The Old Strynefjell Mountain Road (Gamle Strynefjellsveien) is a 16-mile long stretch of road between Videseter in the municipality of Stryn and Grotli in the municipality of Skjåk. Stryn (7,000 inhabitants) is the region center in Nordfjord in the county of Sogn og Fjordane in Fjord Norway. Skjåk (2,300 inhabitants) is a small mountain village in the county of Oppland.
The Old Strynefjell Mountain Road, now a national tourist route, is a piece of cultural heritage more than 100 years old. Between the mountain village of Skjåk and the fjord village of Stryn there were several ancient routes used for the transport of people and essential goods. In 1881, the decision to build a road between Grotli and Hjelle was made. In 1894 the road was ready for use, a masterpiece of road-building and engineering.
The stretch represents a piece of Norwegian natural history as the only way of passage between Skjåk and Stryn during most of the last century. This is the reason why the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road has been awarded the status as a national tourist route.
Today, the old road is replaced with a new 7-mile long all-year road. However, it is still the old road that provides a view and perspective. Nature displays its contrasts along this stretch of road, with the rounded, glacier-scoured forms to the east and a steeper, more precipitous topography to the west.
At Tystigen it is still possible to ski far into the summer. Otherwise, high summer and autumn is the time for walking in the mountains. The road is also excellent for cycling.
The road is closed during winter and opens in June, depending on the amount of snow in the mountains.
Viewpoints along the road
At Videfjell, close to Videseter Mountain Hotel, there are two panoramic parking- and view areas. The viewpoints are situated close to the Videfossen- and Øvstefossen Waterfalls, from where you have view down the Stryn Valley and to the frothing river and waterfall passing by.
What to see
Almost half of the Jostedalsbreen National Park is covered by the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, which is the largest glacier in mainland Europe. Visit the Jostedalsbreen National Park Center, and learn about the glacier and the landscape that was shaped by water and ice. You can also sign up for glacier walks at the center.
The Gamlebutikken Shop dates from 1882 when Thor Hjelle (who later started Hjelle Hotel in 1896) started as a shopkeeper on the quay at Hjelle. The shop was a general store until it closed down in 1997. In 2006 the shop reopened with a large selection of local crafts and arts.
The deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is surrounded by snow-covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation. It is only a 30-minute drive from Grotli, the eastern part of the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road.
What to do
Towering mountains and Nordic climate make skiing possible almost all year. At Stryn Summer Ski Center, enthusiasts can go skiing from May to July on summer snow at its best.
Hire a bike at Hellesylt, ride across the mountains and deliver the bike in Stryn. The trip is relatively easy, but there is some climb from Hellesylt to Vollset. The Flofjellet Mountain has several waterfalls and serene lakes. The journey takes four to six hours and is about 25 miles long.
Hiking in Nordfjord
Hike from Glomnes to the Sigdestad Farm (1030 feet above sea level) on the northern side of Lake Oppstrynsvatnet. The path to Sigdestad is steep, and before 1723 they had to use a ladder to reach the farm. From the farm, there is a beautiful view to Hjelledalen, Erdalen and the surrounding mountains. Half to one hour walk.
At Flostranda Nature Reserve on the northern side of Lake Oppstrynsvatnet, there is a trail that focuses on botany, rare and semi-tropic plants. This is the largest linden tree forest in Northern Europe with a rich flora of rare species. The walk takes 2-3 hours to complete.
You can buy walking maps at the tourist information offices in Nordfjord.
Hiking in Jotunheimen
Jotunheimen has the largest concentration of mountains higher than 6,500 feet in Northern Europe. This is one of Norway's most popular hiking areas, with everything from short strolls to multi-day hut to hut epics.
Take a glacier walk on one of the surrounding glaciers, and experience the intense blue of the ice and living formations in the glacier at close hand. The Jostedalsbreen and Smørstabbreen Glaciers are both approximately one hour drive from the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road.
Where to stay
Hjelle Hotel is a well-kept hotel at Hjelle with view over Lake Oppstrynsvatnet. It was built in 1896.
Folven Camping is the campsite nearest to Stryn Summer Ski Centre, and has through the years become a natural hang-out for ski- and snowboard enthusiasts from all over the world.
Stay at a farmstead in the Hjelledalen Valley. Hjortehagen offers high-standard apartments, situated in an undisturbed location beside Lake Oppstrynsvatnet.
From the Grotli Mountain Hotel at the eastern part of the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road, there are short distances to the Geirangerfjord, the Strynefjell Mountain, the Stryn Summer Ski Centre and Lake Oppstryn.
A choice is offered between high-standard apartments or simple cabins at Skjåk Turistheim at Skjåk, approximately a 40-minute drive from the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road.
Between Stryn and Geiranger, at the western part of the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road, you will find Hotel Videseter. This is a base for experiences and activities on both sides of the Strynefjell Mountain.
Read more about where to stay in the Nordfjord area and where to stay in the Jotunheimen area.
Where to eat
Skjåk Tourist Lodge is a producer of local meat specialities, and processor of local produce.
The cuisine at Fossheim Tourist Hotel in Lom has been developed over many years, with Norwegian tradition at its heart. The head chef is a former member of the Norwegian national cookery team.
Grotli Mountain Hotel has a long and rich tradition, and offers a range of local foods.
Enjoy a meal with a view over Lake Oppstrynsvatnet at the restaurant at Hjelle Hotel.
- Road: Fv. 258 between Videseter in the municipality of Stryn in Sogn og Fjordane and Grotli in the municipality of Skjåk in Oppland.
- Length: 16 miles.
- Construction: The road was completed in 1894.
- Highest point: 3,736 feet above sea level.
- Opening time: The road is closed in winter. It normally opens in June, and closes in late autumn, depending on the amount of snow.
Getting to the Old Strynefjell National Tourist Route
From Oslo and Trondheim to Grotli:
Grotli, the southeast point of the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road, lies approximately 240 miles northwest of Oslo and 210 miles southwest of Trondheim.
- By car from Oslo to Grotli:
The drive from Oslo to Grotli takes approximately five and a half hours. Follow the E18 from Oslo to Sandvika. From Sandvika follow the E16 to Fagernes, then the fv. 51 from Fagernes across the Valdresflya mountain (the road is closed in winter) until you reach Lake Vågåvatnet. Turn left here and follow fv. 15 to Lom. From Lom, continue on fv. 15 to Grotli.
- By car from Trondheim to Grotli:
The drive from Trondheim to Lom takes approximately five hours. Follow the E6 from Trondheim to Dombås. Turn left at Dombås and continue on the E6 to Otta. From Otta follow fv. 15 to Lom. From Lom, continue on fv. 15 to Grotli.
From Bergen to Videseter:
Videseter, the northwest point of the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road, lies approximately 183 miles northeast of Bergen.
- By car from Bergen to Videseter:
The drive from Bergen to Videseter takes approximately four and a half hours and includes one ferry crossing. Follow the E39 from Bergen to Oppedal on the south side of the Sognefjord. Cross the Sognefjord from Oppedal to Lavik by ferry and continue on the E39 to Førde and then Byrkjelo, from where you follow fv. 60 to Stryn. From Stryn, follow fv. 15 along Lake Oppstrynsvatnet to Videseter.
Read more about Getting to Stryn and Nordfjord and around.
National Tourist Routes in Norway
Stryn and Nordfjord
The Gudbrandsdalen Valley