For the Norwegians, it is the most beautiful road in the world - which is why they have chosen their Atlantic Road as the “Norwegian construction of the century”. Located west of Kristiansund, it meanders across the sea and archipelago with almost acrobatic grace, forming a unique optical alliance with the storm-tested coast. We had to experience this sensational road - by bike and motorhome.
The Stena Line glides relaxed through the archipelago of Gothenburg. Screaming seagulls accompany the ferry. Our HYMER B-Class MasterLine, which is almost eight meters long and three meters high, rolls easily into its designated place in the hull. After a relaxing evening with an excellent buffet and a good night's sleep, we stand on deck and enjoy the morning. If you start a tour with the ferry, there is a holiday feeling right from the start. As if a switch was flipped, relaxation starts spontaneously as soon as you check in. We grab our bags and move into the cabins. Ready to go.
We decided to travel via Gothenburg because we want to take a look at the Swedish west coast. On the classic route via Oslo, on the other hand, you save around three hours of driving time, but you miss Sweden and its extremely remarkable landscape.
A single picture of the Atlantic Road - in Norwegian called "Atlanterhavsveien" - was enough to trigger this wish to travel in us. It was the photo of a lonely road in the middle of the sea, surrounded by thundering waves that steadfastly defied the forces of nature. What impressive symbolism! Just a little later we load the motorhome and head north. We also have e-trekking and mountain bikes, because we want to experience this stretch of coast on- and off-road by bike.
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The entrance to the port of Gothenburg is spectacular: The Stena Line fits under the Älvsborgbron bridge only very tightly. In no time we are “on the road” headed for Kristiansund. We have planned eleven hours of travel time for the roughly 850 kilometers to the Atlantic coast, which we will exceed somewhat due to the worthwhile stopovers.
Describing the trip in the HYMER as comfortable, would be an understatement. We feel like little kings walking their castle. We proudly greet oncoming motorhomes with a majestic hand.
The space available in the 780 floor plan of the B-Class MasterLine is gigantic: there are four of us on the road with two photographers, two drivers and we never really get in each other's way. There are four seats, just as many spacious sleeping spaces, a large refrigerator, a three-burner stove, lots of storage space and even a 32-inch flat-screen TV.
The Norwegian love for nature is impressive, almost everything takes place outdoors. A real paradise for outdoor fans!
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It is just the deceleration that we enjoy. We cruise easily and effortlessly - with the maximum allowed 80 km / h in Norway. Despite the considerable vehicle dimensions, handling is surprisingly pleasant. The motorhome with the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis cowl is extremely easy to drive and, as we calculated later, consumed around 14 liters. In view of our enormous luggage, we agree that this consumption is absolutely fine.
Fortunately, the streets are not particularly crowded, so you can go on carefree, past Oslo, the beautiful Lillehammer and through the Dovre National Park. Here we are at about 1,000 meters of altitude. There is some snow on the side, which gives us an idea of what it might look like here in winter. In Oppdal we turn left and after another three hours driving we finally reach Kristiansund. Now all we have to do is through the Atlanterhav tunnel, which is subject to a fee, and finally we are at the destination of our trip - the Atlantic Road.
Like young children, we hang on the window panes and discuss whether the view on the left or right is more spectacular. The road stretches across the Atlantic with eight bridges over a total length of about eight kilometers. Anxious drivers may not necessarily break into cheers at the partly steep and narrow-looking bridge, but the drive over is an indescribable experience. The Atlantic Ocean shows its calm side today, but the constantly changing view is phenomenal. As if you were floating over the sea, we roll through one of the most impressive landscapes in the world. The sky paints the perfect background with colorful cloud pictures.
When we unload the bikes at the car park, we meet Morten. He lives in Vevang, at the western end of the Atlantic Road, and wants to go bank fishing. We quickly get into conversation with him, because most Norwegians speak English very well and are also uncomplicated and open-minded. "For me, the Atlantic Road is the most beautiful road in the world," he says with a convincing nod. "Of course, I don't know all the streets, but honestly, what is there to come?" We agree with him - because in real terms the Atlantic Road is even more overwhelming than a picture can show.
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The coastal section "Hustadvika", on which the Atlantic Road is located, is particularly dangerous for seafarers. Small islands and reefs require local knowledge and a lot of experience. High waves and strong currents often increase the risk potential. It was only in March 2019 that the cruise ship "Viking Sky" came into distress. Fortunately, all passengers were saved. So we are very happy to be on bikes today. We can use the powerful motors of our electric bikes well with the steep bridges and the strong west wind.
Although this section of the Norwegian Reichsstraße 64 is a tourist attraction, we hardly meet any other people. This is how we relax and maybe do our most beautiful trekking tour ever. From numerous viewpoints, we are always tempted to stop to enjoy new perspectives.
Back at the parkcar park, we load our bikes into the extremely large rear garage of the motorhome, where our mountain bikes are already waiting. Even when loaded with four bicycles, there is still a surprising amount of space.
A place for everyone
In Norway, the “right of everyone” applies in open nature. It covers most of the shoreline and coastal areas, moorland, forests and mountains. Prerequisite is prudent and considerate behavior. The landscape should therefore be left as it was found.
No problem for us, because nothing would be further from us than to harm this unique nature. It is a tour for connoisseurs! We don't meet a single person on the way today. Over-tourism is not an issue even in this famous corner of the world. Nature lovers are guaranteed to find their quiet place.
The next day brings us pleasant weather again. So we throw ourselves into our MTB gear, because the area is known for its excellent mountain bike conditions. The nearby Molde or Romsdalen offer fantastic trails for demanding excursions into the terrain. Today we are again heading towards the Atlantic Road. Small hiking trails and single trails abound here. The omnipresent proximity to the sea is fascinating and is its very special charm.
On the road again
The next day our HYMER continues. Fully loaded with pictures of this breathtaking road - burned into our heads and hearts, saved on an SD card. Without exchanging many words, we once again realised how difficult it is often to concentrate on one thing in this rapidly changing reality. But there is usually more substance in the minimalism of a single look, a smile, a single word or a beautiful view than there is in abundance. This does not always and everywhere succeed. Here it is, on the Atlantic Road in Norway. The most beautiful road in the world.
The quiet place is also worth mentioning in our motorhome, because the bathroom is cleverly designed: If you open the door to the toilet room (which can also be used separately), you create a new, large room that also includes the shower.
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