Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger.
Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger. Photo: Øyvind Antonsen

The road to the Arctic Ocean

A drive in the fluctuating light of the ocean and sky – towards the expanse of ocean and unique rock landscape.

Varanger is about the long lines in the landscape, as well as the long lines of history. Proximity to Russia, Finnish immigration and Sami traditions provide the area with exciting cultural diversity.

The drive runs through birch woods, marshland and a rugged cliff landscape. The light is special and the birdlife and wildlife unique. Species of birds that you won’t find anywhere else in the world are relatively easily accessible. There is also a good chance of experiencing reindeer at first hand along this road.

The route will reveal natural surroundings full of contrasts, and the lunar landscape out towards Hamningberg in many ways makes your drive feel like a journey to the end of the world. 

Travel information

160 km
0 – 123

Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger runs from Varangerbotn [75] to Hamningberg [8100]. Experience one of Norway’s most beautiful round trips by combining this route with the Hurtigruten coastal express and Norwegian Scenic Route Havøysund.

For cyclists: The scenic route is a relatively easy but long bike ride along Varangerfjorden, with Varangerbotn as the recommended starting point. Note that the road to Vardø requires you to go through an underwater tunnel. The ride out to Hamningberg runs through a hilly landscape. 

Traffic and road information

Telephone +47 815 48 991

Traffic alerts in map (Norwegian only)
Overview Scenic Routes closed in winter season

GPS, Hamningberg:
70.541044, 30.609745
GPS, Varangerbotn:
70.173942, 28.567617

The road between Svartnes and Hamningberg is normally closed in winter from November to May. Previous closures have started between 4 November and 22 December. Previous openings have taken place between 18 April and 25 May.

It is important to note that even when roads have been opened for the summer season, they may still for some time be closed at night. Spring is a volatile season in the mountains, and in bad weather the road may be closed on short notice. 

A red line in the map marks a road that is closed in winter.


The weather in the Arctic climate zone is an experience in itself; in one day you may experience four different seasons. In summer, Siberian heat may suddenly be replaced by an icy sea fog; in winter, violent storms rage along the coastline.

Varanger is one of northern Europe's richest bird areas. Take the time to observe the rare bird species. Along this route, several bird-watching hides have been built where you can sit well sheltered against the vagaries of the weather while you enjoy the landscape. After visiting the Steilneset Memorial you should drop by the picturesque Vardøhus Fortress, situated at the easternmost point of Norway.

Nature in Varanger is rugged and desolate, with unique landscape formations that provide a powerful backdrop for your hiking experience. Large areas consist of terrain that is easy to walk, but you should remember that the climate here is partly Arctic and the weather can change rapidly.

For bird enthusiasts we recommend the islands of Ekkerøya and Hornøya with their rich birdlife, or the bird trail in Komagdalen, which is located within Varangerhalvøya National Park. 

Useful links

The 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes

Norwegian Scenic Routes are roads that run through unique Norwegian nature. Along the roads you will find artworks, viewpoints and rest areas with innovative architecture in beautiful landscapes.

View all Scenic Routes