Roof of Norway


SOGNEFJELLET ROAD


Linking the country’s high central mountains with the famous west coast fjords, the 108km SOGNEFJELLET ROAD is one of Norway’s spectacular drives.  Known as the ROAD OVER THE ROOF OF NORWAY, it is one of the 18 National Tourist Routes that showcase the country’s exceptional natural wonders.  It traverses 108km of “fertile” valleys, “piercing” “lumbering” mountains an “deep” lakes, linking the country’s high central mountains with the famous west coast fjords and skirting the northern edge of JOTUNHEIMEN National Park along the way.


SOGNEFJELLET ROAD


Norway’s mountains, fjords and forests are known the world over, their splendour is certainly no secret.  But arguably, one of the most impressive ways to see them is by traversing the SOGNEFJELLET ROAD.

The road begins tamely enough, leaving the busy mountain town of LOM and running alongside BOVER RIVER.  Gentle valley views are peppered with occasional glimpses of the high snow peaks ahead.  Buried under metres of snow for much of the year, the road is only open between May and September.

Lake Gjende viewed from Besseggen ridge, Jotunheimen national park, Norway


With a name that means “HOME OF THE GIANTS”, 1,151sq.km, JOTUNHEIMEN National Park is home to more than 275 mountains that reach higher than 2,000m, including 2,469m-high GALDHOPIGGEN, the highest mountain in Northern Europe.  At 2,403m, STORE SKAGASTOLSTIND is Norway’s 3rd highest mountain and it dominates the view for a large part of the drive along Sognefjellet Road.

Located about 37km west of LOM, just off Sognefjellet Road, the KROSSBU TURISTSTASJON Mountain Lodge acts as the starting point for a wealth of varying walks through Jotunheimen Park.  From the lodge, the most frequent short walks is the 6km-return-hike to the foot of SMORSTABBREEN Glacier.  Longer walks include a 3-day-hike across the breadth of the park via the SKOGADALSBOEN & VETTISFOSSEN overnight huts.

STORE SKAGASTOLSTIND


Although Jotunheimen National Park lies south of the Arctic Circle, its altitude —- like mush of central Norway — is high enough that a typically Arctic climate prevails and Arctic wildlife and plants dominate.  Summer is very short (July to kid-August) and winter is long and hard.


KROSSBU TURISTSTASJON Mountain Lodge


One of the world’s most visually arresting points in the often-frozen Smorstabbreen Lake at the road’s highest point, about 49km west of Lom.  At 1,434-high SOGNEFJELLET is often considered the highest mountain road in Northern Europe.

On a sunny day, the lake is one of the country’s many incredible sights.  And, few things compare to seeing a beautiful sight from the very top, the very ROOF OF NORWAY.
——————– Stuart Butler (BBC)
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