Cutting in from the sea, through steep mountains rising up to 2000 meters high, creating lush, fertile soil along the shore. Mild, salty waters up to 1300 meters deep. Passages so narrow that when the ship sails in, you can sometimes touch the mountainside with your fingertips up on deck (If you travel with Hurtigruten, that is, since the larger cruise liners cannot fit).
The Norwegian Fjords have always given people memories for life - and temporary neck aches from gazing at the sights. For example, mountainside farms once accessible only by steep ladder trails, small villages, seals, porpoises, schools of fish swimming in the waters, with eagles and other birds looking down from above.
To many foreigners, Norway is synonymous with fjords. Norway has the highest concentration of them in the world, ranging from from the Oslo fjord in the southeast, all the way up to East Finnmark near the north-eastern Russian boarder.
Fjords barely a hundred meters wide
However, the most famous fjords in Norway are found in the western coastal and northern regions. In the west for example, there are Geirangerfjord and Nerøyfjord: recognized on UNESCO's World Heritage List, with their alpine mountains, waterfalls and lush villages full of fruit trees. In the north, the Trollfjord, only 100 meters at its narrowest point, is among the most fascinating fjords in the country.
But what is a fjord? The fjords formed when the glaciers of the Ice Age retreated. Seawater rushed in to replace the ice, flooding the u-shaped valleys and creating the memorable geography we now see. Norway is fortunate enough to have a warm sea current running along its coastline. As a result, the fjords are virtually ice free – and ready to be explored.