Norway is famous for its breathtaking natural landscapes. If you are traveling in the south of the country, you cannot avoid the large Jostedalsbreen National Park. In the northern part of the largest glacier on mainland Europe is the Briksdalsbreen glacier.
An icy star
The 1,200 meter high side arm of the Jostedalsbreen attracts more than 300,000 adventurers and holidaymakers from all over the world every year. Most of them discover the Briksdalsbreen glacier tongue, which is one of the most beautiful glaciers in the country, on various hiking trails. An ascent to the Kattanakken or a hike on the seven-kilometer Oldeskaret Trail is worthwhile. Ice climbers also get their adventurous money here. On the way to the glacier you pass the Kleivafossen waterfall, one of Norway’s most popular photo opportunities. The landscape around the glacier with towering mountain slopes, waterfalls and rivers that have been formed over the past millennia is characterized by an impressive variety of flora and fauna. Especially in the valley, countless blooming flowers and plants ensure a colorful variety. The small Briksdalsbre mountain hut is located at the foot of the Briksdalsbreen. From here a 2.5 kilometer long road leads up to the glacier. Not far away is the picturesque village of Olden, which is also worth a visit.
Jotunheimen National Park
The Jotunheimen National Park lies between Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim and offers nature at its peak. Jotunheimen and the neighboring Horunger form the mightiest mountain block in Scandinavia and have the highest peaks, Galdhøppigen (2,468 m) and Glittertind (2,452 m). Visitors to this region listen to the waterfalls, climb, hike, enjoy the mysticism of the wildest nature and spend their night in wooden huts. Norway’s only high mountains have always been a popular travel destination for mountaineers, hikers and skiers.
Touch the sky in the “home of the giants”
The name Jotunheimen was coined by Norwegian students and is reminiscent of the frost and frost giants of the Edda. In addition to the highest peaks Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind, the mountains in this landscape usually only reach 1800-2000 meters. Since the valleys, with few exceptions, lie above the tree line, they appear quite bare. As far as the eye can see: wasteland without vegetation, bare rock ridges, stone rubble the size of houses, gentle firn fields and dramatic ice breaks, waterfalls and frozen ponds and lakes. Magnificent views of rock and firn fields convey a great experience of nature.
For a car tourist, crossing the national park is still a thrilling adventure today. Forty kilometers long the road runs through a mountain region of terrifying elemental force and loneliness. Even in midsummer, the road is always lined with snow. The Jotunheimen area can be hiked from several starting points in the valley. When you finally cross the ancient mountain crossing to Sognefjell, you are very close to heaven and fly with the eagles.
From icy heights to rustic hospitality
Soon it goes down into the valley again, through the Leirdal, ravaged by wild waterfalls and torrents, on through the wooded Bøverdal with its compact farms and rustic Stabburen, out into the Ottatal to the picturesque village of Lom.
The “Bakeriet i Lom” offers pleasure for all the senses. Here, a Norwegian master chef spoils his guests at the Prestefossen waterfall with the subtleties of the bakery. A magical place to recharge your batteries after a strenuous hike.
If you like, you can visit the world’s first climate park in northern Jotunheimen. In an ice tunnel under the mountain, visitors experience climate changes over the past 2000 years. In addition, the Norsk Fjellmuseum provides interesting insights into the history of the region.
Tip for a stop: The Jotunheimer Fjellstue is a cozy inn in a wonderful mountain setting right next to the Jotunheimen National Park.
Image: Jotunheimen National Park Norway
The Sognefjord is the longest and deepest fjord in Norway and the famous arm of the fjord, the Nærøyfjord, is a World Heritage Site. The surrounding mountain areas are among the most popular hiking areas in Norway.
The longest fjord in Europe
The Sognefjord stretches from the coast north of Bergen over the mighty mountains of the Jotunheimen National Park to the blue ice of the Jostedalsbreen glacier. It branches into numerous side arms such as the Aurlandfjord. The narrowest and most famous fjord arm of the Sognefjord is the Nærøyfjord, which is only 250 meters wide at its narrowest point. The Nærøyfjord has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2005 and has been declared a World Heritage Site by the National Geographic Society together with the Geirangerfjord. The Sognefjord not only wants to offer visitors a spectacular and unique experience, but also wants to preserve nature, culture and the environment, strengthen social values and be economically viable. The community and the travel industry are working closely to ensure
Picture book Norway
Often referred to as the “King of the Fjords”, the Sognefjord stretches 204 kilometers inland, has a maximum depth of 1,308 meters and the mountains surrounding the fjord reach heights of up to 2,000 meters. The inner end of the Sognefjord is covered by Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in continental Europe. This region, where the Sognefjord meets the glaciers and the highest mountains in Norway, is considered one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. The glaciers on top of the mountains, down the steep mountain slopes to green farmland and deep fjords are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Other well-known and picturesque fjord arms are the Fjærlandsfjord, the Lusterfjord and the Finnafjord. These fjords are often a beautiful emerald green color as the meltwater comes from the glaciers. Sogndal, Balestrand and Skjolden in the northeast are among the most beautiful places in the region. They all have their traditions and their own charm – and enchant with beautiful fjord locations.