Family fun in the fjords on Iona

31/07/2019

With the day-to-day whirl of work, school and home life, we spend so much time cooped up indoors. When was the last time you gathered the family, stepped outside, filled your lungs with fresh air and set off on an adventure? The Norwegian Fjords is the place to do just that. It’s a mecca of wild wonders: awe-inspiring glaciers, cascading waterfalls, glistening waterways and lush forests. Get back to nature on these five family-friendly shore experiences that will help you reconnect with the natural world – and with each other.

Explore the Atlantic

What wonders lie in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean? Find out (without getting wet) in Ålesund on the Atlantic Sea-Park On Your Own shore experience. The Atlantic Sea-Park, one of Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums, is built into the coastline and offers scenic views across the ocean to the nearby islands. Gaze into 11 large landscape aquariums filled with north Atlantic sea life from various ocean depths. Get hands-on at the open touch pools, watch the seals and penguins play and peer into the gargantuan tank that holds seven million pints of seawater.

 

Live the farm life

Embrace the traditional way of life in rural Norway on the Øvre-Eide Farm and Sweet Treats shore experience. The farm is located in the idyllic countryside just outside Bergen. When you arrive, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the family who are in their fifth generation of running the farm, which dates back to the 1500s. Discover the fascinating stories that have unfolded here, including the imprisonment of Gjest Baardsen

(Norway’s Robin Hood), who was held in the cellar in the early 18th century. Meet the resident animals and gain an insight into typical farming methods. Round off your visit with some delicious homemade Norwegian cakes with tea and coffee.

Hit the beach

Fjords likely spring to mind first when thinking of Norway’s coast, but the country also boasts a surprising selection of beautiful sandy beaches. Sola Beach – Stavanger’s Riviera – is a 2.3km-long stretch of sand that begs to be explored. Walking across the bay, you’ll pass defensive bunkers from the Second World War. If a breeze is blowing, you’ll likely see the colourful sails of windsurfers zipping over the water. Admire the old house on the edge of Ræge Beach and walk over the slightly hilly terrain as you make your way to Ølberg. Take a break in the lush grazing fields to enjoy a traditional Norwegian snack of rye bread and brown cheese. If the timing’s right, you might see fishing boats bringing in the day’s catch at Ølberg harbour.

 

Come face to face with a glacier

Get up close and personal with one of nature’s most breathtaking wonders on the Briksdal Glacier by Troll Car shore experience. Your adventure begins with a journey through the Olden Valley, passing towering mountains, thundering waterfalls, gleaming glacier tongues and the emerald-green waters of Lake Olden. At the Briksdal Inn, hop in a troll car – an open-top buggy – and feel the breeze in your hair as your driver winds along the country roads to Jostedalsbreen National Park. From the viewpoint, take in the views of the Briksdal Glacier, which flows 1,219m down the mountainside and glows in shades of white and blue.

Float through a fjord

Connect with the wilderness in a fun and relaxing way as you explore the waters of the Geirangerfjord – one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces – on the Geirangerfjord Kayaking adventure. Follow your guide out onto the calm waters, which are protected from wind by the towering mountains that rise from both sides of the shore. Hear the fascinating stories of the region as you glide by crashing waterfalls and tiny farms clinging to the emerald hillsides. At Preacher’s Pulpit, peer up at the sheer cliff face that climbs almost 610m into the sky from your vantage point on the fjord. Fill your lungs with the pure air and gaze out towards the famous Seven Sisters waterfall, which thunders dramatically down the mountainside.