The Norwegian Scenic Route’s Beauty Unfolds in the Spring
Trollstigen is an exhilarating driving experience undoubtedly more dramatic than your average commute. With Ørnevegen (the name given to the 11 hairpin bends on this stretch) climbing 1038 meters above sea level this truly is an impressive feat of human endeavor.
You will find Trollstigen road just outside Geiranger in between Bergen and Andalsnes. Engineering work began in 1916 to construct Trollstigen and His Majesty King Haakon VII eventually opened the road in the summer of 1936.
At the top lies the Ørnesvingen viewing point, with its own waterfall. From here the view opens towards Geiranger, across the Geirangerfjord with its near-perpendicular mountainsides, the “Seven Sisters” waterfalls, and the Knivsflå mountain hamlet. Join in on a Kayak tour to the Seven Sister waterfall and get at spectacular view of the waterfall.
Viewpoints, steel walkways, embankments, and incredible masonry slither effortlessly through this Norwegian mountainside (anyone who has cycled up this monster will no-doubt laugh at the effortless part) not to mention Stigfossen bridge over the stunning waterfall. The road is closed during wintertime because of the incredible annual snowfall and normally opens in late May or early June when tractors and bulldozers are used to tunnel their way through the mass of snow and ice.
The viewing point at Gudbrandsjuvet gorge is beautifully located in the Valldalen valley, with precipitous mountainsides, the river and the gorge at close range. Over millennia, the Valldøla River has cut large potholes and intricate formations into the rock.
Check out the exciting Canynoing in Valldal and experience the river in an unique way.
Around Trollstigen, trails lead up into the mountains and to Bispevatnet Lake for a slice of tranquility after an arduous hike. Perched over Geiranger, Vesterås Farm is the starting point for several more relaxed hikes, including Storseterfossen waterfall where you can walk down into and around the back of the thunderous flow of white-water.
A little farther along the fjord, after taking a ferry, you can find the picturesque Skageflå Mountain Farm and some extreme hiking terrain. The peak of Vardefjellet, near Valldal, was a lookout point in the Viking Age.
Geiranger to Trollstigen is a popular cycle route with E-bike but is much easier in the opposite direction starting from Grotli. Passing the picturesque mountain lake Langvatnet, it is still a tough stretch of alpine road, but you are afforded the luxury of descending down into Geiranger as opposed to climbing up out.
Should you continue to Ålesund, the next stage includes a climb up through Ørnesvingen, with an easy ride down to Norddalsfjorden and to the ferry across to Linge where the quay has its own orchard. The final stage includes a rather long climb, but a top Trollstigen and during the descent, to Åndalsnes you will be greatly rewarded for all your hard effort.
Be warned, traffic is heavy on the route Geiranger-Trollstigen during high season, particularly with large tourist busses, so you might prefer to make your trip in early June or September.
It is also worth pointing out the Romsdal valley which is also in the area as you approach Andalsnes, home to Trollveggen, Europe's tallest vertical overhanging rock face. Overlooking Andalsnes you will find Rampstreken viewpoint and the start (or end) of a stunning hike over Romsdalseggen.