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Fjord Norway Road Trips
Fjord Norway, known for its breathtaking vistas, is a top destination for many nature lovers. Norwegian landscape is replete with mountains, pretty coastal towns, rocky islands. Fjords present no challenge to motorist – there are regular ferry crossings, bridges and some very long tunnels which all bring even remote parts of Norway within reach of road trippers. Read on for some trip suggestions for planning Fjord Norway road trips and tips for once you’re in Norway.
Bergen is a good starting point for Fjord Norway road trips. Hardangerfjord is to the south and Sognefjord to the north. In fact you can continue north up to the city of Ålesund, taking in Geirangerfjord. The limiting factor really is how much time you have to spend. If it’s just a day or two, consider one of the shorter Fjord Norway road trips. The Hardangerfjord is a short drive from Bergen and one of the best short Fjord Norway road trips to drive right the way around the Hardangerfjord. Don’t think because it’s a shorter trip, that you won’t get some variety – this is Norway! You will take in pretty villages (stop at Ulvik in the spring to see blossoming fruit trees), waterfalls (Vøringsfossen, Norway’s most famous waterfall is a short detour) and some impressive infrastructure (including tunnel networks with underground roundabouts and the 1.4 km (4,500 foot) Hardanger Bridge (Hardangerbrua)). If you have enough time, stopping off to do the hike to Trolltunga (Troll’s Tongue) is a must!
Longer Fjord Norway road trips might include a circuit of the Sognefjord, the soul of Fjord Norway. Though if you want to take in some Norwegian coast (as well as more fjords), try a coastal journey from Bergen to Ålesund. Add an extra couple of days in Ålesund (offering a varied selection of culture, arts and entertainment). From Ålesund you will want to do a trip to the Geriangerfjord.
The highlights of the coastal journey (one of the top Fjord Norway road trips) are the Sognefjord, Selje and Ålesund. When you cross the Sognefjord (ferry to Lavik) take a detour to Balestrand. Balestrand is a pretty Sognefjord village with Alphine Swiss-style houses. Selje, further north, back on the trip route, is another pretty village also in the Sogn of Fjordane county. From Selje you take a boat trip to the Monsatry Island – the earliest pilgrimage site in Norway, dating back to Viking times. Selje is laid back with Norwegian-class breathtaking landscapes close to the island. For another detour, en route from Selje to Ålesund, the Kråkenes lighthouse is awesome. Perched above the North Atlantic, coastal winds whip up huge waves, which can reach the height of the lighthouse some 42 metres above the sea!
Roads are well-maintained in Norway and signs are easy to follow. The speed limits are lower than in some other countries, so remember to drive at a safe speed. Road tolls are all automatic. The car hire company will take your credit or debit card details to set you up on the automated payment system. If you pass through a toll point, the chip in the car will activate (light beside road will flash) and you will be billed automatically. There is no need to stop. On ferries personnel will usually speak English and direct you which side of the ferry to park on. You can pay for crossings by card or cash. The operators usually take payment as you drive onto the ferry. Most ferry operators have apps so you can check timetables, though ferries are typically quite frequent. Download timetables here for Fjord1, Fjord Line and Norled.
For more Fjord Norway road trips, Fjord Norway have a number of suggestions. Download their Fjord Norway map to help plan your trip. There are also maps of 18 National Tourist routes across the whole of Norway. When planning your trip, check that any day trips running and also the roads are open over the period you plan to travel (especially if you are not travelling in teh summer).
The post picture was taken on Fylkesvei 55 (County Road 55) between Lavik and Balestrand. This was captured on a detour from the Bergen to Ålesund Coastal Journey route mentioned above.
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