The Panorama Route
The mountain road between Lykkja in Hemsedal and Røn in Valdres has, because of the magnificent views of places such as Jotunheimen, been named the Panorama Road (Panoramavegen).
This mountain area is also known for being one of the most vibrant summer farm areas in the country; several farms are open for the public all summer.
You will find several traditional accommodation and dining businesses along the route where you can get meals prepared from local products.
There are many good fishing and swimming spots, and plenty of opportunities for hiking and bicycling.
When you come back down from the mountains, you can visit Valdres Folk Museum in Fagernes. This is an outdoor museum that shows life in rural Norway over the last 300 years.
Follow the fv. 51 from Gol towards Fagernes, turn off at Hallingen Høyfjellshotell and follow the road Golsfjellveien to Oset Høyfjellshotell. Keep going across the Tislei Dam to the road Tisleiaveien.
Keep going along Lake Tisleifjorden to Storefjord. Pass Nøsen and continue towards Vaset, before you follow the road through Røn to Fagernes. Between Fagernes and Leira, you follow the E16, and then take the fv. 51 back to Gol.
Distance: 137 kilometres
The Fanitull Route
Fanitullen is the name of a popular legend of a demonic visitation at a wedding in Hemsedal in the 1800s. Fanitullveien is the name of the road through Holdeskaret, where the wedding is said to have been, and further on to Leveld in Ål.
Most of the mountain road runs through typical Norwegian high mountain terrain, up to 1,330 metres above sea level.
Driving from Gol to Hemsedal, you will pass lush agricultural landscapes along the Heimsil River, winding its way down the valley. Heimsil is one of the best trout rivers in the country, and is well-known among anglers all over Scandinavia. Drive the fv. 52 from Gol to Hemsedal.
One of the biggest alpine skiing destinations in Scandinavia, Hemsedal, is easily seen as you turn off from the highway and on to Fanitullvegen. The road runs parallel to the ski slopes from the valley floor up to Holdeskaret. Up on the mountain, however, there is little to suggest that this is a ski resort.
Great open plains, tall mountains and clear lakes reveal themselves in Holdeskaret and onwards past the Flævass Dam (water power dam). The views of Dyrebotten, Hestebotten, Fagerdalen, Lauvdalsbrea and Reineskarvet show you the Norwegian high mountains at their most beautiful.
On the highest point, it is recommend you leave your car and climb Lauvdalsbrea. The view from the peak is indescribable.
In the Lauvdalen Valley there are several operational summer farms, and you are likely to come across herds of both goats and sheep.
Follow the road down from the mountains to the agricultural community of Leveld, recently made a model for the preservation of cultural landscapes. Notice how the farms are strategically placed in relation to the fields, and the incline of the fields. Everything here is planned through generations.
Keep going from Leveld until you get to the rv. 7. Follow this past Torpo, where you can visit Torpo Stave Church from around 1150, before you return to Gol.
Distance: 104 kilometres
Mountain and fjord
The high mountains, wild waterfalls and deep fjords are among the most beautiful things to experience in Norway. Using Gol as your base, you can take many rewarding excursions westwards to the fjords in Fjord Norway.
Follow fv. 52 from Gol to Hemsedal and over the Hemsedal Mountains to Borlaug in Lærdal. In Borlaug, get on the E16, which goes through the lush valley of Lærdal. Most of the road through the valley is new, but it is recommended you follow the old road that winds its way through the valley floor, side by side with the famous salmon river.
On the road between Borlaug and Lærdalsøyri, you should visit to Borgund Stave Church, the road Vindhellavegen and the scenic point by the salmon tunnel.
Lærdalsøyri is a local trade centre with narrow streets and small wooden buildings, all dating years back. There are charming restaurants and an outdoor produce market. Lærdalsøyri is also home to the Norwegian Wild Salmon Centre, where you can learn more about the salmon's fantastic migration to the spawning grounds, and its importance for the community.
Going from Lærdalsøyri to Aurland, you can either drive through Northern Europe's longest tunnel, or take the Aurlandsvegen/Snow Road over the mountain. If you choose the latter, you can stop at the scenic point at Stegastein and get a great view of the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.
Follow the E16 from Aurland onward to Flåm, where you can either drive up the Flåmsdalen Valley or take the famous Flåm Railway to Myrdal. Flåmsbanen is an engineering masterpiece, going up the valley side and climbing 870 metres in just 20 kilometres.
Follow the E16 back to Aurland, and then the fv. 50 over the mountain to Hol/Hagafoss and the rv. 7 back to Gol.
Distance: 298 kilometres