Earlier this year, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May traveled to Norway to film what is called ‘The Grand Tour: A Scandi Flick’. This saw the famous trio travel the beautiful country in three rally-inspired cars as they discover what makes Norway such an incredible place.
The episode was released on the 16th of this month, so to celebrate the release, we took a closer look at the great Grand Tours available to us in Norway. we have consulted VisitNorway.com and the 18 road trips the country has to offer, narrowing them down to the top 5, collecting all the information we could about them.
So watch the video and article below and get in the mood for your own Grand Tour.
This is a 160 kilometer national tourist route through the Varanger Peninsula in the Norwegian county of Finnmark. It’s a coastal road that runs close to the northeastern border with Russia, between Varangerbotn and Hamningberg, parallel to the icy Barents Sea, and driving on it in one go takes about 3 hours to complete.
But you will want to stop and enjoy the Arctic climate and the area, as it has fresh fish and a mix of cultures thanks to trade and migration.
This road trip takes you through birch forests, swamps and jagged cliff landscapes, with some describing it as a journey to the end of the world thanks to its incredible lunar landscape.
Chances are you’ll see reindeer here, as well as numerous bird species not seen anywhere else in the world, such as kittiwakes and puffins. The road can be ridden all year round, but I would advise going between September and April to see the fabled Northern Lights.
Varanger is the kingdom of the Northern Lights and the best place to see the phenomenon on Earth. Fortunately, the area has the mildest winters in the Arctic Circle, so it’s not exactly a challenging trip.
Along the way, stop at the Steilneset Monument in Vardo, erected to commemorate the murder of 91 people after they were found guilty of witchcraft. You should also stop at Mount Domen, where witches used to have their encounters with Satan. Allegedly.
The Havøysund Route, still in County Finnmark, is one of the most scenic routes in the country. But with the road through barren, rocky landscapes and mountains and along the Arctic Ocean, this 85-mile route can be a dangerous yet exhilarating driving experience.
This road connects the two villages of Smørfjord and Havøysund and takes you through a beautiful and varied landscape, so don’t forget to charge your phone or camera before you go.
Those of us who’ve come here for a spirited ride will enjoy the twists, turns and elevation changes, but as it’s so close to the sea it’s not uncommon for storms to happen, so if you’re driving make sure your plans for the worst.
Be sure to stop in between the short drives to explore the wildlife, including sea eagles and reindeer, as well as the deep-sea fishing village of Havøysund where this route ends.
Merging this route with the Varanger route becomes one of the most breathtaking tours in the country.
This tourist trail can be found on the island of Senja in Northern Norway, exploring the 60-odd miles where the mountains meet the sea between Botnhamn and Gryllefjord. This is another beautiful road where you have to stop every minute to get another great view, but if you want the best view go to the Bergsbotn lookout.
Locals call it Arctic Norway at its best, with the route featuring rugged mountains, icy fjords, sandy beaches and a number of hiking trails for when you need a break from driving.
The road can be narrow, very narrow, but it’s exciting with lots of curves to keep you busy behind the wheel. And if you’re hungry, make a small detour to one of the small fishing villages along the way for some excellent food.
Another attraction is Tungeneset, where you will find the Devil’s Jaw peaks. It is a mountain range that you must have seen.
Senja is Norway’s second largest island and most visitors get there via ferry from Tromso to Finnsnes or Lysnes. Stop at Ersfjordstranda along the way to use the fanciest toilets you’ll ever see.
The Atlantic Road
The Atlantic Road is so incredible, it has caught the attention of international media and has become famous worldwide. It has dubbed things like “Norwegian construction of the century,” “the best road trip in the world,” and even “the best place in the world to mend a broken heart.”
The route stretches for 36 km between Kårvåg and Bud, taking you through beautiful nature and the most amazing engineering you will ever see as you cross a total of seven bridges. The Storseisundet Bridge, featured in James Bond: No Time To Die, is an epic feat of architecture and a must-drive for anyone who owns a set of wheels. It’s also the largest of the seven bridges and a hot spot for car ads, well worth bringing your camera with you.
Here the weather can get bad so watch out for storms as the bigger waves will sweep over the roads.
If you’re looking for a quick pit stop, head to the Askevågen lookout. It’s only small, but the photos you take in this location are the best of the trip.
This road made it onto our top road trip list. Check it out by clicking here!
This is one of the most interesting routes on this list as it is incredibly varied over its 260km length. From Lysefjorden to Røldal, this route is not for nervous drivers, the first has a mountain road with 27 hairpin bends reaching 600 meters above sea level.
Or, if you fancy something a little different, drive the world’s deepest undersea tunnel from the Ryfylke Tunnel near Stavanger, measuring 14.4km and 292m below sea level.
Other interesting stops include Svandalsfossen waterfall near the town of Sauda and the Allmannajuvet zinc mines in the same area. But you’ll definitely want to visit Pulpit Rock if you don’t mind a difficult hike through one of Norway’s wild yet beautiful environments.
There are a number of open lakes to relax in, and after about two hours of walking you will be 602 meters above sea level, looking down at the Lysefjord and taking in the rock itself hanging over a fjord. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss.
Let us know in the comments below which route you would choose!