The Atlantic Road zigzags across low bridges that jut out over the Atlantic Ocean, linking the islands between Molde and Kristiansund in the western fjords.
The eight kilometer long road is voted as the construction of the century in Norway, and is one of ten National Tourist Routes in the Norwegian Fjords.
The Atlantic Road
The Atlantic Road is part of a 36-kilometre long National Tourist Route between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde, the two main population centres in the county of Møre og Romsdal. The eight kilometer long Atlantic Road runs from Kårvåg to Vevang, but the National Tourist Route continues along the Atlantic Coast to the fishing village of Bud. This is a beautiful road set in great surroundings with activities like fishing, diving, cycling, surfing and ocean safari which can all be done in the area.
There are several panoramic view- and rest areas with facilities in bold architectural forms along the Atlantic Road. Here you can experience both nature and architecture in great interaction. Some of the viewing platforms are also popular with anglers and photographers.
If you visit the area and drive the Atlantic Road, we recommend you to drive the road both ways. You should also stop if you have time, and experience and explore the beautiful coastal nature. Especially at the top of Storseisundbrua Bridge, the view is great and different in both directions. But there are so many other places along the road that are great to see. This part of Norway is great in beautiful weather, but is even better when the winter storms are at their most extreme.
A total of eight bridges are part of the road between Kårvåg and Vevang, the bridges traverses several small islands and reefs. The largest bridge and the most famous one is the 260 meter long Storseisundbrua Bridge.
There is also a parking place with a Service Building and Eldhuset Café at Eldhusøya Island close to Storseisundbrua Bridge. The Service Building and Café is open during the summer season, the toilet is open all year round. An elevated trail takes you around the island, from the trail there is great view to the Atlantic Road, to Storseisundbrua Bridge and towards the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can explore what the Atlantic Coast have to offer.
The Atlantic Coast between Kristiansund and Bud
Kristiansund is the third largest city in Møre og Romsdal, and is situated on four islands reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean, the coast and the many isles is dominating the landscape in the Kristiansund area.
The fishing village of Grip, 14 kilometres north-west of Kristiansund, is an important tourist destination for visitors in Kristiansund. In the summer season there are daily boat departures from the city to the small island. Grip Stave Church is believed to be built around year 1300, and is located on Grip Island.
From Kristiansund, there is only a short distance to the Atlantic Road. The small island of Håholmen is worth a visit and here you can try sailing a Viking Ship. Håholmen is an old fishing community with 28 preserved buildings and can be reached by boat from the Geitøya Island just beside the Atlantic Road.
From Vevang, the south east end of the Atlantic Road, you continue towards Farstad and the fishing village of Bud. We recommend you to drive detours on local roads toward the coast to be able to see more of the area and the coastal landscape. The Farstadstranda Beach at Farstad is a popular goal for surfers. From Bud you can walk along Kyststien (the coastal path), a four kilometre long path towards the open ocean.
In the summer there are also daily boat departures from Harøysund to the old fishing village of Bjørnsund. Bjørnsund consists of four islands and in 1900 there were up to 600 inhabitants on the islands, though today Bjørnsund is an abandoned fishing village that is used solely for recreation.
From Bud to Molde, the Molde Panorama and Ona Lighthouse
From Bud drive 54 kilometres towards Molde, the second largest city in Møre og Romsdal. Molde is known as the town of roses, for Molde international Jazz Festival and the Molde Panorama.
Drive to the viewpoint Varden, 407 metres above sea level, and take in the spectacular Molde panoramic view towards the Romsdalsfjord and the surrounding 222 snowcapped mountains.
Hike to Rørsethornet (729 mas) at Otrøya in the outer part of the Romsdalsfjord. Drive from Molde to Mordalsvågen, where you take the ferry over to the Otrøya Island. Continue driving towards Midsund, approximately 10 minutes drive to the parking place at Rakvåg on the north side of the island. On this hike, you walk on the longest stairway in Norway, 2200 steps (2 kilometre long stairway) in stone made by Sherpas from Nepal. Fantastic view towards the Atlantic Coast and the Atlantic Ocean.
In the summer, there are several boat departures from Molde to Hjertøya, a small island in the Romsdalsfjord. This is a great area for recreation and for swimming in the fjord. A small café is open on Saturdays and Sundays and a Fisheries Museum is located on the island.
Visit the Romsdal Museum in the centre of Molde. This is a Folk Museum where you can see more than 50 old buildings originating from the Romsdal region.
Take a day excursion to Ona Lighthouse. Drive westwards from Molde and take the ferry to the island of Aukra. From Småge, in the west on Aukra, there are several daily boat departures to Ona and other islands. Ona is a traditional fishing village with a permanent population of about 12. This small island community has its own summer-restaurant, several places to stay and two pottery workshops.
Things to see and do by the Atlantic Road
Strømsholmen Sjøsportssenter is located at Vevang by the Atlantic Road. They offer Guided Diving-, Fishing-, Cycling- and Kayaking Trips during the summer. The Atlantic Coast offers some of the best diving conditions in Norway, with crystal clear water, rich marine life and numerous ship wrecks in a short distance from the Atlantic Road.
Explore the mystical Marble Caves at Bergtatt at Eide between Molde and the Atlantic Road. The caves are a result of mining operations since 1938. Today, the area where the caves are located function as a concert venue, as well as a tourist attraction in itself. A boat ride into the caves offers visitors a unique and stunning experience. You can visit Bergtatt during the summer season.
To visit Grip Island, you need to go one hour by boat from Kristiansund. Grip Stave Church is believed to be built around year 1300 AD, and is located on Grip Island on the Atlantic Coast, 14 kilometer north west of Kristiansund in Møre og Romsdal. The Stave Church is placed on the highest point in the middle of the island, and it is protected from the storms by the surrounding houses. The “Gripruta Boat” goes from the Pier of Kristiansund to Grip Island during summer. Read more about Stave Churches in the Fjords…
Kvernes Stave Church is one of two Stave Churches that also have exterior wooden pillars to support and to stiffen the building structure. It was until recently believed that Kvernes Stave Church was built around year 1300, but after dating new samples of the timber, the church is now dated to year 1633 AD. It is 18 kilometer to drive from Kårvåg by the Atlantic Road to Kvernes Stave Church.
HÅHOLMEN SEA COTTAGES is a Classic Norway Hotel at Håholmen Island on the Atlantic Coast. It is an original cluster of houses on the island, and you will enjoy yourself here. The cottages consists of 25 buildings, including the main building, hotel rooms, a pub, a restaurant, and a museum. The guests roam between the buildings here, just like they did in a living fishermen’s community in the olden days. It is inspiring to experience the coastal culture and nature this way. Håholmen is an old fishing community and can be reached by boat from Geitøya Island just beside the Atlantic Road.