A Norwegian proverb says, “Berre den som vandrar finn nye vegar”, meaning “Only one who wanders, discovers new paths”.
And what better way to discover new paths than with a road trip? Here’s why – and how – to add a Norwegian road trip to your travel list!
Where are Norway’s best road trips?
Norway is the largest country in Scandinavia, spanning over 625,000 square meters in surface area.
With so much land come many awesome choices for Norway road trips.
We’re here to help you narrow the selection down with a Norway scenic routes map showcasing 18 specially chosen roads.
Each of these award-winning trips has received the prestigious National Scenic Routes designation from the Norwegian government, as “18 drives through the most beautiful nature Norway can offer“.
There is no single “ultimate Norway road trip”, in our opinion (they’re all pretty great)… Though if you somehow manage to do all of those above, that might come close.
18 unbeatable scenic drives
Each route through Norway brings its own challenges and delights.
Some are narrow and even unsuitable for larger vehicles such as camper vans. So, be sure to check your route out in detail ahead of time.
What commonality does every route have? Every road trips brings a bevy of natural wonders dotted with carefully designed art installations and architectural tidbits along the way.
Here’s an intro to each route to help get you started. The list takes you from Southern Norway’s road trips to their northern counterparts.
1. Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren
- Length: 41 km
- Route: Between Ogna and Bore
- Fun fact: Jæren is an important agricultural area in Norway
- Highlight: Long, sandy beaches scattered across the coast
- More info on Jæren
2. Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke
- Length: 260 km
- Route: Between Oanes at Lysefjorden and Håra
- Fun fact: At the southern end of this road sits the lovely Lysefjord
- Highlight: Preikestolen Pulpit Rock – don’t miss a climb up it!
- More info on Ryfylke
3. Norwegian Scenic Route Hardangervidda
- Length: 67 km
- Route: Between Eidfjord and Haugastøl
- Fun facts: This is Europe’s largest mountain plateau!
- Highlight: The marvelous valley of Måbødalen
- More info on Hardangervidda
4. Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger
- Length: 158 km
- Route: Four stretches between Granvin and Steinsdalsfossen, Norheimsund and Tørvikbygd, Jondal and Utne, and Kinsarvik and Låtefoss
- Fun fact: Orchards are peppered across Hardangerfjord, and you can buy fruit from locals at the Hesthammer rest stop
- Highlight: The Stone Cross monument and bridge
- More info on Hardanger
5. Norwegian Scenic Route Aurlandsfjellet
- Length: 47 km
- Route: Between Aurlandsvangen and Lærdalsøyri
- Fun fact: It’s known as the “Snow Road” because steep layers of snow line both sides of the road for much of the year
- Highlight: The 650-meter-tall Stegastein viewpoint, which features vistas of Aurlandsfjord below
- More info on Aurlandsfjellet
6. Norwegian Scenic Route Gaularfjellet
- Length: 114 km
- Route: Two stretches between Balestrand and Moskog, and Sande and Eldalsosen
- Fun fact: This is one of the lesser-known – and less traveled – paths (which are, as we all know, the best)
- Highlight: Utsikten viewpoint, from which you can take in views of the surrounding mountains
- More info on Gaularfjellet
7. Norwegian Scenic Route Valdresflye
- Length: 49 km
- Route: Between Garli and Hindsæter with a detour to Gjende
- Fun fact: Valdresflye is located in the very center of Norway
- Highlight: You’re in for gorgeous greenery or fall colors no matter which other season you visit during, because this path is only drivable outside of the winter season
- More info on Valdresflye
8. Norwegian Scenic Route Sognefjellet
- Length: 108 km
- Route: Between Lom and Gaupne
- Fun fact: This is Northern Europe’s tallest mountain pass
- Highlight: If you’re here during the colder months, you might be able to see the road flanked by snowbanks reaching up to 10 meters high!
- More info on Sognefjellet
9. Norwegian Scenic Route Rondane
- Length: 75 km
- Route: Two stretches between Venabygdsfjellet and Folldal, and Sollia Church and Enden
- Fun fact: Famous painting Winter night in Rondane by Norwegian painter Harald Sohlberg is set here
- Highlight: The striking Rondane National Park
- More info on Rondane
10. Norwegian Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen
- Length: 27 km
- Route: Between Grotli and Videsæter
- Fun fact: The oldest part of this route was built in the second half of the 19th century
- Highlight: Old stone masonry and road guards surrounding the road
- More info on Gamle Strynefjellsvegen
11. Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen
- Length: 104 km
- Route: Between Langevatn amd Sogge Bridge
- Fun fact: Trollstigen (meaning, “troll’s path”) is known for its 11 hairpin bends
- Highlight: The UNESCO-protected Geiranger fjord
- More info on Geiranger Trollstigen
12. Norwegian Scenic Route Atlanterhavsvegen (the famous Atlantic Road, Norway)
- Length: 36 km
- Route: Between Kårvåg and Bud
- Fun fact: The Atlantic Road is one of the most famous and most awarded roadways in the world
- Highlight: The entire island of Averøy
- More info on the Atlantic Road
13. Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten
- Length: 433 km
- Route: Between Holm and Godøystraumen, with a detour to Torghatten
- Fun fact: This is the longest of the 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes
- Highlight: Crossing the Arctic Circle as you drive down the road
- More info on Helgelandskysten
14. Norwegian Scenic Route Lofoten
- Length: 230 km
- Route: Between Å and Raftsundet, with detours to Nusfjord, Vikten, Utakleiv, Unstad, Eggum, and Henningsvær
- Fun fact: Lofoten has one of the world’s highest temperatures for its latitude
- Highlight: The changing landscapes of Lofoten (which is sometimes referred to as the Hawaii of the Arctic)
- More info on Lofoten
15. Norwegian Scenic Route Andøya
- Length: 58 km
- Route: Between Bjørnskinn and Andenes
- Fun fact: This is a less busy island alternative to Lofoten
- Highlight: Views of Bleiksøya Island, home to puffin and sea eagle colonies
- More info onAndøya
16. Norwegian Scenic Route Senja
- Length: 102 km
- Route: Between Gryllefjord and Botnhamn, with detours to Mefjordvær and Husøya
- Fun fact: This is an island of steep mountains that rise up right out of the ocean
- Highlight: The beautiful Bergsbotn viewpoint
- More info onSenja
17. Norwegian Scenic Route Havøysund
- Length: 67 km
- Route: Between Kokelv and Havøysund
- Fun fact: The Havøysund drive is a great (and underrated) detour if you’re on the way to the North Cape
- Highlight: The charming fishing village of Havøysund, which lies at the end of the route
- More info on Havøysund
18. Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger
- Length: 160 km
- Route: Between Varangerbotn and Hamningberg
- Fun fact: Varanger is an off-the-beaten-path route, situated close to Norway’s border with Russia
- Highlight: Seeing a herd of reindeer cross the road isn’t an uncommon sight – just drive carefully
- More info on Varanger
Norway road trips: The logistics
Worrying about using your driver’s license in Norway? No need; as long as you have a valid driver’s license, you should be good to go.
Countries in the European Economic Area and the European Union operate under a mutual recognition agreement for drivers’ licenses.
If you’re a citizen from outside of the EEA or EU, your driver’s license is also valid in Norway for up to 90 days (given that it remains valid in the country that issued it).
A few examples of driving laws in Norway are: using the right side of the road, wearing a seat belt in the car, and not using mobile phones while driving.
Another rule is that a car’s headlights must always be on, no matter the time of day or year, largely due to the country’s sometimes erratic climate.
The weather in some parts of Norway can be particularly rough, especially during the winter – so, if you’re unsure about driving in rough conditions, think twice before a winter road trip.
Keep in mind that certain roads are also closed during the winter, and even parts of the fall and spring.
Ha en fin reise (safe travels) during your Norway road trips!
Source: Norway Today