A journey through the Northwest Coast of Norway.

If you dream about waking up to the sight of fjords, mountains, and scenic nature, you have probably thought about traveling to Norway. by Chris Gati

While Norway boasts countless breathtaking locales, let me guide you through my homeland: the Northwest Coast, home to the enchanting Ålesund, the renowned Geiranger fjord, and mesmerizing glacial lakes.

Getting There

Though this guide assumes you're driving from Sweden, there are myriad ways to explore Norway. I recommend taking Riksvei 52 over Hemsedalsfjellet and returning via E6.


This iconic mountain pass transforms with the seasons. Winter often brings closed roads and column driving, while summer unveils a stark, beautiful landscape. As you ascend past the treeline to its peak at 1137 m.a.s.l, the lush forests of eastern Norway give way to barren mountains adorned only with moss and heather. Yet, this seemingly desolate terrain teems with life: sheep graze freely, sometimes blocking your path, and occasionally, a herd of reindeer might grace your journey Descending, you'll encounter the picturesque villages of Lærdal and Sogndal, nestled where fjords embrace mountains. Local markets offer regional delicacies, and if you're looking to rest, consider the Lærdal Ferieogfritidscamp for a night of live music..


As you drive along E39, be sure to keep your eyes open and take in Våtedalen and other sights along the route.

Soon enough you arrive in the county of Stryn, home to glaciers and the famous turquoise waters of the glacial lakes. In the city center you will find shops and cafes alongside the fjord, and in the mountains of Stryn you can go summer-skiing. There are several valleys in Stryn that offer similar landscapes. Two favorites are Oldedalen and Lodalen.

For families, Oldevatn Camping is a gem. Nestled in Oldedalen, it's a gateway to the Briksdalsbreen glacier. The glacier's summer melt infuses the water with minerals, painting Oldevatn in hues you've likely seen in glossy travel magazines. The campsite offers a playground and water toys, free for residents. Brave the chilly waters for a refreshing swim, or simply relax by the serene river.

”Imagine waking up to this view outside your caravan window!"

If you are of the adventurous sort, you can hike the longest continuous uphill in Norway to the top of Skåla 1848 m.a.s.l and get a fantastic panoramic view, climb Via Ferrata Loen, or you can take the gondola of Loen Skylift up to Mt. Hoven. At the top of the mountain, you can enjoy a dinner with a view, or you can go hiking in the mountains.


No trip to the Northwest Coast of Norway would be complete without visiting the magnificent city of Ålesund. With its beautiful surroundings and Art Nouveau architecture, it has been featured several times in National Geographic lists and is also a favorite among cruise tourists. So much so that in 2023 it’s expected over 300 port calls and close to 500.000 tourists. The city was ravaged by a city fire in 1904, that destroyed almost all of the wooden buildings in the city centre. In the years that followed the city was rebuilt with an iconic architecture.

To get a bird’s eye view, you should walk the 418 steps to Aksla viewpoint and experience the breathtaking panoramic.

If you are traveling with family, the Atlantic Ocean Aquarium is worth a visit, or you can dive into local history in some of the museums.

A big bonus is that there is both a caravan site and a motorhome parking lot right in the city center.

I Full disclosure:

Ålesund is my hometown, so I might be slightly partial.


There is several routes to take from Ålesund to Geiranger, but my favorite is driving over Strandafjellet to Hellesylt and taking the ferry in through the fjord. Seeing the length of the fjord from the water, gives you a sense of why Geiranger is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

You’ll see a few sporadic farms far up in the mountainside, where the locals used to pull up the rope ladders when the tax man came, and the kids were tied to a firm post with a rope while playing, so they wouldn't tumble over the cliff. If you visit early in the summer, the Seven Sisters waterfall should be in full grandeur and a sight to behold.

This village of Geiranger, nestled at the head of the fjord, is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and has been crowned the best travel destination in Scandinavia by Lonely Planet. Since 2005, the Geirangerfjord area has proudly held a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

Despite its popularity, Geiranger has managed to retain its charm. The village is home to a mere 250 permanent residents. During your visit, you'll have several camp sites to choose from. The tourist season here spans from May to early September, making it an ideal summer destination.

As you drive out of Geiranger towards Åndalsnes, you can look forward to driving two of the most iconic roads in Norway; the Eagle Road and Troll-ladder. Both filled with sharp hairpin turns, steep cliffs and beautiful scenery.

Valldal, Gudbrandsjuvet and Trollstigen

Between Geiranger and Åndalsnes you will drive up through the valley of Valldalen, also called the strawberry valley. It’s a lush and narrow valley with high mountains on both sides. If you’ve watched season four of the hit show Succession, you might recognize the landscape.

For those traveling with kids or that want to challenge themselves, Valldalen Aktivitetspark, a park with climbing courses and ziplines that is worth a visit.

Keep driving and you’ll soon arrive at the top of Trollstigen, a steep road with eleven hairpin bends. The road was opened in 1936, but has since been improved. There are several viewing platforms at the top, where you can take in Isterdalen and get a birds eye view of the road.


Known as the "Mountaineering Capital", Åndalsnes offers a perfect blend of serene fjords and jagged peaks. The famous Trollstigen road, with its hairpin turns, is an exhilarating drive, offering heart-stopping views at every corner. At its peak, the Trollstigen plateau offers magnificent vistas of the valley below.

For train enthusiasts, the Rauma Railway provides a scenic journey through picturesque landscapes, waterfalls, and mountains. Don't miss out on the Romsdalseggen hike, a challenging but rewarding experience, offering views of the Troll Wall – Europe's tallest vertical rock face. If you’re not up to the challenge of hiking the ridge, you can always take the new gondola up to the top and enjoy a nice meal while taking in the scenery.

Return journey

From Åndalesnes, you can follow the E6 over Dombås and through Gudbrandsdalen that will take you back towards Oslo and Sweden.

If you have more time to spend, I would suggest to take the ferry across Romsdalsfjorden, and find the iconic Atlantic Ocean Road. This magnificent piece of road twists and turns along the coastline between Molde and Kristiansund. If you have seen the latest James Bond movie, you might remember the car chase filmed on this road!

In conclusion, the Northwest Coast of Norway is a treasure trove of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the serene fjords to the towering mountains, every turn offers a new perspective and a fresh adventure. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, this region promises memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your caravan or camper, set your sights on the horizon, and embark on a journey through one of the world's most enchanting landscapes. Safe travels and may Norway's majestic beauty captivate your heart!

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