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The Atlantic Ocean Road

Atlantic Ocean Road travel guide

Follow the route of the Atlantic Ocean Road out to the sea and discover why The Guardian rates this road between Kristiansund and Molde as one of the most scenic car journeys in the world.

Drive or ride the Atlantic Ocean Road in summer and experience the contrasts of the untamed wilds and weather of Western Norway and stunning bridge and road engineering. 

The Atlantic Ocean Road ('Atlanterhavsveien') winds its way across the shallows of Hustadsvika via small islands and skerries linked by low bridges that are exposed to some of the wildest weather in the world. The combination and contr of spectacular land formations and stunning engineering makes for a thrilling and memorable road trip.

The drive out into the sea offers stunning panoramas and a humbling experience in the face of Mother Nature. Many boats and seamen lost their lives in these treacherous Atlantic waters. But since then, this famous road that opened in 1989 has offered safe and memorable trips for people of all ages. 

Must-sees along the Atlantic Ocean Road

The original road is just 8.3 kilometres long and takes no more than 2-3 hours to drive. It all depends on how many stops you make along the way.

You can also enjoy the thrill of pedalling along the Atlantic Ocean Road, which was voted Norway’s most scenic cycling route in 2010. Although popular with cyclists, the route is not recommended for families in the peak season from May to September due to the heavier motorised traffic. 

View from the Atlantic RoadPHOTO: visitnorthwest.no

Eldhusøya

There are several designated stopping places along the route. Eldhusøya, the largest designated island stopping point along the Atlantic Ocean Road is ideally placed by the ocean-stretch of the road. In addition to the large carpark, this stop has a service station with a café offering meals made with local produce, a tourist information service and toilets. Before leaving, walk the island roundtrip along the raised grating that protects the local vegetation and visitors alike. Be amazed by the spectacular view, suspended above ground.

Askevågen

For a close encounter with the wilds of this location on your trip along the Atlantic Ocean Road, a stop at the Askevågen viewing platform is an absolute must. Whatever the weather, this spot offers a stunning 360-degree view of the ocean, the archipelago and the mountainous shore, shielded from the wind and sea spray by tinted glass.

Håholmen

Stop off along the Atlantic Ocean Road and island-hop by boat to Håholmen for its sheltered fishing hamlet and original preserved historic wharves, fishermen’s huts and bakery. This small island was a harbour, community and hive of industry for fishermen, merchants and seafarers from the 16th century. Dine on local fare by the seafront, or warm up by the fireplace in the cosy bakery-turned-snug. 

Accommodation along the Atlantic Ocean Road

For accommodation along the Atlantic Ocean Road, stay at either Molde or Kristiansund, for a comfortable stopover in scenic surroundings.

The waterfront outside Thon Hotel KristiansundATLANTIC OCEAN ROAD ACCOMMODATION: Thon Hotel Kristiansund

Extend your road trip for immersion in the full Western Norway experience.

To make the most of your Atlantic Ocean Road experience, take the opportunity to explore more of what the region has to offer. 

Southwest along the coast, 30 minutes’ drive from the end of the Atlantic Ocean Road, is the fishing hamlet of Bud, formerly the main trading station between Bergen and Trondheim. Enjoy a bite to eat and sample the locally caught seafood. Fancy fishing? There are many designated stops and coastal paths along the Atlantic Ocean Road that are ideal for angling.

Bud also boasts the Ergan Coastal Fort and museum of wartime history. The coastal fortress was part of the German occupying forces’ World War II defence system and holds great historical interest. The Molde area offers several opportunities for shopping for local produce and crafts

just an hour’s drive from the Atlantic Ocean Road. From Molde, make a day’s detour to visit Trollstigen and continue from there to our Ålesund, and its many attractions. Picturesque Ålesund is repeatedly voted one of the most beautiful towns in the world, and is well worth a visit if you are in Northwestern Norway.

One of Ålesund’s biggest attractions is the Aksla viewing point. From here, you can enjoy a view of the archipelago, town centre and the Sunnmøre Alps. To reach Aksla, either walk up the 418 steps from the park (Byparken) or drive to the top along Borgundveien/Fjelltunveien.

Ålesund, viewed from Aksla

Photo right-hand side: Steinar Melby / visitnorthwest.no