No cruise, or vacation in general, to Norway would be complete without a stop in Geiranger. In fact, with its fairytale landscape surrounded by majestic, snow-covered mountain tops, waterfalls, green vegetation and the deep, blue fjord, the Geirangerfjord is considered the jewel in the crown of the Norwegian fjords.
The best way to experience the Geirangerfjord is of course from the water. We recently were lucky to sail through the fjord for the second time and we were as mesmerised by its beauty as never before.
Shaped in an S-form, the 20 kilometer long fjord, which connects Hellesylt and Geiranger, never ceases to amaze thanks to it’s green mountains, impressive waterfalls and smooth blue water. At its deepest the Geirangerfjord is almost 260 meters deep and the mountains that surround it reach up to 1600-1700 meters above the water. No wonder the Geirangerfjord has been included on UNESCO`s list of World Heritage sites.
Sailing through the Geirangerfjord you’ll come across quite a few waterfalls but none are as famous as the Seven Sisters. Dei sju systre, as the falls are called in Norwegian, are probably the most photographed waterfalls in the Geirangerfjord. They have an average fall of around 250 meters and are an impressive sight when the water levels are high. The best time to see the seven waterfalls is during the major snow melting period in May-July and after a period of heavy rainfall.
The Suitor, or Friaren, lies on the opposite side of the Seven Sisters. The falls are not particularly high, but are split at the centre, revealing a rock face in a form that resembles a bottle.
Legend has it that the Suitor was constantly proposing to the beautiful Seven Sisters on the other side of the fjord, but he was steadfastly refused, and in his despair, turned to drinking.
While there are plenty of waterfalls to discover near Geiranger, the Storfossen waterfall in the town is a definite must-see and easy to explore.
From where the fall flows into the fjord you can follow the waterfall all the way up to the Norwegian Fjordcenter. The walk up (or down) the 327 steps offers some amazing view points and brings you close and above the waterfall.
The Norwegian Fjordcenter provides amazing background information about this UNESCO World Heritage site and shows how the landscape was created over time an how people live here. From the center you can either walk back down the waterfall walk or follow road 63 which will lead you past Geiranger Church. The qaint octagonal wooden church was built in 1842 and features a church bell from 1899. The small church seats only 120 people.
EAGLE ROAD and the ØRNESVINGEN VIEWPOINT
Another must-see in Geiranger is the Ørnesvingen viewpoint. Located at the highest of 11 hairpin bends on road 63 between Geiranger and Eidsdal, or Eagle Road as it is sometimes called, it offers an amazing panoramic view of the Geirangerfjord, with Geiranger to the left and the Seven Sisters waterfall to the right.
From the Ørnesvingen viewpoint a small stream is guided over a glazed front, forming a waterfall that drops 600 meter down into the fjord. No wonder those gigantic cruise ships looks so small…
Following road 63 in the opposite direction will take you to Flydalsjuvet, another spectacular viewpoint that offers impressive views and excellent photo-ops of Geiranger and Geirangerfjorden. It is located about 4 km from Geiranger, towards Grotli.
The viewpoint is divided into two areas, one upper and one lower plateau connected by a gangway. The Fjordsetet (The Fjord Seat) on the lower plateau is one of the most popular spots to take pictures with the fjord in the background.
GEIRANGER SKYWALK – DALSNIBBA
Further along road 63 is Djupvasshytta and the Djupvatnet lake. From here the Nibbevegen toll road (NOK 150 per car) takes you from 1038 m above sea level to the viewpoint at Dalsnibba at 1500 meter above sea level. The road normally opens in mid/late May and closes in October.
Mt. Dalsnibba’s new viewing platform was officially opened and named Geiranger Skywalk in August 2016 and offers those who are not afraid of heights, there’s a clear drop of approx. 500 m below the platform, amazing views of Geiranger.
The charming town of Geiranger can easily be explored on foot. For amazing views of the Geirangerfjord you can join one of the many organised boat, bus, car, bike and kayak tours or rent an electric car. More info on fjordnorway and visitnorway.