Why Nærøyfjord Should Be on Your Norway Travel Bucket List

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verificationVerified Expert

    Norway's fjords have long been celebrated for their breathtaking beauty, but Nærøyfjord stands out as a hidden gem that captivates travelers with its unique charm. Imagine steep, verdant cliffs rising dramatically from tranquil waters, creating a picturesque scene straight out of a fairy tale. 

    In this blog, we'll explore what makes Nærøyfjord so special, covering everything from its stunning landscapes to the myriad of outdoor activities it offers. Whether you're an avid nature lover or simply seeking tranquility, Nærøyfjord is a must-visit destination that promises an unforgettable experience.

    Quick Facts About Nærøyfjord

    Before diving into Nærøyfjord's unique aspects, here are some quick facts that highlight what makes this fjord a must-visit location:

    • Length: Nærøyfjord stretches approximately 17–18 kilometers (10.5–11.2 miles), providing a long, winding journey through scenic beauty.
    • Width: At its narrowest, the fjord is about 250 meters (820 feet) wide and over 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) wide at its broadest point.
    • Depth: The fjord ranges from 12 to 500 meters (39 to 1,640 feet) deep, offering varied aquatic landscapes.
    • Surroundings: It is cradled by the towering Jotunheimen Mountains, which reach up to 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) in height, providing a dramatic backdrop.
    • Heritage: Nærøyfjord, an arm of the Sognefjord, has the honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Geirangerfjord, and is considered the world's top natural heritage site by the National Geographic Society. 
    • Movie fame: The fjord was the inspiration for Arendelle in Disney's Frozen, and its landscape served as the backdrop for scenes in the movie.

    Naeroyfjord in Norway

    Where is Nærøyfjord Located in Norway?

    Geographically, the Nærøyfjord is an arm of the Aurlandsfjord, which is a subset of the larger Sognefjord. Both of these stunning fjord arms are situated in Aurland municipality, nestled within Norway's fjord region. 

    Adding to its natural beauty, the river Nærøydalselvi flows into the fjord from the picturesque Nærøydalen valley. The fjord extends from the village of Gudvangen, passing through dramatic landscapes, to meet the Aurlandsfjord at the impressive Mount Beitelen. This unique geographical setting makes Nærøyfjord a treasure trove of scenic vistas and a prime location for outdoor exploration.

    How Can You Get To Nærøyfjord?

    The two most popular ways of reaching Nærøyfjord are either by land or by sea. Let's explore these two options further:

    By Land

    Driving to Nærøyfjord is a fantastic option for those who enjoy the independence and adventure of a road trip. If you’re starting from Bergen, the journey typically takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, whereas from Oslo, it’s approximately a 5.5 to 6-hour drive. The route takes you along the E16, which is renowned for its stunning vistas, passing through lush valleys and alongside crystal-clear lakes. 

    By Water

    Taking to the water is another excellent option for reaching Nærøyfjord. Cruises from Bergen offer a scenic and leisurely approach, typically stopping at charming towns like Flåm and Gudvangen along the way. If you prefer more flexibility, passenger ferries connect key towns such as Aurland and Gudvangen, allowing you to traverse some of the fjord's most picturesque sections. 

    Things to Do in Nærøyfjord

    Now that you have a better understanding of Nærøyfjord's geography and how to reach it, let's delve into some of the activities you can experience while visiting this stunning destination:

    Explore the Majestic Fjords by Boat

    Take a fjord cruise for unforgettable experiences in Nærøyfjord. Exploring the fjord by boat allows you to fully appreciate its dramatic landscapes. Marvel at the slender, profound channels embraced by soaring cliffs and vibrant foliage.

    Witness key sights along the cruise route, passing by charming villages like Gudvangen and Bakka. Enjoy panoramic vistas perfect for photography as you encounter stunning waterfalls and serene nature. 

    Explore Charming Villages

    When visiting Nærøyfjord, exploring the villages of Gudvangen and Bakka offers a unique glimpse into traditional Norwegian life. Gudvangen Village is a picturesque time capsule characterized by its traditional Norwegian architecture, serene atmosphere, and is surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery. This village not only offers a peek into the region's past but also allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the tranquillity of nature. 

    Over on the eastern side of Nærøyfjord, you'll find Bakka Village. Known for its well-preserved wooden buildings and tranquil surroundings, Bakka provides an authentic Norwegian experience. 

    Amazing Naeroyfjord in Norway

    Hiking and Outdoor Activities in Nærøyfjord

    Nærøyfjord is a paradise for hiking and outdoor enthusiasts. The surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests boast numerous hiking trails that invite you to connect with nature and breathe in the fresh mountain air. These trails not only provide fantastic exercise but also lead you to discover hidden gems scattered throughout this stunning region. 

    Among the most favored treks, the Rimstigen Hike stands out, providing breathtaking panoramic vistas of Nærøyfjord and the neighboring Aurlandsfjord. Equally remarkable, the Stigen Hike takes explorers on a journey to the renowned Bakkanosi Waterfall, a majestic natural spectacle that justifies the effort.

    Whether you're an experienced hiker or a beginner, these trails offer something for everyone. For more information on the best trails, check out this comprehensive guide on hiking in Norway.

    Serene Kayaking Experience in Nærøyfjord

    Paddle through the tranquil waters of the Nærøyfjord and explore hidden coves, appreciating the surrounding natural beauty in a way few other activities allow. Guided kayak tours are available for all skill levels, making it an ideal adventure for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. 

    As you navigate the fjord, you will have the chance to discover its natural history and observe wildlife, including seals, porpoises, and various bird species. This unique opportunity allows you to immerse yourself fully in the peaceful atmosphere of the fjord, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

    Snow in Naeroyfjord

    Visit The Historical Bakka Church

    The ancient Bakka Church is a historical pearl nestled along the shores of the Nærøyfjord. This well-preserved wooden church dates back to the 19th century and offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural and religious history. 

    The church’s intricate wooden architecture provides a sense of reverence and awe, making it a highly recommended stop for anyone visiting Nærøyfjord. By exploring Bakka Church, visitors can truly appreciate the heritage of Norway's wooden churches and the enduring legacy of its past. For more on these unique structures, explore stave churches in Norway.

    Where To Stay in Nærøyfjord

    For an unparalleled stay in Nærøyfjord, consider these top accommodations that cater to different preferences and budgets: 

    • Gudvangen Camping: This site offers various accommodations tailored to diverse budgets. Choose between cabins featuring basic amenities for a cosy stay or opt for camping spots if you prefer to connect more intimately with nature. Gudvangen Camping is perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers looking to immerse themselves in the spectacular landscapes.
    • Gudvangen Fjordtell: A comfortable mid-range option, Gudvangen Fjordtell provides cosy rooms that boast stunning views of the fjord. It's ideal for those who seek a blend of comfort and scenic beauty during their stay in Nærøyfjord, ensuring a memorable and relaxing experience.
    • Gudvangen Budget Hotel: Perfect for budget travelers, this hotel offers simple and affordable accommodations. It's a great choice for those wanting to experience the remarkable beauty of Nærøyfjord without breaking the bank.

    Best Time to Visit Nærøyfjord

    The best time to visit Nærøyfjord is during the late spring to early autumn months (May to September). During this period, the weather is relatively mild, and the days are long, providing ample daylight for exploring. In the summertime, expect temperatures to range between 10 to 20°C (50-68°F), ideal for outdoor activities and enjoying the dramatic landscapes.

    Packing Essentials

    To make the most of your visit to Nærøyfjord, ensure you pack the following essentials:

    • Layered clothing: The weather can fluctuate, so bring lightweight layers that keep you warm.
    • Waterproof jacket and trousers: Sudden rain is common.
    • Comfortable hiking boots: Suitable for the numerous hiking trails and outdoor activities.
    • Camera or smartphone: To capture the stunning scenery and unforgettable experiences.

    Visiting Naeroyfjord in Norway

    Travel Tips

    Ensure a seamless and memorable trip to Nærøyfjord by keeping these insider tips in mind:

    • Book tours in advance: Popular activities such as fjord cruises and guided kayak tours can fill up quickly.
    • Respect local customs: Be courteous and acknowledge local etiquette, such as maintaining cleanliness and respecting private property in villages.
    • Safety tips: Always inform someone of your hiking plans, carry a map, and stay on marked trails to ensure a safe adventure.

    Plan Your Next Adventure to Nærøyfjord

    Nærøyfjord is a must-visit destination in Norway, offering stunning natural beauty, historic sites, and a range of outdoor activities suitable for all travelers. Whether it's hiking on scenic trails, experiencing serene kayaking, or soaking in the rich cultural history at Bakka Church, there’s something for everyone. 

    Add Nærøyfjord to your travel bucket list and start planning your adventure today. For a unique way to travel around the country, consider renting a campervan in Norway. Not only will a campervan save you time and money on accommodation, but it also allows for flexibility in your itinerary, giving you the freedom to explore Nærøyfjord at your own pace. Don't miss out on this unforgettable destination. Book your trip now!

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