Geirangerfjord is referred to as the crown jewel of the Norwegian fjords. It’s not difficult to see why with all the fairytale landscapes, waterfalls and incredible views! Also, it’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. And nestled between the mountains, right on the edge of the water is the quaint village of Geiranger. If you’ve seen beautiful photographs of the Norwegian fjords, they were almost certainly taken here.
Because of the depth of the fjord, the harbour of Geiranger is a popular port stop for cruise ships. That’s how I arrived in Geiranger, via the MSC Poesia. The town itself, although very small, has a couple of cute shops and there are various activities to keep you busy. When I visit a new town or city, I’m always interested in finding the best viewpoints. For that reason, I’ve compiled this list of where to find the best views in Geiranger, especially if you have limited time.
Flydalsjuvet is an iconic viewpoint that offers sweeping views of Geiranger and the Geirangerfjord. Some of the most scenic and popular travel photos of Norway are taken here. The viewpoint is located about 4km from the centre of Geiranger. It has an upper and a lower section, and there are toilets which are open from May to October. You’ll also find the Flydalsjuvet Rock here, a famous rock where daredevils take cool and dangerous photos. The rock overhangs a tall cliff with a 300 m drop and you can see Geiranger in the background. Would you risk your life to take the ultimate travel photo? Mmm…🤔
Eagle Road and Ørnesvingen
Eagle Road or Ørnevegen is the name of a steep stretch of road between Geiranger and Eidsdal with no less than 11 hairpin bends! It’s named Eagle Road for two reasons. Firstly, because the road passes through a terrain where a large number of eagles used to live. Secondly, the name also reflects the natural beauty, the wilderness, the incredible bird’s-eye view that awaits you at the top.
Ørnesvingen is the highest of the hairpin bends and also the most popular viewpoint. From here you have a panoramic view of Geiranger, the fjord, and the Seven Sisters waterfalls. In my opinion, this is the best view that you’ll find in Geiranger.
The waterfall walk (Storfossen)
There is no shortage of waterfalls in the Geirangerfjord. Honestly, I lost count of how many waterfalls I saw from our the cruise ship as we sailed through the fjord. But one waterfall you simply cannot miss, quite literally, during your visit to Geiranger is the Storfossen. That’s because it’s located in the middle of Geiranger. Well, almost.
It’s easy to find the waterfall; when you’re in town, walk towards the camping grounds and just follow the signs for the ‘waterfall walk’. To reach the top of the 35 m high waterfall, you have to climb 327 steps. Don’t worry, there are plenty of great views along the way to keep you motivated. At the top platform, you’ll also find the Norwegian Fjord Centre and Hotel Union.
This is one of my favourite views in Geiranger. The beautiful white, wooden, octagonal Geiranger Church dates back to 1842. It’s believed to be the third church built on the same site. The first building was demolished while the previous church burnt down in 1841. To get the best view of the church, walk to the gate located on the main road that runs through Geiranger (route 63).
How to reach the viewpoints in Geiranger
Storfossen and Geiranger Church can easily be reached on foot from the harbour or centre of town. To reach Flydalsjuvet and Ørnesvingen, you have two options. You can either hire a car and drive to the viewpoints yourself, or you can join a panorama bus tour. This tour costs 300 NOK and lasts more or less 1,5 hours. Just note that I didn’t join this particular tour; I did a similar guided bus tour which I booked through my cruise ship.
If you decide to hire a car, keep this in mind: driving up Eagle Road was one of the scariest experiences of my life! Why? Because the road has only one lane for traffic going up and down the mountain. It’s a very popular viewpoint and there are a lot of buses, motorcycles and other vehicles on the road. Add to that the steep incline and the hairpin turns, this road will be a test for the best of drivers. From the bus, I witnessed three accidents; minor ones, but it was still alarming to see. On the other hand, driving to Flydalsjuvet was fairly simple.
Taking a bus tour certainly has its pros and cons too. Pros: you can just sit back and relax with no stressful driving or searching for parking. Cons: you get approximately 15 min at each viewpoint, which is enough, but not a lot. For example, at Flydalsjuvet, I only had enough time to enjoy the view from the upper platform. But it’s ultimately up to you to decide which option better suits your needs.
Have you travelled to Geiranger and what was your favourite part of this quaint town? Let me know in the comment section 🙂