Norway Yacht Charter Guide

Sailing west coast Norway and the Norwegian Fjords

Stretching from Tananger and Stavanger, south of Bergen all the way up to Trondheim, the Norwegian coast has a unique geographical make up and follows a very distinct pattern. Outer fringes of sheltering islands of various sizes adorn this impressive coastline and a series of large sounds and fjords, formed millions of years ago by glaciers cut into the landscape form horizontal waterways penetrating miles inland and forming some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the world.

Sailing in Norwegian Fjords

This is fjord Norway, a sailor’s paradise in the North Sea through deep and dramatic fjords lying in gorges cut between majestic mountains. The climbing mountains on either side of the fjords are steep and high, and continue as far below the water as above.

The headland of Statt divides the west coast into a southern section, starting in Stavanger, and a northern section, ending in Trondheim, where south and north Norway meet.

Bergen is Norway's second largest city, and lies conveniently between two of the most famous and interesting fjords, Hardangerfjord, which goes under several names winding its way northwest between low-lying landscapes and steep impressive mountains, and Sognefjord, reputedly the world's longest natural fjord.

Stavanger is situated in the southwest corner of a large bay of islands surrounded by fjords. Lysefjord, with its dramatic pulpit rock (usually seen in most of the Norway Fjords’ tourist literature) is as steep and dramatic as the larger longer fjords further north.

 

Fjord scenery is spectacular, but care and good planning is required for fjord sailing in many regions of Norway. There are small settlements, anchorages, and towns but due to some of the distances attention to detail when planning your passages is required. Winds can be unpredictable in the fjords and can occasionally funnel down through the fjords or from the mountains. As such good quality and well maintained boats with well serviced engines are essential.

Yacht Charter in Norway Fjords

Many people prefer to island hop on either side of the inner lead, and admire the dramatic scenery of the mountains and fjords from a distance whilst ensuring some spirited and varied sailing days and passages.

Harbours are not crowded and you will find only a few other yachts. The islands themselves are diverse and varied - rich in cultural and historical interest. The history of the area tells tales and shows evidence from the era of the Vikings and the small fishing villages and fishing way of life is still abundant today.

Travel connections are excellent to Bergen with many low cost carriers flying in from Europe, the UK and further afield. There are good internal and international flights, along with ferries, trains and long-distance buses.

Fjord sailing in Norway

Bareboat charter in Bergen is a unique, varied and interesting experience. Due to the large cruising ground and infinite sailing options available a west coast Norway yacht charter will appeal to yacht charter groups for many different reasons. You may wish to rent a boat and charter a skippered yacht in Norway; our local skippers have years of experience and very good knowledge of all the surrounding landscapes and areas you may wish to visit. Either way you can guarantee a superb boat charter holiday in Norway.

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  • How do I get there?

    Getting there

    By plane:

    Bergen and Stavanger are well conected with many European cities. There are also international flights to Haugesund, Molde and Ålesund. 

    By rail:

    There are several lines from Oslo to end stations in the West. Raumabanen (an arm of Dovrebanen, the Oslo-Trondheim line) runs from Dombås to Åndalsnes. Bergensbanen connects Oslo and Bergen across the mountain. The famous Flåmsbanen (Flåm railway) is an arm of Bergensbanen. Sørlandsbanen connects Oslo and Stavanger via South Norway including Kristiansand. 

    By car:

    Western Norway occupies the entire west coast south of Trondheim until the mountain passes. There are accordingly numerous domestic entrances, basically along the east-west European highways (E18, E134, E16, E136) as well as E39, the coastal main road. Travellers should also consider alternative routes (frequently the more scenic) on national highways number 7, 50, 55 and 15. 

    By boat:

    West Norway can be reached by ferry from Hirtshals in Denmark, to Stavanger and Bergen.

    Getting around

    By plane:
    There are frequent flights between Bergen and Stavanger. There are also flights between Bergen and Ålesund, Molde and Kristiansund. Bergen is also conected to Sogn og Fjordane with small planes.


    By boat:
    Bergen is connected to many coastal towns to the north by Hurtigruten (the coastal steamer), which is a combined cargo and cruise ship (also accepts cars). North-south along the coast there are a few express passanger boats between Bergen and Stavanger, and between Bergen and small towns to the north. The small towns along Sognefjorden is also connected to Bergen by these high speed catamarans. The fjord and island areas are typically best enjoyed from a boat. 

    By rail:

    Due to complex topography West Norway does not have an integrated rail network. The railway does however offer opportunity for scencic rides. Train is most suitable for transport between Bergen, Voss, Flåm and the mountains; transport between Stavanger, Sandnes and small towns south of Sandnes. Bergen-Voss-Flåm is included in the famous "Norway in a nutshell" tour. The scenic Raumabanen railway from Dombås to Åndalsnes is an alternative to bus or car in the Romsdalen valley. 

    By bus:

    Instead of a rail network there is an integrated network of long-distance coaches (operated by Nor-Way Bussexpress [6]) covering most of West Norway, these services are operated a few times every day. InMøre og Romsdal county there is also the Timeekspressen connecting main towns (Volda-Ålesund-Molde-Kristiansund) by hourly departures. Within counties several other operators may operate long-distance routes. Local city buses exist in major towns and cities. 

    By car:

    Because most of West Norway is sparsely populated with limited public transport, a car provides superior freedom and flexibility for the traveler. Because some roads are narrow and steep (not shown on most road maps), travellers are advised to calculate plenty of time for driving and not to rush as this increases risk of accident. Ferries are an integral part of the road network and trips across West Norway often involve ferries. Car ferries on the main roads are rather frequent (typically every half hour), extremely reliable and operate with reserve capacity. Except for the popular Geiranger-Hellesylt and Valldal-Geiranger ferries, tourists generally need not worry about time tables and reservations. Travellers are however recommended to caclulate plenty of time for trips involving car ferries. Buses, ambulances and livestock transport have priority. On most crossings, ferries have cafeteria selling coffee, beverages, sandwiches and some hot food.

  • Weather & Conditions

    Climate

    Offering one of the most pleasant climates in the whole of Norway, Bergen enjoys plenty of mild weather, thanks to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. However, even though Bergen is especially mild and warm by Norwegian standards, it is noticeably colder than other neighbouring European countries, and also considerably wetter, due to rain clouds being regularly trapped by the surrounding mountains.

    The summer climate is warm enough in July and August to mean that on the sunniest days, you will be more than happy to be wearing a T-shirt or similar summer clothing. This is by far the hottest time of the year in Bergen, when temperatures hover around 20°C / 68°F and on occasion climb a little higher.

    July has the highest mean temperature, with August following close behind. May is usually the month with the least precipitation. May, June, July and August are a popular time to visit this area.


      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

    High Temperature ( C )

    3

    3

    4

    8

    12

    14

    16

    17

    14

    9

    6

    3

    Low Temperature ( C )

    -1

    -2

    -1

    2

    5

    8

    11

    11

    9

    5

    2

    -1

    Precipitation ( mm )

    190

    152

    170

    114

    106

    132

    148

    190

    283

    271

    259

    235

    Average Sunshine Hours

    1

    2

    3

    5

    6

    6

    6

    6

    3

    2

    1

    0