The crooked, pastel-coloured warehouses of Bergen’s World Heritage waterfront lean together charmingly, welcoming visitors to this city at the heart of Norway’s most extraordinary cinematic landscapes. It may be the country’s second largest city, but the villagey feel here always provides a warm welcome - even when the weather is living up to its famously damp reputation.
Bergen’s colourful waterfront, Bryggen, is a ramshackle line-up of incredible Hanseatic warehouses, built following the devastating fire of 1702, which ransacked the city. These iconic warehouses have stood proudly ever since, with Bergen growing and expanding around the colourful facades. Behind them, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and wooden decking waits, alive with artisan craft shops and bustling galleries. Fløyen mountain watches over the city, and you can take a short but steep hike up to the panoramic viewpoints, or jump on the funicular, which trundles visitors up and down the incline. At the top, spectacular views of Bergen jutting out into the dark seas below unfold before your eyes. Wait until evening to see the sunset painting glorious golden light across the city and waves, and Bergen’s lights flickering into life.
Nærøyfjorden, a deeply etched fjord nearby, is perhaps Norway’s most photographed and iconic piece of scenery. A cruise through the base of this spectacular narrow fjord, parting the glass-smooth inky waters, is an utterly humbling experience, as the claustrophobically-close slopes rise imposingly over you. Sognefjord also stretches out nearby, and is Norway’s longest fjord, adorned with plunging waterfalls and vibrant farms during summer.