Romsdalen valley is unique. The wild nature with Rauma river, the cultural landscape and the vertical mountains on both sides of the valley is a major tourist attraction and one of the reasons why people visit the Romsdalsfjord area.
On either side of the Rauma river, the vertical mountains tower almost 1,800 meters above the narrow valley. These are mountains that also tower over Norway’s alpine history.
Visit Northwest is the official destination company for the Romsdalsfjord, Romsdal and Nordmøre area.
A story from Peru in 1988. I was sitting at a bar talking to an American. The young man had traveled the world for four years and was on his way back to the States. The parents believed that all young people needed such a journey, a formative journey. I asked him what he remembered best from his adventure. Something that had stucked with him.
There were three places he would never forget, he said. The first was a lagoon on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Then there was Nepal. The third was as follows:
– I took the night train from Oslo, to a small place called Andalsness. I didn’t sleep that much on the train and that was fortunate. At end of the journey, the train went down a narrow valley called Romsdalen. The sun was coming up and set color on the mountains. I’ve never seen anything like it. Maybe the most beautiful place I’ve ever been…
The young Mr. Grøvdal becamed moved when he replied … “That’s where I’m born” ❤
Roger Grøvdal – from Åndalsnes
Romsdalen – Cultural landscape, salmon river and vertical mountains
Romsdalen valley is unique. The wild nature with Rauma river, the cultural landscape and the vertical mountains on both sides of the valley are a major tourist attraction and one of the reasons why people visit Romsdal and the Romsdalsfjord. The entire Romsdalen valley is wild and beautiful, and very varied. One of the wildest areas in Romsdalen is where the rivers Rauma and Ulvåa meet. Further down in Romsdalen, between Trolltindene and Romsdalshorn, nature is if possible even wilder, but in a completely different way.
Sagelva Vasskraftsenter is located at Stuguflåten in Lesja, at the top of Romsdalen on the border between Lesja and Rauma municipalities. The hydropower center was built and restored by local patriots. There are guided tours and demonstrations of the hydroelectric plant in the weekends in the summer, see season and opening times on the Sagelva website.
On either side of the Rauma river, the vertical mountains tower almost 1,800 meters above the narrow valley. These are mountains that also tower over Norway’s alpine history. Trollveggen is probably one of the most famous mountains in Norway, and probably the most famous Norwegian mountain in the world. At least among the climbers. Trollveggen is Europe’s highest vertical cliff. From the bottom of Romsdalen up to the top of Trollveggen is almost 1,800 metres. Of this, more than 1,000 meters are vertical with more than 50 meters overhang.
At the end of the 19th century, the salmon rivers also became an important source of secondary income for those who owned the rivers. That was when the English tourists discovered Norway, and the Salmon Lords became a well-known phenomenon. It was people from the English upper classes that travelled to Norway and the fjords to fish for Atlantic Salmons in the rivers. Rauma river, which runs through the Romsdalen Valley and past Trollveggen, was one of the rivers which the salmon lords liked. Today, Elveguiden offers salmon fishing in 26 fishing spots in the Rauma river.
Rauma railway starts at Dombås and ends 114 kilometers further west, at Åndalsnes down by the Romsdalsfjord. The railway line that runs through the unique cultural landscape in Lesja and down through the beautiful Romsdalen valley is one of Europe’s finest and most beautiful railway lines, with a magnificent, adventurous and wild nature.
At Verma, the Rauma Line has a loop of 275 meter radius in a tunnel before it crosses Kylling bridge. The beautiful stone bridge is one of the most photographed and famous railway bridges in Norway and perhaps also in other parts of the world.
Romsdalen – Loved by Harry Potter and Tom Cruise
This wonderful valley has attracted tourists since the dawn of time, and today film companies are queuing up to use Romsdalen as a film backdrop. Harry Potter and Mission Impossible are the two most famous films, and Tom Cruise has put his love in the Western fjords and the Romsdalen valley.
Trollveggen can most easily be experienced from the Trollveggen Visitor Centre by the road E136 in Romsdalen Valley, about 10 kilometers from Åndalsnes in the direction of Dombås. There you will get a panoramic view of Trollveggen and the Trolltindene mountains from the viewing platform. The visitor centre is open from June to August.
The video below is from a drive down Romsdalen, from the Gravdefossen waterfall near Flatmark to Trollveggen Camping, which is located below Trollveggen. The last part is a short detour, along the old road that runs from the exit at Romsdalshorn along the Rauma river with Trollveggen in the background.
Rauma Railway is one of Norway’s most beautiful and spectacular railway lines. It starts at Dombås and ends 114 kilometers further west, at Åndalsnes down by the Romsdalsfjord. The area which the Rauma Line passes through are some of Norway’s most famous tourist attractions. Trollveggen, Romsdalshorn, Kylling bridge and Rauma River are some of them.
The Norwegian Parliament approved the building of Rauma Railway between Dombås and Åndalsnes on July 9th, 1908. The construction work started on January 24th 1912 at Jora Bridge and Kylling Bridge. Four work teams took part. In October same year, another work team started at Åndalsnes, which now was decided to be the end station on Rauma Railway.
On June 17th 1912, a detailed plan and an estimate for the complete section of the line was presented by the railway administration. In 1915, the government presented a plan and estimate for Rauma Railway. On July 29th same year, this plan was approved by the Norwegian parliament. The construction work had then been ongoing for 3.5 years, in a moderate scale.
From Åndalsnes, drive eight kilometers up the Romsdalen Valley to the base of Trollveggen and Romsdalshorn. From here there are great views to the surrounding mountains, to the valley and to Rauma River. Trollveggen is the tallest vertical Rock Face in Europe (more than 1000 meters vertical cliff and 50 meters overhang). The highest peaks at Trollveggen rage almost 1800 meters above the Romsdalen Valley. Trollveggen can be seen from Trollveggen Visitor Centre down in the Romsdalen Valley.
If you want a panoramic view of Trollveggen and the lower part of Romsdalen, the mountain hikes to Mt Litlefjellet and Romsdalseggen are perfect in this respect. The picture below shows the panoramic view from Litlefjellet. Both of these hikes start from Vengedalen in Isfjorden.
If you were into new routes and big walls in the 1960s you would have known about a monster in Norway about which ominous stories circulated that can be summed up in one word: ‘unclimbable’.
The Troll Wall (Trollveggen) in Romsdal was also known as ‘the Vertical Mile’, and described as ‘the largest overhanging wall in Europe’. It was reputed to be smooth and holdless for 5,000 feet, and impossible without the aid of bolts. It also faces north and is as far north as Alaska’s Mt McKinley. Quite a proposition!
Strange then that none of the ‘big boys’ went for it. Instead a team from a small Peak District club called The Rimmon decided it was worth a go and in July 1965 despite everyone’s doubts and some horrendous weather they actually climbed it.
In Norway, salmon fishing in the rivers has been important to people since the dawn of time. At the end of the 19th century, the salmon rivers also became an important source of secondary income for those who owned the rivers. That was when the English tourists discovered Norway, and the Salmon Lords became a well-known phenomenon. It was people from the English upper classes that travelled to Norway and the fjords to fish for Atlantic Salmons in the rivers.
The river Rauma, which runs through the Romsdalen Valley and past the Troll Wall, was one of the rivers which the salmon lords liked. Today, Elveguiden offers salmon fishing in 26 fishing spots in the Rauma river, several of the spots are located just below the Troll Wall.
The Troll Wall can be experienced from Trollveggen Visitor Centre by the road E136 in Romsdalen Valley, about 10 kilometers from Åndalsnes in the direction of Dombås. There you will get a panoramic view of the Troll Wall and the Trolltindene mountains from the viewing platform. There is a cafeteria with a panoramic view of the Troll Wall in addition to a souvenir shop. There is also an auditorium where the dramatic story of the Troll Wall is shown on film.The visitor centre is open from June to August. Below you can see some pictures of Trollveggen. The pictures were taken from different places, both in and above Romsdalen. Trollveggen is truly a “photogenic” mountain, from all angles and directions.
Trollveggen Camping is located at the foot of the Troll Wall, only separated by Rauma River. On one side you look straight up to the Troll Wall. If you turn around 180 degrees, you look straight up to Mt Romsdalshorn. There is hardly any more spectacular place to have a campsite than where Trollveggen Camping is located.
Norsk Tindesenter is a visitor centre at Åndalsnes, in the heart of Romsdalen Valley. The centre accommodates the Norwegian Mountaineering Museum, Norway’s highest indoor climbing wall, a restaurant and a gift shop. The centre is starting point for the spectacular climbing experience Romsdalsstigen Via Ferrata and deliver tailored guiding in the Romsdal mountains.
Åndalsnes is the natural center of Romsdal. This is because Åndalsnes is the hub for roads and railways and lies in the middle of many of the most spectacular sights and activities in the area around the Romsdalsfjord.
Åndalsnes is a perfect place to stay if you want to experience Trollstigen, Trollveggen, Rauma Railway, Romsdalsgondolen, Rampestreken viewpoint and the Romsdalseggen hike. Geiranger and the Geirangerfjord are well-known tourist gems located nearby. The road there, Geiranger – Trollstigen National Tourist Route, is an attraction in itself.
You can reach Åndalsnes by car, about six hours from Oslo and four hours from Trondheim. Or you can take the Rauma Railway down the Romsdalen valley to the end station at the center of Åndalsnes. The nearest airport is in Molde, from there it is about an hour by bus to Åndalsnes.
From snowy mountains to beautiful coastline of islands and reefs. Experience all this in one day due to the short distance from mountains to coast. Ona Island and Lighthouse, The Atlantic Road and Midsundtrappene are attractions facing the Atlantic Ocean. Trollstigen, The Troll Wall, Romsdalseggen, Rampestreken and Litlefjellet are great places to visit in the inner part of the Romsdalsfjord, where the fjord meets the spectacular and alpine Romsdal mountains. Travel green to Åndalsnes with Rauma Railway, a wild, beautiful and unique experience regardless of season. From Åndalsnes Railway Station, you can walk straight from the train and over to the Romsdal Gondola that takes you up to the city-mountain Mt Nesaksla and Eggen Restaurant. From there you have a fantastic view towards Isfjorden, down to the Romsdalsfjord and up towards the Romsdalen Valley which you have just experienced from the train ride along the Rauma Railway. The Romsdalsfjord is located in the county of Møre og Romsdal, north in Western Norway.
Hotels and Accommodation at Åndalsnes and Romsdal
Grand Hotel at Åndalsnes
Frich´s Ekspress Hotel Åndalsnes
Aak Hotel in Romsdalen by Åndalsnes
Åndalsnes Vandrerhjem at Setnes at Veblungsnes
Åndalsnes Camping by Rauma River at Åndalsnes
Mjelva Camping at Mjelva at Åndalsnes
Soggebru Camping at Sogge at Åndalsnes
Trollstigen Resort at Sogge at Åndalsnes
Trollstigen Gjestegård og Camping in Isterdalen below Trollstigen
Trollveggen Camping by the Troll Wall in Romsdalen
Accommodation in Isfjorden
Åndalsnes and Romsdal – Useful Links
Online Booking Romsdalseggen Bus
Romsdal.com – Hiking Guide to the mointains in Romsdal
Norsk Tindesenter at Åndalsnes
Fjords.com – Åndalsnes in Romsdal
Fjords.com – Trollstigen in Romsdal
Fjords.com – The Romsdalsfjord
Fjords.com – Romsdalseggen
Fjords.com – Romsdal Gondola
Fjords.com – Rauma Railway