Nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords’, the majestic Sognefjord is one of the world’s longest fjords as well as being the largest in Norway. Located in Vestland county in western Norway, it stretches 205km inland from the ocean to the village of Skjolden in the municipality of Luster. In some parts, the fjord spreads to 6km wide, with surrounding sheer cliffs soaring as high as 1,000m. The water runs more than 1,000m deep for roughly 100km and then drops gradually with a threshold at about 150m in the Solund area. As you sail through Sognefjord in the wake of the Vikings, you will pass spectacular and awe-inspiring natural wonders, from snow-capped mountains to cascading waterfalls.
Why cruise Sognefjord
A scenic cruise along the King of the Fjords is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, showcasing the world’s most incredible natural wonders and dramatic scenery. Cruise lines including P&O Cruises and Fred Olsen sail to Sognefjord as part of their Norway cruise itineraries.
What to see and do in Sognefjord
Considered one of the most stunningly beautiful train journeys in the world, the iconic Flåm Railway, completed in 1940, runs from the end of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord, up to the high mountains at Myrdal, situated at a dizzying 867m above sea level. On this scenic journey, you will pass towering mountainsides, cascading waterfalls, lush forests and no less than 20 tunnels. Fortunately, the train runs slowly, so you will have plenty of time to take in this breathtaking scenery from your train window. Once you arrive in Myrdal station, you can either choose to take the Flåmsbana back to Flåm or if you’re feeling daring, you can choose to hike or bike back, following the railway through the Flåm Valley.
One of the branches of Sognefjord, the Unesco-listed fjord is 18km long and is burrowed between sharp, 1,800m high peaks. In some parts, Næroyfjord is just 500m wide, which is why only small cruise ships can embark on this scenic journey past wild waterfalls and picturesque farms. MSC is one of the cruise lines to offer this as an excursion, which also includes a bus ride through the narrow Nærøydalen Valley to the Stalheimsfossen and Sivlefossen waterfalls, the latter of which boasts a 160m cascade.
Along with the Næroyfjord, the Aurlandsfjord is considered one of the most beautiful fjords in the world. Another branch of Sogneford, the 29km fjord flows through the municipalities of Aurland, Vik, and Lærdal. In most parts, the deep and narrow fjord is less than 2km wide and its tranquil waters run 962m below sea level. Picturesque villages that sit along the fjord include Flåm (which sits at the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord), Aurlandsvangen and Undredal.
If you’re looking for the perfect vantage point to take in the spectacular beauty of Sognefjord, you will find none better than Stegastein viewpoint. Built in 2006 as part of a project to promote national tourist trails, the steel and laminated pine platform, situated 650m up from the fjord, extends 30m out from the mountainside, thereby giving visitors completely unobstructed views of Aurlandsfjord and Sognefjord.
Need to know when travelling to Sognefjord
Getting around in Sognefjord
Vik cruise port is a tender port, so cruise ships will need to use tenders to ferry passengers to the shore. Vik offers a variety of attractions, shops and cafés within walking distance from the port, but due to its remote location, the best way to experience Sogneford’s main attractions is on organised shore excursions.
When to go to Sognefjord
For outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling or kayaking, the best time to visit Sognefjord is during the summer months between June and August, with the fabled midnight sun promising long days. However, if you prefer fewer crowds, May and September are ideal.
Sognefjord uses the Norwegian krone.
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don't need a visa to enter Norway unless you're planning to stay longer than three months.
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