Naeroyfjord is a World Heritage Site fjord and it truly deserves its status.It’s a narrow fjord, with towering mountains on each side, tiny settlements occasionally lining the emerald banks and even porpoises hunting the turquoise waters.Quite a place.
We were based for 2 nights in quaint Underdal village, on the Sognefjord, which winds its way sinuously for 128 miles or so from the sea up to Flam and Aurland.The Naeroyfjord is one of its many branches of smaller fjords which reach far into the mountain heartland of Western Norway.
Our first morning dawned bright and sunny, weather we had for the rest of our week on the mainland.A great day for taking the ferry up the Naeroyfjord to Gudvangen and back again and admiring this majestic area.
Our booking.com accommodation was Dampskipskaia, a wooden white house with roses round the door, right on the fjord shore with its own decking for sitting out on.It’s also right next to the jetty where the ferry docks.
We had some issues with this apartment overall and it wasn’t cheap at £160 a night but it was well equipped for self catering and in an unbeatable location.It’s a lovely village, with old traditional wooden houses and a white Stave Church looking over all.A glacial green river rushes past the access road to the sea; behind, steep mountains loom.
Armed with the ferry timetable we turned on the flashing harbour light that tells the ferry there are passengers to pick up in Undredal. I loved the sign beside the light – ‘If you want the ferry to stop, turn on the blinking light.’ Ok, ok, calm down.
There was no need to book tickets in advance; you just paid on board.Not cheap at £27 each, each way – most people get off at Gudvangen and get one of the shuttle buses back to Aurland or Flam but there aren’t buses to Undredal (or not at a time that worked for us) so we had to do it as a return trip.A hefty cost certainly for a journey of about 90 minutes each direction, but a tremendous way to enjoy the ever-changing scenery in good weather.But we were used to the very high prices in Norway by now (a ferry journey like that at home would have cost very little) and you just had to bite the bullet and get on with it.
We were both bowled over by that trip.
The landscape was magnificent, just beautiful.I danced about the ferry like a demented fairy, taking so many photos.The time passed very quickly, there was always something of interest.And then we spotted the porpoises, hunting just a short distance away but heading off towards shore as the boat got nearer.What a thrill.We actually saw them on the way back too.They must be quite common because we saw porpoises on other fjords too.
Gudvangen, at the head of Naeroyfjord, was much smaller than I’d thought, very tourist orientated and absolutely mobbed with a big group of Americans off a cruise ship who were doing the Gudvangen – Flam run one-way.
The ship was really busy going back but it was still a joy of a trip.We were the only ones getting off at Undredal, at around 2.15pm a beautiful, peaceful, ‘real’ little place to come back to.
A fantastic introduction to the Western Fjords.