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West Norway: Where breathtaking landscapes meet ancient history

Secondary Categories: NorwayGuide

On the rugged western coast of Norway, a land of fjords, mountains, and ancient history await. Prepare to be captivated by the picturesque city of Bergen, the awe-inspiring Geirangerfjord, the hair-raising Trollstigen mountain road, and the charming city of Trondheim. 

Bergen: Gateway to the fjords 

Bryggen - Hanseatic Wharf, Historical Landmark Houses in Bergen, Norway
The charming Bryggen Wharf consists old Hanseatic wharf and buildings.

Your journey begins in the colorful coastal city of Bergen, often referred to as the "Gateway to the Fjords." Bergen is a charming city that perfectly blends history with modernity. The Bryggen Wharf, a UNESCO World Heritage site, welcomes you with its iconic wooden buildings that stand as a testament to the city's Hanseatic past. Wandering through the narrow alleyways, you'll discover boutique shops, galleries, and cozy cafés. 

Don't miss the chance to take the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for panoramic views of the city and its surrounding fjords. The hike down from Fløyen provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the lush Norwegian forests and pristine nature. 

Geiranger: Nature's masterpiece 

Geirangerfjord in Sunnmøre, Norway
Gaze in awe at the panoramic view of the Geirangerfjord.

From Bergen, venture deeper into the heart of West Norway, specifically to the Geirangerfjord, one of the most breathtaking fjords in the world. As you approach the fjord, prepare to be stunned by the sheer cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and emerald-green waters. 

A highlight of any visit to Geiranger is a cruise along the fjord. As your boat glides through the crystal-clear waters, you'll pass by iconic sights like the Seven Sisters Waterfall, the Suitor Waterfall, and the abandoned farms clinging to the steep mountainsides. The fjord's beauty is so captivating that it has earned a spot on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. 

For the more adventurous traveler, consider hiking the nearby trails, such as the famous Geiranger-Skageflå hike, offering unparalleled views of the fjord and the surrounding landscapes. Whether by boat or on foot, Geiranger's natural beauty will leave an indelible mark on your memory. 

Trollstigen: Conquering the troll's path

Trollstigen Trolls Path, windy mountain road in Norway
Trollstigen road is a thrill to cruise!

The Trollstigen mountain road, known as the "Troll's Path", is a thrilling and hair-raising drive that offers an adrenaline-pumping adventure through a rugged mountain landscape. The road, with its hairpin turns and vertigo-inducing heights, provides unparalleled views of the Stigfossen waterfall and the dramatic Trollveggen (Troll Wall) – the tallest vertical rock face in Europe. It's not for the faint-hearted, but the feeling of conquering the Troll's Path is an experience you'll treasure forever. 

At the summit of Trollstigen, there is a visitor center where you can learn about the road's construction and enjoy panoramic views from the viewing platform. The surrounding area is also great for hiking, offering various trails for all levels of experience. 

Trondheim: City of history and culture 

Colorful houses and Nidelva River at Bakklandet neighborhood in Trondheim, Norway
Take in the Norway’s fresh air and admire the view of Nidelva River and its colorful houses.

Charming Trondheim is often referred to as the "Historical Capital of Norway," and for good reason. The city's cobblestone streets are lined with well-preserved wooden houses, and its vibrant atmosphere is sure to captivate you. 

One of the highlights of Trondheim is the Nidaros Cathedral, an awe-inspiring Gothic masterpiece. This imposing cathedral has been a pilgrimage site for centuries, and its intricate architecture, stained glass windows, and the beautiful Nidaros Rose window are a testament to the craftsmanship of medieval times. 

Trondheim's culinary scene is a delightful fusion of traditional Norwegian dishes and modern innovation. Fresh seafood from nearby fjords, hearty classics like raspeballer, and sweet treats like kransekake await. Whether in a historic setting or a modern bistro with river views, dining in Trondheim is a treat for foodies. 

While in Trondheim, take a stroll along the picturesque Nidelva River, visit the Archbishop's Palace Museum, or explore the vibrant Bakklandet district with its charming cafes and unique shops. 

Nidaros Cathedral: Medieval mastery 

Nidaros Cathedral, Medieval church architecture in Trondheim, Norway

This iconic cathedral is the northernmost medieval cathedral in Europe and is the burial place of St. Olav, the patron saint of Norway. As you approach the cathedral, its grandeur and architectural splendor will leave you in awe. The intricate sculptures and detailed carvings that adorn the façade tell the story of Norway's rich history and its deep religious roots. 

Inside the cathedral, the atmosphere is serene and reverent. The stained glass windows cast a soft, colorful glow on the polished stone floors, creating an otherworldly ambiance. Take your time to explore the various chapels, crypts, and artifacts, including the Crown Regalia of Norway, which is on display. A climb up the Nidaros Cathedral's west facade offers a panoramic view of Trondheim: you know you want to. 

Experience it for yourself  

West Norway is a land of contrasts, where stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage combine to create a unique and unforgettable travel experience. From the vibrant streets of Bergen to the awe-inspiring Geirangerfjord and the historic charm of Trondheim, there really is something for everyone.  

Have a look at our sample Norway tours for inspiration. Then speak to a Destination Expert about designing your own bespoke itinerary. 

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