Legendary waterfalls at Geirangerfjord
About the Seven Sisters waterfalls
The Seven Sisters waterfalls with a total height of over 400 meters are located in Norway's Geirangefjord. The maximum free falling height is around 250 meters.
The waterfalls are fed by two major parent flows which have their water from 1,400 to 1,600 meters high mountains. In dry and warm spring and summer months only four of the seven waterfalls can be seen.
In 2005 Geirangerfjord was enlisted as UNESCO world nature heritage including the Seven Sisters waterfall.
Caution, possibility of confusion: There are also mountains called "Seven Sisters" which are located in far away Nordland. Both attractions are totally different places. But also there is a legend how these came into being.
The legend: A love story, a drama and a rumour
Norwegians seem to love storytelling.
The original legend of the Seven Sisters waterfalls tells about seven unmarried sisters living and dancing on the mountains on the north side of Geirangerfjord. On the south side a man falls in love and is trying again and again to reach the sisters to marry one of them. But from the south side of the fjord he never reached them. They all became waterfalls and still today the Seven Sisters waterfalls flow on the North side into Geirangerfjord while "Friaren" (Norwegian for "suitor") is a waterfall on the opposite side of Geirangerfjord, ever seeing the Seven Sisters but unable to reach them.
Like in Hollywood the second part of the legend - obviously newer - is not such a beautiful love story, more a personal drama. It just tells that unsuccessful Friaren was starting to drink alcohol to cope his with pain not to reach the sisters. Therefore the waterfall looks like a bottle. Well, it actually does but I think that there could have been much nicer stories around that phenomenon.
An even newer rumour gives a more today like explanation why in summer not all seven falls can be seen: They are working so hard in spring to look good for the tourists that a few needed to leave for a summer break.
Tips how to see the waterfalls
The Seven Sisters waterfalls are typical "ladies" - or today you would say beauty queens. They look very different at different seasons, days, weathers and even daytimes (depending on sun stand and / or cloud situation). The good news is that they always look very impressive and beautiful - and that since decades and likely even since centuries.
Some tips for a good experience:
- Best time of year is May or early June, in some years also July. Then with melting snow the waterfalls should have the most water.
- Best daytime to see the waterfalls in sunlight or minimum with light from the back is the late morning (9 to 12).
- The waterfalls can be best reached by boat.
- Sightseeing boat and kayak tours are offered from Geiranger.
- The ferry between Hellesylt and Geiranger takes 90 minutes one way. Cars and motor homes can also be transported.
- From the beginning of June until end of August Hurtigruten ships approach the Geirangerfjord from and to Ålesund. No embarking / disembarking of cars in Geiranger.
- Cruise ships which approach the village or port of Geiranger pass the wateralls twice because Geiranger is at the (dead) end of Geirangerfjord.
- It is also possible to have a far away side view to the Seven Sisters waterfall from viewpoint Ørnesvingen which can be easily reached by car (accessible).
(c) Author: Mark König, July 27 2018, last update July 30 2018