The national tourist routes are unique car routes through the highlights of the Norwegian countryside. Northern Norway has seven of the country's national tourist routes. That says quite a bit about the coastal landscape here!

Excellent tourist routes in Norway

A trip along the fjords, coasts, mountains and waterfalls, where time stands still and the present and the past become as one. These are journeys that embrace the Norwegian countryside and offer one of the world's most amazing encounters with nature. The tourist routes promise a relaxed pace and an alternative to all the usual fuss and bother. The routes have interesting spots allocated for taking a break and where there is parking available. These spots are particularly well-suited for taking a walk or some pictures of the views. A desire to be at one with the surroundings will always enhance your experience of the scenery here.

Activity trails

Along the tourist routes there are places to fish or to hike up waterfalls and mountains. There are also services on offer, places to spend the night, cultural events and much more. You can get information about the tourist routes and trails en route; there are information boards and guides along the way. Guides can be contacted via the local tourist office and at tourist service centres. These national tourist routes are marked with the tourist route symbol.

Helgeland coast — the fertile coast

At 416 km, the Helgeland coast is Norway's longest national tourist route, stretching from Holm in Bindal to Godøystraumen near Bodø. At its southernmost point, a myriad of islands surround Torghatten, the mountain pierced by a hole. The eider colonies and coastal communities of the Vega islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Seven Sisters mountain range presides over the medieval churches, farms and island communities of Midt-Helgeland. In the north, the islands give way to the craggy Saltfjell massif and Norway's second largest glacier, Svartisen. Saltstraumen is the world's strongest tidal current, and whirlpools and maelstroms can be seen four times a day.

Island-hopping by bike is a favourite activity along this stretch of coast. Other popular pursuits along this route include kayaking, hiking and mountaintop excursions, and freshwater and deep-sea fishing. More information can be found on the following websites. 

Lofoten — follow the wall of peaks to the sea

Lofoten's 197-km national tourist route runs from Raftsundet to Å. The jagged 1000-metre high peaks, islands linked by stunning bridges, and the wide, fertile valley hidden away behind the peaks on Vestvågøy make the Lofoten landscape one of the most beautiful in the world. Its colourful cultural heritage can be seen in the Viking house at Borg and the scenic fishing villages, grand houses of the villages' owners and the "rorbu" fishermen's cottages that are dotted all over. Art has also discovered Lofoten, and its galleries, outdoor sculptures and artistic graffiti on garage doors all take their inspiration from the dramatic landscape. In summer, you can cycle on quiet back roads, canoe around the archipelago and climb the jagged peaks. Winter is the time for fishing in the Lofoten Sea, surfing on the western shore and mountaintop tours in the powder snow. 

Andøya — where the sea goes ashore

Andøya's tourist route is 58 km long, stretching from Åkneskrysset to Andenes. It takes you through a landscape subject to the full force of the North Sea, yet the fishing village of Bleik shows how man can live alongside nature. There are also wide marshes of cloudberries and peat, the midnight sun and the Northern Lights, bird cliffs with puffins and diving gannets, and whale safaris where you can watch the mighty sperm whale. 

Island of Senja

The road on the outermost shore of the island threads its way through dramatic scenery, up and down hills, in and out of fjords and through the fingers of mountains that shoot out into the imperious Norwegian Sea. The island's rich marine life still provides the livelihood for the inhabitants of the island. Senja has two sides, a green and hospitable interior and a harsh weather-beaten shoreline. Why then are some of the most impressive settlements on the outermost shore? Well, simply because that is where the fishing is best. 

National Tourist Routes website

Havøysund

The road to Havøysund runs through desolate, bare mountains along the shoreline, through wild and barren scenery, to the furthermost northern point. Here the alluring Arctic light ranges from violet in winter to the gold in summer that floods the sea under the midnight sun.

National Tourist Routes website

Varanger

Where the sky meets the sea in the furthermost north-eastern part of Norway, the road follows the coast of the icy Barents Sea. The road on the Varanger Peninsula begins in the soft birch forests and marshlands of Varangerbotn, and terminates in a lunar landscape of rugged cliffs at the end of the world.