The Best of Geirangerfjord: A UNESCO Partner Tour
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Approximately 8½ Hours
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The West Norwegian Fjords -- Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord -- were inscribed in 2005. Situated in southwestern Norway, they are part of the west Norwegian fjord landscape, which stretches from Stavanger in the south to Andalsnes to the north-east. The two fjords, among the world's longest and deepest, are considered as archetypical fjord landscapes and among the most scenically outstanding anywhere.
Geirangerfjord -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- is one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway. Begin your excursion in Geiranger, heading uphill past several hotels and chalets. Watch for the tiny octagonal church from Flydal Gorge, where the view down towards the fjord is superb.
Continue uphill on the toll road to Mount Dalsnibba, situated nearly 5,000 feet above sea level, from where there is an incomparable view on clear days. Drive past Djupvatn -- the deep lake -- which is usually covered in ice and snow until the end of June. You'll follow the New Stryn Mountain Road and, at Tystigen summer ski area, admire the skiers hurtling down the mountainside (conditions permitting).
Next, brace yourself for the hairpin bends of the Old Stryn Road, opened in 1895. It brings you to Stryn Lake known for its brilliant turquoise color. Follow the shores of the fjord before crossing a tree-clad hillside down to Hornindal Lake -- the deepest freshwater lake in Europe and full of fish. Your journey continues uphill, crossing the border between the Counties Sogn-Fjordane and Møre-Romsdal.
You'll pass through the village of Hellesylt, situated at the head of Synnulvsfjord. Author Henrik Ibsen was inspired to write one of his best-known plays, Brand, here.
The last leg of your journey is by ferry, crossing Geirangerfjord for the opportunity to admire the towering mountains, waterfalls and abandoned mountain farms clinging to the sheer cliffs. After an hour on the fjord, you'll reach the village of Geiranger, where your ship is waiting.
Lunch is served en route.