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Geirangerfjord, Norway

Introduction

Geirangerfjord, Norway - View of the fjord
View of the Fjord

Geirangerfjord is surrounded by steep mountain cliffs so few people live in the area. This fjord is just over 9 miles long (15 kilometers) and there are only a few places on its shores that are flat enough to host a settlement, the most well known being the town of Geiranger, which sits at the end of the fjord and is only home to 250 people.

Despite the few people living along the shores and the difficulty in getting to Geirangerfjord from the ground (few roads make there way to the fjord and those that do cling to the mountains), the fjord have been fairly untouched and so have become one of the top destinations in all of Norway due to its beauty in the water, mountains, and waterfalls. Today Geiranger is one of the largest cruise ports in the country and over a quarter million people visit the fjord by cruise ship each summer, but few spend the night.

History

The geological history of Geirangerfjord dates back millenia, however the fjord's settlement is a much more recent event. Having very steep mountain walls falling straight into the water, the region is not well suited for human settlement. Along the entire fjord there are only a couple places where the land is flat enough for people to call home. Among these, the most notable is the town of Geiranger, which sits at the end of the fjord. This town, like all others along the fjord, is very limited in size as the town cannot expand due to the mountains. Because of this all settlements on the fjord are small villages many of which are home to the ancestors of people who have called these towns home for centuries.

Geirangerfjord Today

Geirangerfjord, Norway - House in Geiranger
House in Geiranger

The people who live along Geirgangerfjord live simple lives much as the people of Norway have lived for centuries (although now with numerous tourist amenities). These people continue to be reliant on the landscape as the waters provide both food and transportation and the mountains nearly isolate the people. Although cruise ships and tourists are now common in Geirangerfjord, this tourism is fairly seasonal so the people cling to their historic way of life for much of the year.

Natural Wonders

Geirangerfjord: Not surprisingly the highlight of Geirangerfjord is the fjord itself. This deep fjord is among Norway's most impressive as it's perfect for kayaking, cruising, or spending time along the shore taking a hike or just sitting at a lookout and staring at the natural beauty of the mountains, waters, and numerous waterfalls.

Bridal Veil Waterfall (Brudesløret): This waterfall, on the fjord's north side, is one of the many waterfalls that line the Geirangerfjord.

Geirangerfjord, Norway - Suitor Waterfall
Suitor Waterfall

Seven Sisters Waterfall (De syv søstrene): This waterfall is on the fjord's north side and is one of the many waterfalls that line the Geirangerfjord.

Suitor Waterfall (Friaren): This narrow waterfall is one of the many waterfalls that line the Geirangerfjord.

Scenic Drives & Viewpoints

Dalsnibba: At the end of the Nibbevegen Road, this viewpoint offers excellent views of the fjord as well as the interior mountains, but you must have a car to make the journey and the road is only open from May to October.

Eagle Road (Ørnevegen): This road is perhaps the most daunting of the roads around Geiranger as it stretches to the home of the eagles. At the road's highest point, Ørnesvingen there is a center to stop and enjoy the scenery, which includes great views of the fjord and the Seven Sisters Waterfall.

Flydalsjuvet: This is a great point to hike or drive to as it provides excellent views of the fjord below. There are a couple viewing platforms here and many cruise ships take passengers to this lookout so try to get here early or late in the day to avoid the crowds.

Museums

Geiranger Fjordsenter (Fjordsenteret): This museum in the town of Geiranger displays the lives, history, landscape, and culture of the people and region. For more information visit their website at: www.verdsarvfjord.no.

Further Afield

Gudbrandsjuvet Gorge: A little ways from Geirangerfjord, this gorge is a series of natural whirlpools (not the kind you use for a bath!) in a gorge that provide an impressive sight.

Herdalssetra: This small mountain village is home to a couple dozen farmhouses and numerous goat farms. The barns, buildings, and lifestyles in this town are very authentically alpine Norwegian as there are few remaining alpine towns that remain as closely tied to their historic culture. For more information visit the village's website at: www.herdalssetra.no.

Transportation

Transportation to and from Geirangerfjord is almost entirely limited to travel by boat or bus. There are no train lines directly to the fjord and no airport, although nearby Alesund is a decent sized transportation hub, from where boats and buses regularly run to Geirangerfjord. There are no international routes to Geirangerfjord although boats from the fjord service Alesund, Bergen, and other major cities where international transportation is accessible.

Airport: The closest airport to Geirangerfjord is Alesund's airport, the Vigra Airport, which is located about 11 miles (18 kilometers) from the Alesund's center and 75 miles (121 kilometers) from the town of Geiranger. The airport code is AES and the airport's website is: www.avinor.no. For its location or directions, see the map below.

Train Station: The closest train station to Geiranger is Åndalsnes's train station, which is 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the town of Geiranger. For train times and schedules, their website is: www.nsb.no. For its location or directions, see the map below.

Bus Station: There are numerous private bus companies that service Alesund, which is 65 miles (105 kilometers) from the town of Geiranger. There are limited bus services to and from Geiranger during the summer months and none in the winter months.

Official Websites

Geirangerfjord, Alesund, & Sunnmore: www.visitalesund-geiranger.com
Kingdom of Norway: www.visitnorway.com

Map & Directions

This page was last updated: August, 2013