Famous around the world thanks to its appearances in magazines and TV commercials, the Atlantic Ocean Road is one of Norway’s most memorable road trips. Also known simply as the Atlantic Route, Norway’s five-mile stretch of Route 64 appears to leap and weave through islands and reefs as it connects the island of Averøy to the mainland .
As one of Norway’s 18 designated countries national scenic routesthe Atlantic Road has received substantial investment in improvements such as walkways and restrooms.
A technical feat at the service of the fishing industry
The deep waters off this stretch of the Norwegian coastline are rich in fish, but for decades the Norwegian fishing industry lacked the transport infrastructure necessary for substantial exports. Transport links, including rail, had been discussed for decades, but it was not until 1983 that work began on a road.
Construction workers on the six-year-old project faced 12 hurricane-force storms, but the effort was worth it. In 2005 the road was voted Norway’s greatest engineering achievement.
When considering scenic road trips, it’s rare to talk about the road itself. But while the Atlantic Road offers spectacular views, the road and especially the bridges are themselves works of beauty.
While the investment was justified to help the fishing industry, the Atlantic route is now a major tourist attraction for the northernmost part of Norway’s fjord region. Rather than a destination in itself, the route offers an ideal detour during a road trip around the fjords or between the cities of Bergen and Trondheim.
The most famous of the eight bridges along the route is the Storseisundet Bridge. The 850-foot-long cantilever bridge is the one most often featured in photographs because it appears to disappear into thin air from certain angles.
Things to do other than drive
Driving up the road only takes a few minutes, but it’s worth allowing an hour or two to stop at one of the rest stops to fully explore the area. On calm days, park and follow some of the trails around the islets to admire the road and its coastal setting from all angles.
Stop at the Eldhuset cafe to take advantage of the facilities and study maps of the hiking trails and major fishing spots in the area. The Atlantic Road is a popular spot for bird watching, so plan to stay a day if you’re a wildlife enthusiast.
Even recreational anglers are guaranteed a catch of Myrbærholmbrua bridge, which has an adapted pedestrian walkway perfect for launching from. There is a lot to see for qualified divers also.
As part of a trip from Kristiansund or Molde, the Atlantic Route was voted Norway’s best cycle route by readers of the outdoor lifestyle website ut.no in 2010. However, the trip does not cannot be described as family friendly due to the heavy weights. vehicles moving on the course.
Long-distance cyclists also discover the Atlantic Route as part of the spectacular 2,800-mile National Cycle Route 1, which runs along the Norwegian coast from Bergen to the North Cape.
Close to Atlantic Road
The closest urban area to the Atlantic Road is Kristiansund, a small coastal town that makes a good base for exploring the region. Along the way, you will discover another transportation gem. The 18,789-foot-long Atlantic Ocean Undersea Tunnel is one of the deepest in the world. Since 2020, the tunnel is free.
At the western end of the Atlantic Road, you’ll find a handful of quaint fishing villages to explore.
Once an important trading post on the road from Bergen to Trondheim, Bud is today best known for its views of the coast and the coastal fort of Ergan. Built by German occupiers during World War II, the fort is now restored as a War Memorial Museum.
The village is a photographer’s dream thanks to its colorful waterfront trading houses and colony of kittiwakes that call Bud home during birding season.