On an arm of Sognefjord, Gudvangen is at the foot of steep cliffs soaring 5,500 feet above the water's surface and plunging deep to form one of the region's deepest fjord basins. Snow-capped mountains, green cliffs, and veils of tumbling waterfalls characterize the vertical landscape on the approach to Gudvangen. The fjord is so narrow in places that during winter the sun can't reach the valley floor. Mystical Gudvangen is the site of white caves and medieval stave churches. Standing sentinel over the ornate entrances to the
venerable wooden sanctuaries are visages of fierce trolls and dragons, carved by long-dead Viking craftsman from the region. Cruise passengers are brought ashore by tender at one of two small piers, which are both in the center of town.