Norways West Coast and the Fjords

The majestic Norwegian Fjords are among some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the world. Here you will find excellent sailing conditions and access to an unforgettable cruising ground.

This rugged and mountainous part of the country contains a great variety of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and varied topography. This area has so much to offer the visiting yacht charterer from incredible mountainous coastal lakes and rivers with abundant and diverse wildlife to quaint villages and towns with many attractions to interest all ages and tastes.

Situated on the West Coast of Norway the base is at Hjellestad and is only 6 km by car from the airport. Hjellestad is an ideal starting point for exploring this exciting and beautiful part of the country. The base is approximately 20 km from charming and traditional city of Bergen.

Norways bareboat charter fleet

Fjord Sailing

From here you can travel inshore between the Islands into the fjords exploring this breathtakingly beautiful area.

Many small picturesque towns are dotted throughout this area, and make for interesting stops along the way to do some inland exploring and sightseeing.

Cruising through the Norwegian Fjords by private yacht means you can visit places the cruise ships can’t go at your own pace and experience the best that Norway has to offer.

» Easily accessible (Direct flights from Europe)
» New and unspoiled destination
» Breathtaking Scenery
» Varied sailing from open water to sheltered passages
» Amazing wildlife and nature
» Huge territory to discover
» Welcoming firendly people
» Explore small fishing villages and towns

For more information on sailing and yacht charter in Norway including the Arctic North, West Coast Norway and sailing in Oslo and southern Norway please visit our partner site: Yacht Charter Norway

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Bergen - Sognefjord

Hjellestad Marina

Check in is at Hjellestad marina (nr Bergen). A pontoon marina with guest berths on jetties. Water, fuel, electricity, propane, showers, launderette, shops and post office. The base is situated just 6 km from the airport and is only 8 minutes by car. 14 miles from the city of Bergen and only 20 km (about 25-30 minutes) to drive. There is a bus service available.


Herdla is situated north of the Island of Askøy. Askøy is adjacent to the city of Bergen. It is a popular target for tourists. The nature reserve at the Island has many birds. Some 220 species of birds are registered. The nature reserve is also a nice place to walk and bathe. There are good fishing possibilities in the area.


Fedje is a low island surrounded by 125 smaller islands and rocks with a nice, small and quiet harbour in the bay. Fedje has been inhabited for 4000 years with its population concentrated round lagoon like bays in the north of the island. In the 1700s it was an important trading place. Kræmmerholmen, the trading centre is a museum, hotel and restaurant. Traditional employment is fishing, whaling and peat production – it still has two whaling ships. During the Second World War it was occupied and the remains of the German fortifications can still be seen.


Eivindvik is a larger village with a very picturesque approach. It is set amongst a very attractive setting, and is convenient for stores. Sheltered by high wooded hills this administrative and legal centre has good facilities. Anchor in the bay east of the village.


Fjærland is a village in Sogndal municipality, along the Fjærlandfjord. Located at the very end of the fjord leg and surrounded with impressive high rocky mountains, small waterfalls and the nearby glacier arms Bøyabreenand “Supelabreen" (a part of the Jostedalsbreen glacier) and the Norsk Bremuseum. Fjaerland is also the Norwegian ‘Book Town’, with book shops situated in old cow sheds and pig sty’s, there are also book shops on the Ferry quay and in the Hotel Mundal. The Mundal Hotel is an old wooden building in 19th century style still in business as a hotel. Until August 2008 the Hotel had been owned by the Orheim family for over a Hundred years.


Vik sits at the head of an open bay and is located quite deep in the fjord with a population of approximately 1000. It is deep and fairly exposed to the north. There is a little town with a magnificent stave church, this church was built around the year 1130. It is a triple-nave stave church and has a Gothic altar-baldaquin with sculptured heads, as well as decorations and paintings in the ceiling depicting the childhood of Christ.


Høyanger, with a population of approximately 2,200 is at the head of its fjord, has a hydroelectric station and an aluminum works. Good hill walking in the surrounding area and fishing. The landscape is both scenic and varied. The head of the fjord is surrounded by rocky crags and soaring peaks, a most impressive sight. The mountain moors offer wide expanses of unspoilt scenery.


The fjord itself is a busy thoroughfare, with ferry services linking the communities on either side, Although it is hemmed in by wild mountain ranges and precipitous walls of rock, the fjord also offers a host of narrow inlets, fjords in miniature, and lush stretches of countryside. From the delightful little village of Ortnevik, for example, time-worn paths wend their way up to Stølsheimen, a real scenic gem. Winter and summer alike the mountains beckon, providing abundant opportunities for skiing and rambling for outdoor enthusiasts of all age. Sailing through this magnificent area you will experience some of the most beautiful scenery Mother Nature has to offer and a warm welcoming people.


Bergen - Gateway to the fjords

Bergen used to be Norway’s capital city and until the late 19th century maintained its trade monopoly of fishing. Now Norway’s second largest city (population 203,000), it is no longer dependant entirely on fishing for its wealth. It lies in a bowl below seven hills and mountains.

The waterfront of Vågan, with its original harbour, is lined with picturesque converted wharves, with narrow streets behind them.

Yachts can berth in the heart of the old town, near open air fish, fruit and vegetable markets, and within a few minutes of butchers, bakers, chandlers and a modern shopping centre and pedestrianised square. The town is a blend of the old buildings of the original trading settlement and wooden and stone warehouses.

Local archaeology and history is abundant with museums, 12th century churches and fortresses. There are also art galleries, restaurants, aquariums and a funicular railway that takes you up Mount Fløyen. Facilities are very good and local travel connections are excellent. You will be able to berth in Vågan, alongside at Bryggen, below the old wharf buildings, or at the marina.


Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, the Sognefjord, lies in the heart of the Norwegian fjord country called Fjord Norway and extends more than 200 km inland to the national parks of Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen.

The Sognefjord region, where this emerald green fjord meets the largest glacier and highest mountains in Norway, is considered one of the world's most beautiful travel destinations. The Sognefjord area includes the municipalities of Aurland, Balestrand, Leikanger, Luster, Lærdal, Sogndal, Vik and Årdal.

Weather Conditions

Offering one of the most pleasant climates in the whole of Norway, Bergen enjoys plenty of mild weather, thanks to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. However, even though Bergen is especially mild and warm by Norwegian standards, it is noticeably colder than other neighbouring European countries, and also considerably wetter, due to rain clouds being regularly trapped by the surrounding mountains.

The summer climate is warm enough in July and August to mean that on the sunniest days, you will be more than happy to be wearing a T-shirt or similar summer clothing. This is by far the hottest time of the year in Bergen, when temperatures hover around 20°C / 68°F and on occasion climb a little higher.


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July has the highest mean temperature, with August following close behind. May is usually the month with the least precipitation. May, June, July and August are a popular time to visit this area.

Bergen 5 day Weather Forecast
Day Min Max Wind Weather
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General Information

West Norway is a section of Norway famous for its fjords as well as cities like Bergen and Ålesund.

Main Cities:

  • Balestrand A charming village by the Sognefjord.
  • Bergen Regional center and ancient hanseatic trading point.
  • Florø Small, charming costal town.
  • Haugesund
  • Kristiansund Known for clipfish.
  • Molde Impressive panorama and great fjord, annual jazz festival.
  • Stavanger Norway's petroleum capital and Bergen's little brother.
  • Voss
  • Ålesund Rebuilt in characteristic art noveau after the 1904 devastating fire.
  • Other destinations:

  • Dovrefjell A mountainous area consisting of two large national parks. (Comprises also parts of East Norway and Sør-Trøndelag)
  • Jostedalsbreen The largest glacier on the european mainland.
  • Sognefjorden Norway's longest fjord.
  • Valldal Green valley among alpine mountains, connects Geiranger and Trollstigen/Åndalsnes
  • Geographically, this is the archetypal Norway. Although fjords can be found in other parts of the world, the word is Norwegian, and this is the region of Norway where the most of them can be found. A fjord (the "j" is pronounced like an "y" in English) is a long, narrow, deep bay, usually surrounded by equally steep mountainous terrain. In West Norway, the largest can extend 200 km (124 mi) inland, 1300 m (4265 ft) deep. Note that in some areas freshwater lakes, although not an extension of the ocean, are frequently called fjords. The fjords of western Norway has been rated as the world's top tourist destination by National Geographic Magazine. In a rating of UNESCO world heritage sites, Geiranger, in Møre og Romsdal and Nærøyfjord, in Sogn og Fjordane, also obtained top score in a survey conducted by National Geographic].

    Several great waterfalls can be found in Western Norway. Many of them fall directly into the famous fjords as well as along the deep valleys extending into the mountains beyond the fjords. Unique in West Norway is that these waterfalls are found in large number all across the region.

    Balestrand(Credit: Peter Allen)


    The language in West Norway is Norwegian, with dialects that are distinctly different from eastern dialects. Foreign visitors will note a difference in melody only. Written Norwegian may differ somewhat as a different standard for writing, called nynorsk, is frequently used in West Norway.

    As in the rest of Norway, virtually everybody under 60 years of age speak or understand English. In tourist hot spots like Geiranger and Bergen, French and German are also common among service personnel. Don't be surprised to meet service workers that manage other languages such as Russian, Dutch, Italian or Spanish.

    Getting there

    By plane:

    Bergen and Stavanger are well conected with many European cities. There are also international flights to Haugesund, Molde and Ålesund.

    By rail:

    There are several lines from Oslo to end stations in the West. Raumabanen (an arm of Dovrebanen, the Oslo-Trondheim line) runs from Dombås to Åndalsnes. Bergensbanen connects Oslo and Bergen across the mountain. The famous Flåmsbanen (Flåm railway [2]) is an arm of Bergensbanen. Sørlandsbanen connects Oslo and Stavanger via South Norway including Kristiansand.

    By car:

    Western Norway occupies the entire west coast south of Trondheim until the mountain passes. There are accordingly numerous domestic entrances, basically along the east-west European highways (E18, E134, E16, E136) as well as E39, the coastal main road. Travellers should also consider alternative routes (frequently the more scenic) on national highways number 7, 50, 55 and 15.

    By boat:

    West Norway can be reached by ferry [3] from Hirtshals in Denmark, to Stavanger and Bergen.

    Getting around

    By plane:
    There are frequent flights between Bergen and Stavanger. There are also flights between Bergen and Ålesund, Molde and Kristiansund. Bergen is also conected to Sogn og Fjordane with small planes.

    By boat:
    Bergen is connected to many coastal towns to the north by Hurtigruten (the coastal steamer), which is a combined cargo and cruise ship (also accepts cars). North-south along the coast there are a few express passanger boats between Bergen and Stavanger (operated by Tide [4]), and between Bergen and small towns to the north (operated by Fjord1 [5]). The small towns along Sognefjorden is also connected to Bergen by these high speed catamarans. The fjord and island areas are typically best enjoyed from a boat.

    By rail:

    Due to complex topography West Norway does not have an integrated rail network. The railway does however offer opportunity for scencic rides. Train is most suitable for transport between Bergen, Voss, Flåm and the mountains; transport between Stavanger, Sandnes and small towns south of Sandnes. Bergen-Voss-Flåm is included in the famous "Norway in a nutshell" tour. The scenic Raumabanen railway from Dombås to Åndalsnes is an alternative to bus or car in the Romsdalen valley.

    By bus:

    Instead of a rail network there is an integrated network of long-distance coaches (operated by Nor-Way Bussexpress [6]) covering most of West Norway, these services are operated a few times every day. In Møre og Romsdal county there is also the Timeekspressen connecting main towns (Volda-Ålesund-Molde-Kristiansund) by hourly departures. Within counties several other operators may operate long-distance routes. Local city buses exist in major towns and cities.

    By car:

    Because most of West Norway is sparsely populated with limited public transport, a car provides superior freedom and flexibility for the traveler. Because some roads are narrow and steep (not shown on most road maps), travellers are advised to calculate plenty of time for driving and not to rush as this increases risk of accident. Ferries are an integral part of the road network and trips across West Norway often involve ferries. Car ferries on the main roads are rather frequent (typically every half hour), extremely reliable and operate with reserve capacity. Except for the popular Geiranger-Hellesylt and Valldal-Geiranger ferries, tourists generally need not worry about time tables and reservations. Travellers are however recommended to caclulate plenty of time for trips involving car ferries. Buses, ambulances and livestock transport have priority. On most crossings, ferries have cafeteria selling coffee, beverages, sandwiches and some hot food.

    Because nature is the main sight in West Norway, travellers are advised not to rush from town to town, but instead to calculate plenty of time for the road.

    Things to do:

    View of Bryggen - Bergen, Norway.jpgBryggen in Bergen

  • Bryggen, the old hanseatic docks in Bergen
  • The fish market in Bergen
  • Flåm railway in Flåm
  • The UNESCO-listed fjord in Geiranger.
  • Låtefossen waterfall in Odda.
  • Nærøfjord by Gudvangen.
  • Preikestolen (The pulpit rock) by Stavanger.
  • Trollveggen in Åndalsnes.
  • Other things to do:

  • Fishing. Endless posibilities along the coast, in the fjords and in lakes.
  • Glacier walks on Jostedalsbreen and Folgefonna.
  • Hiking. Several posibilities, among them Hardangervidda and Jotunheimen.
  • Skiing in Voss.
  • Skiing, in sumertime, in Stryn
  • Eating Out:

    There are various high class dining facilities in West Norway. See articles for each town. Specialities are plentiful.

    Local Drinks:

    When in this area, the local brand of bottled water is called Olden. Hansa brewery is the major beverages provider. The company also produces the arguably best Norwegian-owned beer.


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