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In Norway there are 18 different scenic routes to travel by car. They merge the natural environment with architecture, design and art. In addition, on these routes you can visit the best toilets in the world.

In 2021 there will be two new features on the Hardanger and Ryfylke routes.  In the first of these we will find in Tyrvefjøraa washbasin inspired by the forest. It has been designed by Helen & Hard Arkitekter and has been created from wood from around 65 trees. Once completed it will look like an upside down tree. On the other hand, on the Ryfylke route, in Jæren you will be able to visit a basin with a seafront viewpointdesigned by Lie & Øyen Arkitekter..

It is very important that before traveling to Norway (and anywhere) you check what are the restrictions and protocols to follow, for this you can consult this link..


Forest-inspired washbasin in Tyrvefjøra

These routes cover some of the most beautiful stretches of road in the Nordic country. They run along the coast, through the mountains, through the central area, covering a total of 2,136 kilometers.

In this project where art and nature come together, several Norwegian architects and designers have participated such as Snøhetta, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, Jensen & Skodvin and Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk. As well as, foreigners Louise Bourgeois and Peter Zumthor.

It should be noted that some routes are closed in winter, so before traveling you should consult this page. In addition, the roads can be very narrow for vans and motorhomes, which can generate queues in high season or only traffic in one of the two directions.

Route through Hardangerfjord

The first route we present is the Hardanger fjord region(Hardangerfjord in Norwegian). It is an area known for its waterfalls and for having the best cider in the world.

One of the stops is at Trolltunga, which in Norwegian means troll tongue. At this point you can do excursions, especially for those experienced hikers. Also available are the  Trolltunga Active and Trolltunga Aventures, which allow you to join guided hikes to the tip of the tongue of land jutting out of the mountain year-round.


Image of Trolltunga, encima del lago Ringedalsvatnet.

If you want to rest after having climbed to the top there is a glamping where you can also enjoy the sunset or sunrise under a glass roof.

Other activities that can be done in this area are railway tours, kayaking on the third longest fjord in the world or a safari boat ride.

There are even more activities to do, you can take a guided tour of the glacier Folgefonna. It’s also a must to enjoy the view of the mystical blue ice underfoot and the turquoise-blue fjord. There is also the summer ski resort of Fonna, with a variety of ski-related activities.


Hikers on the Folgefonna Glacier

One of the most spectacular spots on this route is the waterfall Vøringsfossen. At this location there is also a vertiginous observation deck that hangs over one of Norway’s deepest canyons.


Following the route through the Måbødalen valley, you end up reaching Eidfjord, where you can enjoy privileged views and an idyllic town. If you deviate from the route to an old Kjeåsen mountain farm, you can take an excursion intended for experts where you can find yourself about 600 meters above the fjord.


Views from Eidfjord

The route continues to Øystese and Norheimsund, which have several museums, as well as the Steinsdalsfossen waterfall with a drop of 50 metres.

As far as florais concerned, Hardangerfjordhas a great variety and great beauty. In spring the area is filled with white flowers and in autumn fruits abound, with tasty apples standing out. This is why Hardanger cider is so highly valued.

Still related to cider, there are two options: sail along the Sørfjord on the cider boat or take the guided fruit and cider tour in Ulvik with tastings included. To try more local products you have to stop at Sysegard. On this farm for five generations, they have been in charge of making the products by hand. You can try their jams, cider, apple juice, ice cream and lamb meat.


Farmers harvesting apples, the raw material for cider, in Ulvik.

Following the route there is another stop of great interest. This is Aga Sideri , one of the high-quality cider producers in the Sørfjorden area.

Nearby is Agatunet, a beautiful village with houses dating from around 1220. In this village you can take guided tours to get inside the wooden houses, where there are also cultural and historical exhibits. There is also the Utnehotel, which is more than 300 years old and is also promoted as a “hotel cider house“. Another beautiful place to stay is the Ullensvanghotel in Lofthus, next to the fjord where in summer you can take a swim.


Travel back in time by staying at the Utne Hotel

For a nice walk there is the option of the HM Queen Soni Scenic Walka. The queen of Norway is a passionate hikerand this one in particular is her favorite of the region.  Another historic attraction is the Baroniet Rosendal Secret Gardens, a small 17th-century castle maintained much as it was when its last guest left it in 1927. In its outdoor area there is a rose garden. In addition, concerts, exhibitions, theater, etc. are held in summer.


Garden of the Baroniet Rosendal

Route through Ryfylke

The second scenic route we present to you is Ryfylke where you can also enjoy the beauty of the fjords, various activities, and many more charming places.

For starters, you can travel from Lysefjorden to the mountain massif of Kjerag, more than a thousand meters above the fjord, via a winding road,Lysevegen’s,  with nothing but 27 bends. At Kjerag you can see the round rock Kjeragbolten,a rock wedged between two mountains. Further away from this area, there is Lysefjord with where the Preikestolen (the pulpit rock) is located 604 meters above the fjord, and according to Lonely Planet is one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the world.


View of the pulpit rock

The district of Ryfylke has a breathtaking nature with fjords and mountains, from Lysefjord in the south to Ryfylke Scenic Route and Sauda in the north.

Flørli is a village that has developed from a rural, industrial area into a cultural center. At this location there are 4,444 steps, one of the longest staircases in the world.

In this area you can kayak the fjords or take a safari to observe the salmon. Similarly to the Hardangerfjord route, on this one you can taste rich apples, at places like GrønvikGård.

As for the climate, on some islands of Ryfylke it is surprisingly mild. On the car-free island of Sør-Hidle, you can even find palm trees in the park Flor & Fjære. In addition, you can delve into the history of this region with visits to places like the mountain farm Haukali 33/3..


The beautiful floral display of Flor & Fjære

Si prefieres elementos más actuales hay distintos puntos a lo largo de la ruta como HøsebruaHøllesli, y Svandalsfossen. A Allmannajuvet, hay la posibilidad de explorar un diseño nuevo e innovador mientras se viaja atrás en el tiempo a través de las minas de zinc.

A la hora de descansar en Ryfylke hay la cabaña de senderismo Skåpet, gestionado por la Asociación de Turismo de Noruega o The Bolder, cerca de la roca púlpito.


Skåpet’s hiking huts

Image credits: Helen & Hard, Javarnab, Pal Hermansen, Visit Hardangerfjord @vegardphoto, Geir Yngve Kristiansen, Visit Hardangerfjord, Utne Hotel, Baroniet Rosendal, Reisemal Ryfylke, Flor & Fjære, Hessel Haker.

The travel situation is complicated because of the pandemic but as soon as you can, Norway is a nice destination without crowds and ideal to disconnect and recharge batteries.