And now for something completely different. If you have already battled the meltemi winds in the Aegean Sea and tackled the tramontana in Costa Brava, we have an exciting challenge for you: sailing along the coast of Norway!
It’s a unique experience, given that the country’s coastline stretches over 80,000km – the longest in the world – and includes the country’s iconic fjords: long, dramatic and often narrow inlets that glaciers have sculpted through the passage of time. These idiosyncratic waterways cut into the country’s mainland for miles, often surrounded by gorges and mountains, creating one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes to admire. A reminder that mother nature is the greatest artist of all!
Similarly to Sweden and its famous Stockholm archipelago there are more than 150,000 islands and islets around Norway, most of them uninhabited. This is why sailing along the coast of Norway is a unique boating experience, offering you a range of Nordic landscapes to feast your eyes on, from charming bays to steep cliffs landing in the water.
Sail in the Oslo Fjord and Bergen
On the south, you will enjoy a boat ride in the famous Oslo Fjord, surrounding Oslo, the capital of the country. You can sail along a 100km stretch of land that links Oslo with the city of Stavanger, another popular sailing destination of raw natural beauty. Incidentally, that’s where you can also rent the sailboat of Francois Gabart, our ambassador and holder of the world record for solo sailing around the world.
Asker, Drøbak and Hoarding are some of the towns you can visit during your trip in the region. The rocks on the coast are steep and graceful, and the forested mountains in the background offer a unique sight. Close to Stavenger is Lysefjord (or Lysefjorden), a 42-km fjord in the Ryfylke region that is famous for the steep Preikestolen cliff towering over the area. The view from the top of the cliff is lovely – you will feel like you are at the end of the world!
You can hop from one island to another before you reach Bergen, Norway’s second largest city and a popular sailing hub. Bergen is a good starting point for a trip in two of the country’s most beautiful fjords. On the south, just a few miles from Bergen there is Hardangerfjord, a stretch of 179km offering you picturesque villages, beautiful islets, lush mountains and meandering hiking trails to explore. South of Bergen it’s worth sailing in Sognefjord, the longest natural fjord on the planet.
In the north of country, you can start your trip from the town of Lofoten and explore the eponymous archipelago, north of the Arctic Circle. The islands here are practically untouched by human presence, offering you a unique experience into the wild. Of course this means that only seasoned sailors should opt for a bareboat charter here, as choppy waters and low temperatures make a difficult combination to tackle. You will not find many marinas to dock here, apart from small fishing villages.
A unique boating experience: Sailing along the coast of Norway
As expected, the boating season in this Nordic country only covers the summer months from June to August, with temperatures rarely exceeding 20 °C. Sailing along the coast of Norway can be a challenging experience. Shoals and reefs abound, particularly in the north of the country, and passages can be very narrow.
Good planning is a must if sailing along the coast of Norway is your next big goal, given that the distance between anchorages can be long and the waters in the Norwegian Sea can be treacherous, not to mention the low temperatures from autumn to early summer. Even in the summer, the winds coming down from the mountains can be unpredictable if you hire a sailboat. Beware of jets and squalls that may render sailing and docking more difficult. Luckily, the west coast is blessed by the touch of the North Atlantic Current, which makes the climate there milder than that in the north and east of the country.