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Here we are on the 4th leg of our road trip through the Norwegian fjords: the southern part of Sognefjord. This fjord lies to the north of Bergen. The longest fjord in Europe and the 2nd longest in the world, it stretches 204 km inland, reaching depths of 1,300 m in places, while the surrounding mountains can rise to 1,700 m. It’s also the longest fjord in the world. It is also Norway’s widest fjord. A true natural wonder.
It’s home to many places of interest, including Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord. The Nærøyfjord is a true natural curiosity and one of the country’s most beautiful places, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In this article, I suggest a number of activities and places you can discover in the southern part of the Sognefjord.
Road trip in Norway: the south coast, Stavanger and Lysefjord (stage 01)
Norway road trip: from Suldal to Bergen (stage 02)
Things to see and do in Bergen, Norway (step 03)
Road trip in Norway: the northern part of the Sognefjord (stage 05)
Road trip in Norway: Sognefjellet and Jostedalsbreen (stage 06)
Norway road trip: Geirangerfjord (stage 07)
Road trip in Norway : Trollstigen and Ålesund (stage 08)
What to do in the southern part of the Sognefjord?
1 | Stop on the way to admire the Tvindefossen waterfall
There’s no shortage of waterfalls in Norway, and they’re everywhere in the mountains. The Tvindefossen, however, has its own special charm, with an incredible flow, a height of 116 m and a staircase-like descent that finally splits in two.
It is often considered one of the most important natural attractions in western Norway. However, we found that it was losing some of its charm due to the large number of buses dropping off tourists.
Access: very easy to reach. Free parking a few meters from the waterfall. The waterfall is located along the E16 road from Bergen to Flåm, about 12 km north of the village of Vossevangen. Open daily from 08:30 to 19:30.
2 | Take a detour to see the churches at Vik i Sogn
There are 2 churches to discover in this village: the Hove church, a Romanesque stone church, and the Hopperstad church, a standing wooden church. The road to Vik i Sogn from Vinje, north of Voss, is superb. If you have the time, it’s pleasant to explore, but not a must-see!
Please note that access to the wooden church is subject to a fee: €9/person…
3 | Take a stroll through the village of Undredal
Situated on the shores of the magnificent Aurlandsfjord at the end of a small 10 km dead-end road, the village of Undredal is absolutely charming. The surrounding mountains and fjord offer both a spectacular setting and a peaceful atmosphere. I really recommend taking this detour to discover this little village.
Undredal’s red-and-white wooden church is one of the smallest in Norway. From here, you have a superb view of part of the village and the mountains along the water’s edge.
4 | Take an electric boat cruise through Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord
This is one of the highlights of our road trip! We had booked the cruise (which I recommend you do) and were apprehensive about bad weather. We were lucky, the weather was perfect and we were able to discover some truly spectacular scenery.
I highly recommend this cruise with Norways Best , as you’ll be aboard the electric catamaran “Legacy of The Fjords”. It’s easy to forget all the people on board when the boat starts up, because it’s totally silent – it glides over the water – so you can switch off and admire the immensity of the surroundings.
- Parking: you can leave your car in the free parking lot in Flåm, the departure point of the cruise.
- Prices: expect to pay €71/person for a one-way trip.
- Tour duration: 2 hours
- Shuttle: no need to pay for the return boat trip, you can take a shuttle from Gudvangen to Flåm (your departure point). You’ll need to book the time of the shuttle you wish to take. The journey takes 20min.
You can also opt for a kayak trip on the Sognefjord. This is a more intimate and less expensive experience, allowing you to sail at your own pace and discover hidden corners of the fjord.
5 | Wonder from the observation platform: Stegastein
This spectacular platform, situated 650 metres above Aurlandsfjord and protruding 30 metres from the mountainside, offers a fantastic panoramic view. If you can, go there in the morning to avoid the sun. It’s one of the most photographed viewpoints in the region.
Access: by car from Flåm, follow the E16. When you reach Aurland, follow the signs to Stegastein. The journey takes about 25 min. However, the access road is quite narrow and winding. Be careful and be prepared to pass buses along the way, which can make access a bit tricky…
Parking: there’s a small parking lot right next to the viewpoint, but it’s very small! There’s nowhere else to stop.
This spot is part of the Norwegian scenic route between Aurland and Lærdal, the Aurlandfjellet, also known as the “snow road”, which I recommend you take to reach the next stage of your road trip.
Where to sleep near Flåm?
We spent a night in a hytte at the Lunde Camping campsite in Aurland, just a few kilometers from Flåm. It’s well located, on the banks of a river and close to the fjords. The surroundings are very pleasant. You can also book a camping pitch. The facilities are clean and functional. There’s a kitchen with hotplates and oven. However, additional showers would be appreciated. The Wi-Fi was not very good from our pitch, even though it was close to reception.
Airbnb rental link: Lunde Camping
Thanks for reading!
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