Driving enthusiastic rejoice; Norway is your haven. The roads in this country have everything you could ever want: they are well paved, weave around mountains and underwater through tunnels, are open, abundant, and as an added bonus, incredibly scenic.
While driving around Norway, you’ll see some steep roads. One of them stands out: Stalheimskleiva.
With its 13 hairpin turns, through steep mountainsides and waterfalls, it’s one of the most fascinating drives I’ve ever done. I have driven through the small mountain roads of the Pyrenees in Northern Spain and France, but those roads pale in comparison to this route.
It’s incredibly narrow, so speeds are often reduced as cars make the hairpin turns. Previously, cars traveled in both directions on this road making it a bit risky if surrounding drivers were not as skilled. Now, maybe because of the tourist buses, it is a one-lane road. You enter from the top and drive downward, letting the passengers enjoy the fantastic scenery as you navigate the turns. It is unfortunate that the road no longer travels in both directions, but imagine two big buses meeting at a turn, the traffic caused by this would disrupt that driving rhythm you’ve gotten into.
If you would like to see the road, or even drive it yourself, it’s part of the Norway in a Nutshell tour: the bus from Gudvangen, after the fjord cruise, will take you back to Voss through Stalheimskleiva. If you want to leave navigating the windy road up to the professionals, their slow paced decent gives you plenty of time to take in the scenery and you get to enjoy the decent for a bit longer, as the bus moves slowly, than if you drove yourself. For the adventurous, I have included a map above so you can make your way there.
A different take on the road: long-boarding
Driving down the Stalheimskleiva