The legendary tour “Norway in a Nutshell” will take you through the landscapes that inspired the hit film, Frozen. Here you have the chance to feel the spectacular nature up front, taste its fresh goods, breathe in healthy air and store up the hard drive with memories.
Text by: Ando Woltmann
And at the heart of this landscape is the Nærøyfjord. If gliding through these waters feels eerily familiar, your sixth sense is absolutely right.
This is the place that inspired the makers of Disney-phenomena Frozen when creating the magical universe of Arendelle.
Just decades ago there hardly existed roads in these parts at all – where 2000-metre mountains flank deep valleys and narrow fjord arms, all carved out during the ice ages. On closer inspection you will discover tiny farms and cottages clinging to the mountainsides.
An arm of the mighty Sognefjord, the comparatively tiny Nærøyfjord is one of two of these natural wonders that represent the Norwegian fjord landscapes on the UNESCO World Heritage list. And yes – it certainly is magical.
The boat journey comes with a selfie stick recommendation, and who knows – maybe a princess or a happy snowman suddenly appears in the frame?
Many of the farmers still hold on to their ancient techniques and traditional customs, speaking a well-kept dialect that even Norwegians struggle to decipher.
Photo: Morten Rakke
To get from the Bergen Line and down to the fjords, you’ll need to connect at Myrdal to the 20-kilometre Flåm Railway. Full of fearlessly steep and bending passages, this is commonly referred to as one of the most captivating railroads in the world.
The train arrives at sea level at Flåm – a tiny village of just 350 people that nonetheless has a major cruise ship port. It’s the hub that you’ll pass through to experience the heart of Fjord Norway.
Occupying a piece of flat land in between the colossal mountains at the inner end of the Aurlandsfjord, the village is buzzing with life. From there, you can easily get out on the water – including sailing the Nærøyfjord.
“Summer is really popular and busy, with the nicest weather and plenty of accessible activities, not only for the lovers of nature,” says Fátima Domínguez, team leader in Visit Sognefjord. You’ll also enjoy the Norway in a Nutshell round-trip in the fall, winter or spring, though.
“Fall is, to me, the most beautiful season, when the green colours give way to ochre and yellow,” says Domínguez. “Winter is quiet, and a good opportunity to enjoy the snow covered landscapes, while spring marks the awakening of the waterfalls and the outburst of flowers.”
Fjord safaris on ribs, hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, skiing, mountain climbing, museums, local food, culture and extreme sports – Fjord Tours provide a vast number of activities all through the year, as well as a number of options for hotels along the way. We’re all different, after all, so take your time to think about how you can customize your trip.
Photo: Girish Chouhan/visitBergen.com
Back at Stalheimskleiva, night is falling. With the intense silence and starry sky, you might catch yourself in a contemplating mood. “It is humbling to stare into the distance and consider that unless, or until, we mess the planet up, this magnificent geological specimen will be here for thousands more years, long after we've passed through,” writes John Mulholland of Observer.
“It would be nice to think that we could take care of these landscapes as previous generations have – otherwise fjords like this (and cities like Bergen) will be even more threatened by climate change than they already are.” A journey through these territories will certainly change your way of seeing things. It's truly a trip of a lifetime.
The deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is surrounded by majestic, snow- covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation.
Breathtaking surroundings with fjords, mountains and long, white beaches. Stavanger also boasts an impressive assortment of museums and cultural events.
Each year, several hundred thousand visitors arrive in Flåm. No wonder, since the tiny village is one of Norway’s most dramatic and spectacular sites.
You could go hiking or skiing, admire the city’s unique Art Nouveau architecture, explore the fjords – or just kick back and enjoy the view
Experience the Trollstigen mountain road by the UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord, one of Norway's most dramatic and most visited attractions.
The Sognefjord is Norway's longest and deepest fjord, and one of its arms, the Nærøyfjord, is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The surrounding mountains are among the most majestic in Norway.
From the fjord itself to Folgefonna glacier and the iconic Trolltunga, the Hardangerfjord region offers Norwegian nature at its most scenic. The area is also known for its impressive blooming fruit trees.
You cannot go further west in Norway. Travel off the beaten track to FjordKysten and get a taste of authentic coastal life.
Discover Norway's highlights with Fjord Tours' spectacular and popular round trips.
Discover the famous Sognefjord,one of nature's wonders with Fjord Tours.
Visiting Hardanger in person is the only way to understand why artists have drawn inspiration from the surrounding landscapes with thundering waterfalls or colorful fruit trees in full bloom.
Wherever you go in the outlying fields of Norway, you’re hardly ever alone.
Take part in travel enthusiasts Samuel and Hildegunn Taipale’s thoughts about how they prepared for their exotic, yet highly relaxed roundtrip.
Where magnificent architecture meets the fjord landscape – Ålesund has wild Viking ancestry, an abundance of succulent seafood and jaw-dropping vistas.
Sweat trickles from sunburnt foreheads as we climb the last, rocky slope, feet already sore inside the hiking boots.
Experience a sublime encounter with nature.
The Atlantic Road is beautiful and dramatic. But if you take a closer look, it has more to offer than just the amazing scenery.
We joined the train driver and crew at work on the beautiful Flåm railway.
Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, has been a place of trade for a thousand years. But now the wares have changed.
In the past 30 years, the Nærøyfjord and Undredal got roads and a lot more tourists. Otherwise, things are mostly as they always have been.
The heritage of Norsemen has a lot more to it than blood and plunder.
Western Norway is a region of narrow fjords cutting into tall mountains, of waterfalls cascading down mountainsides, and of glaciers that never melt. Spectacular architecture and exiting food made from local produce enhance the experience.
The UNESCO-protected fjords are symbols of the beauty of traditional Norway. Places where time moves in its own pace.