Sognefjord is the largest and deepest fjord in Norway.
It is nicknamed the King of the Fjords.
Sognefjord reaches 204 kilometers (127 miles) inland and branches off into smaller inlets and fjords along the way.
At its widest, it is almost 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) across, and the cliff walls reach as high as 1,300 meters (4,265 feet), making a breathtaking sight.
The fjord’s maximum depth is 1,308 meters (4,291 feet ) and is more than 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) deep for about 100 kilometers of its length, from Rutledal og Leikanger.
Near its mouth, the bottom rises abruptly to a sill about 100 meters (330 ft) below sea level.
There are numerous waterfalls along the fjord, many of which have been harnessed to provide electrical power for industries.
Sognfjord and its branches include some of the most picturesque scenery in Norway and form an important tourist area.
The Nærøyfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord particularly noted for its unspoiled nature and dramatic scenery, and only 300 metres (980 ft) across at its narrowest point. The Nærøyfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The most popular way to visit the Sognefjord is by boat, and fjord cruises and sightseeing tours are plentiful, many of which depart conveniently from Bergen.
The valley of Sognefjord is one of various valleys of western Norway that certainly predates the Quaternary glaciatio. The Quaternary glaciation is a series of glacial events separated by interglacial events during the Quaternary period that began 2.58 Ma (million years ago).
During the last glaciation the ice reached a maximum thickness of nearly 3000 meters (almost 9,850 feet) in the Sognefjord area.
Larger villages on the fjord and its branches include Leirvik, Ytre Oppedal, Vadheim, Høyanger, Vikøyri, Balestrand, Hermansverk, Sogndalsfjøra, Gudvangen, Flåm, Aurlandsvangen, Lærdalsøyri, Årdalstangen, Gaupne, and Solvorn.
From the village of Flåm, the Flåm Railway climbs 864 meters (2,835 ft) up to Myrdal Station in a distance of only 20 kilometres (12 mi)—the steepest unassisted railway climb in the world.
Around the inner end of the fjord, three of Norway’s famous stave churches have survived: Kaupanger and Urnes (along the shoreline) and Borgund (30 kilometres or 19 miles into the Lærdal valley).
There is also some farming at the fjord heads, where alluvial-soil deposits have built up.