Norway: 680-mile highway journey from Stavanger to Trondheim in 2 days

I knew it could be a nutty exploit driving 1,100-kilometres (round 684 miles) in two days alongside Norway‘s coastal highway. So why did I do it?

Effectively, it wasn’t for the climate. It drizzled more often than not with the solar taking a sneaky tantalising peak by means of the clouds on occasion. The weather teased proper by means of to sunset at 11pm – a late sundown is a a quirk of Norway’s daylight cycle through the summer time months.

It wasn’t a boozy journey both as a humble pint of beer knocks you again £12 and with simply over 5 million individuals in an area as giant because the UK, the nightlife was not precisely heaving.

And neglect in regards to the romance of negotiating winding roads at pace – the 80km/h (50 miles) restrict is strictly adhered to and with none particular high quality vary, a rushing high quality might empty the financial institution coffers.

But there are some compelling causes: the roads are totally excellent – a positive signal of the expense and a focus paid to the infrastructure – the surroundings of fjords, waterfalls, mountains and lavish greenery is outstanding and with six road-ferry combo experiences peppered all through the highway journey from Stavanger to Trondheim, you get to see totally different views of the surroundings from the water.

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Ferry Crossing

Ferry crossing

So, I  picked up my 2-wheel drive Mazda CX-Three in Stavanger the night earlier than – a automobile which for a mildly nervous driver like myself – appeared strong sufficient to steer me by means of some hair-pin strewn mountain roads and slim tunnels.

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The lake in Stavanger with birds

The lake in Stavanger with birds

White clapper board homes in Stavanger

White clapper board houses

With a lot daylight I explored Stavanger that first night. It’s a good-looking city with a fairly harbour, wavy streets lined with white clapperboard houses. There’s a fairly lake too replete with swans, seagulls, geese and a few loitering sparrows that broke out right into a frenzy on the mere trace of any bread being thrown their means.

Learn additionally: 48 hours in Stavanger, Norway

Within the morning I awoke with the birds round 5am for an early 6am begin for the primary leg of the journey to Loen. I braved the drizzle and received into the automobile with a trusty breakfast pack in hand, which I realized was a highly-prized provision since there was not a single eatery alongside the way in which apart from on the odd petrol station and probably at campervan resorts.

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Early morning ferryGetting on the ferry

The ferry crossings had been common and environment friendly and my early begin meant having the ability to keep away from the deluge of campervans and inevitable queues that hit the highway barely later within the day.

The roads had been extremely easy and I handed miles and miles of rocky or lavish emerald inexperienced terrain and mountains rising into low hanging clouds. It was haunting but lovely abruptly.

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At Etne it was a sluggish crawl at simply 40kms with a highway climbing as much as at a 10 per cent incline taking in a mountain tunnel solely to seek out that on the different aspect the elevation had dropped. My ears popped a number of occasions and earlier than they might unpop there was one other tunnel and yet one more which lastly deposited me right into a valley the place a smog had moved in. And simply as I adjusted to gentle on the finish of 1 tunnel one other appeared. This was changing into exhausting work.

Langfoss and Latefoss waterfalls

Then as simply as a child’s smile disarms you, the dramatic Langfoss waterfall, the fifth-highest waterfall in Norway did the identical. I stumbled on it on E134 by the ÅkrafjordIt and will really feel the wind created by its unimaginable power ruffle my hair as its large quantity of water 2,000ft fell into the Akrafjorden.

Langfoss waterfall

Langfoss waterfall

Additional on route 13 at Odda, the dual falls of Latefoss waterfall are an intriguing spectacle with two falls dropping 165m concurrently right into a fast stream. Think about the noise and the spray. The realm is ripe for exploring, and mountain climbing with loads of trails. If solely I’d had extra time.

However there was nonetheless heaps extra highway and tunnels to cowl. And although I wasn’t a fan of those wonderful feats of engineering, the Laerdal tunnel was altogether a distinct factor altogether.

Laerdal tunnel

The Laerdal tunnel connects Lærdal and Aurland in Sogn og Fjordaneis. It’s a staggering 24.5 kilometres (round 15 miles) and is among the world’s longest highway tunnels. It noticed 2.5 million cubic metres of rock being excavated costing $125 million over the fives years it took to construct.

It might have been a particularly monotonous drive and to cease the inevitable dropping off on the wheel they constructed three large, brightly-lit chambers into the tunnel which appeared each six kilometres. It’s also the primary tunnel on this planet first to be outfitted with an air therapy plant which means drivers actually can breathe straightforward.

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Laerdale tunnel, Norway

Laerdale tunnel

Lights in Laerdale tunnel

Hoven Skylift

Lastly, after 10 hours I arrived in Loen. Positive I used to be drained but it surely was solely 4pm and the newly opened Hoven Skylift at Nordfjord was winking at me. A surprisingly steady cable automobile transported me from the fjord to the highest of Mt. Hoven (1011 m) in solely 5 minutes, and is among the steepest cable vehicles on this planet. The views are after all spectacular. Right here’s a photograph I took from the Hoven restaurant on the high.

View over the fjord from Hove

View over the fjord from Hoven

The subsequent day I needed to get up earlier than the birds at 4am figuring out that I had an 11-hour drive to navigate. And I wished to catch the four.45am ferry in order to not get caught in campervan chaos.

 UNESCO protected Geirangerfjord port

UNESCO protected Geirangerfjord port the place cruise ships deposit 2,000 passengers

At this a part of the route I additionally needed to think about that the cruise ships land on the really lovely UNESCO protected Geirangerfjord port and as soon as that occurs, 2,000 or so vacationers will beat a path, similar to me, to Trollstigen for the trip of their life. I needed to keep forward.

Troll Path

The serpentine highway that snakes its means down Trollstigen mountain which is a part of the Interdalen valley is beautiful. After I say beautiful, what I truly imply is coronary heart thumping, head spinning and nerve shattering. And extra that that, there are waterfalls galore, streams all over the place and if that wasn’t sufficient water, it was raining. And foggy. And sensational.

Troll Road

Troll Highway

To calm nerves I finished on the Troll cafe, the place they bought – you guessed it something troll associated.

However there was extra.

Atlanterhavsvegen – The Atlantic Freeway

Just a little extra driving and I received to the beautiful Atlantic Freeway. It connects Averøy with the mainland through a sequence of small islands and islets spanned by a number of viaducts and eight bridges over 8274 meters (simply over 5 miles).

Driving over the spectacular Atlantic Bridge

Driving over the spectacular Atlantic Bridge

And shortly it was a giant dip of 1,000ft under the Atlantic by means of one of many world’s deepest sea tunnels. I needed to hand over 60kr (£6) for the privilege of one other ear popping tunnel journey and the dips and rises had been measurable.

A number of miles later and I’m within the metropolis of Trondheim situated on the Trondheim Fjord. It’s a beautiful harbour city with a formidable rose-hued cathedral and vibrant clapperboard homes on stilts that stand on the harbour water.

Clapperboard homes on the water in Trondheim Norway

Clapperboard houses on the water

The town has loads of bars and eating places and by now I felt a nicely deserved a reassuringly costly beer approaching.

You may additionally take pleasure in studying:

  • Norway: Exploring Oslo’s artwork scene
  • Norway: A tour of Harstad (and the Northern Lights)
  • Northern Lights in Norway: the best gentle present on Earth

Reality File

FLY: Direct flight from Luton to Stavanger. The return flight from Trondheim to Oslo then a connecting flight again to Luton.

STAY: In Stavanger and Trondheim I stayed within the Radisson Blu In Leon it was Resort Alexandra

EAT: Dinner was taken on the motels and breakfast was a pack taken from the resort. Eateries on route had been exhausting to seek out.

CAR: The 2WD, Mazda CX-Three 120PS 2.Zero-litre petrol begins the vary at £18,495. It was nimble, comfy but sturdy. It comes with a Sat Nav good for this sort of highway journey.

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