The Norwegian port town of Åndalsnes is located at the end of the Isfjord, which branches off from the Romsdalsfjord. Traveling by ship through the Romsdalsfjord is wonderful. However, the place can also be reached by car or train. The Rauma Railway runs from Åndalsnes through the Romsdal inland to Dombås, where it meets the Oslo - Trondheim rail link.
By sea to Andalsnes
The small town with around 2.200 inhabitants is surrounded by spectacular nature. It is surrounded by towering mountains and picturesque valleys. The Romsdal region is a paradise for climbers and mountain hikers in summer and a popular ski area in winter. The salmon-rich Rauma River, which flows into the Isfjord here, attracts anglers from all over the world. Europe's highest steep face, the approximately 1700 meter high Troll Wall, and the Trollstigen, a mountain road that winds in breathtaking serpentines to the top of the pass, are extremely worth seeing.
Andalsnes by the Isfjord
The Troll Wall lies in the Romsdal, a valley surrounded by imposing mountains. At around 1700 meters, it is Europe's highest steep face. The vertical part of the wall is almost 1000 meters high with an overhang of 50 meters. The Troll Wall was climbed for the first time in 1965. Today there are over ten routes that lead to the summit. The Troll Wall was a popular starting point for base jumpers for a long time. After a number of serious accidents, including fatalities, base jumping is prohibited.
There is a visitor center with a shop and cafeteria on the Troll Wall. A display board is nice, on which the height conditions are clearly shown by projecting the Eiffel Tower onto the rock wall as a comparison.
The Trollstigen, the street of the trolls, is a spectacular mountain route. Shortly after Åndalsnes, it climbs from Isterdal over a length of 18 kilometers in eleven serpentines with an average gradient of 12% to the top of the pass at 700 meters. The Trollstigen is one of the Norwegian Scenic Routes and is a tourist magnet. Depending on the weather, the road can be used from about mid-May to the end of September. It is narrow, in some cases almost single-lane, so that car or bus drivers have to demonstrate high driving skills and good nerves.
The panoramic route is surrounded by several 1450 to 1700 meter high mountain ranges with majestic names such as king, queen or bishop. About halfway the road crosses the 320 meter high Stigfossen, a mighty waterfall. There is a visitor center with a large car park at the top of the pass. From there a well-laid path leads to Utsikten (view) approx. 500 meters away. Two viewing platforms above a dizzying slope offer an unrestricted view of the hairpin bends of the Trollstigen.
The serpentine road of the Trollstigen
Shore excursion Åndalsnes the Troll Road and Troll Wall
Ride on the Raumabahn
The Rauma Railway begins in Dombås at 659 meters above sea level as a junction of the Oslo - Trondheim railway line and ends after 114 kilometers in Åndalsnes. During the journey, 32 bridges are crossed and six tunnels are passed. The line was opened in 1924 and the construction time was 16 years.
You can't miss the train terminus in Åndalsnes. The train runs along the Rauma through the Romsdal, past high mountain ranges such as the Troll Wall. Then the railway line crosses the Kylling Bridge, a 76-meter-long natural stone bridge that spans more than 50 meters over the gorge and the river. The view is impressive. The Kylling Bridge is one of the most famous railway bridges in Norway and the symbol of this route. In the small town of Bjorli you can get off and take the next train back.
Andalsnes train station
On summer weekends, a museum train pulled by a steam locomotive runs from Åndalsnes to Bjorli and back. In interesting places the train moves slowly so that the passengers have time to take pictures.
Norwegian Railways website: nsb.no
The Norsk Tindesenter is the national mountain sports center. Åndalsnes is considered Norway's mountaineering capital. So it is only logical that this center was created in Åndalsnes. It is dedicated to leisure activities in the mountains. The eye-catching building is located in the middle of town by the Isfjord and was opened by Crown Prince Hakoon in 2016. Norway's highest climbing wall at 21 meters is located in the climbing hall. It offers 60 different climbing routes for different ages and levels of difficulty. In the Norsk Tindesenter there are also climbing courses for beginners and advanced climbers. There is also an interactive exhibition on the development of mountaineering, a library, a museum with a shop and a restaurant.
Rampestreken viewing platform
The hiking trail "Romsdalstreppe" from Åndalsnes to the Rampestreken viewing platform is not suitable for walkers. However, it is easy to master for physically trained people with decent shoes. In winter or in bad weather, make sure you have good shoes and suitable clothing. More than 600 meters in altitude have to be overcome on the approximately two-kilometer route. There are some very steep passages as well as stairs and catwalks. The view from the narrow platform built high over the mountainside is breathtaking. Slightly higher is Mount Nesaksla, which can also be reached by cable car.
Mount Nesaksla by cable car or hike
A cable car runs from Åndalsnes directly to the 700 meter high Nesaksla mountain. Either you ride both routes with the gondola or hike past the great Rampestreken viewing platform. At the summit you can explore the area and several vantage points. The Eggen Restaurant is also located here, where you can strengthen yourself.
To save time, it is best to buy the ticket in advance Get You Guide
Åndalsnes for crusaders
Cruise ships call at the pier in the middle of town almost all year round. In winter, however, only a few ships stop in Åndalsnes in search of the northern lights. The place is small. The tourist information, the train station and the Norsk Tindesenter are a short distance away opposite the cruise ship dock.
Cruise ship dock in Andalsnes
The cruise lines offer organized shore excursions, for example bus trips to the Trollwand and Trollstigen or trips with the Raumabahn. If the stay in the country is not too tight, you can plan and undertake these excursions on your own. All sights in Åndalsnes are within walking distance.