Norway road trips that’ll take your breath away

Atlantic RoadPhoto: Alexander Sinn / Unsplash
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A Norwegian proverb says, “Berre den som vandrar finn nye vegar”, meaning “Only one who wanders, discovers new paths”.

As the country with the most fjords in the world, magnificent mountainscapes everywhere you look, and cultural treasures waiting at each turn, Norway is one of the best countries to wander through.

And what better way to discover new paths than with a road trip? So, 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.

These award-winning trips received the prestigious National Scenic Routes designation from the Norwegian government, as “18 drives through the most beautiful nature Norway can offer“.

Norway's best road trips
Photo: Norway Today

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.

But what commonality does every route have? Each one 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 road trips to their northern counterparts.

1. Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren

  • Length: 41 km
  • Route: Between Ogna and Bore
  • More info on Jæren
  • Fun fact: Jæren is an important agricultural area in Norway
  • Highlight: The long sandy beaches scattered across the coast

2. Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke

  • Length: 260 km
  • Route: Between Oanes at Lysefjorden and Håra
  • More info on Ryfylke
  • Fun fact: At the southern end of this road sits lovely Lysefjord
  • Highlight: Preikestolen Pulpit Rock – don’t miss a climb up it!

3. Norwegian Scenic Route Hardangervidda

  • Length: 67 km
  • Route: Between Eidfjord and Haugastøl
  • More info on Hardangervidda
  • Fun facts: This is Europe’s largest mountain plateau!
  • Highlight: The marvelous valley of Måbødalen

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
  • More info on Hardanger
  • 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

5. Norwegian Scenic Route Aurlandsfjellet

  • Length: 47 km
  • Route: Between Aurlandsvangen and Lærdalsøyri
  • More info on Aurlandsfjellet
  • 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

6. Norwegian Scenic Route Gaularfjellet

  • Length: 114 km
  • Route: Two stretches between Balestrand and Moskog, and Sande and Eldalsosen
  • More info on Gaularfjellet
  • Fun fact: This is one of the lesser-known – and less traveled paths (which are, as we all know, the best)
  • Highlight: The Utsikten viewpoint, from which you can take in views of the surrounding mountains

7. Norwegian Scenic Route Valdresflye

  • Length: 49 km
  • Route: Between Garli and Hindsæter with a detour to Gjende
  • More info on Valdresflye
  • Fun fact: Valdresflye is located in the very center of Norway
  • Highlight: This path is only drivable outside of the winter season, so you’re in for gorgeous greenery or fall colors no matter which other season you visit during

8. Norwegian Scenic Route Sognefjellet

  • Length: 108 km
  • Route: Between Lom and Gaupne
  • More info on Sognefjellet
  • Fun fact: This is Northern Europe’s tallest mountain pass
  • Highlight: After the winter, the road is flanked by snowbanks reaching up to 10 meters high, which makes for a fun drive

9. Norwegian Scenic Route Rondane

  • Length: 75 km
  • Route: Two stretches between Venabygdsfjellet and Folldal, and Sollia Church and Enden
  • More info on Rondane
  • Fun fact: Famous painting Winter night in Rondane by Norwegian painter Harald Sohlberg is set here
  • Highlight: The striking Rondane National Park

10. Norwegian Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen

  • Length: 27 km
  • Route: Between Grotli and Videsæter
  • More info on Gamle Strynefjellsvegen
  • 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

11. Norwegian Scenic Route Geiranger-Trollstigen

  • Length: 104 km
  • Route: Between Langevatn amd Sogge Bridge
  • More info on Geiranger Trollstigen
  • Fun fact: Trollstigen (meaning, “troll’s path”) is known for its 11 hairpin bends
  • Highlight: The UNESCO-protected Geiranger fjord

12. Norwegian Scenic Route Atlanterhavsvegen (the famous Atlantic Road, Norway)

  • Length: 36 km
  • Route: Between Kårvåg and Bud
  • More info on the Atlantic Road
  • Fun fact: The Atlantic Road is one of the most famous and most awarded roadways in the world
  • Highlight: The entire island of Averøy

13. Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten

  • Length: 433 km
  • Route: Between Holm and Godøystraumen, with a detour to Torghatten
  • More info on Helgelandskysten
  • Fun fact: This is the longest of the 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes
  • Highlight: Crossing the Arctic Circle as you drive down the road

14. Norwegian Scenic Route Lofoten

  • Length: 230 km
  • Route: Between Å and Raftsundet, with detours to Nusfjord, Vikten, Utakleiv, Unstad, Eggum, and Henningsvær
  • More info on Lofoten
  • 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)

15. Norwegian Scenic Route Andøya

  • Length: 58 km
  • Route: Between Bjørnskinn and Andenes
  • More info on Andøya
  • Fun fact: This is a less busy island alternative to Lofoten
  • Highlight: Views of Bleiksøya Island, home to puffin and sea eagle colonies

16. Norwegian Scenic Route Senja

  • Length: 102 km
  • Route: Between Gryllefjord and Botnhamn, with detours to Mefjordvær and Husøya
  • More info on Senja
  • Fun fact: This is an island of steep mountains that rise up out of the ocean
  • Highlight: The beautiful Bergsbotn viewpoint

17. Norwegian Scenic Route Havøysund

  • Length: 67 km
  • Route: Between Kokelv and Havøysund
  • More info on Havøysund
  • Fun fact: The Havøysund drive is a great 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

18. Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger

  • Length: 160 km
  • Route: Between Varangerbotn and Hamningberg
  • More info on Varanger
  • 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

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 EU or EEA, 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).

When you arrive to Norway for a road trip, be aware of the country’s road rules, which are issued by The Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

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 climate.

The weather in some parts of Norway can be 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

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