Varanger is about the long lines in the landscape as well as the long lines of history. Varanger not only offers a physical experience; you will also find serenity on this road. It is difficult to explain other than by saying that this is a place where you feel as if time stands a bit still. You drive past birch woods, marshland and a rugged cliff landscape. The light is special and the bird and animal life are unique. Species of birds that you can’t see anywhere else in the world are relatively easily accessible. It’s not only because of its geographical location that Varanger is perhaps the most exotic stretch. A trip along the route leading to the Arctic Ocean will reveal natural surroundings full of contrasts, and the lunar landscape out towards Hamningberg in particular stands out. In many ways it is a journey to the world’s end. If you drive along this road in the autumn perhaps you will experience the steely grey light, and the barren landscape will emerge as even more magical.

History

History is not always pretty and at the Steilneset memorial we encounter episodes of history that may be difficult to comprehend. The witch trials in Finnmark in the 17th century claimed 91 victims and it was here that the greatest number of people were found guilty of witchcraft and burnt at the stake. Its closeness to Russia, immigration from Finland and Sami traditions pervade this area with an exciting cultural diversity.

Experience

Even though you’re not a bird-watching enthusiast, you should take time to observe some of the rare bird species here. Along this stretch of road, several bird watching hides have been built where you can sit well sheltered against the vagaries of the weather while you marvel at the landscape. There’s also a good chance of experiencing reindeer at close hand on this road. After visiting the Steilneset memorial you should drop by the picturesque Vardøhus Fortress that lies at the easternmost point of Norway.

National Tourist Route Varanger runs from Varangerbotn to Hamningberg, a total distance of 160 km (Road 75/341). Experience one of Norway’s most beautiful round trips by combining this route with the Hurtigruten coastal express and National Tourist Route Havøysund.

Hamningbergveien between Smelror and Hamningberg is closed during the winter. Red flags in the map show where the road will be closed. This stretch of road is normally closed from November until May.

In the menu below you will find useful links that we hope will be helpful. For more tourist information, please contact local and regional tourist agents.