Ryfylke Scenic Route


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The Ryfylke Scenic Route is one of 18 National Scenic Routes in Norway, and one of the longest and most diverse. The road leads alongside and above steep-sloped fjords, across lake-filled mountain plateaus, and past dramatic gorges and waterfalls. We drove a small portion of the route in 2018 when we visited Pulpit Rock from Stavanger, and covered much of the rest of it from Odda.


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The trip brought us to several places we’d recently visited by boat, including Sauda, Sand, and Hylsfjord. Despite overcast and rainy conditions, we had an excellent day. We particularly enjoyed our stops at Allmannajuvet, an old zinc mine converted into a museum, and a walk alongside the spectacular Brattlandsdalen valley gorge. And we had fun passing through many tunnels en route, including the Horda Tunnel, a spiral tunnel that turns in almost a complete circle on a continuous 7% grade.

Below are highlights from September 3rd, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Seljestadtunnelen
Passing through the 4173-ft (1272m) Seljestadtunnelen, completed in 1964, the first of many tunnels we’ll drive through on a day trip along the Ryfylke Scenic Route.
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Roldalsvatnet
View down to the lake Roldalsvatnet with the town of Roldals at the end shortly after joining the Ryfylke Scenic Route.
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Snow
Snow on the mountain plateau above the lake Roldalsvatnet. Given its September, places like this are probably never snow-free.
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Svartevatnet Dam
Small dam at the lake Svartevatnet.
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Knut Vesthassel
Memorial to Knut Vesthassel, who was responsible for extending the road we’re on from this point all the way down to Sauda, where we’d hiked Hovlandsnuten a month ago.
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Slettedalsvatnet
The large dam at the lake Slettedalsvatnet is a reservoir for the 48 MW Storlivatn power plant.
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Allmannajuvet
One of the several buildings at Allmannajuvet, an old zinc mine that is now a museum. 12,000 tonnes of zinc were extracted here between 1881 and 1800, and the mine was a major part of Norway’s zinc exports. The modern museum buildings were designed to fit into the landscape, resembling old mining structures.
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Breakfast
A hobbit’s second breakfast below a waterfall at Allmannajuvet.
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Trail
Walking the trail along the Storelva river gorge from the Allmannajuvet museum buildings to the mine itself.
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Mine Entrance
During the season, the Allmannajuvet museum operates guided tours into the old zinc mine. Everything is already closed for the season, but we could walk into the tunnel up to the secured door into the mine.
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Bridge
Modern pedestrian bridge at Allmannajuvet beneath a huge water pipe that crosses the road. We passed underneath the pipe by road en route to Allmannajuvet.
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Svandalsfossen
A portion of the impressive 590ft (180m) Svandalsfossen waterfall that we viewed from the water in Saudafjorden.
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Varstadtunnelen
Passing through the 2910-ft (887m) Varstadtunnelen just south of Sauda.
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Sandsfjordbrua
View from the road to the Sandsfjordbrua that we passed under in Dirona about a month ago when cruising Sandsfjorden.
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Ostasteidn
The view north into Sandsfjorden from the Ostasteidn rest area. Even in overcast and rainy conditions, the scenery in Norway is wonderful.
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Crossing Sandsfjordbrua
About to enter a tunnel as we cross Sandsfjordbrua.
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Lovrajforden
The tiny islet with a single red house and boat shed at the head of Lovrajforden, that we saw a month ago on our tender trip from the anchorage at Nevoyvagen.
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Lovra
We stopped for lunch at the Lovra viewpoint overlooking Lovrajforden where several picnic tables are visible at the edge beyond the trees.
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Berganuten
The dramatic bluff Berganuten just before the Suldalsporten tunnel.
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Javassnuten
The bluff Javassnuten directly opposite Berganuten. The scenery is quite spectacular as the lake narrows between the two bluffs.
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Ivarsflottunnelen
Passing through the 3326ft (1014m) tunnel Ivarsflottunnelen, completed in 2004 to replace a dangerous section of 1953 road susceptible to landslides.
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Hylen
At the Hylen Hydroelectric Power Station, workers were in the process of running new cables from here to way up high into the mountains behind the camera. The power plant in the background, designed by Norwegian architect Egil Sorteberg, was completed in 1981 and is being considered for listing as a heritage building.

We’d been in the area a month ago on a tender trip through the area and had wanted to go ashore then. But we couldn’t find a convenient place to tie the tender that wasn’t in heavy wash from the the tailrace turbulence, so returned by road.

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Suldalsvatnet
View towards the head of Suldalsvatnet. The 1,234 ft (376-m) lake is the 6th deepest in Norway.
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Brattlandsdalen
The spectacular gorge in the Brattlandsdalen valley along the 1887 tourist route from Stavanger to Odda, known as the Discovery Route. The section of road through Brattlandsdalen was considered the scenic high point of the trip. We’d caught a glimpse of the gorge on our way past, turned around to investigate, and found ourselves walking alongside the striking gorge on a section of the old 19th-century road. The stop is so wild and beautiful that we were surprised it’s not highlighted on the Ryfylke Scenic Route online information.
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Kvelven Tunnel
The Kvelven Tunnel through Brattlandsdalen was built in 1886 as a half-tunnel, with the section to the right still open. In 1920, the road was widened for automobiles and the outside tunnel wall added.
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Flesana Waterfall
The Flesana Waterfall, another of the highlights of the Brattlandsdalen section of the 19th-century tourist route from Stavanger to Odda.
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Lonanuten
3546-ft (1081m) Lonanuten soaring above the lake Nedra Lonavatnet.
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Old bridge
Old bridge, likely from the original 19th-century tourist route, across a gorge at Innigard.
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Austmannalia
Looking back down the switchbacks on the old road up the hill Austmannalia, now replaced by a modern road with a looping tunnel.
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Haukelifjell
Beautiful scenery, despite the overcast conditions, in the mountain pass Haukelifjell.
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Detour
The original road through the mountain pass Haukelifjell was opened in 1886. Portions of the route later were replaced with the 3.531-mile (5682 m) Haukeli Tunnel, the longest tunnel in Norway when it opened in 1968. We had wanted to experience the tunnel, but it was closed for maintenance, so we instead got to see more of the mountain scenery on a detour along the old road.
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Haukeli Tunnel
Part of the Haukeli Tunnel, viewed along the detour route.
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Haukeliseter
Views across the mountain plateau lakes at Haukeliseter, our turning around point for the road trip.
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Rescue Helicopter
Rescue helicopter at Haukeliseter. We’ve seen a few flying in the skies above us as we’ve been out hiking.
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Switchbacks
Following the one-way traffic along the switchbacks on the old road while we detour around the Haukeli Tunnel.
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Svandalsflona Tunnel
Passing through the 3454-ft (1053) 1968 Svandalsflona tunnel, completed in 1968.
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Horda Tunnel
The 1,558 () 475m) Horda Tunnel spiral tunnel, completed in 1988, turns in almost a complete circle on a continuous 7% grade.
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Tunnel 6
The 3-mile (4.7km) Roldal Tunnel was completed in 1964 and was the longest tunnel in Norway until the Haukeli Tunnel was completed four years later. The Roldal Tunnel now doesn’t even rate in the top ten longest of the over 900 tunnels in Norway, the longest being the 15.23 mi (24.51km) Laerdal Tunnel between Bergen and Oslo, also the longest road tunnel in the world.
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Odda
Back in beautiful Odda after a most successful road trip along the Ryfylke Scenic Route.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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