March 15, 2024 | Allison Robertson

The Atlantic Road in Norway


Atlantic Road, Norway

The Atlantic Road—also known as the Norwegian Scenic Route—in Norway is a unique stretch of road that takes you right up to the ocean’s edge.

It is said to be one of the world’s most beautiful drives, and has an intense side of danger that also makes it one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

atlantic road split image

Location

The Atlantic Road connects Averøy with the mainland via a series of small islands and islets with a total of eight bridges over 5.2 miles.

Atlantic Road NorwayAndrei Armiagov, Shutterstock

The Design

The road has a roller-coaster feel with curvy bridges that dip and arch over and around the massive ocean waves.

Atlantic Road in NorwayIgor Plotnikov, Shutterstock

Creation

The Atlantic Road was started in 1983 and first opened in 1989. Construction was a major challenge as the workers experienced 12 horrific hurricanes during the project.

Atlantic Road in NorwayDmitry Tkachenko Photo, Shutterstock

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Purpose

The Atlantic Road was built to improve transportation between the islands and the Norwegian mainland. However, it instantly became a popular tourist attraction drawing in visitors from all over the globe.

Atlantic road in norwayIvan Tsvetkov, Shutterstock

Honorary Acknowledgments

In 2005, the Atlantic Road, Atlanterhavsvegen, was named as the building of the 20th century for its sheer size and creativity.

It is also considered an engineering marvel, considering its challenging construction process.

Aerial view of the atlantic ocean road in norwayBarnabas Davoti, Pexels

The Famous Atlantic Road Bridge

The Storseisundet Bridge is a drastically-curved bridge along the road, and it the longest of the eight bridges.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayKy0n Cheng, Flickr

The Storseisundet Bridge

This bridge is often referred to as “the road to nowhere” due to the unique angle and design of the road appearing to drop off into the sea.

It is also the biggest tourist hot spot along the entire road.

Landscape Photo of Storseisundet Bridge on  The Atlantic Road in NorwayErnst Vikne, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Length & Time to Travel

At 8.3 kilometers (5.2 miles) long, the Atlantic Road in Norway takes about 10-20 minutes to drive, depending on speed.

If you plan on stopping for views—which you should—it will take you much longer.

Norway roadGiedrius Akelis, Shutterstock

Cost to Travel

Travel along the Atlantic Road is free. Tolls were previously collected, however within ten years of its construction, the tolls paid off the road’s construction costs—making it now toll-free since 1999.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayTha Dah Baw, Pexels

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Places to Stay

There are no hotels or restaurants along the Atlantic Road, but there are many nearby towns and villages that offer beautiful coastal experiences.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayTatiana Bashinskaya, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Scenery

The scenic beauty is the top reason tourists make the drive. The Atlantic Road offers breathtaking views of the Norwegian coastline, the North Atlantic Ocean, and the surrounding fjords and mountains.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayClementp.fr, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Fishing

There are several amazing fishing spots along the Atlantic Road. Popular with anglers, the entire road allows you to fish right on the edge of the sea, far from big stretches of land.

The Myrbærholmbrua bridge as a designated pedestrian walkway for fishing.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayFabio Ligger, Flickr

Bird Watching

Avid bird watchers visit the Atlantic Road to spot sea eagles, Atlantic puffins, gulls and a variety of other sea birds.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayZairon, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Cycling & Walking

Vehicles are not needed to experience the Atlantic Road. Many tourists take in the fresh ocean air while riding or walking the route.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayJohannes Hulsch, Flickr

Rest-Stops

There are several rest-stops and viewpoints along the Atlantic Road, with the biggest of these being on the island of Eldhusoya, which has a service building, café, bathroom facilities and a mobile home parking lot.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road near Eldhusoya in NorwayOlaf Meister, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Weather Conditions

The Atlantic Road is particularly famous for its exposure to the elements, including storms and heavy waves.

During bad storms the road will be closed to traffic for safety reasons.

Atlantic Road in NorwayBenjamin Zocholl, Shutterstock

Opening Dates

The road is typically open all year round, aside from during extreme weather conditions. Conditions are said to be challenging in winter months.

Atlantic Ocean Road in Norwaypavlanecasova.com, Shutterstock

Traffic Reality

One of the downsides to the Atlantic Road is the traffic. Although these photographs give the illusion of a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, in reality this road is quite popular and often experiences heavy traffic.

Atlantic road in norwayAndrei Armiagov, Shutterstock

Dangerous Conditions

Traveling this road in dangerous conditions is obviously advised against. However, unexpected weather can occur while you’re already on route, such as wind.

It is advised to stay in your car during heavy winds (and other bad weather conditions) to avoid any accidents involving people chasing their belongings over the edge.

A stormy day at the atlantic ocean road between molde and kristiansund.Benjamin Zocholl, Shutterstock

Vehicle Accidents

Considering the dramatic dips and curves of the Atlantic Road, there are very few accidents reported each year.

The road sees roughly 15-20 accidents, usually as a result of speed and distracted driving.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayKjell Jøran Hansen, Flickr

Tourism

As previously mentioned, the Atlantic Road is a top tourist attraction in Norway, bringing in around 250,000 visitors each year.

Aerial Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayAndrei Armiagov, Shutterstock

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Tourism: Rest Stops

The scenic rest stops are the top choice for tourists, making it busier than you might expect. The hot spots for photography and fishing are often said to be “jam packed”, especially during good weather.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayTomsickova Tatyana, Shutterstock

Tourist Fatality

There is only one reported tourist accident, involving a fatality. Apparently, an Israeli tourist fell into the water while standing next to its edge and was quickly carried off by the current.

Hiking path near Atlantic Ocean Road or the Atlantic Road (Atlanterhavsveien), NorwayA. Aleksandravicius, Shutterstock

Norway Roads

For eight years in a row, Norway was listed as the European country with the lowest number of road traffic fatalities per million residents.

Even with this dangerous and scary road, Norway continues to top the charts in terms of safety.

Landscape Photo of The Atlantic Road in NorwayNick from Bristol, UK, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

The Atlantic Road in Norway stands as both one of the most beautiful drives in the world, and one of the most dangerous drives in the world—and it fits both titles.

With stunning, edge-of-the-world views along terrifying, steep twists and turns over the treacherous ocean waters, the Atlantic Road is a popular tourist attraction drawing in visitors from all over the globe.

Aerial drone shot of the amazing and world famous Atlantic Road in NorwayDmitry Tkachenko Photo, Shutterstock


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