Norway is not known for a lot of stuff, but a few things have made it into the international consciousness. One of them is the fjords (fjord, los fiordos, i fiordi), most famously the ones on the west coast of Norway. I usually describe fjords as deep inlets going from the sea into the land. Wikipedia describes the fjord as "a long, narrow inlet with steep sides, created in a valley carved by glacial activity." Norway's coast, and especially the western coast, has a lot of fjords and in general the coast line has a lot of ins and outs and islands; very unlike the "smoother" coast lines of for instance northern Denmark.
Allow me to use another quote from our friends at Wikipedia, who explain this so much better than I do:
The seeds of a fjord are laid when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley through abrasion of the surrounding bedrock by the sediment it carries. Many such valleys were formed during the recent ice age. Glacial melting is also accompanied by rebound of Earth's crust as the ice load and eroded sediment is removed (also called isostasy or glacial rebound). In some cases this rebound is faster than sea level rise. Most fjords are, however, deeper than the adjacent sea; Sognefjord, Norway, reaches as much as 1,300 m (4,265 ft) below sea level.
The usage of the word fjord is slightly wider in Scandinavian languages than in English – we for instance use the word for narrow freshwater lakes as well.
Some of the most famous fjords are the Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord, and Geirangerfjord, all on the western coast of Norway. They are all characterized by being long, deep, and with beautiful steep mountains on the sides. Sognefjorden and Geirangerfjorden are the most visited by tourists – and the most famous ones that I have seen.
One of the best ways to see the fjords is to take a cruise on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage (Hurtigruta), which I will write about tomorrow. The ship goes from Bergen on the west coast to Kirkenes in the very north, close to the Russian border.