Ryfylke is a sheltered fjord region, located northeast of Stavanger and east of Haugesund. Ryfylke National Tourist Route is a 183-kilometre-long stretch of road between Oanes by the Lysefjord to Hårå in Røldal, in the county of Rogaland in Fjord Norway.
Along Ryfylke National Tourist Route you pass villages, towns and cultural attractions like old industrial buildings and the abandoned 19th century zinc mines at Allmannajuvet. The melting plants in Sauda, deep amid the mountains and waterfalls of Ryfylke, offer a good starting point for a trip through Norwegian industrial history.
A detour south from the road brings the traveller to Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, from which a prepared path goes up to the famous Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) with its magnificent view over the Lysefjord.
As you travel the scenic road you will discover picnic areas set in beautiful surroundings, and cultural monuments that are centuries or even thousands of years old.
Viewpoints along the road
There are two panoramic view and rest areas made in collaboration with the Ryfylke National Tourist Route:
Ropeid: Ferry landing with service building. The building houses a waiting room, toilets and a shop, and remains open for as long as the ferry continues to run.
Svandalsfossen: Parking lot with steps along the Svandalsfossen Waterfall. The waterfall is a well-known attraction in Sauda, and a magnificent view when the river runs high. The forces of nature can be experienced at close range from the steps running upwards along the main fall, as well as below the road leading down to the fjord.
What to see
Down by the shore at Solbakk in Strand, just beside Ryfylke National Tourist Route, is a prehistoric rock-carving site. The find, first discovered in 1923, dates from around 500 BC. Carvings of ships predominate.
Three well-preserved wooden mill buildings in their natural setting on the seafront at Tau, right beside the modern Tou Mill, make up the Old Tou Mill, well worth a visit.
Årdal Old Church in Årdal is one of the most distinctive and beautiful wooden renaissance churches from the 17th century. The church was built in three stages, the first stage in 1619.
The Sandsfossen Waterfall in Sand is not particularly high, but it is broad – and the roar of the force of nature here is almost deafening. A couple of minutes walk from Sand village centre takes you to the falls.
On the north side of Sandsfjord, just before you reach Lake Saudasjøen on fv. 520, is Svandalsfossen Waterfall. A series of stairs climb up close to the waterfall - you can really sense the force of the water.
The zinc mines at Allmannajuvet in Sauda were in operation from 1881 to 1899. Sections of the mine galleries and the mine road have been restored and are open to the public in the company of a guide.
Read more about Ryfylke.
What to do
Your journey starts at Oanes, south on rv. 13. From the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, slightly further northeast, you can hike to Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) and take in its dizzying views over the Lysefjord.
Skomakarnibbå rises high above the southern shore of the Jøsenfjord, and makes for another scenic hike.
A good way to see the Lysefjord is to join one of several organised fjord cruises/round trips with a boat.
Float in the current down the river from Mo Laksegard. Don't be surprised if you suddenly see trout and salmon up close. See the video River expedition and salmon fishing.
Guided tours in Allmannajuvet and into the dark zink mines in Sauda every day in summer.
In Jørpeland, Sand and Sauda town centres you can enjoy shopping in a relaxed environment.
The Ryfylke Museum has several facilities throughout the region, for example the Kolbeinstveit Farm by Lake Suldalsvatn. Here you find Guggedalsloftet, the oldest non-ecclesiastic wooden building in the county of Rogaland – it dates back to the 13th century.
Read more about what to do in Ryfylke.
Where to stay
The Preikestolen Mountain Lodge lies in the hills of Ryfylke just near Lake Refsvatn. There are several marked trails in the area; one is the path to the Pulpit Rock.
Spa Hotel Velvære in Hjelmeland is a place for all senses. The hotel is well known for its spa facilities, and has a restaurant with a varied menu based on local produce.
Wathne Camping is situated at the western end of Lake Nedre Tysdalsvatnet, by the Ryfylke National Tourist Route (rv. 13).
At Lysefjorden Marina you will find everything your boat and your family need for the trip. The marina is situated at Forsand, at the entrance of the 42 kilometre long Lysefjord.
The historical jugendstil Sauda Fjord Hotel boasts great views of the Saudafjorden. Extensive restoration and refurbishment in the traditional style have resulted in a remarkable hotel with a very special atmosphere.
Read more about where to stay in Ryfylke.
Where to eat
The restaurant in Spa Hotel Velvære in Hjelmeland offers high-class gourmet food. A great place to enjoy dinner over a fabulous sunset, weather permitting.
Preikestolen Mountain Lodge in Strand is well known for menus based on local ingredients, carefully prepared by ambitious chiefs.
Fargeriet (café) in Sand offers charming atmosphere and homemade food.
The Lysefjord Centre at Oanes is famous for their Norwegian menu and great views of the Lysefjord. The signature dish here is the "Lysefjord Soup".
Rosehagen Café in Jørpeland has fresh homemade food that can be enjoyed in a charming garden with sculptures overlooking the small harbour.
Read more about food in Ryfylke.
- Road: Rv. 13 between Oanes and Hårå in the county of Rogaland
- Length: 183 kilometres
Getting to Ryfylke National Tourist Route
Distances from Bergen, Oslo and Stavanger:
- From Bergen to Hårå (the north end of Ryfylke National Tourist Route): Approximately 165-185 kilometres (one to two hours, one or two ferry crossings).
- From Stavanger to Oanes (the south end of Ryfylke National Tourist Route): Approximately 44-52 kilometres (1,5 hours, one ferry crossing).
- From Oslo to Hårå (the north end of Ryfylke National Tourist Route): Approximately 320 kilometres (4,5 hours).
Read more about getting to Ryfylke and around.
National Tourist Routes in Norway
Free App - Ryfylke Multiguide
Be your own guide along National Tourist Route Ryfylke (Rv 13 and Fv 520) with the free App Ryfylke Multiguide.