Fjords are God’s most beautiful creations. If you don’t credit the God for the creation of beautiful fjords, pass it on to geological activities.
What is a fjord?
When a large sea looks like an inlet guarded by tall rocky cliffs on both of its sides, the narrowed down sea is called a fjord.
See the example below:
That’s the Geirangerfjord, Norway.
Let us not foray deep into how the beautiful fjords are formed. It is for the scientists and students of geography to study. We will confine our interests to find the most beautiful fjords in the world and their location.
There are a number of beautiful fjords in Norway than any other country in the world. Do you have any idea how many fjords are in Norway alone?
A whopping 1200 fjords are located in Norway alone. Another aspect of the role and size of the Norwegian fjords will blow your mind away.
The length of the coastline of Norway is 29k km. If you don’t count the length of 1200 fjords of Norway, its coastline is shrunk to a meager 2500 km only!
Which countries have beautiful fjords?
- New Zealand
- Antarctic region
- Faroe Archipelago
- Desolation Archipelago
- Nova Zemlya Archipelago
Are there any beautiful fjords in Asia?
After I went through the places where fjords are found, I wondered why there is no fjord in Asia. Within a few minutes, I happened to read a news item that stated there is a fjord in Oman, a middle-east country and it is picking up a strong signal in the tourism radar.
The beautiful fjord in Oman : Fjord of Musandam.
This Asian fjord is seen on the Strait of Hormuz and somehow this fjord is called “Khor” here. Tourists to Oman are taken on a boat into waters of the Musandam fjord by cruise operator called ‘Dhow Cruises’.
Is a creek called a fjord?
Yes, a creek is also similar to the fjord-a sea inlet but without the cliffs on either side.
Now let us move on to see the 13 other beautiful fjords of the world. Our first visit will be to Norway where I would name only a few of the stunningly 1200 beautiful fjords.
Hardangerfjord-isn’t it stunning? The Hardangerfjord is the second largest of all the beautiful fjords of Norway. Look at its width! It doesn’t look like a narrow inlet of sea-right?
Its length also is a mind-boggling 180 km! Most of the European cruise lines offer Norwegian fjords tour package on the Atlantic Ocean.
The land area surrounding the Hardangerfjord attracts tourists who love fruit and flower garden. You can taste the freshest of Norwegian cherries, pears, apples, and plums. I have tasted the Norwegian plums; they are heavenly.
Other attractions near Hardangerfjord:
- Vøringsfossen Waterfall
All the natural beauty of Norway is captured in this sole place. OMG! Can’t take my eyes off this scenic place.
- Folgefonna Glacier
That extended rock acts as a perfect viewing platform of the Hardangerfjord.
This is another perfect example of a fjord. The surrounding green mountains paint a typical Norwegian fjord. What a scenic place! That’s why Norway is an extremely beautiful country. Its fjords, mountains, lush green forests, sleepy villages, and old churches-all ooze peace and serenity.
Sognefjord is no wonder called as the “king of Beautiful Fjords” because from the Atlantic Ocean, it comes all the 205 km inside Norway as if to add more natural beauty to this blessed country.
Other attractions near Sognefjord:
Cruise package tours to this particular Norwegian fjord include a tour of mainland Norway on near the Sognefjord. The tourists would be taken away by the absolute beauty of the rural side of Norway where the natural beauty is bundled into lovely green cover, lakes and simple but good restaurants that serve homemade Norwegian cuisine.
You can see all the three ancient stave churches namely:
You would be taken on a guided tour to some of the Norwegian villages such as:
- Ytre Oppedal
- Gudvangen-this is a Viking village
Important tourist landmarks to see when you visit Sognefjord:
- Magic White Caves
- Aurlandsdalen Valley
- The steep Flåm Railway
This Norwegian fjord is a branch of Sognefjord and it looks more beautiful than its parent fjord. The length of this small fjord from the oceanfront is only 18 km. Veteran swimmers try to reach the other shore of the fjord by swimming the 500 meters only width at a certain point of this UNESCO certified fjord.
This Norwegian fjord is not far from the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean water reaches Ålesund, a small town in Norway after traveling nearly 15 km from the oceanfront. The Geirangerfjorden also comes under the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Because of its shorter length, the Geirangerfjorden is the most seen beautiful fjords of Norway by the tourists.
A river cruise on the Geirangelva river can take you near the Geirangerfjorden. Tourists who are afraid of entering the ice cold ocean water are not afraid of trying their rowing strength in a kayak on the river Geirangelva.
- Seven Sisters waterfalls
- Bridal Veil
- Canoeing in the Geirangelva river
- Rafting on the Geirangelva river
- Hiking on the surrounding lush mountains that rise up to 3500 feet!
Wow! The surrounding lush green mountains are looming large and tall! The Nordfjord is instantly liked because of its picture-perfect surroundings and the undisturbed water that reflects everything that is looking upon it.
Nordfjord’s captivating beauty can be appreciated only through cruise boats that move on a snail’s pace.
The length of the Nordfjord is a whopping 105 km. The Nordfjord’s starting point is Husevågøy Island.
However, the tourism near this Norwegian fjord has improved so much so that speedboats ply, taking the eager passengers to the middle of the fjord and stop for half an hour or so that the tourists can enjoy the astounding scenery from the speedboat.
During winter, though skiing is actively pursued here, the glacier walk adventure activity is also gaining in popularity. For this adventure sports, the glacier Briksdalsbreen is recommended highly.
Patagonia Fjords, Chile
The glaciers fed fjords in Chile’s Pacific Ocean are wonderful tourist attraction but from what I gathered from my research on the topic of ‘beautiful fjords of the world’, the Chilean fjords are not visited by as many as those who visit the Norwegian fjords.
South American forests and birds garner the whole attraction of the tourists who seem to have no further time to see the Chilean fjords.
In addition, the Chilean fjords location is not that conducive to visit as you have to travel to Chile’s end-its southernmost point.
The most striking aspect of your leisurely cruise on the Chilean fjords is the sight of clumsy and clown-like penguins that seem to live in large colonies.
Other wildlife in the beautiful fjords of Chile are:
- The elephant seals
- Humpback Whales
- Friendly dolphins
Howe Sound, British Columbia, Canada
You must be wondering where is the word ‘fjord’? In British Columbia, the fjord is replaced by the word, ‘sound’ that differs mostly in its width when compared to that of a fjord. The ‘Sound’ is wider than a fjord.
In addition, a ‘Sound” has a bay and in Howe Sound, that is located near Vancouver has an opening at the Strait of Georgia.
Oh yes! The Howe Sound is much wider and deeper than a fjord. It is, in fact, a large sea inlet. From start to finish, the Howe Sound measures roughly 40 km.
The width of the Howe Sound is so wide that you can find a few small islands and islets too on it.
Cruise ships arrange special adventure activities to their passengers that include:
- Scuba diving
- Hiking on the lush green mountains surrounding the Howe Sound
Misty Fjords, Alaska
Next only to Norway, Alaska has several fjords but are much smaller in length and width. If the conditions for cruising are not conducive, there are mini planes that take you as high as possible over the network of Alaskan fjords and you can enjoy an aerial of them in awe. I think an aerial view of a fjord is more spectacular than floating on a boat right on the ocean waters.
Somehow this Norwegian fjord escaped my attention thus far and now I have to insert it among other beautiful fjords of other parts of the world.
The moment you are shown a picture of a fjord, you can easily identify whether it’s a Norwegian fjord or not. They are more beautiful fjords than that of Canada, Alaska, or Iceland.
A view from the huge Preikestolen cliff gives goosebumps.
Oh my God! It is eerie to me.
Lysefjord is the next most visited fjord in Norway by the Norwegians, especially those who are living in the small city of Stavanger because it is a port city from where several cruise ship operators offer a day trip cruise package to Lysefjord on its entire 40 km length.
These small cruise ship operators are doing voluminous business as the number of tourists to see the Lysefjord exceeds 300K.
Let us now go to New Zealand to see two ‘Sounds” that are wider and bigger fjords.
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Oh, I must agree, this New Zealand’s Sound is as beautiful as a Norwegian fjord. It is long and pretty deep,
Milford Sound, New Zealand
The number of tourists that visit the Milford Sound is more than the other Kiwi fjord called the ‘Doubtful Sound’ (what a name!).
Milford Sound is located in South Island, New Zealand which has more places to see than the North Island that include:
- Mitre Peak
- Stirling Falls
- Bowen Falls
- Fur Seal
- Penguins and dolphins
- Black Coral
The water seems to be friendly for swimming and kayaking. I wonder if kayakers stop for a while on the middle of a Sound and enjoy a session of angling!
There are two fjords in Iceland that are worth mentioning.
- Westfjords, Iceland
- Berufjörður, Iceland
Both these beautiful fjords in Iceland are less visited than their Norwegian and New Zealand counterparts though both are very beautiful but I think the terrain scares the tourists away.