As one of two northernmost scenic drives in Norway, Varanger National Tourist Route attracts intrepid tourists seeking out some of Norway’s wildest terra firma and coastal edges. If you’re looking for solitude, this is the place where companions are in the form of myriad bird species and the midnight sun is seen at its most breathtaking. Varanger is one of the longer routes, spanning almost 160 kilometers between the city of Varangerbotn and Hamningberg, an abandoned fishing village in Finnmark county. This most northeasterly road brings sky and sea into view and follows the shore toward the icy and treacherous Brents Sea where rich bogs and dense birch woodlands lead passengers to the lunar vista of craggy rock faces—it feels like the world ends here. The culture and people are fascinating being so near Russia, where Sami and Finnish traditions collide with Norwegian heritage.
Anyone short on time but big on sightseeing will love the short but sweet 12 kilometer drive along Norway’s Atlantic Road where natural vistas and abrupt turns create extraordinary road trips. Also based in Fjord Norway, the Atlantic Road careens by the urban center of Kristiansund and picturesque Molde, the two largest city centers in the area. The drive crosses note-worthy bridges and features Hustadvika Bay, next to a perilous ocean spot famed for dramatic, unearthly storms. Outside stormy season, stop and scan the water for seals and whales swimming near the shore. Though short in length, this route leads through some interesting coastal towns ideal for a bite to eat, a look around, and perhaps an overnight rest. Just 30 minutes separates Kristiansund from the Atlantic Ocean Tunnel, which after passing, links up with Averoy island where another breathtaking scene unfolds on the west side.
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