>>>Glide like a bird across the Geiranger Fjord

Glide like a bird across the Geiranger Fjord

A tarmac snake slithers between mountains and waterfalls with views over the fjords. 106 kilometres of tight curves and impossibly steep gradients. Put your seatbelt on: we’re off to Norway.
T
he steepest stretch of the Geiranger-Trollstigen National Tourist Route is known as Ørnesvingen, the Eagle Road. The reward for drivers who dare to emulate these birds and negotiate its 11 hairpin turns is a stunning 620-metre-high view of Geiranger Fjord and the De Syv Søstrene (The Seven Sisters) Waterfall.
The route covers a total of 106 kilometres from Lake Langvatnet in Strynefjell to the Sogge Bridge in Romsdal. Another viewpoint where it’s worth stopping off at is Gudbrandsjuvet, an undulating platform over the whirlpools and ravines of Gudbrandsjuvet Gorge. You can take rest like the birds in treetops at The Juvet Landscape Hotel, which is hidden away amongst the trees. Some of its rooms are even designed like a wooden bird sanctuary.
Some cars crossing the stone bridge
Foto: Jarle Wæhler / Statens vegvesen

Danger: Trolls

That’s not us talking. A triangular traffic sign featuring the silhouette of a troll shows this warning. This sign is found close to the car park in Romsdal, at the beginning of the Trolls’ Path.

Another one of the most famous stretches of Route 63 is Trollstigen, “the Trolls’ Path”. Don’t be fooled by its name. If films such as ‘The Lord of the Rings’ made you believe that these beings live in dark, depressing lands, Norway will make you change your mind. In Trollstigen the only wild aspect is the landscape that covers the side of the mountain. The four viewpoints located close to the Visitors Centre allow you to fully appreciate its true beauty.
The ascent there is by no means easy. Although the road is well tarmacked, in order to get to the summit in Stigrora, 858 metres above sea level, you have to negotiate eleven 180-degree curves and a nine percent gradient. As with all adventures, the risk has its rewards. In this case it is admiring the Köngen (the King), Dronningen (the Queen) and Bispen (the Bishop) mountains. The route also brushes past the Stigfossen Waterfall and crosses a stone bridge with the river beneath your tyres. At the summit, an iron viewpoint leans towards the precipice, with a view over the spectacular Isterdalen Valley.
The route passes by the Stigfossen Waterfall
Foto: Jarle Wæhler / Statens vegvesen
To ascend the Trolls’ Path, you need to pay greater attention to the weather conditions than the fear of these mythological Nordic beings. The best months to travel the route are from May to October. Please don’t attempt it in autumn or winter: the route is impassable for cars at this time due to snow, ice and floods. Perhaps the trolls have another means of transport!

Related articles

The Nordic secret to happiness

Kick off your pursuit of happiness by learning the meaning of ‘hygge,’ ‘lagom’ and ‘koselig.’ The ‘hakuna matata’ for Denmark,...

Have a winter adventure in Lofoten

There are islands that are made for summer, but that's not the case with Norway. The cold brings out the...

Oslo: cheap things to do in the most expensive city

Oslo, a frequent high-flyer on the lists of the most expensive European capitals, has a generous and affordable soul: its...

The rhythm of the Troll’s Ladder

The photographer Alejandro Villanueva has managed to capture the design, architecture and landscape of the Trollstigen Visitor Center through time-lapse...