The 260-km Scenic Route follows the Fv523, Rv13 and Fv520 roads, from Oanes on the Lysefjord to Hårå in Røldal. The drive takes you past small clusters of farms, where you can meet the locals and animals that live there. You can spend the night in cabins, tents and hotels, enjoy local culinary experiences and stop at interesting attractions and spectacular picnic areas with breathtaking views.

Remember to take your time and stop often, as diversions often make for the most memorable travel experiences.

The Lysefjord and Pulpit Rock

You come to the unique viewpoint Høllesli between the ferry quay at Oanes and the Lysefjordbrua bridge to Forsand. Enjoy your packed lunch while you gaze across the Lysefjord, which lies before you in all its glory. The iconic Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten rock formation are further up the fjord.

You can take a detour to the Pulpit Rock from the Fv523 road if you would like to do the hike to this spectacular mountain plateau, which has put the Lysefjord on the map internationally. At Preikestolen Basecamp, you can enjoy Norwegian-inspired dishes made from local produce, and panoramic views of Refsvatnet lake.

Jørpeland and Tau

Jørpeland is the next stop on the route, a town that offers interesting street art and is close to outdoor recreational areas such as Jørpelandsholmen and the Solspeilet, Norwegian Stonehenge, art installation. You can enjoy a bite to eat at the charming Villa Rosehagen, which offers views of islets and skerries, a garden with more than 120 different species of rose, and food made from local produce. Ryfylke bakeri og konditori serves delicious traditional bakes made from old recipes.

Take another detour to the historical rock carvings at Solbakk, where the around 30 rock carvings of ships date back to around 500 BC.

In Tau, you can shop in the R13 shopping centre or enjoy a meal or just a dessert at the restaurant Meat&Eat. You can also stop by the delicatessen Råfersk to buy local high-quality produce, which you can either enjoy in the idyllic Mølleparken park or on the next leg of your trip.

Årdal and Hjelmeland

The Rv13 road along Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke takes you on through Årdal to Hjelmeland. We recommend a stop at Årdal old church, a beautiful and distinctive 17th-century renaissance church. You pass Vigatunet, a farm dating all the way back to the 16th century, on your way between Fister and Hjelmeland. Finds have been made here dating back to the Viking Age and the farmyard is as it was in 1821.

When you get to Hjelmelandsvågen, you can sit in the world’s biggest Jærstol chair. If you fancy a bite before taking the ferry, Smaken av Ryfylke serves delicious local and locally sourced dishes that you can enjoy with beautiful fjord views.

Sand and Suldalsosen

There are lovely picnic areas along the road. Stop at Ostasteidn on the northern side of the Sandsfjordbrua bridge, and enjoy a packed lunch while you soak up the fantastic view of the Sandsfjord. The unique toilet building and the rest of the area have been inspired by Lars Hertervig’s paintings of the Ryfylke scenery.

You should also stop at Ropeid quay. The waiting room there has large windows that draw the fjord and mountains in, and there are yellow and red stools and tables of different sizes by the sea that resemble clusters of artificial mushrooms. They are made from recycled plastic boats from Ryfylke and glow in the dark.

In Suldal, you come to Sandsfossen waterfall, the last section of Suldalslågen, one of the longest rivers in Rogaland. The waterfall has a four-metre fall and is just a short walk from the centre of Sand. You can also park at Suldal’s biggest tourist attraction, the Salmon Studio, where you can watch the salmon that come to spawn from July to September/October. The Høsebrua bridge nearby is also worth seeing. It is one of the many interesting architectural attractions along Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke.

If you would like to sample local fare in beautiful surroundings, head for Ryfylke Fjordhotel, whose restaurant has a lovely outdoor seating area beside the fjord. You can also sample food made from local ingredients at the nearby Mo Laksegard. They serve their own home-made sausages, cured meat and game. You can also visit the farm museum Kolbeinstveit, which is due east of Suldalsosen, where you can see the oldest preserved wooden building in Rogaland. Guggedalsloftet, dating from 1281, is a unique cultural heritage site that provides insight into the region’s cultural history.

Nesflaten and Røldal

The Rv13 road continues on through the village of Nesflaten, where the small community of around 80 buildings bears witness to the development of hydroelectric power in the 1960s. You can take a closer look at the architecture of this period at the Røldal-Suldal Hydro plant and the functionalist-style housing area at Kilen. Make sure to stop at Energihotellet, whose restaurant uses local produce and serves dishes that match its surroundings.

Follow the Rv13 road on to Røldal, and take a detour to Røldal stave church before turning back and rejoining Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke south along the Fv520 road to Sauda. The church dates from the 13th century, making it one of the oldest stave churches in the country, and it is beautifully decorated with traditional rose painting. It is known for the centuries of pilgrimages that took place to see the crucifix, which is the centrepiece of the church.

Industrial town Sauda

You pass Hellandsbygd and the Allmannajuvet zinc mines on the Fv520 road from Hårå in Røldal towards Sauda. A visit to the Allmannajuvet zinc mines is well worth your while. The beautiful visitor centre at the mines was designed by renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The mines were in operation from 1881 to 1899, and you can now go on a guided tour into them. Conclude your visit with a bite to eat and great views in the spectacular café building.

Åbøbyen, a unique architect-designed housing district linked to Sauda smelting plant, is situated near Sauda. The area comprises 120 wooden houses built over a period of 60 years, starting in 1916. The Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum is also found here.

You pass Svandalsfossen waterfall on the road south of Sauda, which has a total fall of 180 metres. A lovely bridge and steps have been built there, and there is also a car park. This gives you the chance to get up close to one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area!

The northern part of Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke, covering Suldal, Sauda and Røldal, features the best collection of architectural works in Fjord Norway. It has been designated the Architectural Round Trip, and gives you the chance to enjoy world-class historical and modern architecture in the course of a single day.