The Sognefjord

sognefjordTravelers have appreciated the scenery along Norway¹s longest fjord since long before the beginning of modern tourism in the middle of the 19th century. The Sognefjord is the deepest fjord in the world ( 1308 metres or 4200 feet ), and one of the longest ( 204 km or 126 miles ). The Nordvestfjord in Greenland is half as long again, but it is covered with ice most of the year and no one lives along its shores. It has been calculated that glacial ice carved away 5400 cubic kilometres to form the Sognefjord.

The fjords can be eerily still. No tides ruffle the surface of the water, and when there’s no wind, the water mirrors the sky.

Freshwater enters the fjord several places through rivers and numerous waterfalls. This greatly reduces salinity in the surface water specially in the innermost fjords such as the Nærøyfjord during spring, summer and Autum.

Since the middle ages the main travel route over land between Bergen and Oslo traveled through the Sognefjord on the stretch between Gudvangen and Lærdal.

When the first postal route was opened in 1647, it naturally followed the same way. The 18th century traveller from Oslo to Bergen or vice versa would follow the same route as this was considered the safest and easiest way.

The narrowest and most impressive fjord connected to the main Sognefjord is the Nærøyfjord.

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