Named by Travel + Leisure as one of the top places to travel in 2015, Norway is an up-and-coming destination. The birthplace of skiing as well as home to charming fishing villages, the midnight sun and aurora borealis, this fascinating country is not a surprising entry on the list. While the northern nation has much to offer, it’s the beautiful fjords that have really got us longing to visit.
What is a fjord?
Fjords (pronounced fee-yords) are narrow inlets created by glacial erosion over the course of many ice ages. These geographical features are what give western Norway its dramatic coastline—the most impressive are flanked by sky-high cliffs or sloping mountains and can stretch inland for hundreds of miles.
By the numbers
1,190 – The estimated number of fjords in Norway
127 – The length in miles of Sognefjord, the longest in the country
2 – The number of fjords recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites
Location: Sogn og Fjordane
Fun fact: In addition to being the longest fjord in Norway, Sognefjord is the longest open (or ice-free) fjord in the world.
Fun fact: The land surrounding Hardangerfjord is known as “the fruit orchard of Norway,” due to its fertile soil.
Fun fact: Dotted with sheer rock faces and towering peaks (such as 1,982-foot Pulpit Rock and 3,228-foot Kjerag) Lysefjord is a top spot for BASE Jumpers.
Location: Møre og Romsdal
Fun fact: In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Geirangerfjord is rated as the world’s number one natural heritage site by the National Geographic Society.
Fun fact: Nærøyfjord is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, as one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway, it was used as inspiration for the animators of Frozen.
Have you ever explored Norway’s fjords? Tell us about it in the comments.