Description of the area

Fjords are some of the most dramatic and spectacular landscapes on earth.
The world heritage area of the West Norwegian Fjords includes parts of the longest, deepest, narrowest and most beautiful fjords in the world. These are areas with a natural and cultural content that has left visitors spellbound throughout time. Many consider these fjords as the very symbol of Norway, the foremost fjord country in the world. The Norwegian word "fjord" has become part of international language.

The...

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Facts

Geirangerfjord area: Norddal and Stranda municipalities in Møre
og Romsdal county

Nærøyfjord area: Aurland, Vik and Lærdal municipalities in Sogn og
Fjordane county. Voss municipality in Hordaland county

Area:
Total 1227 km2, incl. 107 km2 sea area
Geirangerfjord area, 518 km2
Nærøyfjord area, 709 km2

Information on accommodation and services:
Geirangerfjord area:
Destination Geirangerfjord Trollstigen. www.visitgeirangerfjorden.com
Geiranger Tourist office, tel. + (47) 70 26 30 99...

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Geology and landform

The West Norwegian Fjords are situated in the parts furthest inland of two fjord systems that penetrate all the way in to the central mountain massifs that divide Eastern Norway and Western Norway.

In the Tertiary, 2.5-55 million years ago, the land rose and formed a high mountain massif parallel to today's coastline. In the time before the ice cap covered the landscape, 2.5 million years ago, rivers dug out deep V-valleys along the weaker zones of the bedrock. During the many ice ages that...

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Plants and animals

West Norwegian Fjords present a rich and varied flora and fauna.

The short distance between the fjord and the high mountains and very favourable local climatic conditions allow mountain flowers to grow side by side with species usually associated with more southern latitudes. There is great diversity and variation of plant species in this steep fjord landscape. On land with a long history of cultivation, rare species have developed over time, requiring grazing and hay harvesting for their...

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Cultural history

Traces left in the landscape show that the fjord areas have been used by people ever since the ice retreated 10,000 years ago.
Trapping pits and hunting hides in the mountains show that wild reindeer was important to the fjord dwellers even in the Stone Age. Along the fjord by the water and higher up on small ridges on the valley sides there are several small farms, most of them abandoned. Even though those who settled there tried to situate their houses safely away from snow and rock...

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Beautiful landscape

The Geirangerfjord area and the Nærøyfjord area are two fjord areas that are said to be among the most beautiful natural areas in Europe.
In the last 150 years, researchers, artists and tourists have visited the fjords to experience a unique, dramatic landscape full of contrasts. This magnificent fjord landscape has made a strong impression on very many and has inspired poets and other artists. The natural landscape also means a lot to the people who have settled in the area. The local people...

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