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Last updated : Nov 2009
Fjordland and the Southwest
South Norway - Norway TravelPuppy
Unquestionably, Fjordland and the Southwest is Norway’s most important tourist area, due to its breathtaking scenery.

Many visitors arrive on cruise ships working their way north along the coast from Stavanger via Haugesund to Bergen and the best known fjord of all, Sognefjorden. Førdefjorden, Hardanger Fjord and Nordfjord are among other notable scenic attractions in the region.

Near Sogndal, at the head of Sognefjorden, lies Urnes, whose wooden stave-built church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Inland are the Hardangervidda Mountains, which rise to over 1700m (5600ft) and incorporate the National Park. To the north of Sognefjorden lies Europe’s biggest glacier, the Jostedalsbreen, and its surrounding National Park. Immediately to the east of this area is the Jotunheimen National Park, which contains Norway’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen (2469m/8100ft).

Away from the fjords, on the southern coastline of Vest-Agder, Fylke, is the port of Kristiansand, from which ferries serve Denmark and the United Kingdom.


Former Hanseatic port and medieval Norwegian capital, the city’s appeal centres on the Hanseatic Bryggen harbour-side district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with many of its buildings dating from the 17th century and earlier. Cable cars take visitors to the summit of Mount Ulriken, and a funicular railway climbs Mount Fløyen to give outstanding views over the city and coastline. With its Museums and a large aquarium and a broad choice of boat excursions around the city this is one Norway’s busiest tourist destinations.


Centre of the country’s North Sea oil industry, Stavanger is Norway’s fourth largest city after Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, with 96,000 inhabitants. Old Stavanger is Europe’s largest collection of wooden buildings. Other attractions here include the Norwegian Oil Museum, the unique Fish Cannery Museum with sprat-smokehouse, and the Rogaland Art Gallery.