The Norwegian Scenic Routes are carefully selected roads through the most beautiful landscape, specked with viewpoints and installations that combine innovative architecture with the traditional, inspired by shapes and colors found in nature. Some of the viewpoints challenge the meaning of the term by being barely above sea level, proving that the best views don´t always come at dizzying heights.
1. Utsikten, Norwegian Scenic Route Gaularfjellet
Utsikten translates to «the view» in Norwegian. Although one of the newest constructions, being completed in 2016, this viewing platform quickly climbed to the top of our list. With its unique shape reminiscent of a deconstructed pyramid, the platform balances at 700masl with an impressive view of mountains and deep valleys. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Gaularfjellet.
2. Stegastein, Norwegian Scenic Route Aurlandsfjellet
Stegastein is peak elegance and simple beauty with a captivating view. The elongated wooden viewing platform at 650masl has a glass front which gives you the illusion of floating above the Aurlandsfjord. As a plus, the road to the viewpoint if open all year, which means you can look out on snow-clad mountains surrounding a dark fjord, budding birch trees or golden red hues depending on when you visit. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Aurlandsfjellet.
3. Askevågen, Norwegian Scenic Route Atlanterhavsvegen
The glass platform at Askevågen is raised only slightly above the ocean surface, and with the 360-degree view of the archipelago you feel almost immersed in the water. The Atlantic Road is as fascinating in sun as in a storm. On a sunny day there is nothing more peaceful than the sunbeams reflecting off the dark blue waters, but the sun is hiding behind dark clouds you might want to wear rain gear in case the Atlantic Ocean decides to show some muscles. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Atlanterhavsvegen/the Atlantic Road.
4. Vøringsfossen, Norwegian Scenic Route Hardangervidda
From the lakes and glaciers at Hardangervidda mountain plateau, vast quantities of water join forces in the Vøringsfossen waterfall, one of Norway´s best known waterfalls and definitely one of the most dramatic. From the viewpoint at the top of the waterfall you can observe the thundering masses of water plunging 182 meters down into the untamed Måbødalen valley, a staggeringly beautiful no man's land in amazing contrast to the tranquil fjord villages and farmsteads further down the valley. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Hardangervidda
5. Trollstigen, Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen
The pathway of stairs and viewing points at Trollstigen are an amazing example of how nature inspires art and architecture. The grey and rust colors of the installations blend with the serene mountains where moss and heather cling on to sparse soil. Take your time exploring the different angles of a bird´s eye view of the serpentine road down the mountainside. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen.
6. Nedre Oscarshaug, Norwegian Scenic Route Sognefjellet
Wild to the point of savage, the Sognefjellet road was once an important trade route between Eastern and Western Norway. Behind the glass telescope at Nedre Oscarshaug you have the best vantage point and a guide of the highest peaks of the alpine Hurrungane mountains. The name translates loosely into “the noisemakers”, baptized for the frequent rock slides and avalanches reminding us of nature´s immense powers. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Sognefjellet.
7. Skjervsfossen, Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger
The twin falls at Skjervsfossen have a fall of 150 metres, and carefully organized paths and connecting stairs lead to picnic areas and viewpoints where you can take in the power of the waterfall from every angle. Take care not to get to close, though, after a heavy rainfall many a curious traveler has gotten a brisk shower. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger.
8. Eldhusøya, Norwegian Scenic Route Atlantic Road
The pathway of latticework that circles around the tiny, heather-clad Eldhusøya island is a roundtrip suitable for absolutely everyone. The slumbering power of the Atlantic Ocean is ever present, even on sunny days when the breeze seems to whisper of past and coming storms. Observing the wind-blown archipelago connected by twisting and bending bridges turns into an intense experience when waves hurl themselves at the Storseisundbrua bridge. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Atlanterhavsvegen/the Atlantic Road.
9. Ørnesvingen/the Eagle bend, Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen
raversing the hairpin bends of the Eagle´s Road from Geiranger village leads you to Ørnesvingen, or the Eagle´s Bend. Overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjord, the platform seems to have a built in good-photo-guarantee as you can simply point your camera anywhere towards the fjord and click - the gorgeous nature does the rest. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen.
10. Steinsdalsfossen waterfall, Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger
The final waterfall on our list has a special feature as the only one where you can walk behind the watery curtain without getting soaked. Steinsdalsfossen lies at the entry point to the Hardangerfjord and is at its most spectacular in May-June when the snow melt in the mountains. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger.
11. Høllesli, Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke
The new addition to the tourist road in Ryfylke offers a great view of the Lysefjord. The viewpoint is not far from the ferry pier in Oanes, and is a nice place to eat packed lunch. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke.
Honorable mention: Flydalsjuvet, Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen
Flydalsjuvet gorge deserves an honorable mention as one of the very best places to look out onto the Geirangerfjord, especially from the Queen´s Chair, designed in the honor of Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway. The gorge itself is a dark, hypnotizing sight to behold, where stubborn shrubs challenge gravity with their grip on the slippery rocks. Read more about Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen.