Åndalsnes and Romsdal valley

15 things to do

All Places Norway

Trollstigen mountain pass

The Trollstigen, a mountain road climbing the pass between Isterdalen valley in the North and Valldal valley in the South. This road is the major attraction in this area and one of the most visited destinations in Norway, frequently named the most scenic drive in Norway. It is a elegant road and engineering achievement amidst iconic mountains and wild waterfalls. Part of road 63 between Åndalsnes and Geiranger, designated as one of Norway's national tourist routes. NOTE: '''During high season the traffic load is high at noon (11 to 14 o'clock), traffic jams occur, try to drive early morning or evening.'''

SEE   —  Åndalsnes-Valldal

Romsdal valley

The impressive Romsdal valley is a 1500 meter deep canyon in the bedrock, stretching some 40 km from Bjorli to Åndalsnes. The wonderful Rauma river alternates between wild waterfalls and tranquil salmon pools. The entire Romsdalen valley stretching from Åndalsnes to Bjorli on Road E136. Waterfalls at Monge, Verma and Sletta. Mountains Trolltindane (including Trollveggen), Romsdalshorn, and Mongegjura.

SEE   —  Map

Åndalsnes Golf Course

This hilly 9-hole course lies in beautiful surroundings at Setnesmoen near Åndalsnes. Not many are aware that this was where golf started in Norway. The English salmon lords held golf tournaments in Åndalsnes as early as 1905, on the site of the current golf course.


The Trollveggen, Europe's highest vertical and overhanging rock face can be seen to the right of the railway as you leave Åndalsnes. Road E136 also passes the panorama point. Panorama also includes countless peaks (Trolltindane) and other great walls.

SEE   —  Map

Hotel Aak

This small hotel has an interesting history which dates back from 1850, but it was fully renovated in 1998. The hotel has only 16 rooms and a small restaurant.

SLEEP   —  +47 71 22 17 00 —  Map

Bjorli ski reosrt

Bjorli ski resort does not have big and very steep hills, but plenty of snow and long season. The highest village in Romsdalen valley, at the county border.

DO   —  Bjorli

Eikesdalen (valley)

Eikesdalen valley with the famous Mardøla waterfall, the lovely lake, the wild summits and the great canyon is worth the detour from Åndalsnes.

SEE   —  Map

King and Bishop summits

Mountains named after chess pieces, the 'Bishop' being a perfect example, can be seen early on the scenic drive to Geiranger.

Grand Hotel Bellevue

The hotel has excellent views over the wide Moldefjord - and fine meals, buffet and set in different restaurants.

SLEEP   —  +47 71 22 75 00 —  Map

Grytten church

Red painted octagonal wooden church at Veblungsnes, close to road E136.

SEE   —  Map

Åndalsnes Vandrerhjem

Youth hostel located across the river direction Ålesund.

SLEEP   —  +47 71 22 13 82 —  Setnes

Rauma Ski Resort

A small and nice alpine skiing hill and lift.

DO   —  Map

Kylling railway bridge

Elegant mason arc bridge across river Rauma

SEE   —  Verma

About Åndalsnes and Romsdal valley

Romsdal is the deep valley stretching some 40 km from the county line near Bjorli to the Romsdal fjord at the small town of Åndalsnes. Åndalsnes sits at the mouth of Rauma river, opposite the village of Veblungsnes (the former centre), which has a characteristic parish church. Romsdal is the valley of the great Rauma river. Åndalsnes is also the terminal station for the Raumabanen (railway line) running through the valley. Near Åndalsnes the main Romsdal valley converges with the shorter but even more dramatic Isterdal valley, home to famous Trollstigen hairpin road and mountain pass and more wild summits. The lower parts of the two valleys are dominated by the confluence of rivers Rauma and Istra: the delta they create and the meanders through which they flow. The valley floor is surprisingly flat and even between these wild mountains. About 2/3 of the area is above the treeline.

The Romsdal valley allows easy connection to the inland counties of Oppland and Hedmark, and is in fact a western continuation of the great eastern valley Gudbrandsdalen. Lesjaskogsvatnet lake is exactly at the watershed and water from the lake flows both east and west. Åndalsnes' central location made it a transport hub and old trading post. Most visitors by car, train or bus will eventually drive through the valley. The valley has given its name to the district surrounding the Moldefjord/Romsdalsfjord, as well as the entire county.

The Romsdal valley begins around the county line in the highlands where the valley and the river quickly descends through gorges (with lovely rapids and waterfalls) to the relatively even and low valley floor. The road and the railway then runs between some of the highest cliffs and highest waterfalls in Europe. Nearby Eikesdalen valley (as well as Sunndalen) are also home to some of the highest waterfalls in Europe. All waterfalls in Romsdal valley are easily accessible and visible from the car window and from the train (Mongefossen is perhaps the tallest waterfall visible from a train).

Åndalsnes and Romsdal valley were early key tourist destinations in Western Norway. In particular affluent English gentlemen were attracted by the salmon angling in the great landscape. Properties were purchased and hotels established by the English. The alpine pioneer William Cecil Slingsby visited Romsdal, in addition to the Sunnmøre alps (around Hjørundfjord) and Jotunheimen.