Take a guided kayak tour of the gorgeous Lustrafjord
FAMILY FUN ON A HALF DAY TOUR WITH FJORDSEAL KAYAK | MARIFJØRA
It’s hard to describe the feeling of sitting atop the serene blue-green Lustrafjord just inches above the water. Slipping your paddle into the cool Norwegian inland sea as you glide by in a kayak is an amazing experience, especially when the sun is shining overhead. Spend a half-day touring this gorgeous branch of the larger Sognefjord – the longest and deepest of all the fjords in Norway.
Lustrafjorden in summer glows a brilliant but almost milky grey greenish-blue, depending on the sunshine and light. The unique translucent color is created from superfine sediment suspended in the top three to four meters of fresh glacial runoff sitting layered atop the normally salty fjord. Frigid melt from the local Nigardsbreen glacier runs down through the Jostedal valley and straight into the sea at Gaupne nearby. It is here, in this stunning place, that we begin our kayak tour.
FJORDSEAL KAYAK | MARIFJØRA, NORWAY
Despite the local beauty, there aren’t very many kayak tour operators in this part of Norway. I found FjordSeal online and made a reservation with Paul, the owner and lead guide via email about a week ahead. We met Paul at FjordSeal’s base near the marina in Marifjøra, an adorable village outpost right on the Gaupne part of the fjord. Joining our family of five on this tour were two other groups – a father and daughter from Denmark and a Norwegian family of four. Children between 7 and 14 are welcome to paddle in a double kayak with an accompanying adult and no prior skill or certifications are required.
Paul welcomes us as we all fill out a contact tracing form before getting the group geared up to go. Here you’ll get a paddle, a life jacket, and an optional spray skirt to keep water from splashing inside your kayak – but only if needed. The weather that day was practically balmy for Norway with sunny skies and barely a breeze, so we skipped the skirts this trip.
QUICK SAFETY LESSONS THEN OUT ON THE WATER
At the water’s edge, we learn how to store our packed lunch and extra clothes or gear in the boat’s front hold, carefully fitting the neoprene guard and securing the plastic covers. Paul shows us how to get in, adjust the footrests, and then how to steer the boats with your feet from the back. The larger of your pair always sits behind in the double kayak, but the front seat gets to set the pace of the paddle.
We are shown where to place our hands on the paddles and how to push, rather than pull it once we’re on the water. Soon enough, everyone climbs aboard and with a little shove, we are straight out to sea. The water is much colder in this part of the Gaupne fjord as we set out for the 13-kilometer half-day tour. Paul plops his thermometer over the side of his boat and notes the temperature is 10 degrees C.
LEARN A LITTLE LOCAL CULTURE AND HISTORY ALONG THE WAY
Along the way, we link kayaks to hold in one spot as Paul offers stories about regional history and culture. We look for local seals but instead find a few porpoises dipping and diving for fish. At each breach, squeals emit from the littlest Norwegians and we all quickly turn to look. The water is so calm and we’re grateful for no rain as tours go even when it’s wet, but may be reconsidered when the wind is up and making waves on the water.
BRING A PACKED LUNCH TO ENJOY OUTDOOR
At our halfway point, the group is directed to a small rocky crescent where we beach our boats and stop for lunch. Picnic tables afford pretty fjord views as butterflies flit between the wild summer flowers. Some who’ve brought suits, pop in the water, post lunch, for a dip. Here the temperature tops out at 15°C – which is brisk, but definitely refreshing.
Smoothly, slowly, we make our way back. To Marifjøra where we began. My teens attempt the perfect paddle splash to get the other boat the most wet, but no one goes in. Not today anyway. It was an incredible day out on the water and one of our favorite activities while exploring the Norwegian Fjords. When you can travel safely to Scandinavia, there is so much to explore outdoors. Getting on the water is a wonderful way to see the scenery from another vantage point. See more in the video below. Pop over to YouTube and hit subscribe or find some more inspiration from Norway.
GOOD TO KNOW:
18 May – 18 June | Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 9.30
19 June – 01 September | Daily at 09.30
WHERE TO STAY NEARBY:
Luster Fjordhytter | Colorful self-catering cottages and marina with stunning views of the Lustrafjord in Høyheimsvik. Row-boats available for free and SUP to rent by the hour or day. Café on-site for your afternoon Norwegian waffle and coffee fix. (We adored it here.)
Marifjøra Sjøbuer | Four self-catering little red rorbua, or classic Norwegian fisherman’s cottages right on the fjord.
Walaker Hotel | Classic Norwegian hotel in Solvorn. Where I would stay if I were traveling without kids. Set in a gorgeous garden with a well-regarded restaurant.
Please note | The above recommendations are affiliate links which means if you click on a hotel or lodging link from this page, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Our review of FjordSeal was not compensated and all thoughts about our experience are my own. Thank you for supporting my blog | erin