Alec Hills - Mar 18, 2008

UNESCO is an organisation with the aim of preserving the world’s most beautiful natural and cultural places and buildings, also with the aim of promoting them for the purpose of tourism. Most countries in the world have such buildings and monuments which they can take great pride in. However, until recently Norway did not have any natural attractions in UNESCO. Indeed, there were only five cultural attractions, including the wharf of Bergen and the 12th century Urnes stave church. Now, the famous Norwegian fjords have been added to the many treasures of the UNESCO archives, many believing that rightly so.


As a result, the Geirangerfjord and the Naroyfjord (Naeroyfjord) are enjoying the same amount of world recognition as the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Egypt. They may not yet be as famous yet UNESCO always strives towards giving equal publicity to its members. UNESCO has stressed that when buildings or natural beauty spots become part of its repetoir, there is no guarantee of an increase in the number of visits. Nevertheless, the fact that the places receive better press attention and instantly become more glamourous is beyond doubt.


The Naroyfjord (Naeroyfjord) is the narrowest fjord in the world, making it an immediate collector’s item. The Geirangerfjord has been described by many as much more interesting. A tour of this fjord involves a one and a half hour cruise around towering mountains, abandoned farmland and stunning waterfalls. Each fjord covers an area of at least 500km2. The fact that Norway has always been famous for its fjords makes visiting the fjords a must for nearly all visitors to Norway. Now that the fjords have appeared on the world heritage list, the Norwegians may experience a boost in the nature tourism.


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