Sognefjord – Norway’s Longest Fjord

Sognefjord is located in Vestland county, amongst the spectacular scenery of Western Norway. Known locally as the ‘King of Fjords’, Sognefjord is over 200 km long and stretches from the village of Skjolden up to the Luster municipality. Sognefjord is not only Norway’s longest fjord, but it’s also the largest and deepest fjord in the country.

The landscape around the Sognefjord has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its pristine natural beauty and provides the perfect backdrop for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation in Norway.

As well as the fjord itself, the nearby villages and communities such as Balestrand, Laedralsoyri and Ardal, are home to unique Stave churches, interesting museums, top-end hotels and wonderful restaurants that serve seasonal delights throughout the year.

Sognefjord is a fantastic destination for families, couples and solo travelers with plenty of activities and sights to see. Surprisingly, despite its remote location, it’s both easy and enjoyable to travel through the enchanting scenery to reach Sognefjord, which makes it ideal for your next holiday abroad.

How Do You Get To Sognefjord?

The best way to get to Sognefjord is to fly into Oslo airport, Norway’s main international transport hub. From Oslo, there are a number of different ways that you can travel onwards to Sognefjord; via plane, car or bus.

The flight from Oslo to Sogndal, near Sognefjord, takes around 45 minutes. If you can, you should definitely try to make sure that you get a window seat so you can appreciate the incredible scenery from the air! Once you reach Sogndal airport you can take the airport shuttle bus into the city to your hotel.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to drive from Oslo it will take you between 5 to 6 hours. The total drive is around 350 km and affords you amazing views of the lakes and mountains on the way. You need to drive to the ferry crossing of Mannheller-Fodnes where a ferry will take you and your car to Sogndal. The ferries leave each hour so you won’t even have to wait for too long to continue your journey.

Lastly, you can take a bus from Oslo to Sogndal. Buses run throughout the year with an average journey time of about 6 to 6.5 hours. You can buy bus tickets online or at any train station.

When’s The Best Time To Visit Sognefjord?

If you want to experience the famous ‘midnight sun’ of the North then you should visit Sognefjord during the summer months. Temperatures in the summer are very mild and conditions are ideal for cycling, hiking and sightseeing. However, the area can get a little crowded since it’s the tourist high season. Even so, it’s a great time to visit the Sognefjord.

Alternatively, if you want to save money on your accommodation and avoid the main crowds of tourists you can visit Sognefjord between October and April. Temperatures can drop very low in the winter months but you’ll have a truly unique adventure!

What Is There To Do At Sognefjord?

Visit The Viking Village Of Njardarheimr.

The Viking Valley first opened its doors to the public in 2017 and is a ‘living village’ that is a highly immersive attraction. Ideal for families with children and visitors with an interest in how the Vikings used to live amongst the fjords of Norway, the village puts on a wide range of activities.

There is loads to see and do during your visit to Njardarheimr, the Viking village where you’ll be hosted by guides in authentic costumes! There is a standard 45 minute tour which you can join; however, you can also hear traditional stories from Viking folklore, learn about their arts and crafts and even have the chance to try your hand at ax-throwing and archery!

If you want a full day experience you can take the ‘Explore and Learn’ package at the Viking Valley during which you’ll learn how Vikings did their chores and conducted their daily lives.

After your guided tour you can explore the Viking market, taste Viking food and drinks, all in a realistic setting. The Viking Village is located in Gudvangen and is easy to reach from Sognefjord. To find out more about booking your trip you can visit the Viking Valley’s official website.

The Flam Railway Line.

The Flam Railway line is the steepest standard gauge railway line in the world and gives you the chance to see the outstanding vistas and scenery of Aurland municipality. The remarkable 20 km train line takes you past towering waterfalls, snow-capped mountain peaks and pristine forests that can’t be reached any other way!

To make the most of your trip to the Flam railway you can join a private guided tour for the day. The tour departs from Bergen and you’ll travel in a private vehicle with your guide. The day trip includes stops at Sognefjord, Naeroyfjord, the Aurlandsfjord and the Flam railway itself. While you’re at Flam you can also explore the railway museum and have a bite to eat. For more information about the private guided tour, you can visit here.

Visit The Glacier Museum At Fjaerlandsfjord.

Fjaerland is near to Sognefjord and is the largest glacier in Europe! When you visit the glacier you can choose from a number of walking tours and hikes with expert local guides who will keep you safe on the ice.

As well as discovering the glacier, you can drop by the Norwegian Glacier Museum, peruse the local book shops, galleries and cafes of Fjaerland. During the day you can also take a cruise around the fjord to see the amazing scenery from another perspective. If you want to spend a few days in this picturesque spot then you can book into the Hotel Mundal.

Visit An Authentic Stave Church.

Sognefjord is home to some of the few remaining Stave Churches in Norway. These remarkable medieval churches are made entirely of wood and were once common throughout North Western Europe; however, today, there are not many well-preserved Stave Churches left!

One of the most ornately decorated Stave Churches in Sognefjord is the Hopperstad Church which was built in the 12th Century! The Hopperstad Church is located in the charming village of Vik. Alternatively, you can visit the Urnes Stave Church in Lusterfjord. This is the oldest Stave Church in Norway and is a UNESCO protected building.

Spend A Weekend At Balestrand.

Balestrand is one of the most beautiful communities in Norway and is a popular stop-off for visitors to Sognefjord. While you’re in Balestrand you can walk the Cultural Heritage Trail which takes you past many of the town’s special attractions, including St Olaf’s Church, ancient burial mounds and Cooper House.

It’s worth spending a few days in Balestrand to give yourself time to really experience the beauty and attractions of the area. The Kviknes Hotel, built in the 19th Century, is a gorgeous complex that used to host Kaiser Wilhelm II on his vacations! While you’re staying at the hotel you can also explore the fjord by kayak, take a boat cruise or simply relax in the fairytale surroundings.

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