A project started in 2005, that now is showing the first amazing results, and that makes Norway even more beautiful to see: it is the National Tourist Routes, a sustainable initiative that combines art, design, and nature.

Atlanterhavsvegan National tourist Route, Norway
Atlanterhavsvegan National tourist Route, photo by Kjetil Scølberg via visitnorway.com

The best architects and designers of Norway, including Snøhetta, Margrete Friis, Peter Zumthor, Jensen & Skodvin, and Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk, have created the world’s unique panoramic roads for a total of 1859 kilometers, divided into 18 routes.
In western, Central, and North Norway, along the coast and in the mountains, rest areas, and panoramic viewpoints were created that do not destroy nature, but rather enhance the experience of travelers who live in it.

Rest area along the Helgelandskysten National Tourist Route,, Norway
Rest area along the Helgelandskysten National Tourist Route, photo by Vegas Moen via wisitnorway.com

There are many who choose to make a road trip to Norway; (I recommend, with an electric car!) and now the experience will be even more incredible. If panoramic roads exist in many other countries, these Norwegians remain unique in the world, because architecture and nature intertwine harmoniously, in a way perhaps never seen before.

There is, for example, the National Tourist Route Sognefjellet of 108 kilometers, 1,434 meters above sea level, that crosses the highest mountain pass in Norway, and that now allows you to see like never before its longest and deepest fjord.

You can travel the 230 kilometers of the National Tourist Route Lofoten and be amazed by the stunning landscapes of the Lofoten archipelago, or you remain breathless, across the Arctic Circle, passing the world’s largest tidal maelstrom, the unique Torghatten mountain, and the UNESCO listed Vega islands, along the incredible Helgelandskysten National Tourist Road.

Helgelandskysten National Tourist Route, photo by Steinar Skaar via wisitnorway.com

The National Tourist Roads in Norway rethink the architecture and design, which now is at the service of nature and of the travelers who want to live it fully. In some cases, the architectural gestures can almost go unnoticed, but they do change the face of the country, which, while remaining sustainable, re-evaluate the concept of tourism. The architectural gestures call the attention of travelers and distracted tourists, and emphasize the cultural and historical heritage of the spaces, making the experience unforgettable travel.

Some of these national tourist routes are closed in winter, so we recommend checking the website nasjonaleturistveger.no before departing.

Cover photo by Unsplash