Things to Do in Western Norway
Winding its way through lush river gorges, climbing steep peaks, and passing dramatic waterfalls, the FlåmRailway (Flamsbana) is one of Europe’s most spectacular train journeys. Running 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) between the Norwegian towns of Flåm and Myrdal, the train is among Norway’s most popular tourist attractions, offering incredible views over the UNESCO World Heritage-listed fjords.
The Sognefjord in western Norway is the largest in the country and the second deepest in the world, with depths reaching more than 1,000 meters at some points and cliffs rising more than 1,000 meters above the water. Stretching more than 200 kilometers from the coast to the village of Skjolden, the fjord is also the second longest in the world. There are several interesting stops for tourists along the fjord, including Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in mainland Europe and the Naeroyfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord that shrinks to only 300 meters across at its narrowest point. The latter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its incredibly dramatic scenery. Notable villages include Gudvangen, which sits on the Naeroyfjord, and Flam, which is an endpoint of the Flam Railway, which climbs more than 800 meters up to Myrdal in just 20 kilometers, making it the steepest unassisted railway climb in the world. Near the innermost point of the Sognefjord are three of Norway’s famous wooden stave churches, found in the villages of Kaupanger, Urnes and Borgund.
Norway’s second-longest fjord, Hardangerfjord stretches nearly 124 miles (200 kilometers) inland from the Atlantic. Highlights include a massive glacier covering more than 77 square miles (200 square kilometers) and Troll’s Tongue (Trolltunga) rock, hanging 2,300 feet (701 meters) above Ringedalsvatnet Lake in Odda.
Mount Fløyen (Fløyfjellet**)**towers 1,310 feet (399 meters) over Bergen and offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape from its summit. A popular hiking destination, the mountain features a funicular railway and a network of scenic walking and biking trails that run throughout the area.
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