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Since the 1800s, when the aristocracy and the wealthy sailed their yachts here each summer, the Sogne Fjord has been a must see for the world traveller. This grand fjord is called the King of Fjords because it is the longest (204 km or 126 miles) and deepest (1308 meters or 4200 feet) fjord in the world. The scenery varies from wild and rugged mountains masses, straight into the fjord, to verdant farmland with storybook villages.
The Sognefjord has several distinctive fjord arms winding their way between steep mountains to end in small, picturesque villages. One of the most spectacular branches of the Sognefjord is the world-famous NÃ¦rÃ¸yfjord, which has now been included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. You can choose between different boat trips to experience the beauty of the fjords all year round.
The Jostedal glacier (Jostedalsbreen) has several spectacular branches, or arms, that extend down into the mild valleys close to sea level. It is possible to join guided glacier hikes at both FjÃ¦rland and Jostedalen, and you can visit the information centres there to learn more about the ice and the surrounding nature.
Scenic Mountain Passes
The Sognefjord is surrounded by spectacular steep mountains. You can drive through the mountain areas on scenic mountain routes and go hiking, climbing, summer skiing and fishing, or just sit back and relax while enjoying the fresh air and the stunning scenery.
There are several places in the Sognefjord region where you can see majestic waterfalls cascading down steep mountainsides, and some of these waterfalls are among Norway's highest.
When the snow thaws in May many of the waterfalls are so big that you can hear their mighty roar a long way off, and it is a refreshing experience on a hot summer's day to get so close to one of the waterfalls that you can feel the spray of cool mountain water on your skin.
National Parks are extensive, largely untouched nature areas of unusual scenic or historic interest that are owned by the state and protected to safeguard the rich diversity of Norways natural heritage. In the Sognefjord region, you will find two of Norways largest and most famous national parks the Jotunheimen National Park and the Jostedalsbreen National Park. The three largest landscape preservation areas in the county of Sogn og Fjordane are Utladalen, the NÃ¦rÃ¸yfjord and StÃ¸lsheimen in the Sognefjord region.
The stave churches are Norway's foremost contribution to the worlds cultural heritage, a fact confirmed by the inclusion of Urnes Stave Church on UNESCO's World Heritage List. These churches take their names from the distinctive building technique using vertical staves.
There are only 28 stave churches left in all of Norway. Five of the oldest are in the Sognefjord region, and all of them date back to the 12th century.
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