty: more than 700,000 visitors and about 200 cruise ships. In addition, it is one the longest and deepest fjords in the world – 15 km in length and 600 m in depth, along with Naeroyfjord located 120 km from Geiranger.

The fjord is located in the southwestern part of the country, about 350 km to the northeast of Bergen and about 500 km to the northwest of Oslo. Salty water in the Geirangerfjord allows it to not freeze in the cold winter months, and almost complete absence of tide makes the water still, and it magically reflects the sky and the surrounding mountains towering almost 2,000 m above the green waters.

What to do in Geirangerfjord

A journey to the Geirangerfjord is suitable for both outdoor enthusiasts and those who prefer leisurely enjoying the surrounding views.

For the second ones, one of the fjord cruise programs is a perfect choice: a short journey by ferry from Geiranger to the other side of the fjord to Hellesylt, a longer cruise from Geiranger to Valldal, a cruise tour ‘Little Norway’, and many others. In addition, there are sightseeing tours by a cruise ferry from Alesund via Geirangerfjord.

Lovers of outdoor activities and extreme sports will appreciate the following entertainment:

  • Go by the Ornevegen (‘Eagle Road’), which begins after the Troll Wall on the road fv. 63. This is a very narrow and extreme part of the road with 11 hairpin curves, sometimes without fencing; to pass each other drivers use draw-ins. On the Ornevegen there is Ornesvingen viewing platform, which offers stunning views of the Seven Sisters waterfall, an alpine farm Knivsflo and the fjord.
  • Climb the viewing platforms next to Geiranger – Dalsnibba and Flydalsjuvet offering splendid views of the fjord.
  • Hiking is one of the favourite types of holiday for every lover of active tourism. In the vicinity of the fjord there are plenty of hiking trails, detailed route maps for which you can take at the tourist information offices in the towns around the fjord. If you want an easy walk then go along the fjord coast to the village Homlong located 2.5 km from Geiranger.
  • It is impossible to imagine a trip to the fjord without water sports. Kayaking and fishing are at your disposal. Kayaking tours are led by a guide, and you can rent kayaks in a village on the fjord coast. There are great opportunities for fishing here: luxurious waters of the Geirangerfjord, nearby lakes and rivers.

View of fjord. Photo: © javarman - Fotolia.com

You will never get bored in the Geirangerfjord, no matter how long you are going to stay here: only a single day to visit local attractions or a week or two.

What to see near the Geirangerfjord

If you have decided to spend most of your trip to Norway in this region then it will be interesting to know what else you can do and see around the Geirangerfjord.

Go for a trip along the Troll Road. This is the part of the national road rv. 63, which joins Alesund and Valldal, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway. The road passes under the gradient of 12%. Along the way, you will see the waterfall Stigfossen (180 meters). Above, on the Troll Road, starting from the turn called Bispensvingen a beautiful view of Andalsnes and the Romsdalfjord awaits you. From the top of the road, next to the Giant’s kettles you will see a wonderful panoramic view of the whole valley. Trollveggen, or the Troll Wall, is a vertical wall with the height of over 1,000 m, climbing that is considered one of the most difficult in the world.

Visit Herdalssetra farm, located high in the mountains and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Try the local specialty – goat's milk caramel.

Go rafting on the river near Valldal or skiing: in the winter, in Strand and the summer – in Stryn (located an hour's drive from Geiranger).

Admire the beauty of another popular fjord in Norway, the journey to which deserves special attention and not a single day to spend there – Naeroyfjord located 120 km from Geiranger.

Do you want to see this wonder of nature, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, closer? Then it is necessary to prepare for the trip.

How to reach the Geirangerfjord

There are many ways to get to the vicinity of the fjord, and you just need to choose what you prefer and what corresponds your route (many travelers try to see as many sights in a single trip as possible).

How to reach the fjord by public transport

From Oslo

From Bergen

From Trondheim

By bus

1. During the summer, there is a direct bus route Oslo – Geiranger with travel time 8 and half hours.

2. All year round there is a bus from Oslo to Alesund (about 10 hours on the road), where you will need to take a bus to Geiranger and drive another 110 km.

3. You can go along the road Trollstigen traveling from Oslo to Andalsnes (about 8 hours) and then change the bus to Geiranger (goes only from 15 June to 31 August).

There is a direct route from Bergen to Alesund (about 10 hours on the road), and then you need to change to Geiranger.

The same bus goes through Oppedal, Forde, Stryn. In the latter, you can change to Strand, from which the speed boat to Geiranger continuously runs.

From Trondheim you can reach Stryn and take a bus to the Strand.

In the summer, the bus route is connected with the ferry from Hellesylt to Geiranger.

By air

There are daily flights Oslo – Alesund (from early morning until late at night), the travel time is about an hour, the ticket price – from 300 to 2000 NOK. Then take an express bus to the station Moa and change to Geiranger.

There are similar daily flights from Bergen Airport; the travel time is about three hours, with one change, the cost of a single ticket is from 600 to 2000 NOK.

Trondheim Airport also offers to get to the airport Vigra in Alesund and continue the journey by bus to Geiranger. The prices and flight time is similar to the flights from Bergen.

By train

Several times a day there is a train from Oslo to Andalsnes, the travel time is about 5.5 hours, the ticket price – 500-800 NOK. Then you can get directly to Geiranger by bus (in summer) and to Alesund all year round.

You can get from Bergen to Andalsnes as well, but as the train goes through Oslo the trip will be long and expensive: more than 13 hours with the cost of tickets 600-1200 NOK.

There is a train by the route Trondheim – Andalsnes several times a day, the travel time is 4-5 hours, the ticket price is 300-600 NOK. Then go by bus to Alesund or immediately to Geiranger, depending on the time of year.

By water

During the summer, there is a Hurtigruten cruise ship that goes from Bergen straight to Geiranger. In winter, it does not go to the fjord, but immediately travel to Alesund with buses in your desired direction.

From Trondheim, there is also a cruise liner Hurtigruten to Geiranger.

How to reach the Geirangerfjord by car

If you are a good driver, not afraid of mountain roads and want to plan a trip without depending on public transport, then you should go to the Geirangerfjord by car.

Traveling by car trough Norway. Photo: © Alexey Ponomarenko

From Oslo to the fjord district you can get several ways. First, you can go through Valdersflya in summer: having left Oslo, go along the E16 towards Fagernes, and then change the direction to Randen (through Valdersflya) by choosing the road fv. 51; having reached Grotli do not change the direction of another 13 km and then turn on the road fv. 63 and go directly to Geiranger. The total travel time is about 7.5 hours.

The second way is to go through Otto. Having left Oslo, hold E6, the first major stop will be in Lillehammer, and then – in Otto. After Otto turn on Grotli by the fv. 15. In the winter, you can go from Grotli to Stryn by the same road, and then turn on the fv. 60 to Hellesylt. And in the summer you can easily get from Grotli to Geiranger. The total time is 7.5 (in summer) or 8.5 hours (in winter).

And the third option is to go along the awesomely beautiful route through the Trollstigen Mountain Road, with its steep cliffs, waterfalls, fjords, 11 hairpin curves and gradient of 9%. Go, as in the previous case, by the highway E6 to Lillehammer, and later turn to Dombas. By Lesja turn to Romsdalen by the highway E136, then on the bridge Sogge (not reaching about 5 km to Åndalsnes), turn on the fv. 63 (in summer) – thus you get to the Trollstigen Road and Valldal, which is located on the territory of the Geirangerfjord. In the winter, turning on the E136, you need to go to Sjoholt, thence by the road fv. 650 to Liabygda, and then by ferry to the Strand. The travel time is 8-9 hours.

The shortest road from Bergen to the fjord is through Forde and Stryn (about 5.5 hours on the road, not including ferry crossings). From Bergen follow the road E39. Then take a ferry from Oppedal to Lavik. Then by the E39 to Byrkjelo through Forde. From Byrkjelo go along the highway Rv. 60 to Stryn, from Stryn by the Rv. 15 to Langvatne. Turn left and follow the Rv. 63 to Geiranger.

There are two ways to get from Trondheim to Geirangerfjord: through Molde (by the E6 to Halsa, then by ferry to Kanestraum, then by the E39 to Sjoholt through Molde, the rest of the way is described above); through Romsdalen to Trollstigen (by the E6 from Trondheim move towards Dombas and then the same as from Oslo to Geiranger by this road).

Choose the way that you like best and do not forget that some parts of the road pass through the mountains and be ready for hairpin curves and spectacular views.

The best time to go to the Geirangerfjord

The best time to travel to the fjords is summer (June, July and August). If you go in the first half of June then you will be able to fully enjoy the views of waterfalls as, in this period, they are especially full of water. Also, remember that the official tourist season in Norway lasts until the second half of August (around the 17 th), and then many ferry and bus routes are closed. In late summer, the Geirangerfjord weather becomes more changeable: during the day you can watch the clear sky, then it can get very quickly tightened by clouds, and in the evening it may raining.

For winter sports enthusiasts, the perfect time for a trip to Geiranger fjord is March and April: severe cold has gone, and there is enough snow on the mountains for skiing yet. The most unfavorable time, perhaps, is from September to December, with especially strong winds.

Where to stay in Geirangerfjord

In the area of Geirangerfjord accommodation is available for both the lovers of comfort and unpretentious travelers.

Each hotel is remarkable in its own way. Staying at Hotel Union Geiranger, located in the center of the small town of Geiranger, you will not only enjoy the stunning views of the fjord but also be able to relax after a long journey at a local spa. Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldal is so harmoniously integrated into the surrounding landscape that it seems that it is even a part of the nature. Choosing Villa Norangdal, you will be able to plunge into the past as every room is decorated in the style of a particular decade.

Those who wish to save money, want to stay closer to the fjord, should pay attention to the campsites and hostels: for example, Geirangerfjorden Feriesenter right on the coast of the fjord or Hellesylt youth hostel on the lake. Tourism in Norway is very well developed and even if you go to the mountains you will find houses to sleep or stay along the most popular trails.

A travel to Norway always will be a memorable adventure. This country knows how to surprise and prepared a lot of surprises for curious travelers.