Geiranger is a wonder amongst natural gems in Fiord Norway, showcasing its majestic snow-covered mountaintops, beautiful and wild waterfalls, lush mountainsides and a deep blue pearly fiord — yes, it is like a fairytale! In 2005 the Geiranger fiord was appointed a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Partake in a fiord-sightseeing and experience all of this. The Geiranger fiord is recognized as the world’s most beautiful fiord. It meanders through regal mountains, sparkling waterfalls and intense and unspoiled green vegetation. Impressions are overwhelming whether seen from winding mountain roads or from the deck of a cruise ship.
You can also pursue the path leading through several hairpin bends towards Dalsnibba, Flydalsjuvet and Ørnesvingen. This is where you will find a spectacular view over one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
In Geiranger people are well versed in different languages and they are helpful, because they share one common goal: to ensure that your stay is positive and rich in memories. You are more than welcome here!
Trollstigen (The Troll’s ladder) links Valldal in Sunnmøre with Åndalsnes in Romsdalen. This is one of Norway’s largest and most visited tourist attractions, with its narrow, winding and very steep road and bridges.
To drive Trollstigen can be a scary experience. The narrow winding road snakes its way up the almost vertical mountainside overlooked by mighty mountains called the King, the Bishop and the Queen. The views are breathtaking, but maybe not suited for those with a fear of heights. The Ister waterfall thunders its way down the mountains under an equally robust stone bridge supporting the road and on into the fertile Isterdalen (Ister valley). Trollstigen was built in 1935 and is a fine monument to building and engineering skills.
This is a traditional tourist road in the dramatic surroundings of Western Norway, naturally decorated with tall mountains, deep fiords and lush valleys. The historic Trollstigen road has 11 curling bends and was opened the summer of 1936. Today, the Trollstigen plateau is modernized with an impressive architectonic style imprinted in buildings, paths and sightseeing platforms.
Trollveggen (The Troll’s wall) is Europe’s tallest vertical mountain drop. It is situated in Romsdal, in the municipality of Rauma.
From the bottom of the valley and to the top measures nearly 1800 metres. 1000 of these are more or less vertical, and in some places the wall «hangs» 50 metres outwards. Romsdalshornet peaks at 1555 metres on the opposite side of Trollveggen.
Trollveggen is a cherished site for climbers, and it was ascended for the first time in 1965 by a Norwegian and English team of climbers. This is also a site for base jumping, even though it is illegal. You might spot people in wingsuits plummeting downwards while you drive through Trollstigen!
Ålesund is just one hour by car from Valldal and is a great day trip for those who wish to combine nature and town life. It functions as a commercial centre for the entire district of Sunnmøre, and is the largest city between Bergen and Trondheim. Ålesund also boasts the world’s largest export of “klippfisk” (dried and salted cod).
The charming town of Ålesund is beautifully situated by and on the sea; a cluster of small islands connected by roads and bridges. Most of the town centre is built in Jugend style, with a multitude of copper domes and spires, and fantastic stucco decoration, to be seen on most buildings. A good tip is therefore to look upwards when walking in town (mind the traffic though!). The town is full of life with a wide selection of restaurants and clubs. There are also many shopping malls with hundreds of shops to choose from. Ålesund is known for its fish export, and you can buy fresh seafood from the fishing harbour in the centre.
You can read more about Ålesund here.
Since 1998 Atlanterhavsparken (The Atlantic park) has been a showcase of aquatic life along the Norwegian coast and the Atlantic Ocean, being one of North-Europe’s largest and most unique salt water aquariums.
The aquarium is an architectonic gem, situated amidst the spectacular nature of Tueneset, 3 kilometres away from the city centre of Ålesund. With a direct view of the vast ocean, the thriving fishing ground and the deep Norwegian fiords, you can observe, experience and learn about marine life, as it appears in nature. Make sure you check out their new attraction Selbukta, the home of the harbour seals that sports an underwater observatory and don’t forget to say hello to the penguins!
More information here: Atlanterhavsparken.
Atlanterhavsvegen (the Atlantic road) winds its way over bridges, peaks and troughs from islet to islet on the tip of the fiord’s mouth between Bud and Kristiansund.
You can easily park your car in any of the many lay-bys, and walk a few metres to the nicest smooth, coastal rock slopes and fishing spots. A few stone’s throws westward there is a fairway leading over to the feared Hustadvika, where there are countless shipwrecks in the deep. Many wander here when the autumn storms hit the shore — it is a spectacle that sometimes washes over the road! The road workers experienced twelve hurricanes while building Atlanterhavsvegen, until it was completed in 1989. Before that, around year 1900, there were about 120 hardy people who lived on these windswept islets. They made a living by fishing and drying fish.
A visit to the mountain pasture Herdalssetra is a charming excursion for the whole family. 32 farm cabins lie in a cluster in the Herdal valley and the old “seter” traditions are kept alive.
For over 300 years the seter folk have produced brown and white cheese and today they also produce genuine goat’s milk caramel. Goats and other animals graze freely and are friendly and inquisitive. To get to Herdalssetra; drive to Linge, take the ferry to Eidsdal and drive along the fjord to Norddal. The drive alone up the meandering toll road to Herdalssetra is worth the trip!
More information about Herdalssetra here.
Gudbrandsjuvet, half way between Trollstigen and Valldal centre, is an impressive system of whirlpools flanking a five meter wide and twenty metre deep gorge.
According to an old legend from around 1500 A.D., a man named Gudbrand jumped the gorge with his stolen bride. To avoid such dangerous leaps there is now a network of fenced walkways from where you can safely take in the spectacle. Today, Gudbrandsjuvet is one of the most visited attractions in Valldal and the Golden Route.
Come to Tafjord if you want to visit the mountain pasture Muldalssetra, the Zakarias dam or Tafjord Skredsenter (Tafjord avalanche centre). If you love mountain hiking as well, Tafjord is the right place for you!
Muldalen and Muldalssetra
The long hanging valley of Muldalen culminates 370 metres above sea level in Tafjord. The Muldal waterfall is an impressive sight as it flows over the edge and drops 180 metres. It is worth seeing from the viewpoint beneath.
Muldal is also known for a dramatic story, when midwife Jensine set out on a strenuous journey from Eidsdal to Muldal in order to save a mother and her unborn child. Even though she was close to giving up a few times, the story reveals that she eventually made it and saved mother and child. Her trip was a 30 kilometres walk over several mountains and ravines in extreme winter conditions.
Muldal is a great family outing, where you can follow the sloping road upwards through 13 bends that ascend 370 metres. However, you must be careful on the edges of the Muldal plateau. There have been severe accidents where people have not respected the boundaries and safety signs. The stream is also regulated, which means that the water output may increase without warning. It takes about one hour to get there from the parking lot at Muldal.
While at Muldalen you can take an easy and relatively flat walk towards Muldalssetra/Tafjordsetra. The mountain pastures lie on a small lookout point between massive boulders. From here you can see the valley of Raudnukdalen with its red hills of olivine rock. You get to experience the most beautiful parts of Muldalen on this journey.
The Zakarias dam is situated at the southern end of the Zakarias lake (450-375 metres above sea water) in the municipality of Norddal. The concrete dam was built during 1966-69 and is 96 metres tall. It is part of the hydro-electric complex Tafjord 4, as the water acts as the main reservoir for the power station. The Zakarias lake holds 70 million m³ of water, and is the largest of the 13 reservoirs in the Tafjord mountains. Lower-Rødal with its many farmsteads lies submerged according to the water regulations.
There is a private road (built and owned by Tafjord Kraft) that leads from Tafjord and all the way up to the Zakarias dam and further onwards to Upper-Rødal. The Zakarias dam was awarded the architectural prize Betongtavla in 1976.
This is a sure hit for the whole family. Here you will find exhibitions and films depicting how geology, nature and energy interacts with each other. Slide down their pipe trench and become part of the electricity supply for the Tafjord power stations. Learn about the devastating Tafjord avalanche disaster. Make your own experiment, and find out how much electricity you can produce by using your own body. Refreshments and snacks are available on-site.
Read more here.