In just one county, you can experience some of most beautiful stretches of road Norway has to offer. These amazing driving experiences are just a short drive from each other. You can easily complete the road trip in two or three days, but if you set aside a little more time, you can discover hidden gems and even more adventures.
The Aursjøvegen road
The Aursjøveien road is the least well-known yet wildest mountain road. The 65-km-long road runs between Eikesdalen and Sunndalen The landscape has plenty of mountains, waterfalls, giant's cauldronspotholes, and fast, sharp bends - while asphalt and crash barriers are a little more scarce. The narrow gravel road takes you from fjord to fjord over wild, precipitous alpine mountains. The stretch of road was built in connection with the Aura Hydroelectric Power Station in the early 20th century and it hasn’t changed much since.
From around 20 June to 20 August, you can experience one of Norway's most powerful waterfalls – the spectacular Mardalsfossen in Eikesdalen. It was here in 1970 that the philosopher Arne Næss and about 300 others chained themselves to protest the building of a power station.
- The Aursjøvegen road opens for traffic on 1 June each year.
Norwegian Scenic Route The Atlantic Road
The famous Atlantic Road, where Northwest meets the ocean, is one of Norway's most popular tourist destinations. The stretch of road was voted Norway’s Norway's 'Engineering Feat of the Century' and, according to the British newspaper The Guardian, is the world's best road trip. Perhaps less well known is that, according to Lonely Planet's travel guide (Blue List 2007), this stretch of road can cure a broken heart.
The Atlantic Road is one of eighteen Norwegian scenic routes. What’s so special about these roads is that they run through unique natural landscapes, by the coast and fjords, mountains or waterfalls. The Norwegian scenic routes are a superb alternative to main roads, where the drive is a unique experience in itself. Car manufacturers from all over the world travel here to make their advertisements. Several major Hollywood blockbusters have filmed on this stretch of road across the sea – including James Bond and Black Widow.
When visiting the Atlantic Road, ensure you have time for the many bracing experiences nearby, such as the special walking path around Eldhusøya island, visiting the idyllic Håholmen island, seeing the 90-metre long meandering marble artwork Columna Transantlantica, taking in the spectacular view from Stemhesten mountain, fishing like a true local and windsurfing at Farstadsanden beach.
TROLLSTIGEN – hairpin bends that take your breath away
The Trollstigen road has been a major attraction since opening in 1936. Each year, around one million people visit the road and its eleven hairpin bends. The Trollstigen road, nestling snugly between steep mountainsides, runs over the mountain between Åndalsnes and Valldal. If you’ve time and fancy a refreshing walk, check out the spectacular Kløvstien path or the more exposed route over the Romsdalseggen ridge. There’s an eldorado of (nature) experiences in Åndalsnes. Take the Romsdal gondola to the top of Nesaksla mountain, try stand-up paddling (SUP) down the turquoise river Istra, feel the butterflies in your stomach as you climb the Romsdalsstigen Via Ferrata, and feel as free as a bird as you wander in the mountains. Sample delicious local food at places such as Sødahlhuset, Eggen Restaurant, Woldstad Gård, Hotel Aaak and Rosvang Gård - before spending the night in local beds from Wonderland beds.
- Note that the Trollstigen road is closed during winter. Check vegvesen.no for opening times.
Møre og Romsdal county has two national scenic routes. In addition to the Norwegian Scenic Route Atlantic Road by the coast, the Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen runs through the mountain and fjord landscape between Åndalsnes and Geiranger. On this road trip, stopping at the Gudbrandsjuvet gorge and the adventure village Valldal is highly recommended. This idyllic fruit and berry village is the gateway to the Tafjord, which, like the far more famous Geirangerfjord, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In Valldal village and the Tafjord, you can kayak between steep mountains that rise from the fjord, visit the village's climbing park, raft, go canyoning, or relax in the yoga, spa and retreat centre Meretes Garden.
Ørneveien (Eagle’s Road) is the name of the steepest stretch of road down to the Geirangerfjord when you drive from Valldal. The road winds its way to the fjord through nine hairpin bends. This stretch of road provided Geiranger a year-round road connection when it opened in 1955. The upper section of Ørneveien road passes through an area that traditionally has many eagles, and we recommend keeping a watchful eye out for this majestic bird of prey when you look out over the fjord from the viewing platform in Ørnesvingene.
Things to do in Geiranger
In Geiranger, it's well worth setting aside time for lazy (or active) days. Fancy trying some award-winning, homemade chocolate with, among other things, the world's best blue cheese from Tingvoll? Then we recommend visiting Geiranger Sjokolade in Swede Bengt Dahlgren's chocolate shop in the centre of the village.
Geiranger is also home to Fosseråsa, Norway's first national hiking trail. The trail starts at the fjord and runs past Hotel Union, the Norwegian Fjord Centre and Westerås Gård and ends at Storseterfossen waterfall. If you want a mountain walk that’s a bit out of the ordinary, visit the fjord farms Skageflå or Knivsflå, with intimate views of the Geirangerfjord – nature's very own masterpiece. If you want a really airy experience, we recommend driving 1,476 meters above sea level up to Dalsnibba mountain and the Geiranger Skywalk – Europe's highest point with a fjord view.
- Please note that the road to Dalsnibba mountain and Geiranger Skywalk is closed during winter. Check opening times here.
The magical Norangsdalen valley is just a couple of hours' drive from Geiranger. In the 19th century, Norangsdalen valley and the surrounding area was a playground for royalty, emperors, the cultural elite and other fine folk. With only a couple of hundred meters between the high valley sides, making your way through this landscape is an extraordinary experience. Stop to take some photos or go kayaking on Lyngstøylvatnet lake, also known as ‘Sunnmøre's Atlantis’. This lake was formed by a rockslide from Keipen mountain in 1908, and the remains of the old road, farm walls and houses are still visible under the water.
Runde – gold, caves and puffins
If you take the time to experience more, there are stretches of road that are less known than ‘Norway's most awesome’, but which many believe are just as exciting and rich in experiences. One of these is the road trip out to the island of Runde in Herøy municipality. Get a close-up encounter with nature on a road that runs along the coastline and over Rundebroen bridge, which has been used as a backdrop in several advertisements. Read more about what you can experience on the famous bird island.