Norway got many spectacular mountain roads, but this road might be the most spectacular of them all. Trollstigen (stige means ladder in Norwegian) is situated north of the Geiranger fjord and just south of the small town Åndalsnes.
Trollstigen – The Troll’s path
Trollstigen is a National Tourist Road, and one of the most visited attractions in Norway. After driving up and enjoying the views from the top I can see why!
My drive started down in the valley driving next to a wild running river and making a stopp to greet the three headed Trollstigen-troll standing down by the Trollstigen Camping grounds.
A three headed troll at the beginning of Trollstigen
From here it’s just a short drive up to where the “ladder” actually starts. Many who come driving here are either heading towards the Geiranger fjord, often coming from Ålesund or Oslo. Or they’ve already been to Geiranger and are heading north. This is by no means the fast way to get around in these parts of Norway, but it’s certainly the most scenic way.
The Trollstigen road itself was opened back in 1936. Before that it was no more than a basic path for people going by foot or horse and carriage. The road is closed during the winter, and usually opens up mid-May, and then closes down at the first snowfall in the autumn.
Driving up Trollstigen
As I start climbing up the road in my old 1986 VW Camper Van I enjoy the views looking down into the valley, and it was such a thrilling experience to feel how I was climbing higher and higher up. There are 11 hairpin bends though, so you really have to focus and keep you eyes on the road and try your best to not get too distracted by the landscape.
Eventually as I get further up I drive by some spectacular waterfalls, and there are luckily places to pull over so I can get some decent pictures, and just stop and BREATHE, and to cool down the engine (and my nerves).
The road is quite narrow, but mostly there is no problem for two cars to pass by each other. The problem comes when you enter a curve and there is a meeting bus. My tip is to try and look up ahead, and if you see a bus coming, even far up the hillside, find a spot to pull over and wait for it to pass. Going next to a big tour bus on such a narrow road can be a bit too nerve wrecking for some. But I would say that with average driving skills you got what it takes to make it up to the top.
What a view! What a road!
After a breathtaking drive up to the top I park the van at the visitor center (public toilets available) and head over to the viewpoints. There are two of them and they really enhance the whole experience, and looking down it makes you wonder how you even managed to get up that road.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and I hope you’ll have a chance to do this drive some day. Also check out the YouTube-episode for a virtual tour to the top.
Ha det bra!
Your friend in Norway,
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