Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Atlantic Road, The World's Best Road Trip | April 23, 2010 | In fierce competion with world renowned attractions such as Northern Ireland's Antrim Coast Road, the Himalaya stretch between Manali and Leh and Australia's Gibb River Road, the Atlantic Road, on the west coast of Norway, comes first on the list.

Chosen as "Norway's construction of the century" in 2005, the 8.72-kilometre long road links together small coastal communities.

From the town of Kristiansund The Atlantic Road is only a 30-minute drive through the Atlantic Ocean Tunnel. After passing the tunnel you cross the exciting island of Averøy with Kvernes Stave Church, the very scenic west side of the island, and the incredible coastline out towards Hustavika.

The Atlantic Road was opened in 1989 and is now toll-free.

- The Atlantic Road zigzags across low bridges that jut out over the sea, linking the islands between Molde (famous for its annual jazz festival in July) and Kristiansund in the western fjords. The Hustadvika is an infamous stretch of ocean and when in storm it's fantastically dramatic. In calmer weather you might spot whales and seals, writes The Guardian (25 April, 2006).
Birds and bridges

Even though whales are a less common sight, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean, a rich bird life and even spot seals.

The impressive road skips nimbly from island to island, across eight bridges. The tallest bridge, Storseisundet Bridge, has a dramatic and beautiful curve and almost brings a perspective of art into the technique of building bridges.
Go fishing and diving

Excellent fishing spots are accessible by boat or from the rocky seashore. Several parking places along the road make it easy to leave the car behind, for minutes or hours. The view, the salty, fresh air, sunsets and stormy weather – it is all there for your taking.

Fishing tours are being arranged on a daily basis through the summer. Both Strømsholmen Sea Sports Centre and the island of Håholmen offers tours.

Diving in these waters are very good. The clean water and powerful tidal currents make diving here very attractive. During summer, daily divers excursions are being offered by Strømsholmen Sea Sports Center.
Visit a former fishing village

Close by the road in the bay of Hustadvika, lies the island of Håholmen. In the 1700s, Håholmen was a lively stockfish fishing community. Today its 30 or so beautifully restored buildings invite you to take a break from the hectic everyday life.

You can spend a couple of nights here in cosy cabins overlooking the sea. Or you can just visit for a day to enjoy a tasty meal and learn more about the fishing village's history as well as Viking history.

Groups may even sail and row a Viking ship replica. The Norwegian adventurer Ragnar Torseth has contributed to the island by making an exhibition from his Viking ship replica expeditions.
Autumn hurricanes

According to the tourist information services in the region, many tourists choose to travel to the Atlantic Road during the autumn to experience the raging storms that pound the road. The construction workers experienced 12 hurricanes during the building process before the road opened in 1989.
Getting to the Atlantic Road

From Kristiansund:
The Atlantic Ocean Tunnel connects Kristiansund to the island of Averøy and the Atlantic Road. From the town center of Kristiansund, follow rv. 70 to the roundabout where rv. 64 starts (follow signs towards Molde). The tunnel is approximately five kilometres long. Cyclists are not allowed through the tunnel.

Watch on this video: (Nino Guevara Ruwano)


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