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The National Tourist Route – The Golden Route

The National Tourist Route from Geiranger to Trollstigen, also known as “The Golden Route” is probably the toughest stretch of road in Norway! The spectacular mountain roads are engineering marvels and the picturesque and charming villages, the strikingly beautiful landscape, local food along the road and stopping places prepared under the auspices of The National Tourist Route are things everyone ought to experience!

Top 10 - National Tourist Route
Photo: C H/Innovation Norge

National Tourist Routes is the name used for the 18 selected stretches of road in Norway that take you through the most outstanding parts of the Norwegian landscape. Geiranger – Trollstigen, “the Golden Route”, is one of the ones selected and this is probably the most spectacular of all the tourist routes. The major attractions are like pearls on a string – this is what you can experience along the way:

Geirangervegen (the Geiranger Road) – Dalsnibba – Flydalsjuvet.
Geirangervegen stretches from Skjåk at the top of Ottadalen to the village of Geiranger. The highest point is 3,200 ft above sea level, at Djupvatnet. A side road leads up from here to the vantage point of Dalsnibba, 4,600 ft above sea level. On the way down to the village one passes by the old ascending loop road “Knuten” (“the Knot”) and perhaps the best known vantage point in the area, Flydalsjuvet.
Geirangervegen was completed in 1889 and 11 years later the road was awarded a gold medal at the world fair in Paris. Geirangervegen is closed in the winter, normally from November/December to May.

Ørnevegen (the Eagle Road) – Ørnesvingen

Further along the Golden Route, you drive up Ørnevegen out of Geiranger. With its 11 hairpin bends up to 1920 ft above sea level, this is only road to Geiranger that is open all year round. On the last bend, called Ørnesvingen (the Eagle Bend), there is spectacular vantage point. From here you can see Dalsnibba, Geiranger, the fjord, the mountain farm Knivsflå and the proverbial Seven Sisters waterfall.

Gudbrandsjuvet
A short ferry journey from Eidsdal to Linge takes you to the village of Valldall (Sylte). From here it is approx 30 km up to the Trollstigen plateau, in the direction of Åndalsnes. Half way along you pass Gudbrandsjuvet, a stretch of the Valldøla River where it races turbulently through a rugged gorge. There is a specially constructed stopping place here – and a fantastic viewing experience.

Trollstigen
The last stage takes you from Gudbrandsjuvet to Trollstigen itself. This proverbial and dramatic road is in Rauma Municipality and with its eleven hairpin bends it is Norway’s most famous mountain road. Winding its way up steep mountainsides, past waterfalls and wayside guard stones, it is a narrow and nerve-wracking drive. But above all it is fascinating. The road bears witness to outstanding road engineering and building skills using the simple tools available in the depressed 1930s. Trollstigen still enchants and frightens many people, a full 70 years after its opening in 1936.

Experience three National Tourist Routes
You can of course drive along “The Golden Route” in both directions – and, regardless of which way you go, the trip along Norway's foremost National Tourist Route is a major experience! Not far away there are two other well known National Tourist Routes – Atlanterhavsvegen (the Atlantic Road) and Gamle Strynefjellsveg, the old mountain road to Stryn. If you add these to your travels through the North West Country you have managed to include the undreamt of contrasts between high mountains, fjords and the sea!

The Golden Route by public transport
In the period 19 June to 31 August there is a bus service between Åndalsnes and Geiranger. Refer to Fjord 1’s timetables.

Winter closure
Both Geirangervegen and Trollstigen are closed in winter - they are usually closed from November/December and open again in May/June. For information about the exact times, see the website of Statens Vegvesen (the Norwegian Public Roads Authority (NPRA)).

Changed   4/23/2010  
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Destinasjon Ålesund & Sunnmøre
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Destinasjon Geirangerfjord-Trollstigen
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Tel.: 70 26 30 99
NORWAY
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