One of the world’s most picturesque roads, the Atlantic Ocean Road may be included on any list of the top European road trips. Built on different islands, the construction was a technical feat. Indeed eight bridges connect these islands. The construction was quite challenging because of the storms and even today the road can be covered by waves during strong wind.
Where is the Atlantic Ocean Road?
The road is in Norway. It is situated on the Atlantic coastline. The road is a section of road 64 and it connects the cities of Eide and Averøy in the Møre og Romsdal county (located in the center-west of the country).
The name of the road in Norwegian is Atlanterhavsveien, which is literally the translation of Atlantic road. It is a National Tourist Route of Norway.
The shape of the bridge (the one in the picture) can remind you of the famous Japanese Eshima Ohashi Bridge. It also gives you the optical illusion of a vertiginous rise. You can read our post about that bridge here.
The road was elected as the Norwegian construction of the century in September 2005 because of the difficulties and technical feat of the construction.
You can locate the drive on the map below:
Enlarge the map
Facts about the Atlantic Ocean Road
General information about the route:
The route is a section of the national road 64 in Hustadvika of Norway (Atlantic coast). This is an asphalted road and it is 8,3 kilometers (5.15 miles) long.
The road connects several inhabited islands by eight bridges, the most known one is the Storseisundet Bridge.
This bridge is a famous photo spot because of the optical illusion it gives. In fact, when you are driving on the Storseisundet bridge you can’t see the other way off the road because of the strength curve. It is the highest bridge of the journey. Some pedestrian facilities are made there in order to allow to take pictures and see the bridge with total security.
Here are the characteristics of the most known six bridges of that route:
- Little Lauvholmen bridge: 115 meters (377 ft) long and 7 meters (22 ft) above sea level.
- Store Lauvøysund bridge: 52 meters (170 ft) long and 3 meters (9 ft) above sea level.
- Geitøysund bridge: 52 meters (170 fr) long and 6 meters (19 ft) above sea level.
- Storseisundet bridge (the most famous): 260 meters (853 ft) long and 23 meters (75 ft) above sea level.
- Hulvågen bridge: 293 meters (961 ft) long and 4 meters (13 ft) meters above sea level.
- Vevangstraumen bridge: 19 meters (62 ft) long and 10 meters (32 ft) above sea level.
The Atlantic Ocean Road is one the most visited place in Norway, indeed in 2009, it was the 9th most visited spot with more than 250 000 visitors during the high season (during spring and summer).
Many journalists declare the road as one of the best drives in the world, as the British newspaper The Guardian for example.
The road is also often used by the automotive industry for commercial spots or car reviews.
It is so popular and recognized in Norway that the road was declared the construction of the century in 2005 and a part of the cultural heritage of Norway in 2009.
Like other coastal roads, for example, Chapman’s Peak in South Africa or the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland it is a very scenic road!
What to do in the area
On this relatively short stretch of road, there are a lot of things to enjoy and discover, we listed some of them for you:
- For beginners and experienced fishermen, you can fish directly from the sidewalks along the road in Myrbærholmbrua
- There are several viewpoints along the road, one of them: Kjeska is the perfect spot for sunset lovers and is just a nice place to relax with a magnificent view.
- If you are up for a hike, Eldhusøya is a very easy walking path with great views of the area. Geitøya has also a short walk up the hills and down to the ocean which is very nice.
- Art lovers should head to Hågå. There, a local artist (Jan Freuchen) installed his marble sculptures along the coastal trail in Vevang.
- When the weather is calm, you can see seals and whales.
- This road section is part of the almost 130 kilometers (80 miles) long road 64 that follows the coast. If you have the opportunity you should definitely drive this itinerary. It is filled with dope landscapes made by mountains, fjords, lakes, and other beautiful gifts of nature.
History of the route.
This way was mentioned for the first time at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, the Norwegians had the crazy idea to build a railway that would connect different coastal towns. Unfortunately, this idea never came true because of the technical difficulties presented by the project at that time.
In the 1970s Norwegian authorities started planning the construction of a road at that place. However, the building started only almost fifteen years later in 1983.
The construction took more time than it was initially planned. In fact, 12 storms have interrupted the building of the road that was finally opened in July 1989.
It cost 122 million Norwegian Krone (about 13 million dollars us or 11 million euros) for the Norwegian government to build this road. In order to finance these expenses, a toll fee was collected for the 10 first years of the exploitation (until June 1999). This toll allowed the Norwegian government to reimburse 25% of the construction costs. Primary they thought that the toll will stay for 15 years but local traffic and mostly touristic traffic were bigger than initially planned and the 25% were collected more rapidly. Even locals were strong against the toll system, that’s why the government removed it as soon as they collected the planned amount.
Another 25% was collected by the establishment of a job creation fund and the other 50% by the usual road construction budget.
How to get to the Atlantic Ocean Road?
In order to access the drive you have to get to the city of Vervang. You can go there by taking road number 64 or 663.
If you come from the other way, you have to go to Karvag, then take also road 64 or road number FV247.
You can easily find the road and the itinerary on the map below:
A video of the road:
The best way to feel the route online is obviously by watching some videos, so we selected a superb 4K video on YouTube shot on a drone:
Is the Atlantic Ocean road open?
The road is always open. It can be closed from time to time by local authorities in case of strong wind storms or for example for traffic regulation when too many tourists drive there.
The drive is not particularly dangerous but you should always be careful, particularly during strong wind. Indeed, you could lose control of your car or waves can partially cover you (with salt water, that is not the best way to wash your car).
If you are looking for a breathtaking drive in Norway, the Atlantic Road is definitely for you. You will drive through the Norwegian fjords and beautiful nature on bridges that look like a real roller coaster!
This road is a big improvement for the local economy (for example for the transportation of the fishing industry products). But it is also a dope place to ride by car, bike, bicycle, or even take a walk (there is a touristic tour going there).
Discover our other post about roads in Europe: click here or see our interactive road map!