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Geiranger

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Geiranger from Geirangerfjord

Geiranger and Hellesylt are villages in Møre og Romsdal. The Geirangerfjord is one of the most beautiful mainland fjords and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway. In a rating of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geirangerfjord (along with Nærøyfjord in Sogn og Fjordane) obtained top score in a survey conducted by prestigious National Geographic Magazine. A visit to Geiranger can be included in a trip along the Norwegian coast. The villages of Geiranger and Hellesylt sit at either end of the Geirangerfjord and Hellesylt is included in this article.

Understand[edit]

Geirangerfjord and Geiranger, from Flydalsjuvet 2016

Geiranger is the tiny village and rural community at the eastern end of Geirangerfjord. Hellesylt village sits at the western end of Geirangerfjord, and from there the fjord does a sharp turn north with the name Sunnylvsfjord. The latter fjord is in turn connected to the main fjord, aptly named Storfjord (Large fjord), at small town Stranda. Strictly speaking Geirangerfjord is merely the last section of the larger Storfjord system. Storfjord is one of main fjord systems in Western Norway. While Geiranger and Hellesylt are small villages, Stranda is the municipal centre.

Several hundred cruise ships with some 300,000 passengers visit Geirangerfjord every summer, as cruise port only surpassed by Bergen. Many tourists arrive by charter bus. In addition there is a large number of independent travellers. Geiranger itself is a small village of 200 people, the influx of 5000 (or more) tourists daily makes Geiranger a relatively crowded place at day time.

The Geirangerfjord is one of Norway's oldest destinations for international tourism. Cruise ship tourism began in the late 19th century. Kaiser Wilhelm visited Geiranger every summer until the first war. Road 63 between Åndalsnes and Geiranger via Valldal is one of Norway's 18 national tourist routes, these routes are the most scenic drives in Norway.

Get in[edit]

Location of Geirangergfjord (darker blue) within Møre og Romsdal (green). Geirangerfjord is the southernmost part of great Storfjord. Between Hellesylt and the main fjord is Sunnylvsfjord segment.

By plane[edit]

The distance from Ålesund airport is 124 km (77 mi), Ørsta/Volda airport is 65 km from Hellesylt.

By car[edit]

  • Road 63 from Eidsdal and Valldal to the north via Eagles Highway (mountain pass, 10 hairpin turns); from Otta, Stryn and Grotli to the South via Geirangervegen (mountain pass, 50 hairpin turns).
  • Road 60 from Stryn or Ålesund to Hellesylt, from Hellesylt car ferry further to Geiranger

By bus[edit]

By train[edit]

The closest railway stations:

  • Otta - station on Dovre line (Oslo-Trondheim), 160 km to Geiranger
  • Åndalsnes - terminal station for Rauma line, 90 km to Geiranger via Trollstigen

By boat or cruise ship[edit]

Car ferry from Hellesylt, on the famous Geirangerfjord. Eight daily departures 1 Jun - 2 Sep, four daily departures 1 May - 1 Jun, 3 Sep - 30 Sep (310 kr for a car and its driver). There is also twice daily ferries from Valldal (20 Jun - 20 Aug). Hurtigruten calls Geiranger on a summer service (15 Apr - 14 Sep). Embarking/disembarking by small boat.

Geiranger self-propelled Seawalk on pontoons

Cruise ships make semi-regular visits to Geiranger in the Summer months (May-Late August). Cunard Cruises, Queen Elizabeth and other lines visit the Geiranger Fjords every summer. The Geiranger Port has a cruise terminal, a Seawalk, and 3–4 anchor positions depending on the size of the ships. Opened in 2013, the Seawalk is a self-propelled three-segment articulated floating pier, 236 m-long by 4.5 m-wide steel platform on 10 pontoons, which moves out to the ship (like a floatable jetwalk) to accommodate 4,000 passengers per hour disembarking from a single ship. With Geiranger a busy cruise port, you may have to take a short tender when there's more than one ship in port. Hellesylt now offers a sizable pier for single ships, while local car ferries use a separate facility for both locations.

The sailing into the fjord is not to be missed as many cruisers wake up as early as 4am to witness the stunning beauty of this Norweigan fjord. Or enjoy the Geiranger sail away in the afternoon. Small towns and homes cling to the high cliffsides. Friendly Norweigans' can be seen doing their farmwork, milking cows, working in cliffside garden fields. Temperatures and weather can vary by the minute, it is best to wear warm clothing layers and bring your binoculars to see animals grazing on cliffsides, small Norweigan homes, and the beauty of this fjord. Check if your cruiseline visits the Geiranger Fjord, it is truly one of the best, most relaxing, awe-inspiring cruises that you will ever take.

Both towns are easily walkable and scenic, and each blessed is by a waterfall.

Get around[edit]

It's a lovely small Norwegian town that you must visit in the summer months. Plenty of photo opportunities in and around Geiranger.

On foot[edit]

Adventurers take to the hills of Geiranger via walking and sometimes even biking. Winter closes most of the roads in the Geiranger fjord, so its best to visit in the summer. Watch out for campers, trucks, and tour buses, especially when biking, walking or hiking. Hills are steep and for more fit adventurers.

By boat[edit]

Geirangerfjord, from Ljøen panorama point on road 60 near Hellesylt

Cruising is one of the best ways to see the fjord. No need to use the tour boats. You can see just as much from the Hellesylt ferry with commentary in German and English as well as Norwegian - from a comfortable lounge with a good snackbar.

By bus[edit]

Public transportation is also available, including bus line 211 Geiranger-Dalsnibba-Geiranger. Other bus tours are also available.

See[edit]

Geirangerfjord and Geiranger from Dalsnibba
Geiranger under mist, from Ørnesvingen.
  • 1 Dalsnibba (Detour from route 63 towards Grotli). summer only. Dalsnibba is a 1500 m (4920 ft) mountain summit. Faboulus view over the fjord and the mountain behind. Detour from road 63 (Geiranger mountain pass) direction Skjåk and Stryn. Tollroad: kr 80 (cars), kr 50 (motorcykles).
  • 2 Geirangerfjord (Ferry or cruise ship). The steep-sided fjord with its waterfalls, including the Bridal Veil and the Suitor. Geiranger-Hellesylt ferry, Hurtigruten (summer) and cruise ships travel the fjord. Geirangerfjord on Wikipedia
  • 3 Norsk Fjordsenter, +47 70263810, fax: +47 70263141, e-mail: . May-Sep: daily 10-18; Oct-Aprː daily 10-15. Visitor centre for the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Topside terminus of Waterfall Walk in Geiranger (See Do below) Adults: kr 120, Children: kr 60.
  • 4 Ørnesvingen (The Eagles' Bend), Road 63 (On route 63 towards Eidsdal). View of the fjord and the village from high point.
  • 5 Ljøen panorama point, Road 60 (Hellesylt-Stranda road). Panorama point towards Geirangerfjord and Sunnylvsfjord from high point near Ljøen hamlet, between tunnels.
  • Flydalsjuvet (Off road no. 63, about 4 km from Geiranger, heading towards Grotli). Flydalsjuvet offers an impressive and closer view than Dalsnibba of Geiranger and Geirangerfjord and the cruise ships. The viewpoint is divided into two areas, one upper and one lower plateau, with a gangway running in between, and the view is from the southeast, allowing for fine photography.

Do[edit]

This lake is usually hidden by over 9 m (30 feet) of snow in the wintertime in Norway. August 2012 while on a bus tour.

Walk around the lovely, hillside town. Main road wraps the coastline. Townsfolk are very friendly and engaging. Many different tour buses available in the summer, June-late August. Weather changes many times during the day: warm, windy, cool, freezing, and do not forget the sunscreen, especially when leaving Geiranger and visiting the Geiranger Valley and glaciers. You might need some bug spray for the mosquitoes and sunscreen is a must!

Sadly many Geiranger citizens talk about the glaciers retreating more and more each year.

Waterfall Walk in Geirangerː on the right of the waterfall (lower center); Hotel Union (center)
  • Waterfall Walk in Geiranger (Fossevandring) (walk up starts near Geiranger campsite). The well-maintained pathway includes metal stairs (327 non-slippery steps with railings) going up one side of the waterfall all the way up to the Norwegian Fjord Centre and Hotel Union, with viewpoints along the way. Powerful sounds and stunning viewsǃ Prepare to get wetǃ Free.
  • The "Sky-to-Fjord" trip, run out of one of the small gift shops by the ferry dock (easily identifiable by its green roof), is a spectacular 17 km bike trip from the top of the mountain (high enough to still have snow in August!) back down to the gift shop. The trip includes van transportation to the top of the mountain and bike rental. You can go at your own pace as long as you return your bike to the gift shop by the end of the day. Take your time, as the spectacular views can make for worthy detours!
  • Coastal Odyssey, +47 95118062, e-mail: . Guded tour start: 11AM. Kayaks for rent either by the hour or for a whole day. You can also take part in a guided tour. Kayaking down the fjord is a very enjoyable experience; it offers spectacular views of waterfalls, mountains, and even, occasionally, dolphins. Rent: 1 hour: kr 150 (price drops for longer rent); guded tour: adults: kr 700, children: kr 550.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Local beers[edit]

  • Grand, local favourite beer, delicious, light beer, enjoy it with a sandwich or fresh salmon. Available at most pubs and restaurants.
  • The Grans Brewery (Grans Bryggeri AS) is a brewery founded in 1899 in Sandefjord, Norway.

Sleep[edit]

Hotell Geiranger (left, near water); Hotel Union (right, in hills above waterfall)
  • Hotel Union, 6216 Geiranger, Norway (Road no. 63, just above Waterfall Walk), +47 70263005. 197 rooms, with restaurant, spa, pool, a vintage car museum and easy access to Waterfall Walk in Geiranger

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Return to Ålesund: Visitors arriving by cruise ship usually return the same way along the fjord towards Ålesund.
  • By car or bus there are two directions along route 63:
    • North along towards Valldal and Åndalsnes (bus to Åndalsnes only in summer), or
    • South towards the junction with route 15 with connections to Stryn and Otta, bus to route 15 only in summer.
  • The Geiranger-Hellesylt ferry allows travellers to bring cars to Hellesylt with connections by route 60 north to Ålesund or south to Stryn or Nordfjordeid. Bus connections at Hellesylt and Stryn towards Bergen.
  • Hjørundfjord - nearby and less crowded lovely fjord surrounded by sharp alpine summits
This city travel guide to Geiranger is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.