The Natural Beauty surrounding Trollstigen Norway

Trollstigen Norway
Image: Nordic Visitor Norway

Driving up the western coast of Norway, there is certainly no shortage of beautiful scenery to enjoy. In fact, I don’t recall many instances at all during our whole trip, where there weren’t stunning natural vistas everywhere you looked.

However, there is one section of highway situated slightly inland that is famous as an engineering feat and driving challenge amidst a majestic natural landscape. I am referring to ‘Trollstigen’.

 

What is Trollstigen Norway?

Trollstigen translates as ‘ladder for a troll’ or ‘Troll’s ladder’. It is a steep, narrow mountainside road that is regarded as one of the more dangerous drives you can take.

This is also Norway’s most visited tourist road. It contains many steep inclines (more than 10% in some places) and 11 hairpin turns (each turn having its own name).

Definitely not for the faint of heart or inexperienced drivers the dangers include rock falls, narrow lanes, steep inclines and unpredictable weather. The route is even more problematic in the dark and wet which make it incredibly challenging to navigate. Usually open between mid-May to October, the road remains closed during autumn and winter.

Originally completed in the 1930’s, the road received major repairs and an upgrade in 2005.

 

Where is it?

Trollstigen Norway is located along national route/road 63 located between the towns of Valldal and Åndalsnes (a distance of 89 Kilometres or 55 miles) Rauma Municipality, Møre og Romsdal county, in the Western Fjords region.

We drove to Trollstigen from Geiranger a distance by road of some 104 kilometres or 64 miles after we had just experienced the wonderful Geirangerfjord.

The drive heading toward Trollstigen involved going through some amazing and stunning scenery. Although this was during the month of May, let me say that it was still freezing while driving up these mountainous areas. Below are a couple of the photos we took on the way there.

 

Nicole Anderson on route 63 Norway
Getting out of the car to appreciate the beautiful scenery was a chilly experience. Photo: James Visser.

Snow and Ice melting in May on route 63 Norway
By the side of the road, there were waterfalls forming everywhere as the ice was melting in May. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

Trollstigen Norway Visitor Centre and Lookout

This is somewhere you simply must stop to appreciate the amazing views. If you are travelling north along route/road 63, the visitor centre comes up on your right-hand side and there is plenty of parking.

 

Trollstigen Visitor Centre
Trollstigen Visitor Centre. Photo: James Visser.

 

Built at the top of Trollstigen, the centre was opened in 2012 and contains a restaurant, toilets, souvenir shop and a number of walkways and scenic viewing platforms. From here you can look down on Trollstigen and the surrounding mountains, valleys and waterfalls that are everywhere in this region.

Below you can see how lovely the centre and walkways are, built in the midst of the river Istra which is fed by the melted snow and ice from the imposing mountain Meiadalen.

 

Trollstigen Visitor Centre Vista
The River Ishta with some of the centre visible on the right and with mount Meiadalen in the background. Photo: James Visser.

 

Walking the pathways at Trollstigen lookout
Walking the pathway toward the various viewing platforms. Photo: James Visser.

 

River Ishta before the waterfall
The river Ishta racing toward the edge to become Stigfossen waterfall. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

The largest platform juts out over the edge of the mountain and looks down to the top part of the road some 200 metres below. Although the raised pathways are not that long to walk to the various platforms, it can seem that way when the temperature is low and you are freezing. On the day we were there, we also needed to watch our footing so as not to slip on the continual wet surface.

 

 Trollstigen Viewing platform
Main Viewing Platform for Trollstigen. Image: Fjord Norway.

 

Nevertheless, there is just no doubting the wonderful scenery as we captured this magnificent vista with our cameras.

James Visser at Trollfossen Norway
James standing on a platform overlooking Trollfossen waterfall. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

Nicole Anderson at the Top of Trollstigen Pass
Me with the top of Trollstigen road behind me, as it starts to wind its way down the mountain. Photo: James Visser.

 

Stigfossen

You just can’t visit this amazing area and not notice the massive waterfall called Stigfossen. There is also another waterfall named Trollfossen which is slightly taller but considerably less voluminous.

 

Top of Stigfossen
Top of the Stigfossen Waterfall as seen from one of the platforms. You can also see Trollfossen, the narrower waterfall in the background. Photo: James Visser.

 

Stigfossen is a natural waterfall of some 240 metres in height with the largest single drop being 180 metres. The waterfall passes through bridges and beside the road as it snakes up and down the side of the mountain. The spray produced by the thundering falls as you drive will completely saturate the outside of your vehicle.

Trollfossen is not as predominate as you traverse Trollstigen Norway as it is not as close, but it is still a lovely sight as 280 metres in height nearby.

The Stigfossen comes from the river Istra and is photographed most often nearby the stone bridge as you head up or down Trollstigen.

 

 

Activities

Hiking Trollstigen Norway
Hiking Trollstigen. Image: Fjord Norway.

If you have time to spend here, hiking is something that many enjoy doing, being surrounded by such an epic backdrop.

Rated as a challenging hike along the old Kløvstien path connecting Romsdalen and Sunnmøre, this path has been used by traders for centuries. It runs alongside the Istra river and has stone steps and chains to make the more challenging parts more accessible and safer.

 

Another sport done here (for those who are very fit!) is cycling. The gradient and narrow nature of the road is not something to be underestimated. It reminded me very much of seeing cyclists take on the Andes mountain roads in Chile.

 

Cycling Trollstigen
Cycling Trollstigen. Image: Classic Norway.

 

Driving down Trollstigen

James had the task of driving us both down Trollstigen. We had already read up on this particular road in advance and so exercised considerable caution as we began our descent. No one on the road that we saw, took this road lightly or for granted as a fun, sporty ride. Everyone seemed to be very aware of the reputation of Trollstigen and watched their speed and space on the road, especially as you neared each of the 11 hairpin turns.

We were very lucky as we drove because there just wasn’t very much in the way of traffic at the time. This was just fabulous as it allowed us to take our time and enjoy the experience in addition to stopping briefly to take photos along the way.

 

Trollstigen Road Norway
We have just taken the first hairpin turn with 10 more to go… Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

Just past the stone bridge at the closest point to Stigfossen, there was a stopping area which was completely empty so we were able to get out and take some shots of the waterfall from the road.

 

Stone Bridge Trollstigen Norway
Standing with Stigfossen falls and the stone bridge behind me. Photo: James Visser.

 

From this vantage point, we were able to look back up to see the top of the falls, the main viewing platform as well as look down to the rest of the Trollstigen winding road and the mountains and valley to the north.

 

Stigfossen falls at Trollstigen Norway.
Here, a bit further down the road you can see the viewing platform at the top and the Stigfossen falls with the stone bridge about halfway up covered in mist, as we continue descending. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

Drive down Trollstigen Norway
This photo taken looking down at the bottom half of Trollstigen after we passed Stigfossen. Photo: James Visser.

 

Bottom of Trollstigen Norway
Here you can see the valley at the bottom of Trollstigen heading north alongside the Ishta River. Photo: James Visser.

 

As we completed the descent, the road widened out and we were able to get back to highway speed as we reached the level of rivers heading out to the North Sea. We were bound for the famous and scenic Atlantic Road and beyond that the town of Kristiansund, where we had reservations to stay the night.

 

Heading toward Atlantic Road Norway
Reaching usual highway conditions taking us toward the Atlantic Road to connect us to our destination of Kristiansund that night. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

What are your impressions of Trollstigen? Would you include this on your Norwegian itinerary? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. And before you ask… no, we did not see any trolls on the way! (aside from what was in the gift shops) …

 

 

This article is part of the Natural Beauty Travel Series, authored by travel writer Nicole Anderson.
Founder and Publisher at | Website

Outdoor adventure enthusiast that loves nature having travelled locations across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Passionate Travel Writer, Blogger and Influencer.

116 thoughts on “The Natural Beauty surrounding Trollstigen Norway

  • July 24, 2020 at 4:32 am
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    I’ve never been to Trollstigen Norway before but that definitely looks like a great place to visit someday. I love snow/cold weather and the view there is absolutely beautiful.

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    • July 25, 2020 at 10:49 pm
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      I totally agree about the view Lyanna, but I’m probably not so keen on the cold as you. Nonetheless, being in the cold to experience Trollstigen was so worth it. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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  • July 6, 2020 at 12:48 am
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    That countryside is so beautiful. I love the way the mountains drop off into steep valleys. It’s quite dramatic.

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    • July 6, 2020 at 9:30 am
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      Dramatic indeed Claudia! It is such a beautiful and impressive landscape that stays with you long after you leave. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your impressions.

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  • July 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm
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    Norway looks so beautiful. It is definitely a place I would love to visit

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  • July 3, 2020 at 4:01 am
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    Beautiful landscape. I would love to be in nature like this!

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  • July 2, 2020 at 9:57 pm
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    I would go in the blink of an eye! I’d love to visit Norway despite the sky-high prices. Actually, I had a ticket to Oslo for Easter. Last Easter. Corona Easter. So you can imagine how that went. So Norway is still on top of my bucket list.

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    • July 3, 2020 at 10:12 pm
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      Hang in there Renata, you are bound to get there once the COVID 19 restrictions are lifted. In the meanwhile, look on the bright side. You have more time to save for the trip! All kidding aside, I hope you have a great trip when you can go and thank you for reading and sharing your comment.

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  • July 2, 2020 at 9:16 am
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    I loved Norway so much. A whole new world…opposite end of the earth for me as an Aussie. It truly is magnificent and I remember being impressed by the outdoor culture of Norway even though it gets so cold. I never tired of the scenery and will be back one day to discover the area of Trollstigen.

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    • July 2, 2020 at 7:59 pm
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      There’s no doubting that is a long way to travel, Justine! But I’m so pleased to hear you regard it as worth it for all the natural beauty that covers Norway. Safe travels for your return.

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  • July 2, 2020 at 8:51 am
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    I haven’t been but Norway is so beautiful from the pictures I have seen. I like that Trollstigen has walkways and viewing platforms for safe viewing of the majestic scenery. I look forward to visiting Norway once the world opens up again.

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    • July 2, 2020 at 7:56 pm
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      Thanks so much Georgina. I think so many of us look forward to that time when this virus gets under control and it will be safe to travel once more. Hope you have a great trip to Norway and enjoy it as much as I did.

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  • July 2, 2020 at 6:41 am
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    Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed your blog and love this type of drives! In fact, I have already put it in my itinerary for my next Norway visit. This drive reminds me of the hairy drive to Stegastein view point in Aurland Norway (near Flam) where we had to drive on a very narrow mountain road with sheer drop on one side without any barriers. The views of this Trollstigen drive look stunning! That walkway near the visitor centre also looks amazing. 🙂

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    • July 2, 2020 at 7:54 pm
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      Thanks so much, Jan. I think you will enjoy this area and there are quite a few hairy drives that I am aware of in this region. Best wishes for a fabulous trip once we are able to travel again.

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  • July 1, 2020 at 11:57 pm
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    What incredible landscape! I imagine it would be cold there, especially with so many water features in the area. I think it would be a great area to spend some time outdoors – I’d love to hike here!

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    • July 2, 2020 at 7:52 pm
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      There are definitely many that do hike here Jenn. The top of Trollstigen was definitely colder than the bottom for obvious reasons and we were rugged up, especially when outside the car. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

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  • July 1, 2020 at 11:06 am
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    I wonder whether this road has ever been part of a road racing event. I would make an interesting alternative to the Tour de France .. a punishing route and workout but surrounded by stunning landscape. I’ve only ever been to Sweden before, but I’d love to go back to this part of the world and explore Denmark and Norway too.

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    • July 2, 2020 at 7:46 pm
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      I’m not aware of if this road has ever been used for racing Jay, but I would imagine it really only could be done for cycling. It certainly would make a very interesting alternative to the Tour de France and would no doubt get television coverage. Hope you get to visit Norway in the future and thank you for reading and that great thought.

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    • July 1, 2020 at 4:15 am
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      Thanks so much, Fiona. The Norwegians pride themselves on keeping their natural environment pristine and I think you would agree they do an outstanding job of ensuring that. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 9:21 pm
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    I have been to Norway (in Oslo). I have yet to visit Trollstigen! It looks amazing. What a view! I really hope I can try camping on this place.

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    • July 1, 2020 at 4:13 am
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      Thanks, Emman. To see the true beauty of Norway, I would certainly recommend getting well away from Oslo on your next trip. While Oslo is a nice city, it obviously doesn’t compare to what the rest of the country has to offer. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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    • July 1, 2020 at 4:11 am
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      That is exactly what made me excited about doing a road trip in Norway, Debs. Norway is simply one of the most beautiful countries there is. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm
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    Wow! These spots sure do look incredible! The photos look amazing!

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  • June 30, 2020 at 1:42 pm
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    Trollstigen Norway is so beautiful. I love the rolling hills and the landscape seems to be out of a fairytale. I think the roads would make me sick tho. I plan on going to Norway soon maybe I will stop by. Thank you for your tips!!!!

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    • July 1, 2020 at 4:08 am
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      You’re very welcome, Nicholas. The roads are not that bad at all for the most part – it’s just that way at Trollstigen and a few other spots. The condition of the roads in Norway is otherwise excellent. Perhaps with this in mind, you might include Trollstigen on your itinerary when you go.

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    • July 1, 2020 at 4:05 am
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      It is definitely colder at the top with all the snow and ice, but much warmer at the bottom as you start to drive through the valley, Marie. There is also a change in scenery but it is just as beautiful, just in a different way.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 12:27 pm
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    It’s always interesting how the most dangerous attractions are often the most popular, isn’t it? That being said, the views in your photos here look incredible. I can DEFINITELY see why someone would want to make a trip to see this first hand. In fact, I think I’m adding it to our ‘must-visit’ list.

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    • July 1, 2020 at 4:03 am
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      I do get what you mean about the dangerous aspect here, Britt, but it just means going during the day and being very careful in the way you drive. The beauty all around there is worth the effort in my opinion. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 11:16 am
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    Norway is one country that I always wanted to visit. The scenic beauty here is absolutely mesmerizing. I have this trip in my bucket list and will definitely visit one day.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 10:29 am
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    Trollstigen looks and sounds amazing! Those pictures are totally worth a visit. I can only imagine the being surrounded by such beauty. With that road though, I would want to take a tour or some form of transportation where I’m not the one driving. As I get older, I dislike treacherous drives. Are tours an option when visiting?

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    • July 1, 2020 at 4:00 am
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      Tours are definitely an option here, Erica. Can you believe that tour buses actually go up and down Trollstigen each day? Those drivers are very practised at this and obviously know the roads extremely well. They also pull over at certain places so you can get out, stretch your legs and take in the magnificent scenery. Thank you for reading and your question. I hope you will visit soon.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 7:17 am
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    This is just epic, as are most things about Norway. I loved the beauty of Norway when I visited although I didn’t actually see the Trollstigen area.

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    • August 10, 2020 at 12:20 am
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      There’s no denying the natural beauty that Norway has to offer and perhaps missing out on Trollstigen last time will be an excuse to return and discover more! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 6:52 am
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    It would take me about six hours by train to get to Norway from where I live in sweden, but i have NEVER been to Norway. Or Denmark for that matter 😛
    I really should look into that, shouldnt I?

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    • July 1, 2020 at 3:56 am
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      I certainly would if I were you, Ann. You are in a great location to reach these locations in Norway, relatively easily. Thank you for reading, sharing your thoughts – and I hope you will be able to book and visit for yourself soon.

      Reply
  • June 30, 2020 at 6:51 am
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    So beautiful! it is in my list to visit and I hope i will visit it soon enough

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  • June 30, 2020 at 6:45 am
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    I love learning about new places! Thanks for showcasing this amazing location.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 4:03 am
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    I’ve heard that Norway is so beautiful! I would love to go there one day and experience it for myself.

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    • July 1, 2020 at 3:52 am
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      That’s definitely the best way, Heather. There is just nothing that beats experiencing it first hand. Hope you will get to visit here, as well as many other places in Norway, soon.

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  • June 30, 2020 at 3:24 am
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    Very amazing landscape, would be a nice place to visit, travelling adds to wealth of knowledge and diversity.

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    • July 1, 2020 at 3:49 am
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      Unfortunately, this road is deemed too dangerous and quite inaccessible during winter, Joy. However, there are definitely many other beautiful places to visit across Norway in winter.

      Reply
  • June 30, 2020 at 1:20 am
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    Wow–such beautiful sights and a wonderful place to visit. I’ll bookmark this and add it to my list. I can’t wait to travel again soon!

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  • June 29, 2020 at 10:21 pm
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    I can’t believe how beautiful the country is there! I love all the snow on the mountains. It’s just gorgeous. I would love to see the area with my family.

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    • July 1, 2020 at 3:45 am
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      That’s for sure Brianne! We saw so many families driving through this area in cars, motorhomes and caravans and they all looked to be having the time of their lives. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

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  • June 29, 2020 at 7:23 am
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    Trollstigen looks amazing. It’s strange that I have never been to any of the Nordic countries despite living in Europe all my life. Definitely something on my bucket list, and if it can be combined with hiking, that would be even better!

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    • June 29, 2020 at 8:00 pm
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      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kat. You most certainly can combine hiking here, as you can all over Norway to enjoy some spectacular views of stunning nature on a grand scale. Living in Europe really does afford you this wonderful opportunity to visit much easier than many others and I do hope you love it as much as I did.

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  • June 28, 2020 at 3:56 pm
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    LOVE all of your fab photos. Now this is my kind of thing in the great outdoors with so much natural beauty to look at x

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  • June 28, 2020 at 3:40 pm
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    This looks beautiful! My husband’s family is from Norway but we have both never been there. I would love to travel there someday 🙂

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    • June 28, 2020 at 10:27 pm
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      It would be a wonderful thing to meet up with his family, who could also give you local advice on all the beautiful places to visit, Kale. There is just so much to see and experience there.

      Reply