Around here, you meet lots of touring cyclists. Cars are temporarily abandoned in parking lots. The owners may have picked up fishing rods or diving suits and clambered down to the nearest islet. Some may have just walked over to the nearest bridge to catch the salty taste of the ocean air that floats in with the wind.
Dubbed by The Guardian newspaper as "the world’s most scenic drive", the Atlantic Ocean Road (Atlanterhavsveien) crosses eight bridges between the islets and skerries where the ocean washes against the northwestern shores of Norway. The road opened in 1989 and has since been expanded from Bud in Fræna Municipality to Karvåg on Averøy Island in Møre og Romsdal County.
THE BEAUTY – AND POWER – OF NATURE
Along the Atlantic Road, there are many opportunities to enjoy the coastal environment. You can rent equipment to go fishing or diving, join local fishermen for a trip out to sea, or find a place to stay overnight.
But nature also has its harsh side. The diving centers in Hustadvika tempt customers with the many shipwrecks on the seabed. During the six years it took to build the road, the workers weathered twelve hurricanes.
The close contact that visitors get with the sea here, along with the unique design of the bridges, has attracted attention well beyond The Guardian. This five-mile-long stretch of road is one of Norway’s national tourist routes and is listed as a cultural heritage site. It also ranks among the country’s most popular nature-oriented attractions. In fact, several major advertisements have even been filmed here.
The closest Hurtigruten port of call to the Atlantic Ocean Road is Molde.