The Norwegian fjords
The Norwegian fjords make an impression on all who visit them. Cutting in from the sea, through steep mountains rising up to 6,500 feet, some have passages so narrow that, when the ship sails in, you can touch the mountainside with your fingertips.
To many foreigners ‘Norway’ is the synonym for ‘fjords’. Norway has the highest concentration of fjords in the world, all the way from the Oslofjord to East-Finnmark near the boarder.
But what is a fjord? The fjords formed when the glaciers of the Ice Age retreated and seawater over 3,937 feet deep flooded the U-shaped valleys. The fjords cut in in from the sea through steep mountains over 6,200 feet tall and creating lush, fertile soil along the shore. Due to the Gulf Stream, they are virtually ice free – and all ready for you to explore them.
Sometimes the fjord is so narrow that when the ship sails into it, you can touch the mountainside with your fingertips from the deck — but only if you travel with Hurtigruten, that is, since the bigger cruise lines will not get in the narrowest fjords.
Mountainside farms and wildlife
The fjords’ beautiful surroundings include mountainside farms where ladders are a part of the original paths, small charming villages, seals, porpoises, an abundance of fish swimming in the water, and eagles and other birds looking down from above.
Geirangerfjord, Nærøyfjord, and Trollfjord
The most famous fjords are found on the western coast and in Northern Norway. Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord in the west are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, with their alpine mountains, waterfalls, and lush villages parading their fruit trees. In the north the Trollfjord is among one of the most fascinating fjords, and at only 236 feet wide,one of the narrowest.