Travel Travel Guides

A Guide to the Geirangerfjord, Norway

The Geirangerfjord is one of thousands of fjords that line the wild, western coastline of Norway. Its dramatic cliff edges and prominent waterfalls come together to create the ultimate idyllic fjord landscape.

Along with the Nærøyfjord, the Geirangerfjord is an UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s extreme natural beauty earning it a well deserved World renowned status.

Q: What is a Fjord? A: An inlet carved into the landscape by a past glacier.

CURRENCY | Norwegian Krone
TIME NEEDED | 2 days – 1 week (it’s definitely possible to see the fjord in one day, but leaving time for amazing hikes and walks would be more than worth it!)
SEASONS & WEATHER | Cold in winter (frosts/heavy snow), mild in Spring and Autumn, warm in summer. Rain and low clouds can be common! Summer should guarantee better weather. Note that the Geiranger ferry service has a season, usually between May – late September. Most restaurants and accommodation options close for winter.
LANGUAGES | Norwegian, but English is widely spoken
HOW TO SAY HELLO | Hallo
HOW TO SAY THANK YOU | Takk
TRANSPORT | Walking/hiking, ferry, rental car/van
NEAREST AIRPORT | Ålesund Airport (AES)
NEAREST BUS STATION | Hellesylt & Geiranger have bus stops with limited times so make sure to plan ahead and look online.

THINGS TO VISIT, PLACES TO SEE

Take a boat into the Geirangerfjord

Whether an immersive kayaking experience is your thing or lounging on a ferry with a coffee, exploring the fjord by water is a must. The height of the Fjord is spell binding with the mountains steeply rising on either side reaching straight down to the water. It’s incredible.

The car/passenger ferry | Gliding along the Geirangerfjord between the villages of Geiranger and Hellesylt, the car ferry has four departure times from each village a day, with a foot passenger return ticket costing 470 NOK.

The journey takes about an hour each way, and you can stand outside or sit in the cosy lounge area. A recorded guide over the speakers regales stories of the inhabitants who once lived in the farms and small holdings that dot the mountainsides. From the tax man being cut off from visiting as the home owners refused to send down the ladders and rope, to manoeuvring goats up the mountainside using a cable pulley system…

Their are a number of legendary sights and waterfalls to spot, including ‘the suitor’ and ‘the seven sisters’, Ørnevegen (the Road of Eagles), which winds its way up and over the mountain with 11 hairpin bends, and even porpoises. The tiny farmhouses inexplicably perch on small ledges along the fjord. Knivsflå sits on a ledge next to the thundering Seven Sisters waterfall, and Skageflå sits opposite.

Other boats | You can also hop on a number of boat tours which just depart from Geiranger itself, from kayaks, speedy rib boats to leisurely cruises.

Tip: The waterfalls will have a higher water flow after heavy rains, and at the beginning of the year as the snow melts.

Norwegian Fjord Centre | Geiranger

A fairly small but compact museum which provides informative displays on the formation of fjords, local floral and fauna and history of the area. It’s a great option if you are curious to know more about this impressive landscape, or if you just find yourself caught in the rain.

Rainbows forming in the mist of the Seven Sisters waterfall

Hiking

Before setting off on any trails it’s vital to double check the weather, and carry enough water/snacks to keep you going, as well as good hiking shoes and warm/waterproof clothing. In Geiranger it might be worth asking for advice from the tourist information staff to double check route length/safety.

Do your research before hiking mountain peaks in Norway. Snow is often still on the ground in summer and proper climbing gear may be required.

Geiranger Walks & Hikes

The Waterfall Walk | A short walk from the small village centre, follow signs to the Norwegian Fjord centre that take you up a set of stairs alongside the impressive Storfossen Waterfall.

Vesterasfjellet viewpoint | A roughly 1.5 hour walk up to a ridge right above the ferry and cruise ship terminal. It’s a really lovely walk, passing over small streams, through forest and emerging onto the grassy pasture of a local farm, teeming with goats.

The Vesterasfjellet viewpoint

Storsæterfossen | For a scenic hike that takes you behind a waterfall follow the trail signs for Storsæterfossen. From Vasterås it takes approximately 1.5 hours for a return trip.

The Skageflå Hike | A great option is to combine a fjord cruise that drops you off at Skageflå so you can then hike back. The view from the old farm is perhaps the best viewpoint of the fjord. Just to note, the trail is intermediate and demanding, so come prepared with hiking boots, appropriate layers and water.

The famous viewpoints | Ørnesvingen, Skageflå, Vesterasfjellet, Flydalsjuvet and the Dalsnibba view point

Passengers being dropped at Skageflå

Stranda Walks & Hikes

Roaldshornet mountain | If you’re basing yourself in Stranda check out the trail that leads to the top of Roaldshornet mountain, you can hike up or use the Gondola to take you to the Fjord panorama restaurant where you can then carry on to the top of the mountain to get incredible views overlooking the village and fjord.

Lievarden | A beautiful hike with incredible views across the Storfjorden and Sunnmøre alps. The starting point for Lievarden is a 15 minute drive from Stranda, if you book a guided tour you can arrange transport from Stranda with your guide.

If you have a car and extra time to explore this part of the Møre og Romsdal county, you could also check out the Slogen and Trollstigen mountain peaks. There are a huge number of beautiful hikes in this region, this selection just scratches the surface!

Hellesylt Walks & Hikes

Hellesylt is tiny, but beautiful. If you have time to spare whilst waiting for the ferry, take time to wander around the promenade, including the enticing swimming platform. You can also follow the river at the south of the village for a kilometre or so. It looks particularly beautiful in the morning sunlight.

Steimsnibba | For great views over the sunnylvsfjorden and Hellesylt there is a climb to the top of Steimsnibba. The trail is fairly well trodden and is marked by small cairns and painted red ‘v’ shapes. It is however a fairly demanding hike, so great care should be taken.

The river that flows down to Hellesylt

PLACES TO STAY

Where you choose to stay will likely be influenced by how you’re travelling, whether public transport or with your own campervan or car, and where you are arriving from. I’ve put together a few options in Geiranger, Helleyslt, Eidsdal and Norddal, and Stranda which are some the closest villages to the fjord. It is also possible to travel to the Geirangerfjord from Ålesund on a day trip too.

The Grande Fjord Hotel and Cabins and Campsites

Tip: In most cabins/hostels in Norway you may need to pay a small additional fee to rent bed linen.

Geiranger Accommodation

Geiranger is placed at the very end of the Geirangerfjord. It’s a small but popular little village. Because of the deep waters in the fjord, cruise ships can easily access it, so don’t be surprised if one day you’re sharing the village with a cruise ship full of people. Best to just wander into the mountains with a picnic for a bit of peace…

Hole Hytter | £ | Perched on the hillside overlooking the village, a group of cosy wooden cabins surrounded by unique mountain plants. With kitchenettes and small terraces with seating areas, it’s a perfect budget option.

Djupvasshytta | ££ | If you have a car this is a beautiful option. Set in the mountains, at the side of a lake, this cosy, family owned hotel will immerse you right in the heart of Norways dramatic, mountainous scenery. It’s also very close to the Dalsnibba view point and a fairly short drive to Stryn Sommerski, where it’s occasionally possible to ski during the summer!

Some of the campsites in Geiranger

Helleyslt Accommodation

If you’re arriving from Ålesund and are on a bit of a budget, staying in Hellesylt could be a cheaper alternative to Geiranger.

Ljøen Camping | £ | Sat staring into the mouth of the Geirangerfjord, this tiny campsite has a prime view of not only the Geirangerfjord but the enormous Sunnylvsfjorden too.

Hellesylt Hostel | £ | The view of Hellesylt from the window of the hostel is beautiful. I spent 2 nights in the local hostel here, it’s very basic but cosy, and all that you need.

Eidsdal and Norddal Accommodation

To the north of the Geirangerfjord these two villages sit a short 5 minute drive apart and about 35 minutes from Geiranger village. You’ll likely pass through Eidsdal if you arrived by train in Andalsnes and hired a car. You might also decide to stay in Valldalen, but staying on the south side of the Norddalsfjorden will ensure you don’t have to wait for the ferry before making your way to Geiranger.

Hesthaug Gard | £ | A small group of cabins owned by a family who have lived on this small Eidsdal farm for generations. You’ll have an incredible view down into the beautiful Norddalsfjorden.

Solvang Camping | £-££ | With stylish and cosy cabins and spaces for tents, caravans/mobile homes,

Petrines Gjestgiveri | £££ | Set within the tiny Norddal village, this smart and cosy hotel is the perfect place to escape the crowds and enjoy the tranquility of the fjords.

Eagle Road which leads from Eidsdal to Geiranger

Stranda Accommodation

A 30 minute drive or bus journey away from Hellesylt and the Geirangerfjord ferry, Stranda is a great place to base yourself. It’s the largest village of the area, and transforms into a skiing village during the winter.

Strandastova | £-££ | Situated just off the road that leads from Stranda to Hellesylt, this option is best if you have a car with you. It’s basic but cosy, and is in beautiful surroundings. (Overvoll Farm is next door too and is very similar!).

Stranda Feriesenter | £-££ | Close to the ferry terminal and bus stop, these little cabins feature kitchenettes and the owners also kindly offer discounts for ski passes and the sauna and pool at Stranda Hotel.

Stranda Fjellgrend | ££ | Situated outside central Stranda near to the ski center and gondola/trail which leads you to Roaldshornet mountain, this collection of apartments offer incredible mountain views. They also offer an airport shuttle service and ski rental too!

Mountain Lodge Strandafjellet | £££ | This luxury mountain lodge is on the pricey side, but if you’re travelling as a group or large family it could be an incredible option…

The views in this area of Norway are otherworldly, and you can clearly see why the Norwegian landscape inspired so many folktales. Don’t forget your camera, and a few memory cards.

  • Hello! I’m Hannah Sweet.

    I write content for nature oriented brands and create blog posts for nature seekers, conscious creatives and solopreneurs.

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