We have all watched in envy the magazines after magazines showing a group of friends basking on a luxurious looking foreign beach. Or maybe listened with longing as a friend or a relative narrated their tale or foreign vacation. And the picture that stood still in your mind was maybe of an exaggerated state of peace or calm. But here’s what you should know – travel is about discovery, and like they say, of “new roads”. In Norway, it is literally that. Here’s a list of roadtrips you absolutely must take to see Norway’s best ~
Trollstigen Mountain Road
The Trollstigen Mountain Road connecting Andalsmes in Rauma and Valldal in Norddal, is a must-do road trip. Layed across the mountains set on the western coast of Norway, this road is, at once, both scenic and dangerous. It is in fact known as one the most twistiest roads of Norway. With 11 hairpin turns over a length of 55 kilometers, only the most experienced of drivers are advised to take up this drive – and for a good reason! If you do find yourself a capable driver, this roadtrip would culminate to be an unforgettable experience! The entire trip takes you along a variety of sceneries – from waterfalls to fjords to tunnels and frozen lakes. Ooh, the treat you can anticipate on this one! Special mention of the viewing balcony at the mountain’s summit that lends you spectacular views of not only the twisty route but also of the breathtaking Stigfossen Waterfalls.
Atlantic Ocean Road
The Atlanterhavsveien or the Atlantic Ocean Road can only be defined as a perfect potpourri of phenomenal views, the ocean lashing beside you and a ride that is uncannily like a roller coaster’s. Built in 1989, it took about 6 years to complete construction of the road. It is, in fact, named as the Norwegian Construction of the Century! Connecting the towns of Kristiansund and Molde, it has remained a toll-free road since 1999. Located in the mid-west part of Norwegian coastline, Atlantic Road has 8 curvy bridges to its name – Storseisundet being the tallest! It is said that when viewed from certain angles the Storseisundet seems to drop off straight into the ocean. Apart from roller-coaster-like ride, this road also offers several spots for catching panoramic views of the ocean. Of course, rest-and-view facilities are aplenty! Despite the easy romanticity of this road, it’s important to remember that the waves lashing against your car window isn’t as romantic as it seems. The road remains open even during storms – so caution must be heeded before making plans to go on this road trip.
Fancy driving to the Arctic circle, maybe watching as the midnight sun soothingly illuminates the sky? Driving along the Helgelandskysten road will let you have this and more. The drive takes you from the town of Jektvik to that of Kilboghamn across the Arctic circle at 66 degrees northern latitude. The drive in itself has a store of treats to look forward to. From Saltstraumen – the world’s largest maelstrom, to Svartisen – second largest glacier of Norway, and of course the brilliant midnight sun that you can witness from south of the polar circle. The scenery itself is continually shifting from mountain peaks to fjords and mountains to an archipelago of islands. Among the many islands encountered on the way, a detour to the UNESCO Heritage listed Vega Island is recommended. Once in the county of Nordland, look forward to the Peter Dass Museum – known for hosting exciting events all year long – war cemeteries and war memorials all along the way. The total drive covers a distance of 433 km and connects the towns of Steinkjer and Bodo along the coastal route of Kysteiksveien. So if the drive has got you aching for a little intervention, grab a bicycle and bike along the seamless terrain till it pleases you. If it is an island that has caught your eye, get your car on one of those express boats or car ferries and ready to explore an island! From adrenaline-pumping to heart-wrenching moments – this ride has it all.
If it is the local sights and sounds you want to immerse yourself in, take a road trip along the Jæren road. Connecting the villages of Bore and Ogna, this a 41 km stretch of road. Don’t be alarmed by the crowd you may find – this is an all purpose road used by locals on a daily basis. Bordered by a coastal landscape, you can simultaneously discover the beaches of Norway while engaging in small talk with the villages you pass-by. Expect to see a lot of old drystone walls along the way. If a pit stop is what you crave, definitely stop by the gorgeous Orrestranda beach – its magnificent white sand will lure you in. Maybe build glistening sand castles or let the waves rush against your toes as the sand envelopes you, a little more. Among the many the lighthouses that dot this route, the Kvassheim is a beauty. Catch a sunset here before you drive off to your next destination.
A road trip through Ryfylke is on 260 km long stretch of road that connects the villages of Oanes and Håra. This road provides for a varied experience with a scenery of contrasts. You will witness barren mountains, lush hillsides and then a shift to sheer mountainsides and deep fjords on the same ride. It is easy to lose yourself to the scenery that plays along by your side but, remember, there is much exploring to be done! Driving along this road, there a plenty opportunities to take detours – like the one to shore village of Sand. Here you can try salmon fishing safari or even rafting. En route look out for the beautiful Svandalfossen waterfall, the Preikestolen cliff and Kjerag boulder. The Lysefjord you will cross is a great photo opportunity. So get that camera out and get clicking!