Spectacular surprises on a fjord safari in Flåm, Norway

The warm sun beamed down, its rays transforming the smooth surface of the deep blue sea into a galaxy of sparkles. Majestic fjords rose up around us, stealing the scene with their craggy snow-capped peaks, lush hillsides and waterfalls that burst out of seemingly every crevice. At the centre of it all was the picture-perfect village of Flåm, where a colourful row of traditional wooden buildings lined the quiet harbour, ready to welcome another day’s worth of adventure seekers.
Flam, Norway fjord safari
Norway-Flam-Town (1)Today, I was one of those day trippers who arrived in Flåm, Norway as many others do: by boat. Our Viking Cruises ship had quietly sailed overnight from Stavanger through the famous fjords, passing Sognefjord (the largest in Norway) then Aurlandsfjord which was at one time the only way to access the hamlet. When dawn broke and the curtains were flung open to reveal the breathtaking scene, it was enough to elicit gasps from guests overwhelmed by the magical sight of perfect peaks creating seamless reflections off the emerald water.
Flam, Norway fjord safariThose who don’t travel to Flåm by boat can still experience the spectacle, by taking part in a fjord safari as my husband and I had the fortune of doing that sun-soaked morning. It only took a couple minutes of walking along the harbour to get from our boat to the dock, where we were greeted warmly by the team at Fjord Guide Service. Within seconds we were pulling on toques, goggles and fluorescent green coveralls that seemed more appropriate for an oil rig worker than a tourist chasing waterfalls, but as it turned out all that gear would come in very handy.
Flam, Norway fjord safariWe flopped into the RIB boat, weighed down by our new outfits as our jovial guide Jorgen gave us a quick safety briefing and rundown of what to expect during our hour-long tour. He promised that not only would there be scenery galore, but also a chance of seeing wildlife including golden eagles, seals, porpoises, lynx and even wolverines. It goes without saying that we were excited to hit the water.
Flam, Norway fjord safariThe adrenaline rush started immediately, as Jorgen expertly steered the zodiac between the fjords, zipping left and right at speeds of up to 70 km/hour to make waves and leave us shrieking with delight. As the cold wind pounded into us, the goggles and coveralls blocked out the chill, leaving us free to enjoy the scenery as we passed tiny farms perched precariously on the steep cliffsides. When a trip of mountain goats bleated out a greeting, Jorgen shut off the engine so we could float close to them, getting a good look at the friendly kids.

RELATED: A scenic ride up Norway’s famous Flåm Railway—then cycling back down!
Flam, Norway fjord safari
Flam, Norway fjord safariJust a short distance away, he pointed out what looked like a tiny house tucked high into the cliffside. Instead of being the home of a recluse, it turns out the hardly-accessible house is a popular bed and breakfast—so popular in fact, that there’s a two-year waitlist despite guests having to climb all the way up themselves!
Norway-Flam-fjord-safari-27From there, we zipped past waterfall after glorious waterfall, sometimes maneuvering the boat right under it so we looked straight up at the thundering falls, feeling the spray of it on our faces as the reflection of the bright sun creating rainbows.
Flam, Norway fjord safari
Flam, Norway fjord safariEntering the gorgeous Nærøyfjord, we found ourselves surrounded by steep mountains with white-tipped peaks stretching 1800-metres above sea level. The scene is so spectacular, it’s no wonder Disney drew inspiration from the area including villages such as Gudvangen when creating the popular movie Frozen.
Flam, Norway fjord safari
Flam, Norway fjord safari
Flam, Norway fjord safariBut the final surprise was still to come. As we made our way back from the Nærøyfjord, Jorgen suddenly let out an excited cry and cut the engine. He pointed to an area of still, emerald water about 50 feet from us, and as we all watched in silence a tiny grey fin shot out. It was a porpoise!

Over the next few minutes we stared in awe as the porpoise was joined by another, and the pair effortlessly leapt out of the sea over and over again.
Flam, Norway fjord safari
Flam, Norway fjord safariWhile wanting nothing more than to follow them back down the fjord, instead we watched the creatures fade away into the distance before turning back to Flåm for the final leg of our fjord safari. As we glided into the harbour our faces were pink from being kissed by the sun and wind, our heads were swimming with new memories, and our hearts burst with pure joy.

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A fjord safari from Flam, Norway

Globe Guide explored Flåm in partnership with Visit Norway and Viking Cruises. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles. 

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22 Responses

  1. Danik says:

    Great post about Flam.Havent got there yet. Love the photos. So peaceful

  2. Vicki Louise says:

    I want to go on a Fjord Safari! What an amazing experience and the landscape is stunning! I definitely need to see more of Scandinavia!

  3. Jenna says:

    Flåm is such a gorgeous little town! We visited a few years ago, but we came by train and stayed for a couple days. We did some hiking and took a ferry on the fjord, but we didn’t do the safari tour. I’m wishing we did now though because it looks like so much fun! I would love to head back and check it out sometime. That’s awesome you were able to see a porpoise, too–how fun! Great photos!

    • So great that you got to spend a couple days there! We managed to do the fjord safari and the train/bike ride down in one day, but would have loved to stay longer and explore even more!

  4. I would love to rent a kayak and just spend a couple of days paddling around. It looks amazing and those waterfalls are so pretty.

  5. I’ve just arrived here in Norway a week ago and have also done a similar RIB boat trip so I can imagine how amazing this trip you’ve done has been as well! I missed out on this place though but now that’s something to come back for 😉

  6. Lieurene says:

    Oh wow that looks beautiful! What a unique way to travel by fjord safari. I didn’t know about this other mode of transportation. Also, I can’t believe there is a two years waitlist for that bed and breakfast! But I am sure its quite a great way to escape and see all these gorgeous views of Norway!

  7. What a cool ride goats, porpoises and waterfalls. The village looks like it bshould be a train model’s set piece. Beautiful weather too. Very nice adventure.

  8. Sign me up for some waterfall sightseeing, wow, that sounds like a magical way to spend a day, especially moving right in under the fall. The weather, arghhh… sure beats the -2degrees I have woken up to here in Canberra.

  9. anna says:

    I have never been to Norway but this has made me want to go even more. WOW! The natural landscape is fantastic!

  1. August 1, 2016

    […] is an incredible, memorable way to explore the scenery around Stavanger. YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY: Spectacular surprises on a fjord safari in Flåm, Norway The differences between a Viking River and Viking Ocean cruise SHARE THE PINSPIRATION! CLICK THE […]

  2. August 15, 2016

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  3. September 26, 2016

    […] below! YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY: The differences between a Viking River and Viking Ocean cruise Spectacular surprises on a fjord safari in Flåm, Norway The ultimate guide to the top sights in Helsinki, Finland SHARE THE PINSPIRATION! CLICK THE IMAGE […]

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    […] from Stavanger to Pulpit Rock through Norway’s Lysefjord Spectacular surprises on a fjord safari in Flåm, Norway A scenic ride up Norway’s famous Flåm Railway—then cycling back down! The differences between […]

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