Europe > Nordic countries > Norway > Western Norway > Møre og Romsdal > Geiranger
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 is included in this article.
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.
The distance from Ålesund airport is 124 km (77 mi), Ørsta/Volda airport is 65 km from Hellesylt.
- 1 Ålesund Airport, Vigra, Vigra near Ålesund. Distance from Ålesund airport is 124 km (77 mi)
- 2 Molde Airport.
- 3 Ørsta/Volda Airport.
- Oslo airport Gardermoen is 400 km from Geiranger
- Road 63 from Eidsdal and Valldal to the north via Eagles Highway (mountain pass, 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
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
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 NOK 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.
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. All must moor at Geiranger. 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 per se, e.g., each blessed by a waterfall.
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.
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.
Plenty of photo opportunities in and around Geiranger, it is a lovely small Norweigan town that you must visit in the summer months. Cruising is one of the best ways to see the fjord.
- 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.
- 3 Norsk Fjordsenter, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 1May-20Sep:. Visitor centre for the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Adults: kr 90, Children: kr 50.
- 4 Ørnesvingen (The Eagles' Curve), 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.
- Coastal Odyssey, ☏ , email@example.com. 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.
- 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!
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 are a must!
Sadly many Geiranger citizens talk about the glaciers retreating more and more each year.
- Naustkroa, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Pizza.
- Olebuda Restaurant, Geiranger Sentrum, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com.
- Weserås Restaurant, ☏ . Traditional norwegian food.
- "Great Norweigan Beer, GRANS Local Norway favorite beer, delicious, light beer, enjoy it with a sandwich or fresh salmon. Available at most pubs and restaurants ask for Grans.
- The Grans Brewery (Grans Bryggeri AS) is a brewery founded in 1899 in Sandefjord, Norway.
- Union Hotel, ☏ .
- Grande Fjord Hotel, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Vinje Camping. A campsite in Geirange near a waterfall. 195 NOK for a tent a two persons..
- Geiranger Turistinformasjon, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Internet.
- 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:
- 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