This three-day trip with two overnight stays shows autumn at its best in the northern region of Fjord Norway. Experience the dramatic alpine mountains, fjords and lakes in their autumnal splendour, climb the Via Ferrata or take the cable car to the top of Mount Hoven in Loen, and drive down to the legendary Geirangerfjord from the mountains. If you have time, you can extend your trip so you can enjoy what may well be the most beautiful time of the year in this part of Norway.
Discover the fjords in autumn
Fjord Norway is like a fairy tale in autumn, with the autumnal colours of the trees and vegetation reflected in the fjord, a dusting of snow on the mountain tops and bracing air. Some outdoor activities are best experienced in autumn, and if the sun isn’t shining? Spend time indoors and delve into our cultural history.Find out more
Ålesund → Hjørundfjorden →
The first part of the leg starts in Ålesund and continues to Solavåg quay, where you take the ferry to Festøya. From there, the road takes you through dramatic fjord landscapes along the Vartdalsfjord and Ørstafjord until you come to the village of Ørsta innermost in the fjord, surrounded by the picturesque Sunnmøre Alps. You’ll also find Havila Hotel Ivar Aasen, where you can spend the night. While you’re here, you should visit the Ivar Aasen Centre, which focuses on language, literature and architecture of national format.
Whether you decide to visit the Ivar Aasen Centre or not, you can travel on to Sæbø. Drive through the fertile Åmdalen and Bondalen valleys down to the Hjørundfjord, which is a riot of colour every autumn. The view of the majestic peaks Slogen and Saksa is fantastic from Sæbø. The Hjørundfjord is paradise for mountain hikes, where the landscape is steep and raw, but you can also choose easier walks along the fjord, paddle a kayak or just enjoy views of the fjord and the Sunnmøre Alps. Book a guided hike to Saksa or Urkeegga, or take the shuttle boat or ferry across to Trandal and experience Christian Gaard Bygdetun where you can enjoy a delicious meal of local food and drink, go for a walk or try the spectacular swing.
At Sæbø, you can spend the night beside the fjord at the charming Sagafjord Hotel.
The first day of the leg between the Hjørundfjord and Loen takes you by ferry from Sæbø to Leknes, past Urke and on along the Norangsfjord to Øye. If you are spellbound by the sight of the magnificent mountain peak Slogen (1,564 metres above sea level), you can park your car and hike the Norwegian Trekking Association trail up from Øye. If that’s too daunting, you can go kayaking or take a spin on an electric bike and enjoy the view of the mountain from below. You could spend an extra night at the historic Hotel Union Øye and indulge in a little well-deserved luxury, before setting off the next day (or the day after that, because you’re bound to fall in love with the area) to wind your way further up the Norangsdalen valley along Norway’s answer to Atlantis, Lygnstøylvatnet lake. Clad in autumn colours, you can see old mountain pasture farms that have stood for hundreds of years, and perhaps even a dusting of snow on the mountain peaks to add a little extra touch to what may be Norway’s most beautiful valley.
As well as majestic scenery, the area also offers dramatic and fascinating history involving royalty, emperors, mountaineers and even ghosts. Just ask at Hotel Union Øye.
You then drive to the end of the county road and turn towards Stryn on the Rv60 road. Beautiful Hornindal and Hornindalsvatnet lake are among the attractions on the way to Nordfjordeid, where Nordfjordeid Hotell provides the perfect base for a host of activities and sights in the region. Adrenaline junkies can go on a RIB boat safari from Nordfjordeid and check out what else Nordfjord Aktiv has to offer. Culture and history buffs should head for Sagastad Viking Centre, for a golden opportunity to see the 30-metre-long Myklebust ship.
If you can pull yourself away from central Nordfjord the next day, the spectacular drive via Stryn to Loen awaits. There, you can stay at the legendary Hotel Alexandra, which has a spa, restaurants, a nightclub and a wealth of activities. Loen Skylift and Via Ferrata Loen start right beside the hotel, and both take you 1,000 metres up to the top of Mount Hoven, one of the best viewpoints in Fjord Norway, with panoramic views from the tables in the lovely Hoven Restaurant. If you decide to make your way up via the climbing route, you will traverse the longest Via Ferrata bridge in Europe.
If you would prefer to admire the beautiful mountains and scenery from less of a height, you could go on a guided kayaking trip on Lovatnet lake or hike into the inner reaches of the Nordfjord. Another experience that you’ll find nowhere else in the world is a glacier walk on the Briksdalsbreen glacier, which is situated in Jostedalsbreen National Park. You can get there by taking the daily glacier buses from Stryn.
The third leg of your autumn adventure in the north of Fjord Norway takes you from Loen to the world-famous Geirangerfjord, UNESCO World Heritage. The 90-km route can be done in an hour and a half, but you’ll be hard pushed not to take longer. The autumn colours of the mountain landscape are simply enchanting on the way from Oppstryn to Djupevatn lake. You can do a detour up to Dalsnibba viewpoint from there, for a panoramic view of fjords and mountains. Take your time on your way down to the fjord and Flydalsjuvet, another viewpoint. We recommend taking a break here to soak up the sights. Autumn brings crisp, cool air, and is the perfect time to experience the scenery of Geiranger, the fjords and the surrounding mountains. And you’ll have them almost all to yourself!
There’s so much to do that we recommend spending two nights here at least. If you didn’t do the Via Ferrata and zip-line in Loen, you have another chance now to get your adrenaline pumping. If you’d prefer a different action-packed activity in the elements, we recommend a fjord safari on a RIB boat, or enjoy the fjord from a kayak where the only noise you’ll hear will be your paddle gliding through the water. If you are inspired by learning about the places you visit, you should definitely visit the Norwegian Fjord Centre – World Heritage Visitor Centre Geirangerfjorden.
If you have a sweet tooth, you shouldn’t miss out on the chance to try the local Geiranger Sjokolade chocolate, or how about sampling the local drinks? Hire an electric bike or electric car and quietly explore the area’s narrow roads. Be sure to do the fantastic Fosseråsa national hiking trail, from the fjord all the way up to Storseterfossen waterfall, which you can even walk behind.
Hotel Union Geiranger, is a fantastic spa and wellbeing hotel, with a high standard of comfort and culinary excellence. Pure bliss accompanied by views of the UNESCO fjord, Geiranger.
Valldal → Trollstigen → Åndalsnes →
The fourth leg of this spectacular round trip covers the rest of the Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger – Trollstigen. The road starts in the centre of Geiranger and you follow the Ørneveien ‘Eagle’s road’, which winds its way up 11 hairpin bends on the fertile mountainside before flattening out on the way to Eidsdal. You come to the Ørnesvingen viewpoint just before the top, where you can look down on the village of Geiranger, see the mountain farm Skageflå, the Seven Sisters waterfalls and Dalsnibba towering 1,500 metres above sea level.
On your way to the Norddalsfjord, where a short but beautiful crossing to Linge quay awaits, you can either stop in Eidsdal or seize the opportunity to visit Valldal to taste the harvest of apples and plums from the fruit farms along the fjord. Farmers often set up stalls selling fruit and berries along the road.
The route then continues on to Gudbrandsjuvet gorge on the way to the Trollstigen road, where there is a viewpoint where you can see how, over thousands of years, the Valldøla river has carved out potholes and a deep gorge the water cascades through.
Not far from the gorge, you come to Trollstigen road, the most iconic Norwegian Scenic Route and one of the best known attractions in Norway. When you stand at the top of the spectacular viewpoint on the Trollstigen plateau and see how the road wind its way down the steep Isterdalen valley, you’ll understand why this attraction draws tourists from all over the world. This is Norwegian road building at its best and most dramatic. The final attractions on the drive are Sogge bridge across the Raumaelva river, with a fantastic view of the Romsdal Alps or the one and only Trollveggen, Europe’s highest perpendicular rock face. Do a short detour up the Romsdalen valley to the viewpoint to get a really good view.
Åndalsnes Hytteutleie, which offers well maintained cabins of a high standard, now awaits. With a cabin as your base, you can explore this fascinating area, whether you’re looking for new culinary experiences or to get your adrenaline pumping in amazing scenery. You’ll have plenty of time for both over the next few days.
Accompanied by the authorised mountain guide Urpu Hapuoja, who runs Urpu Ski & Mountain Guiding, or by a guide from Romsdal Lodge & Guiding, you can plan a customised mountain hike or climb with your own guide. If you’re hooked on Via Ferrata routes, there are two legendary routes on Romsdalsstigen.
If you’re out after both legendary food experiences and adrenaline, you can visit Eggen Restaurant, which is serviced by its own cable car up to the top of Mount Nesaksla (708 metres above sea level). The view is beyond compare with a 360 degree aspect of Romsdalshorn, the Vengetindene mountains, cascading waterfalls, Åndalsnes centre and the winding emerald Raumaelva river and its pretty bridges.
Angvik → Kristiansund → Atlanterhavsvegen → Molde → Ålesund →
The final leg of the round trip comprises two overnight stays and three days. If you don’t have much time, you can drive straight from Åndalsnes to Kristiansund in a day.
The first leg takes you from Åndalsnes to Angvik, a route that features many great attractions. If you’re observant, you’ll spot Rødven Stave Church just after you leave Åndalsnes on the Rv64 road on the other side of the Rødvenfjord. Then follow the Langfjord to Myklebostad and Eresfjord. The road takes you to the Eikesdalen valley, the starting point for the newly opened mountain road across Aursjø to Sunndalsøra. You then drive through the Øksendal tunnel and continue 30 km on the Rv62 road until the turn-off with an arrow marked ‘666 Angvika’.
Angvika is an old trading station on the Tingvollfjord. As well as the fantastic view, you can experience Angvik Gamle Handelssted, a course and conference hotel beside the fjord. The buildings are in a classic style and have an air of a bygone age. The hotel’s five-course menu and bathhouse spa guarantee a comfortable stay.
Day two of the fifth and final leg takes you from Angvik to Kristiansund, the capital of Nord-Møre, and on along one of the biggest attractions on the country roads anywhere in Norway: The Atlantic Road between Kristiansund and Bud, an uninterrupted experience of the coast, the local culture and history, between bare islets and islands, through cultural landscapes and heathland. This iconic section of road takes you right out to the ocean’s edge, where you can take in the huge sky and expansive horizon.
When you get to Molde, you can stay at Scandic Seilet, which has become something of a symbol for the town since it was built in 2002. Excellent service and unique culinary experiences await you here. The Town of Roses has a lively and compact town centre, surrounded by snow-clad peaks and great fjord views, simply a gem in Fjord Norway. Activities such as swimming at Moldebadet complex to insight and experiences at Romsdal Museum await you in Molde.
After the final night of your round trip, you plot Ålesund into your GPS or Google Maps, and set off on a roughly two-hour trip surrounded by fantastic fjords and mountains.
In Ålesund, if the weather is fine, you can experience the fjord in a kayak, or set off on foot to Storhornet on Godøya, where you will be rewarded by panoramic views of Ålesund and the sea and fjords around it. Or you can hire a quiet and eco-friendly electric bike and experience the town’s beautiful architecture. In any case, you should definitely see the town’s three big attractions before you leave; the Art Nouveau Centre and KUBE Art Museum, the 418 steps up to Mount Aksla and Fjellstua, and, not least, Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Science Centre.