Skjolden Cruise Port
Port of Skjolden: An Overview
The village of Skjolden lies at the head of the Sognefjord -- the largest fjord in Norway, and second longest in the world. Skjolden is a smattering of red, brown and white houses, home to some 300 inhabitants, one hotel, one primary school and three campsites. Visitors hoping to purchase souvenirs will likely be disappointed -- there are no shops (bar the small boutique inside the tourist office, which is attached to the village's fitness center). But this is real Norway - the entertainment is not in what the town has to offer, but in the landscape that surrounds it. Vast snow-capped mountains border Skjolden from every angle except for its shoreline, where the emerald waters of the Sognefjord lap.
A new cruise terminal was built in 2010, and even large ships are able to dock here due to the depth of the fjord, enabling passengers to walk into the village within 10 minutes.
RIB Boat Rides: Sometimes offered from the port, a RIB boat ride takes visitors into the heart of the fjord, offering passengers picture-postcard views of cascading waterfalls, mountains and the fjord.
Urnes Stave Church: The UNESCO World Heritage site is a wooden church that was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and is a breathtaking example of traditional Scandinavian architecture. (6870 Ornes; +47-5767-8840)
Jostedal Glacier: The largest glacier in Europe. There is also the chance to visit the Sognefjell mountain road -- the highest mountain pass in northern Europe, which has become recognized as a tourist route due to its breathtaking scenery. It leads into the Jotunheimen National Park, which also has the highest mountains in Northern Europe.
Viewing Point: For those who opt to remain in the village, a short hike to a rocky outcrop above Skjolden offers the perfect viewing point to take in the bay of the fjord, the rusty-colored houses, the vast reservoir that remains half frozen even in spring and the ever-present mountains. From up here, it's hard to see where the fjord ends, and the mountains begin.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
Currency is the Norwegian krone. There is no ATM or bank in the village so make sure you stock up before arriving in the port.
Local guides tend to be relatively fluent in English. Signage for tourist features of interest is also in English.
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