Norway’s Western fjords are the stuff of bucket lists: Glacially-sculpted cliffs plummet towards the otherworldly blues and greens of calm fjord waters. Long trails of water tumble from glaciers and snowfields high above. Charming towns await, too, tucked improbably in these unspeakably beautiful inlets.
Among the must-see spots is the stunning Geirangerfjord, with its dramatic waterfalls and tall cliffs. You can see the fjord via the car ferry running between Geiranger and Hellesylt, or opt for a bird’s-eye view from the Flydalsjuvet and Dalsnibba viewpoints.
Farms and villages cling to the cliffs visible from the Flamsbana Railway, a scenic train trip that leads from the mountaintop outpost of Myrdal down to fjord-side Flåm. The train descends steeply, dropping 900 meters in just 50 minutes.
It’s worth braving the unpredictable weather of Jotunheimen National Park, where impressive spires cup ethereal glaciers. Day hikes lead right to the base of glaciers or up to panoramic viewpoints. The celebrated Sognefjellsveg, the high mountain road slicing through the snowy mountains, is well worth a trip.
Running from Hellesylt to Leknes, the spectacular Norangsdal Valley will take your breath away. It’s the country’s narrowest valley; there’s barely enough room for Highway 655, which closes in winter due to avalanches. At one end of the road, the historic Villa Norangdal awaits, with its exquisitely-decorated rooms, Jacuzzi and three-course dinners. At the other end, the tiny towns of Øye and Leknes offer panoramic views of steep, serrated peaks, surrounding the Hjorundfjord and the Norangsfjord.
At the end of the narrow Fjærlandsfjord sits the village of Fjærland, with rustic waterfront buildings and a strange assortment of secondhand bookstores. From the village, day trips into the Jostedal Glacier can be arranged.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
North America offers many scenic and historic train rides. These train rides delight and inspire travelers because it gives them a new way to experience the world. Thousands of people take these trains every year and this type of travel is only gaining more followers. The North American train system is still years behind European and Asian countries, but they get the job done. Taking a train is also a great way to add an extra adventure to a trip or destination. It’s not just going from one place to another but getting to view everything in between as well.
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.