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Autumn experiences full of contrasts

If you really want to be amazed by Fjord Norway’s dramatic and changing coastline, then don’t miss out on the Northwest! Møre og Romsdal has the wildest mountains, the deepest fjords, the steepest mountain walls and the most relentless winds when the storm sweep in over the islands and islets from the open sea.

Among the extreme contrasts of Fjord Norway's northern coastline are three unique towns that entice and enthral visitors. The combination of sea and archipelagos with nearby viewpoints and a backdrop of majestic snow-capped mountains paint far more than a thousand words about the most beautiful experiences you can have in autumn.

Romsdal and Trollstigen

The Northwest’s main attractions are so popular that they attract visitors from far and wide throughout the summer, but the season isn't actually over until well into the autumn. A good example of such an attraction is the Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger–Trollstigen, which is open until the end of October or until the first snowfall. This is one of the world's most scenic stretches of road, winding its way up the mountainsides from Åndalsnes to numerous viewpoints that quite simply take your breath away.

If you’re not travelling by car, then you’re in luck. It means you can experience the beautiful Rauma Railway, a train journey from Dombås to Åndalsnes through the most beautiful mountains and valleys. Trains continue to Oslo and Trondheim.

There’s a gondola from the centre of Åndalsnes up to the Nesaksla mountaintop, which has 360-degree views of the beautiful mountain area and the Romsdalsfjord. If experiencing the view makes you want to stay an extra day in Romsdal, you can hike over Romsdalseggen ridge, stroll up to Litlefjellet mountain or experience Trollveggen, the troll wall – the name says it all. You might want to visit the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre in Åndalsnes in advance, to get a bit of extra background knowledge and inspiration for your trip.

You can book an organised tour in Åndalsnes and it’s also possible to rent a car or electric bike to hasten your trip up the Trollstigen road. Breathe in the fresh air of the autumn-coloured landscape from the saddle of your bike, with Romsdalshorn mountain and Trollstigen road as your backdrop.

Accommodation in Romsdal:

Valldal and Geiranger

The Geirangerfjord was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique nature, but the entire journey, from Trollstigen road, the adventure valley of Valldal and to Geiranger, takes you to whole new heights.

With zero effort, you can enjoy the sight of the mighty Gudsbrandsjuvet gorge, the jewel of the valley. Incidentally, parts of the hit TV series Succession were filmed at Gudbrandsjuvet gorge and Åndalsnes, where the dramatic landscapes appeal to a worldwide audience.

Valldal is situated at the Storfjord and the entrance to the Tafjord, which is part of the fjord landscape on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Valldal valley is one of the region's major adventure areas and offers activities for the whole family, such as canyoning, rafting (including family rafting) and kayaking on the white-water Valldøla river. Valldal Adventure Park for children boasts 1,500 meters of climbing trails, a Tarzan course between the trees, ziplines for the bravest and bouncy castles for the youngest.

If you have time to stay overnight in Valldal, you will have more time to enjoy the route over the mountain the following day, where you can see the Geirangerfjord in all its glory from Ørnesvingen viewpoint. A whole host of sights and activities await you in Geiranger, with everything from RIB-boat tours and walking routes along Fosseråsa national hiking trail, to the ‘Fjord Ranger’ outdoor activity programme.

If you're nervous about doing the highest via ferrata routes, such as Hornelen, there's an exciting via ferrata on the mountainside above the roaring Geiranger river – right in the middle of the village.

Valldal – things to see and do:

Accommodation in Valldal:

Accommodation in Geiranger

The Hjørundfjord and the Sunnmøre Alps

The awesome natural attractions are literally just lined up from the glaciers in the mountains all the way down to the coast of Møre og Romsdal. One of these natural pearls is the Hjørundfjord and is truly worth visiting, even if you’ve come straight from the Geirangerfjord and feel like you’ve seen everything.

Drive onto the ferry to Hellesylt, where Tom Cruise did his most spectacular stunt in the latest Mission:Impossible film.

Follow the road up through the beautiful and secluded Norangsdalen valley, one of Norway's narrowest valleys, with old farmhouses and a rugged terrain that’s wonderfully appealing. Along the pass is Lygnstøylvatnet lake, which conceals the buildings and foundations from before the valley was flooded after a huge landslide. You might want to join a guided kayak tour and use an aquascope to observe Norway's answer to Atlantis, with remains of buildings, trees and other things submerged at the bottom of the lake.

On the other side of Norangsdalen valley you will arrive at the Hjørundfjord and a view of the Sunnmøre Alps. It’s worth setting aside time here to take some of Norway's most beautiful mountain hikes.

There is a ferry from Leknes to Sæbø, where you can take a taxi boat or change ferries to get to Trandal. Trandal is a village without any road connection and is known for the charming Christian Gaard Bygdetun inn. If you stay overnight at Sæbø, there are several good places to stay, a hotel and campsite. Sæbø is an excellent starting point for hiking in the Sunnmøre Alps, kayaking on the fjord, as well as for local food and cultural experiences.

Accommodation and activities around the Hjørundfjord:

Jugendbyen at Sunnmøre

It’s just a short distance from the mouth of the Hjørundfjord to Ålesund, which is in many ways a miracle of a town. Not only is it beautifully situated between islands, the ocean, fjords and mountains, but it also has Norway's only collection of original Art Nouveau architecture, or what the Germans call Jugendstil, which gave the city its nickname: Jugendbyen – the Art Nouveau town. After the big city fire in 1904, it was young architecture graduates who designed the new buildings in the trendy style of the time – a style that has enjoyed a renaissance and has many admirers even today.

Ålesund offers everything your heart could desire when it comes to architecture, coastal culture, history and nature. The Art Nouveau Centre and the Art Museum KUBE offer an insight into the architectural style that has shaped Ålesund, and a visit will make your memories of the town and Sunnmøre all the richer.

Ålesund is also the seafood town, where you can buy fresh prawns, crabs and crayfish and enjoy extremely fresh seafood and coastal cuisine at the restaurants on the waterfront. Ålesund is built across several islands, and you may want to experience the town from the water in a kayak or perhaps with a visit to a floating sauna.

The whole family will find the Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Science Centre engaging and it lets you get close to the sea life and all the species that have formed the basis of existence on the west coast of Norway for thousands of years. There is also a large outdoor area where children can play and see seals, otters and penguins.

Ålesund – things to see and do

Read more about the Art Nouveau town Ålesund

The Atlantic Road, Molde and Kristiansund

At the edge of the ocean on the Møre coast, the Atlantic Road stretches from island to island over eight bridges between the towns of Molde and Kristiansund. The Atlantic Road was made famous by the James Bond film ‘No Time to Die,’ which filmed a number of scenes on the road.

Images of the road snaking its way over stormy seas, windswept islands and below an often troubled sky are what have made this National Scenic Route famous. If you start driving from either of the two towns, it takes less than an hour to arrive at this driving experience, often referred to as the world's most beautiful stretch of road.

Read more about the Atlantic Road

The Atlantic Road: What to see, where to eat, and where to stay

Molde is famous for football but also for its beautiful scenery, which was attracting visitors long before the area became a significant city in the region. In the 19th century, Molde was referred to as an idyllic small town with blossoming gardens and has since been known as the ‘city of roses’.

Perhaps the most beautiful sight in Molde is the panoramic view of the 222 (!) mountain peaks from Varden, a 400 meter high viewpoint that’s within walking distance of the city centre. The ferry trip to Misund is also a worthwhile excursion, where you can climb up Rørsethornet mountain on the world's longest continuous stone staircase. Weather permitting, you may want to spend the night in Norway's coolest hammock park on Digergubben mountain.

For many visitors, Molde offers a golden opportunity to taste delicious fish and seafood. There are a number of excellent restaurants on the seafront, where the day’s catch of fish and shellfish are turned into unforgettable meals.

Molde – things to see and do:

Accommodation in Molde:

Kristiansund is the northernmost of Northwest's three cities and is an excellent gateway to your autumn adventure, being situated on four small islands at the edge of the ocean. There are daily flights from Bergen and Oslo, and a daily express boat service from Trondheim.

Kristiansund has been known as a klippfisk (salted, dried cod) town since the 17th century. It is today home to some of Norway’s best klippfisk restaurants, with exciting renderings of the ingredients, such as bacalao three different ways and gratinated klippfisk.

The photo festival Nordic Light takes place in October and, in the summer until August/September, you can take an unforgettable voyage to the fishing village of Grip – a journey back in time. How many people can say they’ve visited Grip stave church, which dates from the second half of the 15th century, on these remote islands farthest out at sea?

You can experience Kristiansund itself from the sea from Sundbåten, a free ferry that is perfect for experiencing churches and galleries, the Norwegian Clipfish Museum and the bustling life in the harbour.

From Kristiansund, your adventure continues to the Atlantic Road. On the way south towards the fjords, mountains and valleys, it’s worth making a stop at Averøya to see Kvernes stave church, Norway’s youngest stave church, which dates from the 1630s.

Kristiansund – things to see and do



How to get to Sunnmøre and the Northwest

There are many ways to get to the northern part of the Fjord Norway region.

There are several international services that operate into Ålesund Vigra Airport from Amsterdam, Copenhagen and other destinations. There are also good flight connections to Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger.There are flight services connecting Kristiansund and Molde with Oslo and Bergen.

If you would prefer to travel by train, you can take the Dombås line from Oslo and change to the Rauma line from Dombås to Åndalsnes.

The express boat from Trondheim to Kristiansund takes just 3 hours and 30 minutes.

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

More inspiration for a visit in autumn