Experience world class historical architecture through the spectacular landscape of Suldal, Sauda and Røldal. Highlights on the route include Peter Zumthor’s Allmannajuvet in Sauda and Geir Grung's architecture at Nesflaten. The roundtrip consists of the best collection of architectural works in Fjord Norway, and it is the only scenic route in Norway with both modern and historical architecture that can be experienced on a day trip. The route is part of the Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke.
Stavanger – Sand (Høsebrua) Nesflaten, 142 km, 2 ferries, 3 h 40 min.
If you start your journey in Stavanger, you should make time to enjoy a city walk focusing on street art. Make sure you don’t miss Old Stavanger either, which has Northern Europe's best-preserved collection of old wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries.
At the quay in Hjelmeland you will find the world’s biggest ‘jærstol’, a wooden chair traditionally made in and associated with this area of Norway. A nice spot for a selfie while you wait for the ferry.
By Sandsfossen waterfall and Laksestudio, you will find Høsebrua – a footbridge across Suldalslågen river designed by the architects Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter AS. The bridge crosses the river close to Høse, right above Sandsfossen waterfall. The bridge was built in 2012 and the lighting is beautiful. Walk across to the other side of the river and experience Sandsfossen.
Kolbeinstveit farm museum is situated along the RV 13 road, slightly east of Suldalsosen. The main buildings on the farm are great architectural examples; among other things you find the oldest preserved wooden building in Rogaland – the impressive Guggedalsloftet (1280) from Bråtveit.
Further along Suldalsvannet (Lake Suldal) you’ll find a nice spot to take pictures by the western end of the lake. At Suldalsporten, the lake narrows strikingly between two cliffs, which has long been a popular subject for postcards.
Then drive on to Nesflaten. Here you’ll find Hydro’s Røldal-Suldal plant, built in the 1960s. The architect Geir Grung designed the power plant and the housing development built in connection with the power development in a functionalist style. It is one of the most beautiful and best preserved examples of functionalist style in Norway. At Nesflaten, you’ll also find Energihotellet, an exciting hotel with an interesting story behind the combination of concrete and sustainable energy solutions.
Nesflaten – Røldal, 27 km, 30 min.
Røldal stavkirke was built in the 13th century, making it one of the oldest stave churches in Norway. Røldal stavkirke is perhaps best known as a pilgrim church and was, in Catholic times, the most important pilgrimage destination after Nidaros Cathedral. Today, walks are organised from all directions to Røldal. The church is still in operation and is open for visitors during the summer.
Røldal – Allmannajuvet, 38 km, 1 h.
The zinc mines at Allmannajuvet were once part of a mining facility in Sauda in Ryfylke. The mines were in operation from 1881 to 1899. The world famous Swiss architect Peter Zumthor designed the new facility at Allmannajuvet, in connection with the development of National Scenic Route Ryfylke. The facility comprises a car park, service building, café and a gallery to learn about and experience the history of mining. Guided gruvevandring to the mine are available during the summer season.
Allmannajuvet – Saudasjøen, 12 km, 20 min.
Svandalsfossen is a waterfall just outside Sauda and has a drop of a total of 180 metres. It’s possible to park by the Fv 520 road and see the waterfall up close from underneath the bridge. An impressive bridge and steps were opened in 2006 as part of the Directorate of Public Roads’ National Scenic Routes project. The steps are steep and lead to the foot of the upper waterfall, where you’ll be rewarded with a refreshing shower for making it up. During periods of heavy rain, the waterfall runs partly over the road.
Saudasjøen – Ropeid – Stavanger, 170 km, 1 ferry, 3 hrs. 20 min
The waiting room at Ropeid in Suldal, Ryfylke, is a waiting room for people travelling with the express boats to Sauda and Stavanger. The building has large glass windows, providing a good view of the fjord and mountains. The waiting room opened in 2004. Architect: Jensen & Skodvin.
Feel free to make a quick visit to the picnic area Ostasteidn on the western side of the Sandsfjord, just past the Sandsfjord Bridge. The viewpoint is situated in a landscape which the Norwegian artist Lars Hertervig drew inspiration from, and the architecture there is inspired by Hertervig’s art. A ramp leads to a sitting area facing north with a beautiful view of the Sandsfjord, or to a bench by the crag which provides shelter from the northwest. In order to achieve a moss-covered facade in the future, the unusual toilet building has been painted with a mixture of moss.
The local tourist offices can give you good and useful information.