Skip to Main Content
Holland America cruise ship sailing a Nordic fjord.

5 Best Fjords in Norway

Norway is known for its jagged coast, staggering cliffs and 1,190 glass-like fjords. Cut by glaciers during the ice age, these saltwater inlets are a cruising paradise with calm waters and fairytale landscapes. Like a diamond or a snowflake, each fjord is unique. Here are the best time to visit Norway fjords, the best tours of Norway fjords, along with what makes each fjord different.

Geirangerfjord | Sognefjord | Hardangerfjord | Trondheimsfjord | Liefdefd Fjord


If you’re ready to book a fjord cruise, check out Northern Europe cruises to explore your options.

1. Geirangerfjord - Most Beautiful  Fjord

Geirangerfjord has an impressive resume. Framed by forested mountains and plunging waterfalls, it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and claims to be “the world’s most beautiful fjord.” Geirangerfjord is so pretty, it could make a run for the world’s most beautiful place.

Known for its towering mountain peaks, striking blue waters, and abundant waterfalls, Geirangerfjord is the place to be to admire stunning scenery. After Norway's glaciers receded, they created deep valleys that were later filled with seawater. The Geirangerfjord has a depth of almost 500 meters (1,640 feet).


Geirangerfjord Location
Hailed as one of the most picturesque places in Scandinavia, Geirangerfjord is located within Stranda Municipality. Geiranger, a quaint village nestles at the head of this shimmering inlet. Here, passengers can join in a cultural love of the outdoors and sea kayak right on the fjord, or hike and bike numerous trails. Cabins, old fishermen houses, and fjord farms dot this quintessential Nordic landscape. The Geiranger Skywalk offers the perfect perch for jaw-dropping panoramas.


Best Time to Visit Geirangerfjord
A Norway summer tour is a great way to experience this UNESCO World Heritage Site at its most lush. If you plan to travel to Geirangerfjord between May and September, you’ll also benefit from the year’s best weather.



2. Sognefjord - The King 

Nicknamed King of the Fjords, Sognefjord is the longest and deepest of all the fjords in Norway. Any best tours of Norway fjords must include the King, which is celebrated for the magnitude and drama of its surroundings. It winds over 100 miles inland and has two smaller arms, Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. 

The end of Aurlandsfjord is marked by Flåm , a pastoral burg that’s like a step back in time. The town is so tiny that there aren’t traffic lights, but it is home to one of Norway’s greatest engineering feats—the Flåm railway, known for a steep gradient. Climb aboard to chug alongside narrow cliffsides to a waterfall where you might spot Hulder, a legendary forest creature.


Sognefjord Location
If your desire is to explore the untamed terrain of Norway, then Sognefjord is among the premier places to visit in the country. Norway’s top destination is surrounded by two magnificent national parks, Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen, where you can trek alongside stunning glaciers, marvel at towering summits, and relish the experience of observing wildlife.


The Best Time to Visit Sognefjord
If you’re looking for a classic fjord experience, plan to visit Sognefjord in the summertime. But autumn is the ideal time to enjoy clear air and admire scenic fall colors – the best time of the year for hiking and cycling. If you’d rather experience alpine ski touring, sled dog tours, fjord kayaking, the  Flåm railway, and guided tours to the magical blue ice caves under the glacier, winter is the best time to visit the Norway fjords. The spring breaks in with flowering and snow powdered mountain tops – maybe the best time of year to visit the Sognefjord.


3. Hardangerfjord - Troll’s Tongue 

Stretching from the Atlantic through the verdant Vestlandet region, Hardangerfjord is the fifth-longest fjord in the world. Many visit in spring to explore fields filled with blossoming fruit trees.

Trolltunga or Troll’s Tongue, a flat rock formation that juts over Ringedal Lake and Folgefonna Glacier is one of Norway’s most well-known hiking spots. Look for reindeer herds, along with elk and mountain fox frolicking in forested groves and thickets. In the arm of the fjord, you can visit Eidfjord, a beautiful town near the Vøringsfossen waterfall.


Hardangerfjord Location
The Hardangerfjord is located in Vestland County in the Hardanger region. At 161 kilometers (100 miles) long, the fjord is one of the longest in the world and plunges down almost 914 meters (a half mile) at its deepest point. It extends inland northeastward for 113 kilometers from Stord Island, at its entrance in the North Sea, to the Hardanger Plateau.


The Best Time to Visit Hardangerfjord
The best time to visit Hardangerfjord depends on your interests and activities. If you enjoy winter sports such as skiing and snowshoeing, then the winter season from December to February would be the best time to visit, as the Hardangervidda mountain plateau becomes a winter wonderland with ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

If you prefer milder temperatures and wish to experience the fruit orchards in full bloom, then the spring season from May to June would be the ideal time to visit the Hardangerfjord. The area is famous for its fruit blossoms, and the sight of the flowers in full bloom against the backdrop of the fjord is truly mesmerizing.

The summer season from July to August is the most popular time to visit the Hardangerfjord, as the weather is mild and ideal for hiking, cycling, and exploring the surrounding areas. The days are also longer, allowing for more time to enjoy the natural beauty of the fjord.



4. Trondheimsfjord - The Wake of Vikings 

Cruise in the path of Vikings along Trondheimsfjord . Though this fjord isn’t as mountainous as others on our best fjords in Norway list, it is a historic passageway that teems with fascinating bird and marine life-—even giant squid have been found in these waters. Artefacts from 3,000-year-old settlements were discovered in this region and it was the route of Vikings as they returned to their capital, Trondheim.


Trondheimsfjord Location
Trondheimsfjord is in the west-central part of Norway in Trøndelag county, stretching from the municipality of Ørland in the west to the municipality of Steinkjer in the north, while traversing the city of Trondheim en route. Near the end of the fjord, the island of Ytterøya is known for its produce, idyllic summer cottages and for Stone Age burial mounds.


The Best Time to Visit Trondheimsfjord
Each season has its own unique benefits. The best time to visit Trondheimsfjord depends on what you want to see and do. If you’re itching to go skiing, snow shoeing, or dog sledding, the winter season from December to February would be the best time to visit.

If you prefer milder temperatures activities such as hiking and cycling, then the summer season from June to August would be the ideal time to visit. The weather is mild, and the days are longer, allowing for more time to explore the surrounding areas.

The spring season from March to May and the autumn season from September to November are also good times to visit Trondheimsfjord, as the weather is cooler, and there are fewer tourists. During these seasons, you can enjoy hiking and fishing without the crowds.

5. Liefdefd Fjord - Top of the World 

 The Liefde fjord is home to some of artic Norway’s most breathtaking backdrops. Rich in history, the fjord was named after the ship "Liefde" (meaning "Love" in Dutch) that was used by the Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz during his third voyage to the Arctic in 1596. In the early 20th century, coal mining operations began in the nearby town of Ny-Ålesund, and the fjord was used as a base for expeditions to explore the surrounding glaciers and mountains. Today, the Liefde Fjord is a popular destination for tourists visiting the Svalbard archipelago. The fjord is known for its stunning scenery, which includes towering glaciers, dramatic cliffs, and a variety of Arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, reindeer, and arctic foxes. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world as you cruise the Liefde Fjord. Because you are.


Liefde Fjord Location
Cruising in Northern Europe’s isles is a bucket-list experience. On the north coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, the Liefdefd Fjord has some of artic Norway’s most breathtaking backdrops. Extinct volcanoes and hot springs draw many visitors to the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park, as well as the abandoned whaling stations and glimmering, arctic-blue glaciers.


The Best Time to Visit the Liefde Fjord
The best time to visit Liefde Fjord depends on your interests and preferences. If you want to see the Northern Lights, winter may be the best time to visit. If you're interested in wildlife viewing, or outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and glacier walks, summer is the best time to visit when the weather is milder. The waters of the Liefde Fjord are always accessible during the summer, but ice can make navigation difficult at other times of the year .


The best fjords in Norway list are just the beginning. Norway is full of cutting-edge museums, amazing islands, and thrilling excursions. Holland America Line has been guiding guests through the stunning waterways of Northern Europe for 150 years, including the majestic fjords of Norway. Our experienced staff is well-versed in the history and knowledge related to each Norway fjord, ensuring that our passengers get the most out of their visit. With Holland America Line, guests can expect to have just as enriching a conversation with our team members as they do from viewing the breathtaking fjords. So, whether you're looking to witness the wildlife, learn about the local history, or simply soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of the fjords, Holland America Line cruise is the perfect choice for your next adventure.

If you’re ready to book a fjord cruise, check out Holland America Line's  Northern Europe Cruises to explore your options.

Help Widget copy TBD

HAL Home page

Help Widget copy TBD

HAL Home page