The King of the Fjords

Sognefjord in Norway - 10 useful facts before you visit

The Sognefjord (or Sognefjorden in Norwegian) is located on the west coast of Norway. It is called the King of the fjords and is over 200 kilometers long. Though the nickname has been given probably due to its greatness, it has indeed been visited by both Kings and Queens over the years!

The fjords are created by glaciers way back when, and if you want to see the fjords, Bergen is a great place to start your journey. Bergen is located in the heart of the fjords with the Sognefjord to the north and Hardangerfjord in the south. 

The western Norwegian fjords differ from other fjords in that there is also a living cultural landscape with many small settlements where people have lived for thousands of years and still live, and where the lands are still used for grazing and cultivation. 

1. Where is the Sognefjord?

Planning your trip to visit the fjords, the location is perhaps the number one thing to pinpoint first. So we’ll try and point you in the right direction. The fjords in Norway are quite accessible and the Sognefjord is perhaps one of the easiest one to explore. So pack your bags, book a direct flight to the city of Bergen and start your journey from here.

Click on the image for link to the Sognefjord at Google Maps.

The Sognefjord starts just north of Bergen and stretches about 200 kilometers inland to the village of Skjolden. The Sognefjord has several smaller fjords which branch off the main fjord. And many would say that these smaller ones are the most spectacular parts of the fjord.

2. How long is the Sognefjord?

The Sognefjord is 205 kilometers from the ocean to the village of Skjolden. It runs through several municipalities and has several places where you can cross over by ferry. There is even a boat that goes from Bergen all the way to the village of Flåm. This passenger boat takes about 5,5 hours and you can read more about the Bergen-Flåm boat and buy tickets here. (summer season only)

3. How deep is the Sognefjord?

Even though the length is impressive, what you cannot see is even more fascinating! In Norway we have a saying that as high as the mountain you see from the fjord, that is how deep the fjord is. Well, don’t hold us accountable for this old saying, but what we do know for sure is that the deepest part of the fjord is an impressive 1300 meters! The Sognefjord is over 1000 meters deep for about half of its length. 

4. Sognefjord branches - which is the nicest?

Okay, so Sognefjord has caught your attention, how do you choose where to go? Not to worry, these are the most popular places (and perhaps rightly so!):

The Nærøyfjord:
Included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage, the Nærøyfjord is truly spectacular. Nestled in the end of the fjord lies the picturesque village of Gudvangen, well worth a visit. Gudvangen is a popular spot for kayaking. Read more about the Nærøyfjord and what not to miss.

Kayaking in the Sognefjord
Photo: Kaitlin Bailey / Matador Network / 

The Aurlandsfjord:
With the village of Flåm located at the end of the fjord, this fjord is perhaps the most visited in Norway. Why not try to visit outside the main summer season and get the true village feelin’? 

There is a passenger boat between Gudvangen and Flåm which is very popular and a great way to see both the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord. The cruise takes around 2 hours. Several of the day tours from Bergen to Sognefjord includes this cruise.

Sognefjord and the world famous Flåmsbana
View from Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana). Photo: Visit Bergen / Casper Steinsland -

The Fjærlandsfjord:
Except being a beautiful fjord, it is a great starting point if you want to see the glacier Jostedalsbreen or visit the Norwegian Glacier Museum in Fjærland.

5. How to get from Bergen to Sognefjord

The Sognefjord can be seen on a day trip from Bergen. Even though it is a long fjord, there are several options available all year. If your time allows for a longer visit, the Sognefjord is a great area to spend several days. Accommodations can be found in many of the villages along the fjord, but remember to plan and book your stay in advance.Fjord cruise at the Sognefjord
Fjordcruise between Flåm and Gudvangen. Photo:åm AS 

If you want to do and not just see, then try kayaking in the fjord or book one of Norway Active’s tours which include a RIB-boat between Flåm and Gudvangen. If you want to go from Bergen to Flåm (in the Aurlandsfjord off the Sognefjord), there are several tours from Bergen that includes Flåm and the Flåm Railway.  

Read more about the various tours to Sognefjord and how to choose the right tour for you.

  1. Kayaking in the Norwegian fjords
    All you need to know to find the perfect tour for you.
  2. Kayaking & Rafting in Bergen
    Enjoy kayaking, canoeing and rafting with Bergen as your base.

6. Sognefjord attractions – what not to miss

Most of the attractions in Sognefjord is of course centred around the fjord itself. However, the ways you can see the fjords are endless. Alone in a kayak (or even better, with a guide!), on an electric powered boat or hire your own private yacht (with a captain), just to mention a few. However, to help you on your way with what to choose, here are a few Sognefjord hits:

  1. Guided tour and fjord cruise to Nærøyfjord, Flåm and Stegastein viewpoint. A beautiful cruise on the UNESCO World Heritage Site Nærøyfjord. It even includes a trip to the spectacular viewpoint Stegastein. Available on a round trip from Bergen all year.
  2. Kayaking in the fjord. The tour Standard Extra Fjord Tour from Bergen is a beautiful round trip that includes cycling, Flåm railway and kayaking on the Aurlandsfjord. If you are wondering which fjord is best for kayaking, check out these pointers.
  3. Flåm Railway. This world famous railway is truly spectacular. Flåm Railway runs from Myrdal down to the village of Flåm and are included on several round trips from Bergen to the Sognefjord.
  4. Hike the Jostedalsbreen
  5. Visit a stave church. Five of the oldest stave churches in Norway is found in the area of Sognefjord and Urnes stave church is even included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage.
  6. Visit The Norwegian Museum of Travel and Tourism in Balestrand

Sognefjord and the Stegastein viewpoint
Stegastein viewpoint. Photo: Gjertrud Coutinho 

7. Flåm village and Flåm Railway

Flåm is located in the Sognefjord, beautifully nestled among the high mountains right in the end of the Aurlandsfjord. The Aurlandsfjord is one of the fjords branching off Sognefjord. Flåm has become quite a hub for the area due to its location and many attractions. The biggest attractions exept the fjord itself is the Flåm Railway. The railway is one of the worlds most beautiful railways with a total length of 20 kilometers between Myrdal and Flåm. The journey takes about one hour in one direction.

8. Vik in Sogn

The picturesque village of Vik is becoming more and more popular as visitors are discovering this nice little gem in the Sognefjord. It takes about 1.5 hours by car from Flåm to Vik. The fjord in Vik is 1200 meters deep and the mountains almost the same at around 1000 meters. If you are in Vik, Hopperstad Stave Church is well worth a visit.

9. Sognefjord in winter

The fjords are a spectacular sight any time of year. Most people visit the fjords in the summer, but the winter experience is becoming more and more popular. The days are short in winter, so you might want to take that into account when planning your stay. The fjords with the snow covered mountains can be a stunning sight in winter. 

10. Sognefjord tours

See a list of all tours to Sognefjord available from Bergen and check out this guide of how to find the right one for you. Most tours in Sognefjord can be bought online here at or in the Tourist Information in Bergen city center.

For planning your days in Bergen before of after seeing the fjords, check out things to do in Bergen or get help to narrow down your options with our Top 10 lists.