For most people Gaularfjellet is a well-kept secret, but for all those who have discovered the road it is quite special. A journey along the road leading across Gaular, the mountain between Dragsvik and the Sognefjord, is a serene experience where the quality is in the details. The drive skirts the fjord before snaking up towards the highest point of Gaularfjellet. At the rest area at Utsikten you can admire the panorama of mountains and valleys. The road follows Gaularvassdraget, one of the few watercourses that is protected, offering everything from wild rapids and waterfalls to calm stretches where the water glides quietly on its way. Simply driving along the watercourse and following the natural route the water takes in its descent is a wonderful experience, but if you go on foot you can be at one with nature.  A continuous “waterfall path” of almost 25 km has been established from Nystølen to Eldal. You can walk the entire length or just take a short stroll to admire the watercourse at close hand. A walk over the flexible steelbridge at Likholefossen waterfall provides a feeling of being in the midst of the swirling cascade.

History

In 1853 a request was made for money to establish a road over the mountain, but almost 100 years would pass before this became a reality. The road swiftly became a key transport route after its opening in 1938, but today it is a peaceful alternative to the main roads that absorb most of the traffic.

Experiences

There are a number of simple, easily accessible places along the entire stretch of road where you can stop, stretch your legs or just admire the natural features or the view. There are endless opportunities to try your hand at fishing for brown trout, and anyone with experience of angling knows it’s just a matter of throwing out a line and waiting. Almost like driving on this road, where you should take ample time to allow the experience to sink in.

Likholefossen has been mentioned already and Balestrand, where you can also take a boat to Fjærland and visit the glacier museum, is a wonderful place to begin the trip. This is a great way to experience the fjord and an excellent starting point for the drive across the mountains. 

Cycling

This route should preferably be cycled from Moskog, so that the climbs up towards Rørvikfjellet and towards the top of Gaularfjellet will not be too heavy. An alternative is to start at Sande. From Eldalsosen and up towards the mountain you will be close to the Gaularvassdraget river system. The Gaula river has 29 large waterfalls, with Likholefossen and the bridge across it as one of the highlights. From the rest area at Utsikten - the View - you will have a bracing descent down to the fiord and an easy ride from there and onwards to Balestrand.

Hiking 

The 21-km-long Fossestien Waterfall Trail runs along the Gaula river, parallel to the Scenic Route. You can walk the trail in its entirety or choose a shorter section. The trail runs past a number of waterfalls and through a lush cultural landscape with active farms. Along the route you will also find mountain hikes to spectacular viewpoints and quiet mountain lakes where fishing is possible. Near Balestrand you can walk the challenging trail to Keipen. This hike takes you from the fiordside and up into the high mountains, and offers spectacular views of Sognefjorden and its arms Vetlefjorden and Fjærlandsfjorden.

The old travel route through Sværskaret is a nice hike for families and for those who would like an easy walk in highland terrain. The trail starts from the car park at Torsnesstølen and runs through uncomplicated terrain to Skarvatnet. If you prefer a longer and more challenging hike, you can walk through the mountain pass and down to the Sværedalen valley and Vetlefjorden.If you are looking for a quiet area to pitch your tent, you can walk to the old summer pasture farms of Årsnesstølen and Horsevikstølen, idyllically situated by Lake Skarvatnet. A more beautiful place to rest your body and mind is hard to find.

You will find more great roadside hikes in the Outtt hiking guide. 

Norwegian Scenic Route Gaularfjellet runs from Balestrand to Moskog and from Sande to Eldalsosen, a total distance of 114 km (Road 55/613/610). From Balestrand you can make beautiful detours. A boat trip that ends almost at the Jostadalsbreen glacier is a wonderful way to experience the natural surroundings.

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.

Winter notice: The road is open - 02 May 2020. The road over Gaularfjellet is closed during winter from Mel to Mjell. Red flags in the map show where the road will be closed. This section is normally closed in December and reopens end of April.

Opening and closing of scenic routes closed in winter and statistics >>

Travelling by electric car? Map of EV charging points at Gaularfjellet.

Traffic and road information - Telephone +47 815 48 991.

Traffic alerts in map >>


GPS: Balestrand 61.210673, 6.527917 -
Moskog 61.423073, 6.134652.
Sande 61.326835, 5.797215 -
Eldalsosen 61.339328, 6.130588

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