The capital of Norway, the city of Oslo, is located between the Oslo fjord and the spacious, forested hills. The Oslo fjord, although it is called a fjord, is not such in the geological sense of the word, it is a bay.
The Oslo Fjord is considered one of the most beautiful places in Norway and is its famous natural attraction. Its length is 102 km, and it stretches from the Danish Straits in the south and to Oslo in the north. The fjord is surrounded by mountains up to 1700 meters high, the peaks of which are covered with snow, and numerous waterfalls pour from steep slopes.
The Oslo Fjord is divided into 2 parts (internal and external) by the narrow Drobak Strait, and the exit from it is marked by two lighthouses: on the east side it is Tornbjornskier, and on the west – Ferder. The entire surface of the bay is covered with many small islands.
The coast of the Oslo Fjord is quite densely populated, about 2 million people live here.
Oslo fjord through the eyes of tourists
During your stay in Norway you must see the fjords. You can choose a variety of excursions from Oslo to the fjords, but it is best to start with a tour of the Oslo Fjord.
A few steps from the Grand Hotel there is a small port where you can go on a sea cruise around the fjord. As a rule, this takes 2-3 hours. Tickets are sold at the bay. During the walk, the guide speaks English, but you can understand what it is about even with mediocre knowledge of this language. On many boats, a delicious dinner is included in the ticket price.
By the way, the best view of the capital of Norway is from the shores of the fjord. From here the cube-shaped town hall looks the most spectacular, in which the Nobel Peace Prize is presented annually on December 10, at the ceremony of which the royal family is present.
While driving from Oslo, on the eastern shore of the bay, you can observe the buildings of the city of Drebak, then there is the Oskarsborg fort. On the west bank lies the city of Drammen, then the city of Halden (whose name is present in the national anthem), the fortified city of Fredrikstad.
Oslo Ford can not be called monotonous and uninteresting. More than 1000 small and larger islands are scattered over its water surface, most of which tourists can visit on a very ordinary wooden boat. On the banks, surrounded by rapeseed fields, are small houses and traditional farms. If you’re lucky, you can see goats that graze along the fjord, and seals basking on the mountainsides near the water. In general, the views of the Oslo Fjord for the photo are amazing!
Tourists often camp off the shores of the bay, setting up campsites for relaxation. Activities such as fishing, sailing, canoeing and kayaking are available here.
Traveling around the Oslo Fjord is an ideal option for exploring the nature of Norway with a shortage of time. The only drawback of such an excursion is that the story about Norway is too short. After exploring the Oslo Fjord, there is a desire to see more bigger and well known fjords in this country.
Other Norwegian Fjords
Norway is, first of all, the fjords that cut the entire coast in the west. The most ambitious is the Sognefjord, there is still its “sleeve” Naeroyfjord, the Geiranger fjord and Lysefjord are no less famous.
1. Geiranger Fjord
Geiranger fjord (Møre og Romsdal territory) is 15 km long. Of particular interest here are the Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil Waterfalls, Ornevegen Road (Orlov Road), and Trollstigen Road (Troll Staircase).
The Trollstigen mountain road was created in the 1930s, and it was built using the most basic tools. Riding on a serpentine road, which winds along steep mountain slopes is a real adventure.
The most difficult part of this route between Geiranger and Eidsdal is the Ornevegen road running uphill and overcoming 11 very sharp turns on its way.
The NaeroyFjord is located in the south of Sogn og Fjordane. Its depth varies from 10 to 500 m, its smallest width is 250 m, the largest exceeds 1 km.
A trip on a train along the steep high mountain Flåm Railway is a unique opportunity in comfortable conditions to observe numerous waterfalls and mountain peaks covered with snow caps.
The Lysefjord is located in Ryufülk, next to the Haugesund and Stavanger. Its length reaches 40 km and its 422 m wide.
This fjord gained fame largely thanks to the Prekestulen rock (the “Chair of the Preacher”), reaching a height of 604 meters. The rock is crowned by a flat plateau with an area of about 600 m². Scientists claim that the plateau was formed 10,000 years ago. You can admire the view of the Prekestulen rock from several places of the Lysefjord, as well as being on the deck of a ship or ferry, coming from Stavanger.
Rock Kierag (1084 m) attracts tourists with an amazing sight. In its crevice is stuck the famous boulder Kieragbolten, which has a round shape.
All these attractions can be seen with your own eyes – you just need to go on tours of the fjords from Oslo.
Oslo Fjord Tours
The most popular and at the same time ideal option for tourists with a limited time is the miniature tour of Norway. The huge advantage of this tour is that the route can be made independently. This is not even an excursion in the usual sense, but rather a set of tickets for a bus, train, ferry or boat. The trip can be planned with a return to Oslo or only one way, for example, to Bergen or Voss.
Such a trip is possible at any time of the year. Its duration is from 12 hours, if you wish, you can organize an overnight stay in the city located along the route. You can also take part in various interesting events: fjord cruise, trekking in the mountains, kayaking. The minimum cost is from 1440 NOK per person, and the final amount depends on the extent of the tour.
A tour such as “Sogne Fjord in Miniature” is also very popular. This tour provides an opportunity to get acquainted with the Sogne Fjord, called the “King of the Fjords”, with many of its sights. The tour includes boating on the fjord, a trip along the famous Flåm Railway. The tour can be organized both one-day and multi-day, with hotels and events at the discretion of the tourist. The Sogne Fjord in Miniature tour is available daily from May 1 to September 30. The cost for one person is from 1610 NOK.
No less interesting is the “Geiranger and mini Norway” cruise from Oslo. This tour, combining a cruise along the coast and an excursion “Norway in Miniature”, provides an opportunity to get acquainted with the Geiranger Fjord and the NaeroyFjord. Traveling back and forth on the same ticket can be done at your own pace, its duration is at least 4 days, and provides for a return to the starting point. Cruise on this route is possible from June to August, on any day. Its cost is from 7420 NOK.
How to get to the fjords from Oslo on your own
To get from Oslo to the fjords yourself, you can use different transports. You just need to think through the route well and choose the best option.
1. Oslo to Geiranger fjord
The distance between the Geiranger Fjord and Oslo is approximately 455 km.
By bus you can get to Ålesund, there are flights every day, the journey takes 10 hours. In Ålesund, you need to take a bus to Geiranger, the distance between settlements is 110 km. You can find out the departure schedule and reserve a seat on the Nor-Way Bussekspress website.
In Ålesund there is a Vigra airport, which takes regular flights from Oslo. The flight lasts 55 minutes, the ticket costs from 90 EUR. You can view the flight schedule and reserve a seat on the SAS airline website. Express buses run between the airport and the Mua bus station, and you need to transfer to the Geiranger at the bus station.
The only railway station closest to the fjord is in Ondalsnes – from Oslo you can get there with a change in Dumbos or Lillehammer. In time, the road lasts 5 hours, a ticket can be bought from 400 NOK.
If you drive from Oslo to the Geiranger Fjord by car, you can catch it in 7-8 hours. You need to go along the E6 road to Otta, from there take Rv 15 to Langvatne, and from there take the Rv 63 highway and go straight to Geiranger.
Traveling around the fjord is especially interesting in the summer, when there are Hurtigruten ferry services from the Alesund port (4 hours on the way, cost from 500 NOK).
2. Oslo to Naeroyfjord
Naeroyfjord is 350 km north-west of Oslo.
By car from Oslo to the Naeroyfjord takes 5-6 hours. You need to go along the E18 highway to Sandviki, from there along E16 to Gudvangen.
You can also get to the Naeroyfjord by train. Take the Bergen railway to Myrdal, then go along the Floma railway to Floma (this will take about 6 hours). You can study the timetable and reserve a place on the NSB and Flomskaya railway sites. From Flåm to Gudvangen, take a bus or ferry.
There are bus services from Oslo to Gudvangen every day (the journey takes about 7 hours). On the Nor-Way Bussekspress website you can see their schedule and book a ticket.
Sogndal has an airport that receives Widerøe flights from Oslo. Flight time is about 50 minutes. From Sogndal to Gudvangen, Nor-Way Bussekspress buses run for 2 hours.
3. Oslo to Lysefjord
Lysefjord is 400 km from Oslo.
The best option for traveling to Lysefjord from Oslo is to get to the city of Stavanger, and then move from there. You can get to Stavanger this way:
- You can travel by train, in time it will take 9-10 hours. The Norwegian State Railways (NSB) website not only introduces the timetable, but also allows you to book a ticket.
- Direct flights shorten the way to 55 minutes, and a one-way ticket will cost from 80 EUR. You can book a ticket on Norwegian and SAS. You can take the Flytobussen bus from Stavanger Airport to the city, the journey for an adult is 120 NOK, the journey takes about 30 minutes. A taxi will cost approximately 400 NOK.
There is a ferry between Stavanger and Lysebotn that can be used at any time of the year. In the summer (from May 1 to September 30), you can go from Stavanger in two ways:
- To Lauwvik by bus, and from Lauwvik by excursion ferry to Lysebotn;
- To Tau by ferry, and from there by bus to the Prekestulen House. A pier in Stavanger near the bus stop Flytobussen, tickets can be bought on the ferry itself. It is advantageous to buy a combo ticket, it gives the right to travel by ferry to Tau and back, as well as to travel by bus to the Prekestulen House. A combo ticket will cost approximately 260 NOK.
Prices on the page are for January 2018.