Norwegian Coastal Road Trips: Scenic Routes and Hidden Gems

Embark on unforgettable Norwegian road trip itineraries that traverse through the awe-inspiring Norwegian fjord road trips and captivating coastal scenic drives. Norwegian Coastal Road Trips offer a journey through stunning landscapes, characterized by dramatic fjords, rugged coastlines, and picturesque seaside villages. With a total of 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes, ten of which are located in Fjord Norway, travelers are immersed in the breathtaking vistas that these paths unveil1.

Norwegian fjord road trips provide travelers with the opportunity to discover hidden Norwegian destinations, presenting immersive experiences into Norway’s natural beauty. These trips are not just about reaching a destination; they are about embracing the panoramic views, cultural heritage, and unique experiences that these scenic Norwegian coastal highways reveal along the way. Whether it’s the thrill of navigating the Atlantic Road with its seven bridges stretching 36 kilometers1, or exploring the famed hairpin turns of Trollstigen road in Møre og Romsdal, each journey epitomizes the essence of adventure and scenic splendor2.

Introduction to Norway’s Scenic Coastal Routes

Norway’s Scenic Coastal Routes are a marvel not to be missed. These routes are designed to showcase the picturesque and dramatic landscapes of Norway, making it easy for travelers to immerse themselves in the country’s natural beauty. Among the eighteen Norwegian Scenic Routes, ten can be found in Fjord Norway, offering breathtaking views and unparalleled experiences1.

Overview of Norwegian Scenic Routes

These scenic routes and hidden gems include stretches such as Aurlandsfjellet, also known as the “Snow Road,” which spans 47 kilometers between Aurlandsvangen and Lærdalsøyra1. The Gamle Strynefjellsvegen, covering 27 kilometers, was built more than 100 years ago through manual labor1. The Norwegian Scenic Route Gaularfjellet runs between Balestrand and Moskog, measuring 84 kilometers in length1. These roads are a true embodiment of off-the-beaten-path Norway.

Benefits of Coastal Road Trips

One of the top benefits of embarking on Norway’s most scenic roads is the ability to explore at your own pace. The flexibility this provides allows you to stop and appreciate the views whenever you please. The coastal routes, including scenic drives from Aurland to Lærdal3 and the ever-popular Atlantic Road1, offer plentiful picnic areas with innovative architecture, ensuring a comfortable travel experience. Additionally, renting a car in Norway is particularly advantageous given the less extensive public transportation options, and can also be a cost-effective choice when considering the high costs of public transit and accommodations in tourist areas4. This enables travelers to fully engage with Norway’s unspoiled natural beauty firsthand.

Moreover, routes such as the Trollstigen Road, with its 11 hairpin loops, highlight the engineering marvels that are inherent to these scenic journeys3. Ultimately, Norway’s Scenic Coastal Routes promise not just a drive, but an unforgettable adventure filled with scenic routes and hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Route Start Point End Point Length (km) Notable Features
Aurlandsfjellet Aurlandsvangen Lærdalsøyra 47 Snow Road, panoramic views
Gamle Strynefjellsvegen Strynefjell 27 Historic manual labor construction
Gaularfjellet Balestrand Moskog 84 Unique landscapes
Atlantic Road Kårvåg Bud 36 Seven bridges, scenic ocean views
Trollstigen Road 11 hairpin loops, engineering marvel

The Atlantic Road: A Drive on the Ocean

The Atlantic Road Norwegian Scenic Route is a remarkable journey renowned as Norway’s ‘Engineering Feat of the Century,’ encapsulating the essence of what makes the world’s best road trip.2 This engineering marvel stretches 8 km (5 mi), impressively interspersed with seven bridges that seamlessly connect a series of mesmerizing islands and islets.5

Key Attractions

One of the standout features of the Atlantic Road is the Storseisundbrua, which is often celebrated for its dramatic curves and architectural finesse. Other noteworthy spots include the quaint Myrbærholmbrua and the scenic Eldhusøya, each offering unique vantage points for breathtaking views and activities like fishing and hiking.5 The road also meanders along the striking Hustadvika coastline, which extends 19 km (12 mi) along the Romsdal peninsula, further enhancing its scenic allure.5

Travel Tips and Best Times to Visit

When planning a trip along the Atlantic Road, camera readiness is essential to capture the spellbinding vistas. The best times to visit are typically during spring through autumn, when milder weather conditions prevail, making the journey more enjoyable.2 It is also noteworthy that attractions like the small town of Farstad, with its population of 256, provide additional unique experiences, including the world’s most northerly sandy beach of the ‘southern type.’5

The Hidden Treasures of Aursjøveien Road

Aursjøveien mountain road is a hidden gem in Norway, encompassing a 65-kilometer-long scenic route originally constructed for the Aura Hydroelectric Power Station.2 This less-known path runs from Eikesdalen to Sunndalen, attracting adventurous travelers with its narrow gravel lanes and sharp bends.6

Historic Background and Construction

Constructed in the early 20th century, the Aursjøveien road was designed to support the development of hydroelectric power in the region. Despite various infrastructure improvements over the years, the road retains much of its original rugged charm, adding to its allure as one of Norway’s hidden Norwegian destinations.6

Key Attractions to Explore

On this journey, travelers can behold the majestic Mardalsfossen waterfall, one of Norway’s most powerful natural spectacles, visible from around 20 June to 20 August each year.2 Other attractions include Aurstaupet, offering wide views of the mountains, Eikesdalen valley, and Eikesdalsvatnet lake.6 The terrain makes it a perfect destination for cycling enthusiasts, especially those using electric bikes, as recommended by Anne Stine Mathisen, manager of Contrast Adventure.6

Here is a table summarizing key features of the Aursjøveien road:

Feature Details
Length 65 kilometers
Notable Destinations Mardalsfossen waterfall, Aurstaupet
Best Time to Visit June 1 to August 20
Accessibility Narrow gravel lanes, electric bike-friendly

The route is dotted with cozy accommodations such as DNT Aursjøhytta mountain lodge, offering spectacular views and a comfortable stay for explorers of this hidden Norwegian destination.6 Whether seeking an adventurous drive or a serene commune with nature, the Aursjøvegen mountain road provides an unforgettable experience in the heart of Norway’s untouched landscapes.

Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen: Waterfalls and Hairpin Bends

The Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen is a breathtaking journey stretching 106 kilometers, showcasing the grandeur of Norway’s national icons. This route is renowned for its blend of steep mountains, deep fjords, and lush valleys, encapsulating the essence of natural splendor that defines the region.

One of the highlights of this route is the exhilarating Trollstigen road, famous for its eleven hairpin bends that challenge even the most experienced drivers. Each twist and turn offers unique viewpoints that leave travelers in awe of Norway’s rugged beauty. The road typically opens at the beginning of June each season, making it a prime attraction during the summer months when long daylight hours provide ideal driving conditions78.

Equally captivating are the celebrated stops along the Geiranger and Trollstigen road, such as Ørnevegen (Eagle Road) and the lofty Dalsnibba viewpoint. These locations are cherished for their panoramic vistas, where travelers can breathe in the fresh mountain air and absorb the stunning landscapes. The summer season from June to August is highly recommended for road trips, given the optimal driving conditions and extended daylight hours8.

The Geiranger-Trollstigen route remains a magnet for tourists due to its unparalleled natural beauty and historical significance. Recognized widely as one of Norway’s national icons, this route promises an unforgettable experience characterized by unique viewpoints, cascading waterfalls, and the serene atmosphere of the Norwegian wilderness. Embarking on this journey not only highlights Norway’s natural magnificence but also offers a profound connection with the country’s awe-inspiring landscapes.

Experience Nature’s Masterpieces in Norangsdalen Valley

Embark on a mesmerizing Norangsdalen valley adventure nestled in the heart of Sunnmøre, which showcases awe-inspiring landscapes and hidden spots. This valley, known for its majestic beauty and formidable history, was a favorite among royalty and the cultural elite in the 19th century2.

Unique Landscapes and Hidden Spots

A Norangsdalen valley adventure introduces travelers to its narrow passageways flanked by towering peaks, creating an almost otherworldly atmosphere. Notably, Lyngstøylvatnet lake, fondly referred to as ‘Sunnmøre’s Atlantis’, is a captivating spot where remnants of an old settlement lie submerged, creating a surreal underwater landscape. The lake serves as a prime location for kayaking, offering clear views of the submerged buildings and trees, a direct result of a devastating rockslide.2

The valley’s rich history and natural allure combine to make it a prime destination for photographers and adventurers alike. Whether you’re traversing the hushed pathways or exploring Lyngstøylvatnet lake, Norangsdalen promises an unforgettable adventure that celebrates Norway’s untouched natural beauty.

Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger: The Heart of National Romanticism

The Scenic Route Hardanger is an open invitation to experience Norwegian romantic nature at its finest, traveling through a lush landscape that features a unique blend of heritage and natural splendor. Spanning a total length of 158 kilometers, this scenic route embraces the essence of western Norway’s undeniable charm and cultural depth1.

Cultural Highlights and Traditions

Hardanger’s cultural landscape is as captivating as its natural beauty. This region is renowned for its boatbuilding and distinctive textiles, which play a vital role in preserving the local heritage. One of the area’s most beloved traditions, Hardanger fruit cultivation, dates back to the 1300s, offering a rich history of agricultural excellence that continues to this day1. Visitors can delight in the Hardanger fruit traditions, enjoying the region’s array of crisp apples and cherries whilst exploring the scenic route.

Top Scenic Viewpoints

Scenic Route Hardanger is designed to provide travelers with ample opportunities to soak in breathtaking vistas of glacier-fed fjords and towering mountains. Among the top viewpoints are the rest stops strategically placed throughout the journey, allowing visitors to pause and appreciate the majesty of Norwegian romantic nature. The route comprises several picturesque stretches, including Granvin–Steinsdalsfossen, Norheimsund–Tørvikbygd, Jondal–Utne, and Kinsarvik–Odda–Låtefoss1. Each segment offers its own unique perspectives and experiences, ensuring a memorable adventure along this quintessential Norwegian drive.

The Snow Road of Aurlandsfjellet

The Aurlandsfjellet Snow Road offers an unparalleled driving experience, winding through breathtaking landscapes between Aurlandsvangen and Lærdalsøyra. This 47-kilometer route provides a stark contrast to the lush valleys often associated with Norway’s other scenic drives1.

Travel Experience and Must-See Stops

Travelers are in for an unforgettable drive along the Aurlandsfjellet Snow Road, renowned for its high mountain scenery and snow-clad vistas. One of the highlights is the Lærdal Tunnel, celebrated as the world’s longest road tunnel at 24.5 kilometers9. This engineering marvel not only shortens the distance between Aurland and Lærdal but also offers a unique underground driving experience.

Another must-see feature is the Stegastein viewpoint, which juts out 650 meters above the fjord, providing panoramic views that are simply breathtaking. This vantage point is a favorite for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Along the route, drivers can stop at various points of interest, including Vedahaugane, known for its architectural elegance, and the historical sites linked to the Flåmsbanen railway and Nærøyfjord9. These sites offer a blend of natural beauty and cultural significance, making every mile of the journey enriching.

With eleven hairpin bends and multiple revered destinations such as Ørnevegen and Dalsnibba, the scenic drive from Aurland Valley to Stegastein viewpoint has an iconic reputation1. Not only does this drive showcase Norway’s spectacular natural scenery, but it also provides a glimpse into the nation’s history and engineering prowess.

Whether you’re marveling at the architectural designs or capturing the scenic vistas, the Aurlandsfjellet Snow Road is a journey rich with experiences and memories. From the awe-inspiring tunnel traversing feats to the lofty overlooks at Stegastein, every kilometer unveils a new story of Norway’s unspoiled beauty.

The Allure of Veiholmen Fishing Village

Veiholmen fishing village, located north of Smøla, is renowned for its picturesque charm and vibrant community. As the largest fishing village south of Lofoten, Veiholmen offers a unique blend of maritime culture and natural beauty, making it an ideal spot for coastal scenic drives2. Connected by a series of bridges and causeways, the village is easily accessible and provides a stunning drive that rivals the famous Atlantic Road2. Visitors are often captivated by the serene waters and rich birdlife, making kayaking a popular activity10.

For those interested in bird watching, Veiholmen’s tranquil environment offers a perfect backdrop, while enthusiasts can embark on eagle safaris for a closer look at the majestic birds that inhabit the area. The village’s allure extends to its well-preserved maritime heritage, which can be explored through its quaint fish houses and local seafood offerings, providing an authentic glimpse into the coastal life that has shaped this community over the years.

Conclusion

Embarking on a Norwegian road trip unveils a diverse tapestry of landscapes, historical treasures, and breathtaking vistas. Norway’s 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes showcase the nation’s natural beauty, from the dramatic curves of the Atlantic Ocean Road to the serene drives from Trollstigen to Geiranger, and Route 13 from Stavanger to Odda11. Each journey is carefully curated to present travelers with picturesque sceneries while providing the comfort and facilities needed for a memorable road trip experience.

Exploring off-the-beaten-path Norway, travelers can immerse themselves in unique adventures like hiking the 3.6-mile trail in Reine with its significant elevation gains and stunning views12, or visiting historic fishing villages such as Nusfjord for a nominal fee of 100kr12. Additionally, Senja Island, requiring a 6-7 hour drive from Leknes or Svolvaer, offers awe-inspiring views, making it worthwhile even if it necessitates renting a separate vehicle due to radius restrictions12. Whether driving through the Lofoten Islands’ 155 miles of scenic road or experiencing standout activities near Svolvaer, each location reflects Norway’s captivating and untouched charm12.

Norway’s road trip itineraries cater to various preferences and durations, with 45 self-drive trips designed by local kimkim specialists providing a broad array of choices13. From shorter 6-day escapes like the Lofoten Islands & Tromsø Winter Excursion to extensive 16-day adventures like the Hiking in Southern Norway trip, travelers are spoiled for choice13. Highlighted trips include the 10-day Ultimate Norwegian Fjord Road Trip and the 14-day Norway Scenic Road Trip, which covers significant portions of the country’s spellbinding landscape13. Ultimately, each itinerary offers a chance to deeply connect with the varied, scenic Norwegian coastal highways that truly exemplify the profound allure of Norway.

Source Links

  1. https://www.fjordnorway.com/en/inspiration/norwegian-scenic-routes—unique-driving-experiences
  2. https://www.fjordnorway.com/en/inspiration/norways-most-awesome-road-trips
  3. https://www.fjordtours.com/en/norway/places-to-visit/scenic-routes
  4. https://www.heartmybackpack.com/norway/plan-road-trip-norway/
  5. https://thehiddennorth.com/national-tourist-roads-the-atlantic-road/
  6. https://www.fjordnorway.com/en/inspiration/the-spectacular-aursjoveien-road-is-norways-wildest-detour
  7. https://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/norway-road-trip-fjordland/
  8. https://nlsnorwegian.no/norwegian-road-trips-scenic-routes-and-must-see-stops/
  9. https://thehiddennorth.com/destination/aurland/
  10. https://www.wendyperrin.com/?destination=insiders-guide-to-wild-norway-from-kayaking-the-fjords-to-off-the-grid-lodges
  11. https://grownuptravelguide.com/norway-road-trip/
  12. https://missrover.com/lofoten-road-trip-itinerary-ultimate-guide-to-vanlife-in-norway/
  13. https://www.kimkim.com/sc/norway-self-drive-tours

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