Hjorundfjord, Norway

The Norwegian fjords are world famous. And Hjørundfjord is perhaps the most idyllic and beautiful of them all. This 35-kilometre long fjord is an arm of the larger Storfjord, just south of the city Ålesund. It has a wide mouth but the further in you go, the narrower it gets. And it is deep. On the eastern side the mountains plunge straight into the fjord and, although there is not much space for settlements here, a few tiny farms cling to the steep terrain.

The mountains to the west also slope steeply, and here you'll find small villages connected by dramatic mountain roads. If you find yourself in the Hjørundfjord, raise your eyes to the stunning Sunnmøre Alps, one of Norway's most famous mountain areas, and be completely enveloped by sea and mountains.

Even though the highly popular and visited mountains here are regarded as a national treasure, the fjord is something of a secret, left out of all other tourist routes.

This means you can travel past steep rock walls, green meadows, and isolated mountain farms, all offering a window into the past. You get an up-close view of small communities that have rebuilt themselves over and over again, after avalanches and landslides. All of this at your own pace, far from the rush of mass tourism.

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