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Sogn & Fjordane, Norway Travel Guide, touring Sogn & Fjordane, visiting Sogn & Fjordane - Indian Chief Travel
NORWAY  |  Bergen, Norway Travel Guide
Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Sogn & Fjordane

Sogn & Fjordane

For those seeking the pulse of a big city, don’t bother coming to Sogn and Fjordane, where the biggest town is Florø, with 10,000 inhabitants. This county, which stretches from Geiranger in the north to the Voss area in the south, has some of the most fascinating natural sights Norway can offer. Take for example the Sognefjord, the longest and deepest of all the fjords in the world; or Jostedalsbreen, the biggest glacier in mainland Europe. You will also find here the highest mountain in Scandinavia, Mount Galdhøpiggen, 2,400 m (7,200 feet) above sea level.

The Jostedalsbreen Glacier

The biggest glacier in mainland Europe, Jostedalsbreen, is today popular for recreational purposes and easily accessible through guided tours. There was a time, however, when the glacier had to be crossed by people transporting their cattle from the Sognefjord area to Nordfjord or vice versa. That was no small feat considering the huge size of the glacier. Jostedalsbreen has, like most other glaciers, several branches (also known as tongues or arms), of which 22 carry individual names. Some of the best known branches are Nigardsbreen, Austdalsbreen and Bergsetbreen.

Jostedalsbreen can be accessed both from the north and the south. There are tourist information centers in Skei, Byrkjelo, Olden, Stryn and Sandane, on the Nordfjord in the north, and Balestrand, Sogndal, Hafslo, Gaupne and Skjolden, on the Sognefjord, south of Jostedalsbreen. You can stop by any of these to pick up a road map of the area.

Two of the best places to visit at Jostedalsbreen are Jostedalen and Fjærland, which are both accessed from the south. Both also have tourist information centers.

Jostedalen, north of Gaupne, is where you access the Nigardsbreen Glacier, which is probably the best-known and most popular branch of the Jostedalsbreen. More than 30,000 tourists visit Nigardsbreen every year; considering the relatively small area people occupy between the village of Jostedal and the glacier, it can get pretty crowded with tourists here during peak season (July-August).

From Sogndal, there are several buses leaving daily for Jostedalen via Hafslo and Gaupne. The trip up is as much of a sightseeing trip as it is transportation, with the grand glacier on the left, the high peaks of the Jotunheimen Mountains to your right and the turquoise water of the Jostedal River running alongside the road.

Just north of Fjærland, you will find the Bremuseum. The museum is well worth a visit if you’re interested in facts about glaciers and fjords. You can also see the fantastic panoramic film showing Jostedalsbreen. 

Last updated November 18, 2010
Posted in   Norway  |  Bergen
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