Tourist’s guide to Geiranger – the queen of fjords in Norway

A fjord (or fiord) is a sea bay that cut deep into the mainland by a giant mountain corridor. In the middle of straight and winding corridors there is a piercing emerald-blue expanse of clear and deep waters. Sheer cliffs and lush greenery are reflected in them. And along the banks there are villages, small villages and farms. This is what Geiranger Fjord (Norway) sees as those who were lucky enough to be here.

Geiranger Fjord

And this sparkling pearl in a large Norwegian fjord necklace has a white hat made of snowy mountain peaks, and beautiful waterfalls fall from the rocks into the abyss.

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Location and Features Geiranger

The picturesque 15-kilometer fjord, a branch arm of the Storfjord, is located in southwestern Norway, 280 km from the capital Oslo and two hundred kilometers north of Bergen – the “gateway” of the Norwegian fjords. Closest to Geiranger is the port city of Alesund , it is only 100 km away.

View of Geiranger Fjord

In the widest place of the fjord from coast to coast (or rather, from cliff to cliff) – 1.3 km.

Researchers claim that the name of this Norway fjord is semantic: from the merger of “geyr” and “anger”. The first word in Old Norwegian means the arrowhead, and the second is actually the fjord.

The top of the Geiranger Fjord

Indeed, the map shows how the top of the Geiranger Fjord seems to pierce an arrow into the high mountains.

The first fjords in Norway appeared as a result of the movement of glaciers about 10-12 thousand years ago. These tectonic formations cut through almost the entire Norwegian coast. Each of them has its own distinctive features and a peculiar landscape – its own face and its own zest. The Geiranger Fjord has its own “chips”. Some have already been mentioned, while others are ahead.

Geirangelva Village

In the place where a river called Geirangelva flows into the fjord, there is a village of the same name, only 300 people live in it. Both the fjord and the area around it are on the UNESCO list of natural heritage sites.

There is a museum in the village – the Center for the History of the Fjord, and all cruise liners and independent travelers must visit it.

To explore most of the attractions of Geiranger you need to spend 2-3 days on the fjord. There are several dozen hotels of various comforts and prices. And if you plan to stay longer and relax, you need to book rooms in advance.

Sightseeing Geiranger Fjord: what, how and on what

Each year, Geiranger is visited by about 600 thousand tourists. Even the largest ocean liners with thousands of passengers on board call at the port. Annually there are from 140 to 180 pieces. But the tiny village of Norway never seems awash with tourists, because the organization of leisure is at a high level, and all tourist flows safely diverge along a variety of routes.

And not all tourists come here by sea – there are only a third of them. The rest get in other ways. Judging by the numerous reviews and photos on the network, it is the Geirangerfjord that tourists and travelers visit more than other fjords in Norway.

Trollstigen

The mountain “Troll Road” (Troll Staircase) was built in the 30s of the last century, but the engineering and design solutions for its construction were developed at a fairly high level, and the road still performs its functions properly.

Mountain "Troll Road"

This is a road for experienced drivers: there are 11 sharp and sharp zigzag turns, it is only 3-5 meters wide all the way, and motor vehicles longer than 12.4 meters are forbidden here.

On the map of Geirangerfjord (Norway) and the surrounding area, it is seen that Trollstigen connects the city of Ondalsnes and the city of Nurdal and is itself part of the RV63 – the national highway.

In the early 2000s, repair and strengthening work was carried out here, and road safety was much improved.

Lookout overlooking Trollstigen

At the top point at 858 m, parking is equipped, there are souvenir shops, shops and a large platform with views of the road loops and the powerful 180-meter Stigfossen waterfall.

In autumn and winter, Trollstigen is not operated, tourists can travel on it only from May to October inclusive. Opening and closing dates vary slightly every year, you can find out the exact dates on the sites of local travel agencies.

Helpful advice! Almost every tourist attraction and object in the tourism industry in Norway has its own official website and all of them are easy to find on the network. The official website of the Geiranger Fjord is www.geirangerfjord.no.

Geiranger Fjord Waterfalls and Glaciers

Beautiful Norway waterfalls on this fjord are found throughout its length. The delight is caused by the large Stigfossen (180 m), which is clearly visible from the observation platform of the Troll Stairs.

Stigfossen Waterfall by the Troll Road

And the most famous and memorable are three waterfalls 6 km west of the village:

  • Seven Sisters Waterfall (in Norwegian De syv søstrene)
  • Waterfall “Groom” (Nor. Friaren)
  • Bridal Veil Waterfall (Norwegian Brudesløret).

All of them are located not far from each other and are plot-united by one legend. True, the legend exists in two versions, but the result is the same in both.

Seven Sisters

One young brave Viking was struck by the beauty of seven sisters and decided to get married. I bought a veil and hit the road, but I couldn’t choose one of the seven brides: they were all dazzlingly good, and the guy froze forever in indecision, losing the veil from his hands … And the sisters on that bank, too, were expecting and disappointed with tears and still cry.

According to the second version, on the contrary, all the sisters refused the young man, and the Viking drowned his grief in the bottle – it is clearly visible in the outlines of the Groom waterfall. At some distance, the thrown “Veil of the Bride” splashes with small sparks, and, on the other side, the Seven Sisters waterfall: looking at this picture, inconsolable sisters cry with bitter tears in seven streams from a height of 250 meters.

There are several glaciers in the vicinity of the Geiranger Fjord.

Panoramic view of the Geiranger Fjord

You can see them in the Jostedalsbreen National Park of Norway.

Geiranger Fjord Observation Decks

Of the most famous and most visited Geiranger sites, two (Fludalsjüve and Ernesvingen) are not far from the village, and the third is high on Mount Dalsnibba.

Fludalsjuvet (Flydalsjuvet)
Observation deck Fludalsjuve
Photos from the site of Fludalsjuve

This is a site 4 km from the village by the highway that goes to another village, Grotley. Most of the spectacular photos of tourists traveling along the Geiranger Fjord were taken from this platform, or rather, from a steep cliff below two parts of the platform, equipped at different levels, connected by a walking trail.

The plot of all the shots is the same: the heroes of the shots are jumping, standing on a steep rock, raising their hands, or sitting with their legs dangling into the abyss – alone or in pairs.

But it’s better not to risk taking a seat and admiring the scenery on the throne of “Queen Sonya”: a little higher is an excellent observation deck equipped with a stone throne, at the opening of which the queen herself was present in 2003.

The throne of Queen Sonya

And from the throne along the path there is no problem to get even higher, to the main viewing Geiranger, which at first sightseers get by road. The views in the summertime from here to the fjord and port are wonderful: white boats and cruise liners moor and sail one by one.

Ernesningen (Ørnesningen)
Ernesvingen Observation Deck

2 km from the village in the opposite direction begins the serpentine road (Orlov Road), which rises higher to the ferry crossing. It is visible from the first platform. The track runs first along the shore of the Geiranger Fjord, then snakes along the slope, and near its last loop at an altitude of more than 600 m above sea level, an observation platform Ernesvingen is arranged.

From here, a kilometer-wide fjord seems like a wide blue stream, which was clamped by the mountain slopes. And the cruise ships going along it are toy boats.

Both sites are fenced, there are toilets and parking lots, on Flydalsjuvet – a large one.

Helpful advice! It is unrealistic for independent travelers on foot to reach both sites by autoserpentines, only by transport.

View from the observation deck Ernesvingen

Which exit?

  • Buy a Panorama bus ticket at the travel agency for 250 NOK, they go from one to the other on a regular basis. You can book a ticket at www.geirangerfjord.no.
  • Or rent an eMobile – a green 2-seater electric car. The cost of an hour of rent is 800 NOK, for 3 hours – 1850 NOK.

By car, it’s good to go to the observation deck of the Geranger Fjord in the early morning or two to three hours after lunch. At this time, there are no more tourists there, or already much less, and good light, which is important for excellent photos.

Dalsnibba
Dalsnibba Observation Deck

In the ranking of professional photographers, Dalsnibba is one of the first places of honor, this is a real paradise for photo masters. In addition to the wonderful distant panoramas of Norway, there are also many winning objects for shooting the foreground. This observation deck is located on top of a mountain at an altitude of 1,500 m.

You can get there by a branch from the main highway – Nibbevegen toll road (Fv63).

Cost of visit:

  • By local bus, round-trip ticket – 335 NOK (stop 20 min.)
  • 450 NOK / 1 person on a panoramic bus, on the way he first calls on Flydalsjuvet. The website for booking tickets is www.dalsnibba.no, here you can also see the schedule.
  • Entrance to the mountain on your car is paid – 140 NOK.
View from the observation deck of Dalsnibb

As the temperature rises, the temperature decreases, and snow on top sometimes can even be in summer. Upstairs there is a cafe, a small shop and an office building.

Many hiking trails depart from here, and the entire peak itself can sometimes be in clouds.

Inspect the fjord by water

There are several options to go along the Geiranger Fjord (Norway), and tickets for tours and rental of boats and gear in the village of Geiranger are offered in many places. Season – from April to the end of September.

Ferry Walk on Geiranger Fjord

The ferry runs to Aalesund, Valdall Hellesilt (at the opposite end of the “arrow”) and Strand.

Pleasure boats on Geiranger from the pier depart every hour or a half. The walk along the water surface of the fjord between the rocks lasts the same amount. Its cost for one tourist is 250 NOK.

Rafting Raf Boat Safari

Rafting safari on an inflatable RIB boat is noticeably more expensive – 695 NOK, but extreme sportsmen will not deny themselves the opportunity to try this option.

Kayaking is another opportunity to go through the most beautiful fiord of Norway and explore its interesting places. You can do it yourself (315 NOK / hour), you can in the company with a guide, which will cost 440 NOK.

Kayak Geiranger Fjord

Fishing on a rented boat is also an option for exploring the Geiranger Fjord from the water. The boats to choose from are different: very small inflatable and motor boats of different capacities. Rental price from 350 NOK per hour. More details can be found at geirangerfjord.no.

All prices on the page are relevant for the season 2018.

Trekking

In the vicinity of the village there are more than a dozen trekking routes.

Hiking signs

There are very simple walks that begin immediately from the village and go straight along the fjord.

Trekking route

And there are more complex multi-hour tracks that go high and steep into the mountains, to the beginning of which you will reach by road. Take a map of trekking routes at a hotel or tourist center.

The most popular route for experienced travelers is to the old, long-abandoned Skagefla Fjords Farm.

Farm Skagefla

Some start it from Homlonq camping, 3.5 km from the village, while other travelers partly travel from the fjord by a water taxi (boat), and then from a small pier along a steep trail climb directly to the farm to see a stunning view from this place Seven Sisters waterfall. Then follows another no less steep climb and already further 5 km along the path to the campsite, from where others, on the contrary, begin their journey along this route.

Helpful advice. Which of the tracking options for the old farm to choose, first or second, is up to the travelers themselves. It is only necessary to bear in mind that the descents on this route are much more difficult than the climbs.

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How to get there

You can get to the surroundings of the Geiranger Fjord by almost any means of transport.

Train
Ondalsnes Railway Station

Closest to Geiranger is the train station in Ondalsnes. Electric trains depart from the capital’s Central Station and Trondheim. Departing from Oslo, you will spend 5.5 hours en route, from Trondheim – 4-5 hours. There are many stops along the route. The cost of the trip and the schedule can be found on the website www.nsb.no.

Bus

Comfortable express trains go from Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim to Geiranger every day.

Water transport
Liner hurtigruten

In the summer, from Bergen to Geiranger can be reached on the Hurtigruten cruise shore liner, which runs north. In winter, these ships go to Ålesund, but they don’t enter Geiranger. Once in Aalesund, tourists get to the fjord by bus.

Car

From Bergen and Oslo by car to the surroundings of the fjord can be reached in 5-8 hours. From Ålesund, the center of Geiranger can be reached in 3 hours.

You can get to Geiranger by car ferry from Hellesult, combining two types of transport.

Air
Airport Alesund Airport Vigra
Alesund airport vigra

The nearest airport to Geiranger is also in Ålesund. You can get here by air from anywhere: Alesund Airport Vigra – AES has regular connections with many Norwegian cities.

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Geiranger fjord (Norway) – many travelers who have been here in reviews admit that among these breathtaking sparkling pristine waterfalls, alternating small plains and tall calm silent mountains, they felt like heroes of the Norwegian saga … And this is not surprising: the magnificent Norwegian Geirangerfjord is among the ten the most beautiful fjords in the world.



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