Gudvangen, Norway Cruise Port
If looking to cruise to a "heathen god," then the port of Gudvangen, Norway could be the answer. The Old Norse name for this picturesque village is Guðvangir, which combines the aforementioned deity (gud) with open space in front of a place of worship (vangen). Religious history aside, the village of Gudvangen is a popular destination in western Norway where the Nærøydalselvi River empties into the fjord; surrounded by waterfall-covered mountains, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time. With all of 100 human residents and goats outnumbering them by a large margin, passengers have been disembarking at this port in 1865 – in fact, it's one of the oldest cruise ports in Norway. Because the area has remained relatively unchanged in over 150 years of taking in passengers, this is as old-world as it gets. Here are some of our favorite experiences when visiting the cruise port of Gudvangen, Norway:
- The Gudvangen Fjordtell (Magic White Caves in Gudvangen) is an immensely popular attraction created from anorthosite, which can only be found one other place known to man: the Moon. With a backdrop of music by Norwegian composer Edvard Greig, visitors will follow a carpeted trail and view nature in all of its majesty with lighting to match the mood. You might even encounter a troll or two.
- Pop culture might claim that Nærøyfjord was the inspiration for Arendelle in the movie Frozen, but the travelers who explore it come away with an adventure of a lifetime. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this beautiful fjord can be visited by kayak or on foot.
- A small valley close to Gudvangen, Undredal features the smallest stave church in Norway. You'll also find the Undredal Stølysteri, which produces local cheese. Yes, all those goats serve a purpose, and the biannual celebration is named as such: Geitostfestivalen (the Goat Cheese Festival).
- Shoppers can find treasures at the Gudvangen Fjordtell souvenir shop. Here you'll find handcrafted goods, knitted items, jewelry, and a special Viking shop.