Landscapes of Eidfjord in the Hardanger Fjord in Norway
If there is a nature destiny in Europe which arouses the greatest attraction for everyone, that is undoubtedly the norwegian fjords.
In my history as a traveler the fjords they were protagonists of my first great trip, a route by car to the North Cape in Norway, in which to climb by Sweden Y Finland, I made the return for the aforementioned fjords.
On the other hand, with the current great boom of the cruise trips, the norwegian fjords they have become one of the most attractive cruises you can do in Europe.
The peculiar geological configuration of the fjords, with a great depth in its waters, facilitates navigation through the long sea tongues of the large cruise ships that transport thousands of tourists.
The consequence is that in summer there begins to be some massification in the various tourist destinations of the fjords, and especially in cities such as Bergen, which is also a good access route with flights arriving from all over Europe.
Here you have extensive information about best places to see on a trip to the Norwegian fjords.
Best time of the year to visit the Norwegian fjords
At this point we can ask ourselves if norwegian fjords, a destination so associated with summer vacation trips, they are also appropriate to visit them at another time of the year, and what are their advantages.
Views of Bergen from the viewpoint of Mount Floyen in Norwegian fjords
We have just returned from a trip made in full winter time (February), which has allowed us to see first hand the attractions that the norwegian fjords to visit them outside the summer season.
Travel to the Norwegian fjords It is synonymous to enjoy spectacular landscapes, and different times as inwinter, inspring or infall You find different attractions.
Between the advantages of traveling to Norwegian fjords outside the summer season, you have to avoid the great tourist influx of summer, including those who travel on large cruises.
This will allow you get to know the most authentic Norway.
I assure you that you will notice it during your visit the main tourist places, both of nature and cities as Bergen or Alesund, in hotels and restaurants, and even when using ferries, without a traffic jam.
Odda Harbor at Hardanger Fjord in Norway
And of course, another great advantage is that in hotels you will pay low season prices, which is much appreciated in a country where travel is so expensive.
What to do in Norwegian fjords in winter
To ask you a trip to the Norwegian fjords in winter something similar to what happens to me has to happen to you, that I love winter landscapes and I never get tired of seeing them.
It is also key to knowwhat is the weather in Norway in winter, and specifically the one that characterizes this area of fjords in northern Europe.
In this regard you should know that due to the warm effect of the Gulf Stream, in the Norwegian fjords in winter it is much less cold than you can fear.
Landscapes of the Hardanger Fjord in Norway
Specifically at this time the temperature, in general, will be around a few degrees above 0, and only a few days will fall below 0 degrees, but never with the rigor that is usual in the northern norway and in the high areas of the interior.
Enjoy snowy landscapes
The main objective of a trip in the winter season should be to enjoy spectacular nature landscapes, what you can do on a car route or, above all, with various activities such as trekking or trekking.
The combination of sea and mountains that distinguishes the Norway fjord landscapes Now it is enriched with the snow assured, that even some days it reaches to cover the zones located to borders of the sea.
In you route by car through the Norwegian fjords you will go on winding roads on the banks of the fjord and you will cross very long tunnels, even several kilometers long, which cross the mountains and shorten the travel time.
Hotel at the Voringfossen waterfall in Hardanger Fjord in Norway
These tunnels are so long that in many of them you will find crossings with roundabouts in which roads are opened that lead you to different places
In addition, if you are fond of photography, I anticipate that you will be stopping continuously in areas with bus stops on the road to take pictures of snowy landscapes.
See icy waterfalls
One of the most beautiful nature shows you will see are the numerous icy waterfalls that fall down the slopes of the fjord mountains, which reach the point of almost covering them.
And a special place to see a large icy waterfall is to go to Eidfjord, in the most deep enclave of theHardanger Fjord, place where large cruises arrive in summer.
Frosty lake near Sundal in Hardanger Fjord in Norway
From there going up to the mountain you will reach Voringfossen, Norway's largest and most visited waterfall, with 145 meters of free fall and 182 meters in total,
In summer you can do a trekking about 45 minutes that allows you to go through a place from where you will see the water fall from very close.
A qualification project for this quite tourist area is currently being carried out in summer, among which improvements include the construction of a bridge with glass floor, similar in style to Grand Canyon of the Colorado Skywalk.
By summer 2019, a new lookout point to see the waterfall from closer and the bridge is planned for 2020.
Trekking in Sundal in Hardanger Fjord in Norway
Hiking through winter landscapes
One of the ways to enjoy the winter landscapes of the fjords of Norway is to do trekking, for which you have an infinite offer of routes.
If you are in an area where there has been a recent snowstorm, the trekking You will have to do it on the banks of the fjord because if not, as soon as you start to climb a hill it is possible that you will find the roads impracticable by snow or ice.
In the case of our recent trip, in the aforementioned town of Eidfjord we made a trekking that led us to see the vestiges of Hæreid Viking cemetery, in addition to enjoying beautiful panoramic views of the fjord.
On another day we did another trekking, this time around Sundal, another one of the aforementioned enclaves Hardanger Fjord.
This time it was a Lake Bondhus trekking that in this winter time it was frozen, and which is located only 190 meters from sea level, at the base of the great Bondhusbreen glacier.
Bergen harbor in the Norwegian fjords
Visit Bergen without tourists
As I said, one of the attractions of traveling to the Norwegian fjords Out of the tourist season it is to know its cities without tourists.
And the best exponent is Bergen, perhaps the most emblematic city of this natural region of Norway.
I can assure you that meeting her in winter, as has been the case with my recent trip, reveals the most authentic facet of this beautiful Norwegian city.
And this is not an impediment so you can also enjoy Bergen on a splendid sunny day, as you can see in the photos that illustrate this article.
Bergen corner in the Norwegian fjords
Stroll through his famous Bryggen Hanseatic Quarter In the port of the city, visit one of its museums or even funicular ride to Mount Fløyen.
If you Bergen visit coincides with one of the days when the city is covered with snow, I assure you that you will have spectacular panoramic views.
Outside the tourist season you can also participate in various active tourism excursions departing from Bergen, as a fast boat tour of the fjord.
So we did on our winter trip, and do not fear for the possible cold because the clothing they provide assures you that it will be a very pleasant excursion.
This excursion Fjord Safari it took us to sail at full speed between the small islets of the entrance to the Bergen fjord, and after disembarking in one of them, we could enjoy a delicious picnic with large mussels and red crabs.
Kayak tour in Odda at Hardanger Fjord in Norway
Kayaking in a fjord
One of the activities you can sign up for throughout the year is Kayaking through a fjord, which you can also do even in winter.
One place to do it is in Odda, a beautiful town located at the end of one of the deepest branches of the aforementioned Hardanger Fjord.
With Trolltunga Active you can make a kayak tour with a professional guide, which lasts up to five hours.
This active tourism company carries out a wide variety of activities throughout the year, including the trekking for climb the great rock Trolltunga and specific excursions in winter.
Ski resort in Myrkdalen near Voss in Norwegian fjords
Skiing in the Norwegian fjords
As you can imagine, Norway It is a country where you can also ski, and this may be one of the reasons for travel to the fjords in winter.
This way you can combine your fondness for skiing with the enjoyment of the precious fjord landscapes With winter atmosphere.
As we could enjoy on our trip, a good place to skiing in the norwegian fjords it's at the station Myrkdalen, which is two hours from Bergen, south of Sogne Fjord, near the town of Voss.
With a lot of snow in winter, in Myrkdalen you have 40 kilometers of tracks and 20 trawls, and in addition to Alpine ski, you can also practice the Nordic Ski.
And if for any reason you don't want to ski, you can do other activities like snowshoe ride or descent with snow sled.
Rosendal medieval church in Hardanger Fjord in Norway
Cultural tourism in the Norwegian fjords
Finally the cultural tourism it also has a place in a trip to the fjords at any time of the year.
From my point of view, one of the great attractions is being able to see the wooden churches which are still preserved in Norway, one of whose greatest exponents is that of Vik, place you find on the banks of the aforementioned Sogne Fjord.
The Vik Hopperstad wooden church It was built in 1130 and is declared a World Heritage Site.
You can also see other medieval churches such as the Kvinnherad of Rosendal, built in 1250, one of the most important in the fjord region.
Hardanger Folk Museum in Norwegian Fjords
And, of course, cultural tourism also includes visiting museums, something that on your trip to the fjords you can do throughout the year.
For example, visit the KODE museum in Bergen, whose collection is shown in seven different buildings. one of the most important art in the Nordic countries, and where you could not miss a section dedicated to the great Norwegian artistEdvard Munch
In the fjords there are others museums that you can visit more linked to the nature waves customs of the region, which are open for visits from the time of Easter week.
It is the case of Norwegian Nature Center, which you can visit in the aforementioned town of Eidfjord, where on a journey through time you can see what has been the evolution of nature in that region so far north of Europe.
Or the Hardanger Folk Museum, which you find in the town of Utne, where 20 buildings of the rural architecture of the region, and where you can deepen your knowledge of local culture and customs.
KODE museum in Bergen in Norwegian fjords