You may choose from 18 Norwegian National Tourist Routes. If this is the first time you go by car in Norway, we recommend the 196 km (122 miles) route from Geiranger to Trollstigen with world-class architectural viewing points blending seamlessly with the formidable landscape.
The National Tourist Routes attraction comprises 18 selected drives through beautiful Norwegian nature. The experience is enhanced by innovative architecture and thought-provoking works of art at designated viewpoints and picnic areas. The development project is being carried out by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
Norwegian National Tourist Route Geiranger-Trollstigen
The Geiranger-Trollstigen route offers a 104 km (65 miles) driving experience with the dramatic scenery that is distinctive to Western Norway – high mountains and deep fjords. The route travels between Langevatn and Sogge Bridge.
“The challenge is to interpret the mood of a place,” said Per Ritzler, head of international relations at Norway’s National Tourist Routes. “Some viewing points are in sharp contrast with the surroundings, others are in harmony with the landscape – but never indifferent.”
Ålesund, the principal town of the Sunnmore district, is the perfect place to start this drive. Alesund is a sea port, and is noted for its unique concentration of Art Nouveauarchitecture. Driving 11 km (7 miles) south to the top of Trollstigen (The Troll Path), you’re climbing 852m (half mile) from sea level to glacial plateau.
After 11 sharp bends, the Trollstigen Visitor Centre offers the chance to peer over the edge of the thundering Stigfossen waterfall. The angulat of concrete and glass opened in 2012 and took the Oslo architect Reiulf Ramstad eight years to complete.
Some hundred meters east, another platform appears, and it seems to be suspended in thin air, with only rusted designer steel and glass plates separating you from a 200 m (656 feet) drop to the Trollstigen valley below. The viewing platform is dramatically situated and has various viewing points suitable for both the bold and the cautious visitor.
“Our main focus is always to have a humble approach to the environment and through our architecture get the visitors to gain a greater sense of nature and the interaction between the two,” Ramstad said.
Driving southwards another 16 km (11 miles) passing the mountains Dronningen (the Queen), Kongen (the King) and Bispen (the Bishop) you come to the bottom of the Valldal valley and another designer gem, the Juvet Landscape Hotel . The hotel received Norway’s top architecture prize, the A.C. Houens Fund’s certificate, in 2012. This was the first landscape hotel in Europe and shows that the modern and innovative can go hand in hand with local building traditions and good, old fashioned handicrafts.
The small wooden buildings took five years to construct. “It was an experiment,” said hotel owner Knut Slinning. “They’re not taken from a catalogue. They are handmade. “Other people can replicate the rooms, but they can’t replicate the rock and the river.”
Walking distance from the hotel you encounter theGudbrandsjuvet viewing platform, designed by the same architects who created the hotel,Jensen and Skodvin. Don’t be frightened when you peer intothe girgling whirlpools that skirt through the narrow and deep ravine below. The snaking metal network of bridges and walkways holds you safely. The adjacent café offers uninterrupted views of the mountains.
Driving 15 km (9 miles) southwest you arrive at the Linge Ferry Quay on the edge of the town of Storfjord. The passenger waiting room on the quay is made of steel and wood and bears the mark of Oslo architect Knut Hjeltnes.
The ferry takes your car across the Storfjord. On the other side, drive 30 km (19 miles) south and you arrive at the Ørnesvingen viewing platform, designed by architects 3RW. From here you can admire the Unesco World Heritage-listed Geiranger fjord, 600m (0.4 mile) below, and the famed Seven Sisters cascade.
The perfect end of this route, combining stunning nature with innovative architecture, isFlydalsjuvet at the southeastern end of the town Geiranger.
The lookout points have been modernized as part of the “Nasjonale turistveier” project and the new facilities were officially opened at a ceremony on 21 June 2006.
Parts of the Geiranger-Trollstigen route, particularly the high roads, close when the first snow falls, usually in October or November, reopening in May or June depending on weather condition.
See the lavish new book on the National Tourist Routes
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