Once you see it, you’ll get why Geiranger is often described as the world’s most beautiful fjord. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll want to wake up in time to ogle the scenery as your ship sails into the fjord to anchor at its head. About a third of the way up the country of Norway, between Trondheim and Bergen, Geiranger fjord is surrounded by jagged snowcapped mountains, with waterfalls, lakes, and streams, all of which add to the stunning effect.
What We Love
Hiking Flofjell Mountain: From Geiranger, many lines offer hiking excursions across “Flo” Mountain along a path used since medieval times. Walk past mountain streams and farms, where cows graze on wildflower-filled fields and rustic huts have turf-covered roofs.
Strynsvatn Lake: Norway is a country not just of fjords but of lakes, and this one near Geiranger is an eye-popping shade of blue. It’s the backdrop on many hiking, biking, and bus excursions.
Best Known For
Mount Dalsnibba: The drive up to the top of the 4,911-foot-high peak is a continuous loop of hairpin turns. At the top, the rocky, moon-like peak of Mount Dalsnibba is the best place to ogle Geiranger fjord below, where the giant cruise ships look like toy boats.
Glaciers: Briksdalsbreen in Jostedalsbreen National Park is framed by waterfalls and mountain peaks. One of the largest glaciers in Europe, it’s more than 1,200 feet thick in some parts. Travel there by bus and walk to the terminus or hop in one of the open-air trams called “trollcars” to have a close-up look.
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Who It's Best For
Outdoorsy Types: There’s no better place to hike or take in views than this stunning place that’s all about clean, green, and fresh.
Families: Treks are ideal for families with children over the age of 6, while bicycle excursions are great for families with older kids.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
You Might Get Bus Sick: The zigzagging bus rides up and down the mountains surrounding Geiranger fjord can cause queasiness for anyone prone to motion sickness.
It’s Crowded: Though Norway only has a population of about 5 million, the fjords attract hundreds of thousands of cruise ship passengers in summer, and they all wind up visiting just a few main ports. Geiranger is one of them. Expect convoys of tour buses on the road to top sites like Mount Dalsnibba.
Heidi Sarna is a Singapore-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today.