Sometimes it is the road itself that is the destination, and this is true of Gamle Strynefjellsvegen. As well as being staggeringly beautiful, the scenic route from Western Norway to the eastern part of Southern Norway is also designated as a listed road.
The road itself is a landmark and a testimony to a masterpiece of engineering design from a bygone time. Built by manual labour towards the end of the 19th century, it conveys a historical presence. Old stone masonry and long rows of guard stones provide a sense of journeying backwards in time. The old road offers imposing contrasts in the landscape: to the east rounded shapes bearing the stamp of the ice age and to the west precipitous mountainsides. If you take a kayak with you on the trip, you can paddle in the turquoise-coloured mountain tarns. It’s not without reason that the old tourist road has impressed travellers for over a century.
Norwegian Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen runs from Grotli to Videsæter, a total distance of 27 km (Road 258). The small village of Hjelle also plays an important role in the tourist route since the old road starts at the jetty in Hjelle.
In places this stretch is narrow with a number of bends and there are restrictions. Vehicles that are more than 8 metres long and have an axle load of more than 8 tonnes will be banned from driving on Gamle Strynefjellsvegen from Grotli to the Sogn og Fjordane county boundary. In the menu below you will find useful links that we hope will be helpful. For more tourist information, please contact local and regional tourist agents.
Winter notice: The route is closed during the winter season. Red flags in the map show where the road will be closed. It is normally closed in October and reopens in June.
When tourism started to emerge as an important industry in the rural areas bordering on the fjords in the last decades of the 19th century, the first thoughts arose of a road over Strynefjellet. In 1881 therefore the decision was taken to build a road, and migrant workers from Sweden joined local forces to begin the heavy construction work. The road was completed in 1894, and it still impresses us as relatively untouched. Here you will find long rows of guard stones and the old hand-built drystone walls along the road. These are the crash barriers of a time when horses and carts were more usual than cars. Traces of former bridleways that were used for transport between east and west can be seen alongside the road. At Gamle Strynefjellsvegen you will also find old stone slabs that travellers used for shelter at night.
When the mountains don their autumn garb, Gamle Strynefjellsvegen looks really magnificent. Nature is beautiful at all times, but the glowing autumn colours convey a completely different radiance and experience. Everyone who likes to be close to rushing cascades must take the time to stop at the viewpoints at the Øvstefossen and Videfossen waterfalls. If you prefer to cycle, you will be richly repaid for your exertions on Norway’s oldest tourist route.
Gamle Strynefjellsvegen is a relatively short route where you get a genuine road history experience. It is easiest to start at Grotli. You cycle the first part on a gravel road and the birch wood gradually disappears as the mountain landscape opens up. After passing the summer ski resort you will have a great downhill stretch with a wide view towards the valley and the surrounding mountains, as well as a number of great waterfalls. When you reach Lake Strynsvatnet at the bottom of the valley, you should include a stop at Hjelle.