Geiranger

Geirangerfjord

Geiranger and Hellesylt are villages in Møre og Romsdal. The Geirangerfjord is one of the most beautiful mainland fjords and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway. In a rating of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geirangerfjord (along with Nærøyfjord in Sogn og Fjordane) obtained top score in a survey conducted by prestigious National Geographic Magazine. A visit to Geiranger can be included in a trip along the Norwegian coast. The villages of Geiranger and Hellesylt sit at either end of the Geirangerfjord and is included in this article.

Understand

Geiranger is the tiny village and rural community at the eastern end of Geirangerfjord. Hellesylt village sits at the western end of Geirangerfjord, and from there the fjord does a sharp turn north with the name Sunnylvsfjord. The latter fjord is in turn connected to the main fjord, aptly named Storfjord (Large fjord), at small town Stranda. Strictly speaking Geirangerfjord is merely the last section of the larger Storfjord system. Storfjord is one of main fjord systems in Western Norway. While Geiranger and Hellesylt are small villages, Stranda is the municipal centre.

Several hundred cruise ships with some 300,000 passengers visit Geirangerfjord every summer, as cruise port only surpassed by Bergen. Many tourists arrive by charter bus. In addition there is a large number of independent travellers. Geiranger itself is a small village of 200 people, the influx of 5000 (or more) tourists daily makes Geiranger a relatively crowded place at day time.

The Geirangerfjord is one of Norway's oldest destinations for international tourism. Cruise ship tourism began in the late 19th century. Kaiser Wilhelm visited Geiranger every summer until the first war.

Get in

Ljøen panorama point on road 60

By plane

The distance from Ålesund airport is 124 km (77 mi), Ørsta/Volda airport is 65 km from Hellesylt.

By car

By bus

From Ålesund or (summer only) Åndalsnes by route 63 including Trollstigen.

By train

The closest railway stations:

By boat or cruise ship

Car ferry from Hellesylt, on the famous Geirangerfjord. Eight daily departures 1 Jun - 2 Sep, four daily departures 1 May - 1 Jun, 3 Sep - 30 Sep (310 NOK for a car and its driver). There is also twice daily ferries from Valldal (20 Jun - 20 Aug). Hurtigruten calls Geiranger on a summer service (15 Apr - 14 Sep). Embarking/disembarking by small boat.

Cruise ships make semi-regular visits to Geiranger in the Summer months (May-Late August). Cunard Cruises, Queen Elizabeth and other lines visit the Geiranger Fjords every summer. All must moor at Geiranger. Hellesylt now offers a sizable pier for single ships, while local car ferries use a separate facility for both locations.

The sailing into the fjord is not to be missed as many cruisers wake up as early as 4am to witness the stunning beauty of this Norweigan fjord. Or enjoy the Geiranger sail away in the afternoon. Small towns and homes cling to the high cliffsides. Friendly Norweigans' can be seen doing their farmwork, milking cows, working in cliffside garden fields. Temperatures and weather can vary by the minute, it is best to wear warm clothing layers and bring your binoculars to see animals grazing on cliffsides, small Norweigan homes, and the beauty of this fjord. Check if your cruiseline visits the Geiranger Fjord, it is truly one of the best, most relaxing, awe-inspiring cruises that you will ever take.

Both towns are easily walkable and scenic per se, e.g., each blessed by a waterfall.

Get around

No need to use the tour boats. You can see just as much from the Hellesylt ferry with commentary in German and English as well as Norwegian - from a comfortable lounge with a good snackbar.

Adventurers take to the hills of Geiranger via walking and sometimes even biking. Winter closes most of the roads in the Geiranger fjord, so its best to visit in the summer. Watch out for campers, trucks, and tour buses, especially when biking, walking or hiking. Hills are steep and for more fit adventurers.

Plenty of photo opportunities in and around Geiranger, it is a lovely small Norweigan town that you must visit in the summer months. Cruising is one of the best ways to see the fjord.

See

Geiranger seen from Ørnesvingen.

Do

Walk around the lovely, hillside town......main road wraps the coastline. Townsfolk are very friendly and engaging. Many different tour buses available in the Summer, June-late August. Weather changes many times during the day....warm, windy, cool, freezing, and do not forget the sunscreen, especially when leaving Geiranger and visiting the Geiranger Valley and glaciers, you might need some bug spray for the mosquitoes and sunscreen are a must!

Sadly many Geiranger citizens talk about the glaciers retreating more and more each year.

This lake is usually hidden by over 30 feet of snow in the wintertime in Norway. August, 2012 while on a bus tour.
The Queen Elizabeth is in port in Geiranger, Norway. Cruise ships sometimes make port stops in Geiranger one of the most lovely fjords in Norway.

Eat

Drink

Local beers

Sleep

Connect

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, April 09, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.