Europe continues nowadays as a dreamed destination for many travelers and probably it will remain the same for centuries. It’s amazing capital cities full of history and culture have provided magnificent experiences for people around the world. It is undeniable that travelers are bewitched by museums, universities, castles, cafes, art galleries, opera houses, cathedrals, theaters etc. But besides all these amazing opportunities that great cities offer, Europe, also presents travelers with fantastic natural wonders for those who are looking different kind of trips. The Alps, either in Switzerland, France Italy or Austria have always attracted travelers looking for adventure and snow, probably the most most famous and expensive ski resort are in the area. However, the Alps is not the only nature wander that can be found in Europe.
The amount of travelers visiting Norway has increased dramatically during the last twenty years. Some of them are looking for adventure during the summer months, but many other just try their luck with the northern lights and snow sports during the winter. One of the most fantastic and idyllic places in the world is found in this Nordic European country. The Norwegian fjords place themselves as one of the most astonish and beautiful landscapes that can be found in our beautiful planet. The fjords are the soul of Norway and without a doubt the most visited attraction. Norway has the highest concentration of fjords in the world, all the way from the Oslo-fjord in the southeast to East-Finnmark near the north-eastern Russian border.
Fjords are found in locations where current or past glaciation extended below current sea level. A fjord is formed when a glacier retreats, after carving its typical U-shaped valley, and the sea fills the resulting valley floor. This forms a narrow, steep sided inlet (sometimes deeper than 1300 meters) connected to the sea. The terminal moraine pushed down the valley by the glacier is left underwater at the fjord’s entrance, causing the water at the neck of the fjord to be shallower than the main body of the fjord behind it.
The most beautiful and famous fjords are located on the western coast and in the north of Norway. Some of them, like the Geirangerfjord and Nerøyfjord are part of the selected UNESCO World Heritage list with its amazing alpine mountains, fresh waterfalls and lush villages parading their fruit trees.
One of the most fascinated fjord is called Lysefjord which means fjord of light and is probably the most visited. The Lysefjord is 42 kilometers long (approximately 26 miles) and a pearl in Norwegian nature. The glaciers formed the fjord landscape during the last Ice Age, and can be called a canyon. The mountain soar up to 1000 meters (3000 feet) above sea level on both sides of the fjords and some places it ranges as deep in the fjords as its height above sea level.
If you are eager for adventure and willing to enjoy from the most fantastic view this is definitely a place for you. Below there are some tips and advices to visit this magnificent place.
How to get there?
Stavanger is the fourth largest city in Norway and is well connected by plane to Oslo and most European capitals. This is the starting point for all travelers looking for the fjord of light. Stavanger by itself is a small beautiful city. Accommodation can be easily found, so depending on your budget it is possible to go for a hostel or a more expensive hotel near the harbor or the beginning of the fjord. The following places definitely worth the visit.
Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock)
This is one of the most famous and visited attractions in Norway, and one of the most photographed sites in the world. To visit this popular rock formation 604 meters above the Lysefjord is a fantastic nature experience. In 2011 Preikestolen was listed as one of the world’s most spectacular views and natural attractions by Lonely Planet and CNN GO travel magazine. To get to this place you can use public transport. The bus departs from Tau to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge several times daily. The bus corresponds with ferry departures from Fiskepirterminalen in Stavanger. Have in mind that in order to reach the pulpit rock you need to do a two-hour beautiful hike. There is a hotel exactly at the point where you should start your hike, which make it very convenient for staying the night. A recommendation is hiking up very early in the morning or very late at night to avoid the crowds. Just have in mind that if you go during the summer time, daylight is never gone.
Enjoy a sightseeing cruise on board the tourist ferry, through the Lysefjord and the famous Pulpit Rock and Kjerag. The Lysefjord is 42 kilometers long and full of amazing sights. The wildlife, steep mountains and waterfalls will guaranteed give you a lot of stories to tell your friends. This is a fjord cruise filled with great photo opportunities.
At Kjerag all the fjord’s special characteristics are intensified to the extreme. The Kjerag plateau is a barren mass of rock with polished crags and the Kjerag boulder lies approximately 300 meters south of the cairn. The mountain side that swoops vertically to the fjord below is an impressive sight from the deck of a boat. Understandably, Kjerag is a seductress of mountain climbers and BASE jumpers alike during the summer time.
As a last recommendation Norway together with Switzerland are the two most expensive countries in Europe, even in comparison with famous European capitals like Paris or London. So have in mind that you need to be careful with your budget. It is also very important to have proper clothes and shoes if you want to hike up to the Preikestolen and the Kjerag mountain. Even in Summer time temperature in Norway can drop dramatically.