The Aursjøvegen road is a unique starting point for a plethora of powerful experiences of the area’s nature, whether you want to relax by a tranquil fishing lake, swim in a giant’s cauldron or peer over the edge of Aurstupet - Møre og Romsdal's answer to ‘Trolltunga’. There are several possible routes and starting points to trips over the Aursjøvegen road, which runs between Sunndalsøra and Eikesdalen.
A summer favourite
The Aursjøvegen road is a very popular trip among electric bike users, as it allows access to new experiences in the area. Anne Stine Mathise, the manager of Contrast Adventure, offers tours throughout the year – everything from cycling, mountain hiking and climbing – but there’s no doubt that the Aursjøvegen road is a favourite during the summer months.
- The trip over the Aursjøvegen road is amazing. It starts at fjord level and ends about 1000 meters above sea level. The trip is great for cycling and an electric bike gives you that extra boost,' she says.
With a little extra help from an electric bike, the trip is manageable in one day, but many people prefer to do it over two days.
ABOUT THE ROUTE: On the stretch between Sunndalen and Eikesdal, the road is gravel and asphalt, with a total length of about 70 km. It was originally an access road for constructing dams at Aursjødammen. Driving the Aursjøvegen road by bus, motorhome or caravan is not recommended. The route between Sunndalen and Eikesdalen is 55 kilometres from toll station to toll station.
From fjord to high mountains
The trip starts at the water's edge. With the fjord behind you, head up the road and navigate the 180-degree hairpin bends that are surrounded by mighty mountains. Anne Stine from Contrast Adventure describes the trip as follows:
- You start at the fjord in Sunndal and then cycle up Litjdalen valley. There are steep mountains all the way up to the plateau before you reach Torbudalen valley. It's lovely and flat here, with beautiful views and surroundings – a true high-mountain landscape.
Precipitous high points
For many people, the highlight of the trip is Aurstaupet, considered the areas answer to ‘Trolltunga’. The edge of Aurstaupet is a short 400-metre walk from the Aursjøvegen road. It offers wide views of the mountains, Eikesdalen valley and Eikesdalsvatnet lake.
Not surprisingly, Aurstaupet is a favourite among those who live for heart-stopping moments and extreme experiences.
- This is an "exit point" for base jumpers, says Anne Marit.
Aurstaupet is well worth visiting along the way and is a place where you can enjoy the views without too many tourists and other visitors. The gravel road continues towards Eikesdalen valley, where you need to be careful on the bends down Finsetlia mountainside. The road is narrow so watch out for oncoming traffic.
On the way down Finsetlia, you can stop and swim in a pothole only 100 meters from the road. Here the water is turquoise and icy cold, and a nice photo stop. Look out for a small wooden sign with the word "Jettegryte" along the road.
The world's 4th highest waterfall - Mardalsfossen
The trip ends in Eikesdalen. Here the mountains are precipitous and fall into the almost two-mile-long Eikesdalsvatnet. Eikesdalsvatnet lies just 26 meters above sea level, while the surrounding mountains rise 1,800 meters straight up from the water. In Eikesdalen, it is well worth taking in the world's 4th highest waterfall - Mardalsfossen. The waterfall is an impressive sight during the water flow season which is from June 20th - August 20th each year.