Photo courtesy of Mattias Fredriksson/visitnorway.com
One of Norway’s lesser-known fjords among international visitors, the Hjørundfjord is famous within the country for being a historic favorite of European royals. The so-called Royal Route is a pleasant road trip through the surrounding valleys and fjordside villages. The fjord itself is surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps, providing a dramatic snowcapped backdrop that you won’t find at some of the more famous fjords. If driving, don’t miss the stunning Hotel Union Øye, the historic Belle Epoque residence that has hosted Queen Wilhelmina of Holland and the German emperor Wilhelm II since its construction in the late 19th century. Without a car, the fjord is accessible by daily boat trips from Ålesund.