The Hjørundfjord is said to be one of the most untouched, idyllic and beautiful fjords in Norway. It is a 35-kilometre (22 mi) long arm of of the larger Storfjorden in the district of Sunnmøre in Western-Norway. The Hjørundfjord is surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps, with peaks that reaches up to 1,700 metres straight up from the fjord.
The steep mountains plunging right down in the fjord have made it impossible to cultivate the land area. Most of the natural vegetation is still intact. Although there is not much space for settlements here, a few obstinate tiny farms cling to the mountain sides and there are some small villages along the fjord. Urke is one of them, with its 1060 inhabitants. When in Hjøurndfjord, you can explor the region further during the "A Taste of Norway" excursion. You will be departing by bus from Urke, drive through one of the wildest and narrowest valleys of the country, see the remains of an ancient settlement that was lost as the result of a huge landslide more than a hundred years ago, and visit the historic and charming Union Hotel Øye.
The name of the fjord probably derives from the Old Norse word for "sword" (hjorr), because the shape of the fjord can be compared with that of a sword. Another theory is that is named after the stone formation "Hjørungane" situated at the mouth of the fjord.
Photo: Katrina Godlewski- guest image / Hurtigruten , Johann Stubhan/ Photo competition / Hurtigruten , Carsten Pedersen / Hurtigruten , Madis Särglepp / Hurtigruten and Annemarie Speckamp/Guest-image