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Destination: the best views and scenic drives in Norway; and how to see most of them

In this exposition, I undertake the formidable task of guiding you through the best and most enchanting and majestic views and the most scenic drives in Norway. Having personally seen each one of them, arranging them in any hierarchical order proves an insurmountable challenge, for they each radiate a distinct and splendid in themselves. However, I assure you that subsequent to perusing this discourse, you shall not depart empty-handed. I have stipulated the sole condition that these destinations must be accessible by electric car, excluding those strenuous 5-hour hikes, as I do not know about the physical endurance of my esteemed readers.

Norwegian Mountain Landscape

  • For the most breathtaking panoramas, the Norwegian Scenic Roads are an imperative. Should you seek an itinerary or a compendium, it is advised to adhere to these routes in structuring the remainder of your sojourn in Norway. The exceptional attribute of these routes lies in their varied character, encompassing rugged coastlines, captivating deep fjords, and picturesque forests alongside lower-lying realms. Scattered along these routes are numerous meticulously marked halts, often conceived by Norwegian architects, offering essential amenities such as lavatories and seating. Without exception, these stops warrant a pause, presenting either a splendid view or a historical landmark. Despite protracted contemplation, I refrain from declaring a definitive preference, yet allow me to share my top 3: Varanger, Rondane, and Aurlandsfjellet. As previously articulated, selecting a favorite proves an almost insurmountable endeavor.

  • Breheimen and its environs have left an indelible imprint on my consciousness. Breheimen, an offshoot of the majestic Jostedalsbreen, once extended through a prolonged valley, now adorned with diminutive birch trees. From the easily accessible visitor center, an awe-inspiring vista unfolds toward the imposing glacier formations. Reveling in a cup of coffee and a quintessential Norwegian waffle with jam, this vista is destined to linger in one's memory.

  • Stegastien, an architecturally remarkable structure, offers a particularly breathtaking panorama overlooking the Aurlandsfjorden. Predominantly constructed of wood, the edifice culminates with a glass panel at its terminus, serving as a vantage point over the abyss. I have encamped in its proximity on several occasions, bearing witness to the sunset casting its brilliance upon this landscape—a veritable spectacle. The journey thereto is equally awe-inspiring, traversing barren high mountains adorned with sporadic snowfields before gradually descending towards Aurlandsfjorden. Exquisite.

  • Snøhetta, a legendary architectural firm renowned on the global stage for prestigious projects, has etched its mark in the Norwegian wilderness. This exquisite pavilion, unveiled in 2011, serves the singular purpose of allowing visitors a tranquil appreciation of the resplendent natural surroundings. While the structure itself is a masterpiece, the surrounding milieu unquestionably steals the limelight. Furthermore, the prospect of encountering a procession of reindeer during the approximately 20-minute walk from the parking area is quite high.

  • Another noteworthy vantage point, of an entirely divergent nature, is the subaqueous locale of restaurant UNDER in Lindesnes. As the nomenclature suggests, this establishment is predominantly submerged. Having dinner here entails relishing a breathtaking view through towering glass walls, affording a captivating insight into the aquatic tableau below. Beyond the unique dining experience, the culinary offerings are of superlative quality. Though I have not personally partaken in the repast (I'm not rich), should you find yourself in Norway, reserving a table well in advance is advised.

  • The coastline of Sørlandet, especially between Grimstad and Risør, stands out as one of the most picturesque and captivating coastal stretches I have ever encountered. Century-old wooden dwellings, weathered fishing vessels, and around each bend, a distinct perspective on a tranquil bay. The small hamlets lining the coastline exude a postcard-perfect charm. I particularly endorse a halt in Brekkestø for a serving of ice cream or cake. Alternatively, traverse the B roads through Grimstad, Lillesand, Arendal, Tvedestrand, and Risør.

  • In conclusion, I wholeheartedly endorse the city of Ålesund in its entirety. The singular allure lies in its proximity to the sea with a bustling harbor, while simultaneously affording a breathtaking view of an Alpine landscape from the city and its surrounding islands. The snow-capped summits at times lend an almost surreal, photoshopped quality to the panorama, yet it is undeniably authentic. On my initial visit, I occasionally found myself pinching to ascertain the reality of what lay before me. Truly unparalleled in the global landscape, this city also boasts a selection of superb hotels, as I wrote about previously.

As previously noted, the task of delineating the most extraordinary viewpoints could undoubtedly span 30 pages, given the spectacular nature of the entire country (in my humble opinion). However, presuming time constraints on your part in crafting a meticulous itinerary, I reiterate the earnest recommendation to utilize the Norwegian Scenic Roads as a foundational guide for structuring your journey. Easily accessible by car, boasting impeccable facilities (with lavatories adhering to a stringent cleaning regimen), these routes unequivocally offer the optimum value for your invested time.


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