Five energised adventures in the Norwegian Fjords
Norway is an adventurer’s paradise. Unleash your inner explorer on these action-packed shore experiences and get your blood pumping amidst the region’s spectacular scenery.
Think of the Norwegian fjords, and most likely you’ll be conjuring up the region’s dramatic natural beauty. That outdoor wonderland is a haven for sporty, fun and adventurous activities that will get you out and breathing in the fresh fjordic air – all with spectacular scenery as your backdrop, of course.
Guest Nicole Watkins went on a P&O Cruises Fjords holiday on Arcadia and was impressed with the range of shore experiences on offer. ‘We had a very active holiday,’ she says. ‘I was a bit apprehensive before each activity as I don’t usually do this type of thing in my day-to-day life, but my partner loves everything and anything active so thought I would give it a go. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, and actually wanted to do it all over again! The shore experiences were so well organised, and I really felt like I was in safe hands. We definitely earned those cocktails in the evening!’
Read on for five of our favourite adventures in the fjords…
1. Paddle through the fjords
Cruising through the deep-blue waters of Norway’s UNESCO-protected fjords is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the ship has docked, why not take time to explore them from a different perspective? On the Nordfjord Kayaking shore experience in Olden, you’ll get kitted out and learn the ropes before heading into the spectacular Nordfjord with your kayak. You’ll paddle past waterfalls, glaciers and mountains as your well-informed guide shares their knowledge of the region.
For Nicole, it was a highlight of her recent cruise holiday. ‘It was an early start but so worth it,’ she says. ‘We paddled right past the ship and into the fjord, which was amazing. Our guide was from Olden, so he was very knowledgeable and as we paddled along, he told us all about the history of the area and stopped us at points of interest. We all went at our own pace, some more experienced than others. I remember how peaceful it was being out in the middle of the fjord. The whole experience was incredible and certainly not something you experience every day!’
2. Take a hike
Lace up your hiking boots and head for the hills on the Hiking Sugarlump Mountain shore experience in Ålesund. Beautiful Sugarlump Mountain rises up to the sky on the island of Hessa. From the base of the mountain, you’ll hit the trails and continue on foot, following a narrow nature trail. The hike itself starts at 164 feet above sea level and continues to the summit at an elevation of 1,000 feet. Be sure to take your camera – the views over the city of Ålesund, on to Borgundfjord, and further inland to the picturesque Sunnmøre mountains are truly spectacular.
3. Walk this way
Try taking your sightseeing stroll to the next level on the Nordic Walking Tour in Stavanger. Nordic walking is a full-body exercise that uses specially designed poles adapted to each participant. The technique is easy to learn, and this guided experience will give you a great workout while you take in the sensational scenery. Starting in the city, you’ll head onto a trail that stretches for nearly two miles and takes in harbours, open countryside, beaches and rocky headlands. A stop will be made at a peaceful outdoor area, where you can enjoy a simple Norwegian culinary treat – brown cheese and rye bread. Heading back, you’ll continue along the Blue Promenade, a pretty path that circles the harbour in the city centre.
4. See the sights by segway
Have you ever ridden a Segway? These two-wheeled electric scooters have become hugely popular in recent years and offer a fun and unique way to explore your destination. On the Bergen by Segway shore experience, a knowledgeable guide will take you through a brief training session before heading out on a tour of the city. You’ll take in must-see sights such as Bergenhus Fortress and Park (one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved castles) and the UNESCO listed Bryggen, where you’ll see 14th-century Hanseatic merchant buildings. You’ll also pass the colourful and lively Fish Market, Nordnes Park, the national theatre, the blue-stone St John’s church and more.
5. On your bike
Adrenaline junkies will get a kick out of the Sky to Fjord Downhill Biking experience in Geiranger, which gives you a unique perspective of the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord. On this cycling adventure, you’ll first be taken on a scenic transfer up towards Lake Djupvatn. Upon arrival, you’ll be shown the ropes and kitted out with your helmet and bike, and it’s all downhill from here! With the wind in your hair, enjoy breathtaking views and fresh mountain air as you cycle, making several stops at stunning viewpoints along the way to capture the true beauty of the area. ‘This was such a unique experience,’ says Nicole. ‘Again, we could go at our own pace downhill towards the base of the fjord. Every few turns we stopped to take in the scenery and snap some photos; at one stop a rainbow appeared right over the ship. It was amazing. This trip really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget.