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Geirangerfjord Guide

The Geirangerfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed fjord located in the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal county in western Norway.

The Geirangerfjord is for sure one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway, renowned for its unparalleled natural beauty, dramatic landscapes, and picturesque surroundings.

The fjord's waters are exceptionally clear and deep, reflecting the surrounding mountains and creating a mesmerizing interplay of light and shadows. The vibrant blue hues of the water add to the fjord's visual allure.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Geirangerfjord depends on your preferences for weather, activities, and the overall experience you seek. Here are considerations for different seasons:

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Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Geirangerfjord due to milder temperatures and longer days. During this time, you can enjoy activities like fjord cruises, hiking, and exploring the region's cultural attractions. The weather is generally pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). Keep in mind that popular sites may be more crowded.

Late Spring (May) and Early Fall (September): Late spring and early fall offer a balance between fewer tourists and relatively good weather. The landscapes are lush and green in spring, and the fall foliage adds vibrant colors to the scenery. Weather conditions can be more variable, so it's advisable to bring layers.

Winter (October to April): Winter in Geirangerfjord has its own charm, with snow-covered landscapes providing a serene and peaceful atmosphere. While boat tours are less frequent, some attractions, viewpoints, and hiking trails remain accessible. Note that certain mountain passes leading into the Geirangerfjord are closed during winter

Getting Into

The Geirangerfjord has good accessibility, although a bit more limited in wintertime as some of the roads leading into the fjord are generally closed between October (depending on the snow conditions) and May.

Train: There is no train to the Geirangerfjord, but you can take the Dovre Line to Dombås, and from there the Rauma Line to Åndalsnes, then a Vy Bus from there. Find train tickets and schedule on Vy.

Bus: The bus company VY has a bus line between Ålesund - Åndalsnes and Geiranger operating from June to mid-September. From Åndalsnes the travel time is about 3 hours. This is a very convenient and scenic way to travel to Geiranger. Find more information here.

Another entry point to Geiranger is the Hellesylt ferry terminal. Here you can hop on a scenic fjord cruise taking you to the Geiranger village. To get to Hellesylt, I’d recommend using ENTUR and plotting your route to get the best travel options.

Geiranger fjord blue sky, sun, and green mountains

Ferry: Rødne operated the Hardangerfjord Express ferry that goes between Bergen and Rosendal. Norled has a bus and ferry connection that can take you to Norheimsund and Eidfjord.

Flight: There are no airports inside the Geirangerfjord area, but you can fly to the nearby Ørsta-Volda Airport with Widerøe, and make your way from there to Hellesylt either with a rental car, or public transport. Find flights to Ørsta-Volda here.

Car: A fun way to experience the Geirangerfjord is by rental car. You can drive to Hellesylt and take a fjord cruise car ferry to the Geiranger village. From here you can drive up the scenic and zigzagging Eagles Road (Ørnevegen). In summer you can also drive road 63 and 15 over the mountain. These two roads make good connections to Geiranger if you are coming from Oslo.

Places to Stay

My recommended places to stay are all located in or near the Geiranger Village. If you have the time, consider two nights here to get a full day to explore a few of the Geiranger activities and sights mentioned below.

Geiranger Village

Geiranger village is at the very east end of the Geirangerfjord, and is a small and sometimes busy spot (cruise ships dock here).

My favorite spot for a great hotel (and SPA) experience is the venerable Hotel Union Geiranger Bath & Spa. Rooms are fresh and comfortable, the views are excellent and there is a rooftop garden. The SPA has a sauna, pool and bubble bath. An in-house restaurant serves up a big dinner buffet or choose a la carte.

For a cabin experience I’d recommend Grande Cabins & Camping. Their cabins are located on the north-side a 30 min walk or short drive from the Geiranger village. The cabins are traditional with a modern interior and fully equipped kitchen. They rent out kayaks and boats for exploring the fjord on your own.

If you just want a standard hotel right on the docks (good for one night stays), then check out the Havila Hotel Geiranger.

Geiranger Village

Note that prices for hotels highly fluctuate throughout the year, and if you book early you can sometimes find good deals! The high season in Norway goes from June to August.

Places to Eat

A cluster of restaurants are located “downtown” in the Geiranger village, but note that many of them are closed in the off-season.

I’d recommend checking out Brasserie Posten for good pizza, but also tasty local dishes such as a yummy fish soup. Fiskekaka Geiranger has local fish cakes made out of catfish. A third place is Berserk Bar & Grill (I love the name), which has good burgers, but also some nice vegan/vegetarian options.

Things to Do

The Geirangerfjord is known for its small idyllic villages and windy thrilling roads presenting some amazing views. There are also good possibilities for kayaking, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Perhaps its most well-known landmark is the Seven Sisters with seven waterfalls dropping down the steep mountainside.

Here are some of my top recommendations for things to do at the Geirangerfjord:

Fjord cruises

Cruises depart from either Hellesylt or the Geiranger village. Norway’s Best has a 1-hour fjord cruise where you can also bring your car. A convenient option if you are on a road trip and plan to drive north or south after your visit to the fjord.

For a smaller (no car) ferry, check out Geiranger Fjordservice. They also offer optional drop-off/pick-up at Skageflå for if you want to do a hike. If you want a faster pace then head on one of their RIB-tours.

For a winter fjord cruise find more information and book a ticket on the Visit Geiranger website.

Staying in Ålesund? Then, I recommend this day-trip (fjord cruise).

Hiking

Geiranger has several hiking options at different difficulty levels. I’d recommend downloading this hiking map for a good overview of the trails.

The most popular hike goes up to the farm of Skageflå, an abandoned fjord farm with great views and an interesting history. It’s a bit of a steep climb, but well worth it when you reach the top. The hike takes about 45 minutes up and 30 minutes down. You can read more about the hike here and how to get to where the trail starts.

Other Activities

  • Take a serpentine road up to the beautiful top of Mount Dalsnibba. Take a tour or go with rental car (The viewpoint is open between 10:00-16:00 with an entry fee.)
  • If you are heading to/from Eidsdal, then drive the Eagles Road, a scenic mountain road that zigzags up the steep mountainside, offering breathtaking views of Geirangerfjord from above.
  • Enjoy a kayak tour to see the Seven Sisters waterfalls. Find a tour here.
  • A waterfall walk starts from next to Storfossen waterfall and 327 steps with several viewing platforms. You’ll walk past Hotel Union and the Norwegian Fjord Centre where you can learn about the fjords of western Norway.
  • For thrilling zipline and via ferrata experiences, read more on the Explore Geiranger website.

For more activities and guided tours check out GetYourGuide Geirangerfjord.

Geirangerfjord with a boat going down river next to a waterfall

How to Get Around

Public transportation

The Geirangerfjord is connected together by convenient ferries taking you along the fjord between the Geiranger village and Hellesylt, or you can hop on a ferry departing Ålesund in the morning. However, if you have time and budget for it, I’d recommend you to rent a car and bring it onto the ferry. This will make it easier for you to get around and you can explore places that are hard to get to by public transport.

For public transport check the website ENTUR, which is helpful for tour planning in the area.

Geirangerfjord with a boat going down river next to a waterfall

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