Norway’s fjords contain some of the most majestic scenery in the world. Seeing the Nærøyfjord or the Geirangerfjord (both on UNESCO’s World Heritage List) is on many a traveler’s bucket list, and the number of people visiting Norway every year is constantly increasing.
The small villages along the fjords are all hospitable, with friendly faces there to help you if you get lost or are unsure of something. However, there are some things you should not be asking about after you have arrived. Hence, this list of things you need to know before visiting the fjords of Norway was made to prepare you for your journey to the beautiful fjord landscapes and surrounding villages.
#1 What a fjord actually is
A fjord is a narrow inlet from the sea, allowing water to enter the land. It was created by glaciers and is usually accompanied by steep mountains or cliffs on each side. A fjord is not a river, as the water is still standing. It is not a lake, either. It is a fjord.
They say that when you see it you’ll know, but I’m not so sure in this case. Make sure to know the difference between a fjord and a lake before you visit and ask us how we got the cruise ships in there.
#2 Tickets sell out
There are many popular attractions for visitors to the fjord areas, and you’ll find activities to suit any need. However, if you arrive at noon and stroll into the ticket office thinking there will be plenty of tickets left for the Flåm Railway, you’re in for a surprise. The Flåm Railway is one of Norway’s top tourist attractions and can sell out weeks in advance on the right day. So make sure you plan your visit well, and book those tickets online.
#3 Yes, we live here all year ’round
I know that these villages may seem “absolutely adorable” to you and that it also seems like everyone here works in the tourist industry. We do not. When the tourists are gone, we are still a flourishing community with doctors, a cinema, and public transport to get us to the nearby shops. It’s just a little quieter in the winter.
#4 We appreciate the beauty around us
Having grown up in such a beautiful environment does not mean we take it for granted. I wake up every morning soaking up the view of the fjords and appreciate how lucky I am. The view is equally as beautiful to us, and no, we never get tired of it.
#5 If you visit in the summer, it won’t get dark
As Norway is so far north on the hemisphere, in summertime the sun doesn’t properly set. If you visit northern Norway, you’ll get to experience the midnight sun. While not quite as bad in western Norway (aka fjord country), you’ll still have to get used to sleeping with heavy curtains or an eye mask. In the summer months you can look forward to long days and not feeling very tired, which is a great way to make up for the lack of daylight we experience in the winter.
6. Everything is expensive
Last but not least, prepare yourself for Norwegian tourist prices. As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Norway is also one of the most expensive (. In addition to this, prices will be a little higher in the more tourist-dense areas, so make sure you save up and brace yourself for the cost.