One of the best ways to explore Norway is by taking a drive along some of its most scenic routes where nature is complemented by art, design and architecture. The Norwegian Scenic Routes initiative puts its plans in place with the help of some of Norway’s best designers and architecture. There are about 18 scenic routes around the country and here are some of those drives.
SenjaImage credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen
Senja, the second largest island of Norway, is a mix of breathtaking views of the sea, mountains, beaches, fishing villages and inland areas. The steep mountains dipping into the deep ocean is a remarkable feature of this stretch.
The island reflects the livelihood of the residence that had to survive through fishing and agriculture that could only provide so much. The island maintains both a storytelling tradition and culture that are as awe-inspiring as its landscapes.
Hardanger is a traditional district in the western part of Norway. The region is framed with several dramatic sceneries, specially by large waterfalls such as Steinsdalsfossen, Latefoss, Voringsfossen, Skjervsfossen and Furebergfossen. Each waterfall has their own unique qualities.
For example, Steinsdalsfossen has a pathway behind the cascade in which you can follow and Latefoss is the famous twin falls that showers the old road nearby. Best visited during spring and summer, explore Hardanger’s winding roads through an abundance of sceneries.
Image credit: Ernst Vikne
Sometimes the drive itself can be as breathtaking as your destination. Surrounded by a mountainous panorama, Gamle Strynefjellsvegen is a route which brings you from Western Norway to Southern Norway.
During autumn, the mountains by Gamle Strynefjellsvegen looks awe-inspiring. The autumn colours that dons the mountains and the surrounding gives the roads a golden radiance and a magical-like experience. The roads are also lined by old stone masonry and rows of guard stones, providing a sense of travelling back in time to the 19th century.
Image credit: Zairon
With summits that are over 2,000 metre-high in a single landscape, blanketed by blinding white snow that reflects the low-hanging sun, Rondane is a place to visit for tranquillity and quiet. The mountains rest on the road, taking you alongside the Rondane National Park. While driving, you’ll see the landscape slowly changing with its towering mountains.
Rondane is perfect for people who love hiking, terrains that are manageable for children are also available. You can take a pit-stop in just about anywhere because of the abundance of cabins and hiking paths.
Image credit: melenama
From the flourishing meadows to the rich cultural landscape of Bøverdalen, you can get a glimpse of the towering mountains from afar as the road slowly ascends to the valley. Sognefjellet is the highest mountain pass in all of northern Europe, making its way up to the summit at 1,434 metres.
As you ascend through the valley, your expectations rise before you as well. The route provides a naturally dramatic setting that leaves a long-lasting impression. Temptation to stop in the middle of the drive to soak in all the beauty of nature is completely normal. Driving down towards the mountain region of Sognefjord where everything seems so untouched, the Hurrungane Massif towers up to the skies and the mountains opens up and the landscape suddenly changes.
Image credit: Ximonic