district in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway

Nordfjord is a district in Sogn og Fjordane in West Norway. Nordfjord is the area around the namesake fjord, one of the major fjords in Norway.

Understand edit

See also: Fjords of Norway
Jostedalsbreen seen from Olden valley

Nordjord is typical fjord landscape. The area is dominated by one long fjord, the Nordfjord at more than 100 km (about 65 miles), and some smaller branches. Fjords continue as valleys into the land and valleys are filled with pristine lakes. Nordfjord has an array of lakes, many of which are coloured turquoise by glacial melt water.

Hornindalsvatnet is the deepest lake in Europe and the largest in Western Norway. At 50 meters above sea, the 500 meter deep lake is in fact mostly below sea level. Because of the great volume, water on average takes more than 15 years to pass through. Hornindalsvatnet is unusually clear, as there is no inflow of glacial melt water.

Fjords are complex and mountains rise directly from the fjord making land transport challenging. The geography is very varied and complex, featuring high mountain peaks, islands, and glaciers (including the Jostedalsbreen glacier, the largest glacier in continental Europe), gorge-like valleys, lovely lakes and many tall waterfalls. Because of the very fragmented landscape, settlements and roads are largely confined to low valleys and shores.

Nordjord is deer land.

Nordfjord and neighbouring districts are home to Norway's largest population of red deer ("hjort"). They are often seen along roads at dusk or dawn, particularly in spring.

Villages and towns edit

Map of Nordfjord

There are no big towns in this county. Regional hubs are Nordfjordeid and Stryn.

  • 1 Måløy – major fishery port at the mouth of Nordfjord
  • 2 Nordfjordeid   – administrative centre of Stad, with several tourist attractions, including the Sagastad viking ship
  • 3 Sandane – administrative centre of Gloppen
  • 4 Skei – pretty village at the beautiful lake Jølstervatn
  • 5 Stryn and Olden – romantic fjords, lovely lakes and iconic glaciers

Other destinations edit

  • 1 Jostedalsbreen — the largest glacier in Norway occupies a prominent position within the county; arms can be observed from various locations in the region.

Get in edit

Kannesteinen at Måløy

By plane edit

There is one small airport at Sandane (SDN IATA, on E39. There is also an airport in Førde in the neighbouring Sunnfjord district and a small airport just north of Nordfjord, in Volda/Ørsta (HOV IATA).

The nearest airports seeing international traffic are:

By rail edit

There are no railway lines in Nordfjord. The closest railway stations are in Flåm and Otta.

By bus edit

There are bus connections with Bergen, Otta and Ålesund.

By boat edit

There is a high-speed catamaran services from Bergen up the coast ending in Selje at the border with Møre og Romsdal, operated by Norled. Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Steamer) calls at Florø and Måløy.

By car edit

E39 is the major route from Bergen. From north on E39, from Ålesund. Road 15 is a good road from Otta/E6.

See edit

Nordfjord near Olden and Loen
Loen Skylift 1000 meters straight up from the fjord

The wild landscape is the main "must see" in Nordfjord. The area has many waterfalls, high peaks and breathtaking views.

Nature edit

  • 1 Briksdalsbreen (Road 60, local road Oldedalen). Briksdalsbreen is a branch of Jostedalsbreen glacier in Olden. Briksdalsbreen is one of the most accessible and best known arms of the Jostedalsbreen glacier. The size of Briksdalsbreen depends not only on temperature, but is also strongly affected by precipitation.    
  • 2 Loen Skylift (Road 60 (Stryn or Byrkjelo)). One of the few aerial tramways in Western Norway. Built only to offer visitors the best panorama of the lovely Loen/Olden area.    
  • 3 Kannesteinen (Road 15 to Måløy). Kannesteinen is a 3 meter tall stone sculpture created by the sea.

Culture edit

  • Myklebust viking ship (Myklebustskipet) (Nordfjordeid in Nordfjord). Traces of a 25 meter long Viking ship were uncovered in a burial mound at Nordfjordeid in 1874. Presumably one of the largest Viking ships found. A replica was completed in 2019 and is on display in the village.    

Off the beaten track edit

Selje Abbey ruins at the Atlantic
  • 4 Kinn island and church (Kinn) (By boat, west of Florø). A small island, one of the western most points in Norway, only a handful of residents but with the oldest church in the area. The church is masonry building from the 12th century. Unusually rich interior.
  • 5 Selje abbey ruins (Selje kloster). Selje Abbey (Selje kloster) was a Benedictine monastery on the island of Selja near Stad peninsula. The abbey was founded around year 1100. At the time one of Norway's 3 bishops resided at Selje (the others were in Oslo and Trondheim), the bishop shortly after moved to Bergen. The monastery was abandoned before the 1537 Protestant Reformation.
  • 6 West cape (Vestkapp (Mt Kjerringa at Stadlandet)). West cape is a panorama point at the Stad peninsula (Stadlandet), the north-western corner of Sogn og Fjordane. This peninsula has some of the roughest weather in Norway and is one of the few places where the shipping lane is totally unprotected by islands. Fine panorama in all directions.

Do edit

  • 1 Stryn summer skiing, Old Stryn mt road (route 258). This ski resort is open in summer only!

Drink edit

Tap water is drinkable and often of very good quality. Olden is bottled water, the source of which is the glacier Jostedalsbreen. It is sold as natural water (In Norwegian: Uten kullsyre), or as carbonated water (In Norwegian: med kullsyre).

Stay safe edit

Hornelen in Bremanger is the tallest sea cliff in Europe

The crime rat is low. But even so, common sense applies.

Be careful around waterfalls. Also, along the very coast, Atlantic waves are treacherous. Fjords and lakes are very deep and very cold most of the year.

Glaciers edit

Glaciers are one of the most dangerous places for visitors to the Norwegian outdoor. Never underestimate the power of the glacier. Observe warning signs. Never approach the front of the glacier. A glacier is not a stable piece of ice, it is constantly moving and huge chunks regularly fall of.

Do not enter a glacier without proper equipment and a skilled local guide. Sunrays get reflected from the white snow, so it necessary to use sunscreen to protect your skin. Bring warm clothes for tours on the glacier.

Routes through Nordfjord
Bergen ← Førde ←  S   N  ÅlesundTrondheim
Måløy  W   E  LomOtta

This region travel guide to Nordfjord is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!