NORWAY,  ROAD TRIP

Road trip in Norway : Trollstigen and Ålesund (stage 08)

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Here we are on the eighth leg of our incredible road trip, and what a leg it is! A memorable journey from Geiranger to Ålesund, along the winding Trollstigen road.

With its eleven hairpin bends and panoramic views over the valley, Trollstigen is a must on any trip to Norway. It offers breathtaking scenery.

Ålesund (our last stop before heading back to Oslo) is a coastal town rich in history and famous for its unique Art Nouveau architecture and breathtaking panoramic views. Ålesund is a hidden gem that has preserved its historic charm while offering a modern, dynamic experience.

Trollstigen
Stage 08 : Trollstigen and Ålesund

Read next:
Road trip in Norway: the south coast, Stavanger and Lysefjord (stage 01)
Norway road trip: from Suldal to Bergen (stage 02)
Things to see and do in Bergen, Norway (step 03)
Norway road trip: the southern part of the Sognefjord (stage 04)
Road trip in Norway: the northern part of the Sognefjord (stage 05)
Road trip in Norway: Sognefjellet and Jostedalsbreen (stage 06)
Norway road trip: Geirangerfjord (stage 07)

What to see and do between Geirangerfjord and Ålesund?

1 | Gudbrandsjuvet

After a few kilometers from Geirangerfjord and heading towards Ålesund on route 63 (with a ferry crossing), we made our first stop at Gudbrandsjuvet. This is an impressive gorge, 5 metres wide and 20-25 metres deep, carved out by the Valldøla River. With its rock formations sculpted by water and ice, Gudbrandsjuvet offers a fascinating glimpse into the power of nature. A state-of-the-art observation platform (easy to access) overlooks the gorge for a breathtaking view of this natural phenomenon. Allow 10-15 minutes for the walk.

Parking: a small free parking lot is located just outside the footbridge entrance.

2 | Trollstigen, the Troll Road

Get ready to discover the Trollstigen, or “Troll Ladder”, one of Norway’s most spectacular roads. Nestled in the heart of majestic mountains, this winding road takes you through breathtaking scenery, with breathtaking views of fjords, waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. With its eleven hairpin bends and 9% gradient, the Trollstigen offers an unforgettable driving experience.

…ON THE ROAD JUST BEFORE THE TROLLSTIGEN

Trollstigen

Before taking the road to Ålesund, be sure to stop at the viewpoint overlooking the Stigfossen waterfall and the various bends in the Trollstigen, an impressive natural spectacle. The waterfall is 320 metres high and plunges into a vertiginous precipice.

Note: Trollstigen is closed during the winter months, so plan your trip accordingly.

Parking: park in the large, free parking lot at the Visitor Center, then walk to the various viewpoints via footbridges and observatories.

VISITOR CENTER & GATEWAY

VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE

Trollstigen

CASCADE TAKEN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BENDS

ON THE ROAD TO ÅLESUND

3 | Andalsnes, the mountain capital

Åndalsnes is a picturesque town surrounded by high mountains and sharp peaks reaching up to 1800 meters. It’s a paradise for mountaineers and hikers… We stopped for less than an hour to explore the town.

Parking: we parked in the harbor-side lot. Make sure you pay for your parking, there are controls!

4 | Ålesund, capital of Art Nouveau

We continue our road trip to Ålesund (pronounced “O “lesund). It’s a picturesque town, often considered Norway’s most beautiful, located in the far northwest of the fjord region. It’s a real gem, known for its unique Art Nouveau architecture. Every street corner reveals buildings adorned with elaborate details, testimony to the rebirth of the city, which was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century. A reconstruction that followed a gigantic fire that destroyed almost the entire city.

Access by car Ålesund: access to the city by car is subject to a fee, and is granted automatically by reading the car’s license plate. We parked in one of Ålesund’s districts, in paid spaces.

THE MOUNT AKSLA LOOKOUT

For me, the climb to the Mont Aksla lookout is a must. Accessible on foot, by car or by small train, the summit offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding mountains.

Trollstigen

Mont Aksla parking lot: free parking is available, but spaces are limited.

You won’t need more than half a day to explore the city. It’s really small, so you’ll soon have done the trick even if you visit the Museum of Art Nouveau or climb to the lookout point on Mount Aksla.

GODOYA ISLAND

If you have a little time, you can take the road back to Molde to admire the famous bridge and drive to the islands of Valderøy, Giske and Godøya, just a few kilometers from the center of Ålesund. These islands are linked by numerous underwater tunnels. Don’t be surprised if you take a two-way tunnel that has only one lane! Godøya is our favorite island, with its photogenic lighthouse.


Where to stay in Ålesund?

We stayed in Ålesund for 2 nights in an apartment just outside the city center. Free parking is available in front of the apartment. The apartment is very functional, and the hosts are adorable and live right above it. The only drawback is that there are no windows in the living area, but for a 2-night stay, this was not a problem at all, especially as we were able to enjoy the magnificent view from the terrace!

Airbnb rental link: Appartement avec vue fantastique et parking gratuit

Trollstigen
View from the terrace

Thanks for reading!

Mylène

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