Come on a journey of discovery in Norway’s cultural heritage, follow the North Sea Road through almost unspoilt coastal landscape, experience towering mountains, dramatic fjords, heathland and beautiful waterfalls. You will find charming villages and well-preserved cultural treasures that echo of the past.
Kristiansand – Sogndalstrand, 150 km, 3 hours
Past Flekkefjord, the road soon winds its way past the dramatic Jøssingfjord. Here in Magma UNESCO Geopark, you will find a very unique geology and cultural history. The two small houses below Helleren are well worth a stop. The natural roof formed by the rock face has provided shelter for humans and animals since time immemorial, and the well-preserved houses are now empty and steeped in mystery.
Stop by peaceful Sogndalstrand, a well-preserved village with wooden houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the beautiful harbour and browse the small galleries in the main street.
Sogndalstrand – Egersund, 30 km, 30 min
After 30 km, you arrive in Egersund, one of Norway's most important fishing ports. Egersund Chokoladefabrik & Co is the perfect place for a short break before you visit the Faience Museum and the old district recorder's estate at Slettebø.
Egersund – Månafossen, 67 km, 1 h
From Egersund, head inland and then through Gloppedalen valley. Gloppedalsura boulder field consists of boulders the size of houses in a 100-metre thick layer on top of a terminal moraine. Stop by the candle-making workshop at Byrkjedalstunet before the journey continues past the beautiful Månafossen, Rogaland's biggest and mightiest waterfall, with its free fall of more than 90 metres.
Månafossen – Lysebotn, 100 km, 2 h
As soon as you see the Lysefjord, you must stop at the viewpoints, Ørneredet among them, and then take your time down the 27 hairpin bends along the Lysevegen road down to the little village at the head of the fjord. Lysebotn is the perfect starting point for walks to Mount Kjerag and the wooden steps at Flørli for those who are up for a challenging walk.
Lysebotn – Forsand, 1 ferry, 2 h
Time for another treat! Strictly speaking, it's a ferry trip, but in terms of experiences, this is a fjord cruise on the Lysefjord. Find a good spot on deck or a window seat with a good view of Mount Kjerag on the south side and then of the Pulpit Rock towering 600 metres above the fjord on the north side.
Forsand – Sand, 108 km, 1 ferry, 2 h 30 min
Stop by the Landa prehistoric village before the next leg of the trip, which follows the Ryfylkeveien road through beautiful and varied landscape. Ryfylke offers lush fields, well-preserved farms, heathland, mountains and waterfalls, as well as innumerable islands and inlets.
Sand – Røldal, 73 km, 1 h
Don't miss the salmon studio at Sand! Or what about a salmon safari at Mo Laksegard, where you can see the salmon up close while you sail down the river? Walk across Høse bridge, the footbridge across Suldalslågen river with unique architecture.
Røldal - Haugesund, 138 km, 2 h 30 min
Røldal is situated in the area where Western Norway meets Eastern Norway. In the stave church, you can see the crucifix that was famous for its alleged healing powers and that made this church one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the Middle Ages.
The trip continues on to the Åkrafjord, a beautiful and unspoilt fjord that deserves to be much better known. Here, you can experience the Langfossen waterfall up close, which CNN has listed as one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls in the world!
Folgefonna National Park is close by, where you can join a glacier walk with an experienced guide or go skiing at Fonna Glacier Ski Resort (summer ski centre), among other things.
Haugesund - Skudeneshavn, 37 km, 1h
The town of Haugesund emerged around the rich herring fisheries of the 19th century and the shipping industry which has continued to the present day. Today, Haugesund is equally famous for its jazz and film festivals. From here, you can visit the friendly little island community Røvær and Utsira Lighthouse at the very edge of the ocean.
Haugalandet’s many cultural attractions include the 700-year-old Avaldsnes Church on Karmøy and the reconstructed Viking Farm nearby. Exciting activities are often organised, and stories are told around the fireplace.
Skudeneshavn – Stavanger, 95 km, 1 ferry, 2 h 30 min
Skudeneshavn is a charming and well-preserved sailing ship town. The history of the town goes back to the early 19th century, when herring fisheries made it a hive of activity and what we today know as the 'Old Town' emerged. Most of the 125 houses and wharfside warehouses have been preserved as they were in their heyday.
Stavanger – Kristiansand, 260 km, 4 h
Stavanger’s history goes back to 1125. This is said to be the year Bishop Reinald and a team of experienced stonemasons arrived from Winchester and started building the magnificent cathedral.
The city has the sea to thank for its prosperity. The Norwegian Canning Museum tells the exciting story of ‘the silver of the sea’, while at the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, you can learn how ‘black gold’ is recovered from under the stormy North Sea. At Hafrsfjord just outside the city centre, you will find the magnificent monument Swords in Rock (Sverd i Fjell). The story goes that it was here that Harald Fairhair united Norway into one kingdom in 872.
One of the town's biggest attractions is Old Stavanger, Northern Europe's largest concentration of old wooden houses. You should make time for a walk across the square and along the harbour. Today, the old wharfside warehouses house great restaurants and popular watering holes. Stavanger can boast two Michelin-starred restaurants, so this is the place to treat yourself to some fine dining. On the first leg of the trip back to Kristiansand, we recommend following the Scenic Route Jæren along fertile fields, long sandy and pebble beaches and lonely lighthouses. Jærmuseet museum has many interesting locations en route, such as Grødaland, one of the most scenic and best-preserved farm museums in Rogaland county.
The local tourist offices can give you good and useful information.