Norwegian Fjords: A paradise for your eyes
The deep blue fjords of Norway, crisscrossing mountains and stunningly beautiful scenery, are quite unlike anywhere else in the world. Although the fjords are not just a Norwegian phenomenon; as other mountainous regions around the world that have experienced ice ages often have fjords. However, many of the most spectacular ice-free fjords can be found in Norway. The most famous of them is found in western Norway.
And to all this ... What is a Fjord?
A fjord tells a story of water, ice and mountains. Fjords are long, narrow inlets between steep slopes or cliffs. They are formed as glaciers penetrate existing valleys, and water and ice gradually wear down mountain masses. Unlike surface currents, glaciers can cause erosion below sea level. Under the ice, stones and gravel are washed under and into the glacier. In this way, the glacier acts like a huge piece of sandpaper.
In Norway, we have had a total of 40 ice ages of varying lengths. During each of these ages, ice, meltwater, and gravel have worn away the rock. The result after each ice age is ever deeper valleys. Glaciers, water and gravel end up carving a valley so deep that the sea begins to flood it. This is how the Norwegian fjords were created. About 12,000 years ago, the ice was removed from the largest fjord in Norway, Sognefjord. The result is the impressive fjord landscape seen today.
The land of the fjords
Western Norway is known as 'the land of the fjords'. This region is famous for its spectacular scenery, where the fjords are carved out of the surrounding mountains. Over millions of years, ice and water have deeply eroded land masses, creating a maze of valleys above and below the water. Today, this wild and untamed landscape has become a magnet for tourists from around the world.
Norway has more than 1,700 identified fjords dotted along its 57,000 km-long coastline. Many of these fjords extend inland from the west coast of Norway. This area is also home to two fjords that appear on the UNESCO World Heritage List: Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord.
Are you still curious?
Nærøyfjord is beautiful at any time of the year. This fjord has been repeatedly chosen as one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. The American television channel CNN included Nærøyfjord, along with Geirangerfjord, in its list of the 10 best natural wonders of the world.
National Geographic magazine has chosen this fjord in the past as "The best unspoiled travel destination in the world." So it's no wonder that this fjord appears on the UNESCO World Heritage list.