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Norwegian Fjords

Norway’s western coastline is famous for the most spectacular fjords on earth which cut through the dramatic scenery, their steep, solid sides ending abruptly at the glittering blue water. The long narrow inlets of the sea were typically formed by glaciers during the Ice Age which the area that today we call Norway experienced for much longer than other places in the word. Taking into account Norway’s fjords, its coastline becomes ten times longer than it would be otherwise. Norway’s longest and deepest fjord is Sognefjord, nicknamed King of the Fjords, as it reaches 127 miles inland, while its cliffs rise almost sheer from the water to heights of over 3,300 feet. The inner end of the Sognefjord is covered by the Jostedalsbreen, continental Europe's largest glacier. Naeroyfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord is wild and beautiful and narrow. The mountains rise up on either side almost vertically in places. Remote farms and tiny villages dot the shoreline, and the fjord itself serves as the only connection between them. The Viking Village of Njardarheimr allows for an insight into the Viking history and culture at the very site of the battle of Fimreite, where two Viking kings clashed over the crown of Norway.

Another branch of the Sognefjord is the celebrated Aurlandsfjord, often considered one of the most picturesque spots in Norway. It is the longest branch of the Sognefjord which ends at the village of Flam, the starting point for many adventures in the fjordland and also the Stegastein Viewpoint that offers dramatic unobstructed views of the fjord and the surrounding mountains. Harangerfjord, a little south of Bergen, is the second longest fjord in Norway. Famous for its iconic viewpoint, Trolltunga, literally “troll’s tongue,” a jutting rock shelf which rewards experienced hikers with spectacular views and pictures. About 8,000 BC, as the enormous glacial ice started to melt, the Scandinavian land mass started to rise up. The lower parts of the valleys became flooded and created what we know today as the Hardangerfjord. The valley was originally not only made through glacial erosion but by the high pressure melting water which pushed its way beneath the ice. The history of the Harangerfjord goes far beyond its Viking history, back to the time of hunters on the surrounding mountains, and later on, farming along this fertile area which today is considered the "fruit orchard of Norway".