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People at Stegastein viewpoint along Norwegian Scenic Route Aurlandsfjellet on a sunny summer day
Norwegian Scenic Routes.
Photo: One Big Happy Family / Nasjonale turistveger. Music: Apogee (feat. Pav) - Carl Louis

Norwegian Scenic Routes

Travel Trade

Along selected roads in Norway, natural wonders are amplified by art, design, and architecture meant to bring you closer to nature in new and surprising ways. Meet the award-winning Scenic Routes.

Road trips are a great way to experience a new country. Yet from the car, you may feel somewhat removed, or feel that something is lacking. Something … tactile. Getting hands-on. Being able to touch and breathe in the places you see.

The best of two worlds

In recent years, Norwegian architecture and design have stepped up, as they say, to the big leagues. It has also stepped into our nature, intervening in the sceneries along 18 select roads – not to obstruct, but to enhance and enable new experiences. The Norwegian Scenic Routes initiative sets out to combine Norwegian nature, architecture, and design into something greater than the sum of its parts.

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Scenic drives exist in many countries. What makes these ones one-of-a-kind is the use of ground-breaking architecture and art. No one else has done quite the same thing.

The work includes building resting areas, parking lots, and viewpoints, and clearing vegetation to make already picturesque roads the best drives in Norway. Several renowned Norwegian architects and designers have contributed to the project, such as Snøhetta, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, Jensen & Skodvin, and Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk. A few foreigners have been involved as well, amongst them French-American Louise Bourgeois and Swiss Peter Zumthor.

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The 18 Scenic Routes

Norwegian Scenic Routes from north to south
Varanger is about the long lines in the landscape as well as the long lines of history. Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger offers not only a physical… Read more
The road out to Havøysund is fascinatingly varied and even though it is only a couple of hundred metres above sea level at the highest point, you get… Read more
The steep mountains plunging deep into the ocean are a breathtaking sight and the most prominent feature of this stretch. Read more
On the island of Andøya, you can wander along some of Norway’s most beautiful beaches and look out over the still waters of the ocean with the… Read more
Regardless of the time of year, Lofoten provides a journey in breathtaking natural surroundings. Read more
The six ferry trips and the contrasts the Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten presents mean that you must set aside plenty of time for the drive. Read more
Nothing is as mighty as the ocean – the most important transport route for centuries, a source of income and the starting point for innumerable… Read more
The drive along Trollstigen is undoubtedly more dramatic than most people are used to, but what is special about driving in Norway is that in fact,… Read more
Sometimes it is the road itself that is the destination, and this is true of Norwegian Scenic Route Gamle Strynefjellsvegen. Read more
Gamle Strynefjellsvegen
Over 2,000 metre-high summits in a singular landscape decked in blinding white snow, the rays of the low-hanging sun reflecting on the glittering… Read more
From the verdant meadows and the lush cultural landscape of Bøverdalen you can catch a glimpse of towering mountains in the far distance, as the road… Read more
Driving in the open sweep of the landscape can be compared with the feeling of flying. The road swoops and stretches out ahead in long sweeps of… Read more
For most people, Gaularfjellet is a well-kept secret, but for all those who have discovered the road, it is quite special. Read more
Most scenic routes are stunning no matter what direction you drive in but this particular stretch presents its most dramatic side if you start the… Read more
It’s no secret that Hardanger is like a picture postcard and almost everywhere you look you will feast your eyes on thundering waterfalls or fruit… Read more
The fact that the road crosses the biggest high mountain plateau in Northern Europe tells you something about what lies in wait, but not everything. Read more
The drive along the Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke is a trip full of contrasts. Here you will encounter high barren mountains, lush hillsides, sheer… Read more
To some extent Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren differs from many of the others – it’s quite simply a regular all-purpose road. Read more
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    Varanger – Varangerbotn to Hamningberg

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    This road by the open sea in the far north is all about reflection: While driving under the aurora borealis light show, you may contemplate the dramatic lives that have unfolded here through history.

    Havøysund – from Kokelv to Havøysund

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    Not many people will ever travel this far north. And yet, just where this varied and scenic road ends near The North Cape by the sea, you encounter a thriving fishing village.

    Senja – from Gryllefjord to Botnhamn

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    The narrow, winding roads at Senja have to zigzag between the dramatic mountains that rise directly from the sea and give drivers a close encounter with the ocean.

    Andøya – from Bjørnskinn to Andenes

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    Squeezed in between sandy beaches and craggy peaks the Andøya route showcases a variation of serene and raw nature, animal life, and age-old coastal culture.

    Lofoten – from Å to Raftsundet

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    Forgive the cliché, but the nature of the Lofoten archipelago is indeed breathtaking. It’s one of Norway’s unique and most popular destinations, and the road takes you right through it.

    Helgelandskysten – from Holm to Godøystraumen

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    Atlanterhavsvegen – from Kårvåg to Bud

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    One of the most dramatic road stretches anywhere in the world, The Atlantic Road crosses the mouth of a fjord by jumping across islands and islets on a series of eight bridges.

    Geiranger-Trollstigen – from Langevatn to Strynefjellet and Sogge Bru in Romsdalen

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    The winding Trollstigen road is itself world-famous, as is the UNESCO listed Geirangerfjord. The two are connected by this dramatic mountain road which includes several stunning viewpoints.

    Gamle Strynefjellsvegen – from Grotli to Videsæter

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    Rondane – from Venabygdsfjellet to Folldal

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    Sognefjellet – from Lom to Gaupne

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    Valdresflye – from Garli to Hindsæter

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    An alternative route for travellers heading north, this mountain road runs through a vast, treeless expanse with a view of Jotunheimen – home to Norway’s tallest peaks.

    Gaularfjellet – from Balestrand to Moskog and from Sande to Eldalsosen

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    One of the lesser-known routes, this must count as a hidden gem. It follows the water from mountain lakes down towards the fjord through wild rapids and waterfalls.

    Aurlandsfjellet – from Aurlandsvangen to Lærdalsøyri

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    Going from fjord to fjord, this road should be driven from east to west. Stop at Stegastein, perhaps the most striking of all the viewpoints along the scenic routes.

    Hardanger – from Granvin to Steinsdalsfossen, from Norheimsund to Tørvikbygd, from Jondal to Utne, and from Kinsarvik to Låtefoss

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    The Hardanger area is Norway at its … might we say most “postcardesque”? Fjords and mountains, cultural landscapes and age-old culture – it’s all on view from the road.

    Hardangervidda – from Eidfjord to Haugastøl

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    Ryfylke – from Oanes at Lysefjorden to Håra

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    Following fjords and crossing mountains, this is a road of contrasts. Not 20 minutes away from your starting point lies the path to Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock).

    Jæren – from Ogna to Bore

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    In the Norwegian south-west, this road and its scenery differ from the rest of the Scenic Routes. It’s a main road with a view to the open sea, going through a coastal landscape unlike any other in the country.

    See it for yourself

    Travellers’ own pictures

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