If there’s one familiar and enticing image of Norway it’s the fjords, giant clefts in the landscape running from the coast deep into the interior. Rugged yet serene, these huge, wedge-shaped inlets are visually stunning; indeed, the entire fjord region elicits inordinate amounts of purple prose from tourist-office handouts, and for once it’s rarely overstated.
The fjords are undeniably beautiful, especially around early May, after the brief Norwegian spring has brought colour to the landscape; but winter, when all is unerringly quiet, has its charms too, the blue-black waters of the fjords contrasting with the blinding white of the snow that blankets the hills, valleys and mountains. In summer, the wilds are filled with hikers and the waters patrolled by a steady flotilla of bright-white ferries, but don’t let that put you off: the tourists are rarely in such numbers as to be intrusive, and even in the most popular districts, a brief walk off the beaten track will bring solitude in abundance.
The fjords run all the way up the coast from Stavanger to the Russian border, but are most easily – and impressively – seen on the west coast near
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