The National Tourist Routes in Norway

David John Smith for Norway Communicates.

Road trips can be legendary. Historic Route 66 in the United States is an excellent example. Starting in Chicago, trailing through the high Great Plains into the Southern Rockies and finally to the Pacific Ocean - Route 66 has been made eternal in film, book - and in the hearts of those who have made the trip.  Other road trips are legends in the making, such as the National Tourist Routes in Norway project.  

Norway has some the most majestic scenery on the planet. From the highest mountains to the deepest fjords, the landscape is something that must be experienced to be believed. Naturally, tourism here is one of the mains pillars of the economy with millions of tourist coming here each and every year.

The National Tourist Routes in Norway
In order to capitalize on the opportunity to showcase this country to these millions of visitors - as well as to the population of this country - the Norwegian Public Road Administration (NPRA) has set out on a journey to make a vision come true. The vision is to make the already beautiful road network in this country even more compelling – with a focus on unique, high quality experiences that balance the landscape with creative architectural projects.

To fulfill this dream, the Norwegian Public Road Authorities created the “National Tourist Routes in Norway”. This project, to be completed in full by the year 2020, will consist of 18 designated major tourist routes decorated with innovative and stimulating architecture integrated into pull-off picnic areas, scenic points, hotels, restaurants and other attractions. 

18 Road Trips to Remember
Stretching from north to south with mountains, fjords and the magnificent coastline as the backdrop for bold architectural experience, Norway speaks eloquently through the use of architecture and the natural environment. Reflecting strong traditional values and a love and respect for nature – travelers taking their own personal “Road Trip” along any of these 18 tourist routes will experience architectural wonders that clearly show this special relationship with the fjords, mountains, high plains and deep mysterious valleys.

As of 2010 there were a total of six road stretches that have been awarded the status of “National Tourist Routes in Norway”, all chosen through a careful process. By next year (2012), the scenic road wonders now found in Sognefjellet, Gamle Strynefjellsvegen, Hardanger, the northern coast of Helgeland, Lofoten and Rondane will be joined by the newest addition to the National Tourist Routes in Norway – Geiranger-Trollstigen.

A Long & Winding Road
The road from idea to development of the National Tourist Route project has been a long and winding one - and a fine example of national, regional and local cooperation. In 1997 a pilot project involving four original National Tourist Routes in Norway laid the foundation for Norwegian municipalities, counties and the tourist industry in proposing 52 potential tourist roads to be built. After careful evaluation, the 18 stretches of road were chosen in 2005.

Creativity and coordination has been the trademark of this process here in Norway. The National Tourist Routes in Norway project was commissioned by the Norwegian Parliament and has been organized by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and the Foundation for Design & Architecture (Norsk Form).

In developing the National Tourist Routes in Norway, the NPRA has worked with the foremost experts in field such as art and architecture, roads and traffic, communication and marketing as well as the tourism and business development sectors. A wide range of architects and designers from Norway as well as abroad has developed the architecture, and several sites already have received international recognition within the architecture profession.

Legends Begin Here
For all of the already-established routes – and the remainder of the National Tourist Routes in Norway in the development – there is one thing in common. Norwegian nature can be experienced easily and safely on modern roads where accommodation, restaurant and a wide range of attractions can be experienced with the use of modern architecture as a stimulating backdrop.

In addition, practical tourist needs have been taken into account with installation of car parks with capacity for summer traffic, pull-off and scenic points that allow travelers to fully appreciate their journey. This adds up to the potential for a vacation of a lifetime – to experience a road trip in the most beautiful areas of Norwegian nature, making exciting stops, and meeting the friendly local people along the way.

In effect, everything that you would want for your scenic – perhaps legendary – Road Trip through the scenic wonderland of Norway. For more information about the Norwegian Tourist Routes, about how you can make your Norwegian Road Trip come true, or how you can learn more about the background of this exciting project, see the website National Tourist Routes in Norway.



2010 Norway Communicates.