Nine reasons to visit Nordfjord
For experiencing the best that Norway has to offer in one fjord, we invite you to visit Nordfjord, the fjord we call home. This fjord is located at the West Coast, between Bergen and Ålesund, off the beaten track and away from Norway’s busiest tourist destinations.
You will certainly find something that suits you on your vacation through this magnificent region. From the coastal area of Bremanger to the glaciers in the inner fjord at Loen, there are countless things to see and do.
If you are up for an adventure: hiking, paddling, cycling, climbing or do a scenic road trip, Nordfjord is the place to be. With over 230 marked hiking trails there are countless mountains, meadows, and coastlines to be explored.
Bremanger, where the Nordfjord meets the ocean
The Nordfjord starts at the coastal area of Bremanger, Norway’s wild coast with spectacular white beaches, sea cliffs, and small islands. This area is home to Hornelen, Europe’s highest sea cliff, standing 860 meters high. You can go on our guided hike up to the top, if you are looking for a challenge. There are plenty of easier hikes as well, all with panoramic views of the fjord and ocean.
This area is also perfect for kayaking, and we would love to take you on a private kayak adventure. This is a great family activity with children, our guide makes sure that you will have a fun and safe experience. Paddle along the numerous islands, spotting wildlife such as seals and eagles along the way, enjoy a seafood dinner in local restaurants, or hike down to the beaches and go for a refreshing swim.
Experience Norway’s fishermen culture in Kalvåg, a small village along the coast. Walk around the harbor to take in the history. You can also have lunch or dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Knutholmen, this is also a great place to spend the night.
Hike the Hornelen, Europe’s highest sea cliff at 860 meters (2820 ft), located in Bremanger
Tip from the locals is to visit the Ålfotenfjord, a sidearm of the Nordfjord. An unknown pearl but beautifully situated with high steep rock faces and a glacier in the background. Do not forget to visit the Deerfarm and feed the deer, before hiking into the Førdevalley just behind the deerfarm, an easy walk with great beauty.
Visit the Deerfarm in Ålfoten
Photo by Norway Adventures
Paradise for hikers and skiers
Moving inland, the landscape changes to spectacular mountaintops, which can be hiked in summer. Hiking in the fjord landscape means steep climbs up and back down again, but the views are sure to be worth it. Trails around the Nordfjord area are well-marked. Difficulty is not just measured in length of the trail, but also how many meters you climb or descend and not to forget the weather and condition of the path.
Different trails are marked with different colors, showing the level of the hike. Green and blue trails are easy/medium level trails, good for beginners. Red trails require a high fitness level and some sections are very steep. Black trails are for experts, you will cross streams, scramble across sketchy sections, and use your own wit to hike. The hike up Hornelen is considered a red trail (but takes at least 7-9 hours, is rather heavy, and would almost be considered a black trail).
Skiing in Nordfjord
Unleash your inner skier while skiing down in deep powder with a fjord view and let your dreams come true. Try ski touring or snowshoeing on this rugged terrain in the winter and spring months. The best time to visit Nordfjord for ski touring is March to mid May. Since this area is huge and there are no big ski resorts you do not have to stand in line, you will even be happy when you meet others. You do not have to get up early either for the best snow like many other places in the world.
There are several ski areas along the Nordfjord where you can rent equipment for one or several days. Some small ski resorts are available like Harpefossen skisenter and Stryn Vinterski (both also have accommodation for rent). The main reason why you should choose the Nordfjord is the variety of ski touring possibilities and terrain. Whether skiing on or off-piste, it is sure to be spectacular. If you are not a very experienced ski mountaineer no problem, hire a local guide who can safely take you up and down the best mountains.
Our founder Rogier has been skiing since he was 3 years old and he moved to Nordfjord because of the unique skiing possibilities. He will be happy to share his passion and knowledge for the best spots with you.
Our viking heritage in the Nordfjord
If you are looking for a cultural visit, Nordfjord has plenty of Viking heritage, including the largest Viking ship ever found, which is 30 meters long (100 ft). Although the ship was burned for the burial ceremony of a Viking king, a seaworthy replica was made in 2016, which can now be found in a museum called Sagastad.
Along with our Viking heritage, you can also go on farm visits to experience the way of life in the Norwegian countryside, like our historic sheep farm in Davik. Many of these exclusive visits are hard to find online so feel free to ask us for tailor made options for meeting the locals = modern Vikings.
The inland of the Nordfjord
As you travel further in the fjord the landscape continues to change and become more dramatic. At Loen, Nordfjords’ most inland fjord village, you can enjoy a 210 degree panoramic view from atop mount Hoven. A cable car, Loen Skylift, takes you 1011 meters (3316 ft) above sea level. There is an extensive network of trails suitable for hiking, snowshoeing, and ski touring. Take in the view of the Nordfjord and the surrounding mountains.
A must for the adventurous: the Via Ferrata
If you are looking for a thrilling adventure in the Nordfjord, there is a Via Ferrata or ‘iron road’ where you climb high above the fjord, up steep rock walls and across small bridges over canyons. The Via Ferrata in Loen is one of the most extensive networks in Europe, with different difficulty levels available, suspension bridge and a zipline. The minimum age for this is 12 years old. There are plans for building a Via Ferrata on the Hornelen as well, ask us for more information.
The Jostedal Glacier
This glacier is the largest in continental Europe. Go hiking on the glacier with a professional guide or hike a trail to a hidden glacier tongue only the locals know about, the Bødalsbreen. You can also visit the Lodalen, a lake where rockslides caused a 40 meters high tsunami in the early 20th century.
Via Ferrata Loen: Experience the fjord from up high, lots of climbing required! (But no experience is needed)
Mountainbiking in Sandane
If you like mountain biking then a visit to the village of Sandane is a must. There are numerous trails to pick from, with great views over the fjords and surrounding mountains. You will also find a pump track here. Nordfjord Aktiv will be happy to help you with bicycle rental or a guide.
In Sandane you will also find the charming ‘Trivselsskogen’ which is a great area for hiking, also for families with children. You can relax at the Sun Plateau and use the barbecues, walk through the Love Forrest, take a break at the day hut Draumekvila or continue all the way up to the view point.
Race down the forest paths on your mountain bike tour
Photo by Nordfjord Aktiv
Visit the Nordfjord, our home in Norway
About Rogier van Oorschot
Owner. guide, and travel designer
Rogier creates transforming experiences and takes you on a journey in the Norwegian wilderness and culture, getting an in depth understanding of this amazing country.
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