• Photo: Ana del Castillo / Shutterstock

Hellesylt

People have been trekking through Hellesylt since the end of the last ice age, but tourists began staying overnight only in 1875, when the village's first hotel was built. Hellesylt was the inspiration for Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's long play in verse, Brand (1865). Despite more than 200,000 tourists and 100 cruise ships visiting annually, there's not much to see here besides the waterfall in the village center, oddly wedged between two bridges. A handful of tourists visit for the mountain walks, climbing, boating, and fishing in the region. But by far, most cruise-ship passengers use Hellesylt as the point of embarkation for a highway journey to Geiranger (while others remain onboard the ship to cruise into the fjord).

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