In 2005, the Atlantic Road was honored as Norway’s Construction of the Year. The National Tourist Route runs between two Norwegian towns – Kristiansund and Molde – that are the main population centers in the county of More og Romsdal in Western Norway.
The Atlantic Road (Atlantic Ocean Road) is an 8.3 kilometer long section of County Road 64, running through an archipelago and passing by Hustadvika, an unsheltered part of the Norwegian Sea. The structure is built on several small islands and skerries that are connected by causeways, viaducts and eight bridges. The longest and most prominent of the bridges is the 260 meter long Storseisundet Bridge.
But mere facts about the Atlantic Road do no justice to its magnificence. You need to see pictures to realize just how breathtaking it is. An aerial view of this long structure snaking through the sea is simply breathtaking. It’s hard for me to believe these pictures are real; they seem like someone’s imagination manifested on my screen. Better still, you could visit the road yourself and drive across it to experience its complete beauty. In fact, the Atlantic Road has been declared the world’s best road trip and is a popular site for automotive commercials.
The route for the Atlantic Road was first planned out as a railway line in the early 20th century. I think it would have been amazing – a train route right across the sea. Unfortunately, the project was quickly abandoned. The idea soon evolved to its present state, and serious plans were made in the 1970s to construct the road. Construction commenced on August 1st, 1983. Twelve hurricanes hampered the progress, but the road was finally opened six years later on July 7th, 1989.
Photo: Harald Mownickel
A whopping 122 million Norwegian krone were spent on it: 75 percent came from public grants and the rest needed to be recovered with toll fees. 15 years were scheduled for this, but the road was paid off in only 10 years, by June 1999.
Along the stretch of the Atlantic Road, there are several viewing platforms meant for tourists to enjoy the scenic beauty of the region. One of them is on the outer end of the breakwater at Askevagen, offering a 360-degree view of the archipelago, the ocean and the shore. At Kjeksa, there is a rest area with a trail and a viewing platform, from which a magnificent view of the shipping lane and the wide ocean unfolds. The terrain at Geitoya Island offers great spots to take photographs of the ensemble of bridges.
Photo: Giorgio Ghezzi
If you’re interested in fishing, head for Myrbaerholmbura, where specially constructed fishing bridges run on either side of the road. There’s a good chance you’ll catch some cod or mackerel, given the strong tidal flow.
Photo: Vincenzo Manzoni
I watched a video of someone driving through the Atlantic Road, and I can see why this wave-soaked, rollercoaster-like ride is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. This is going on my bucket list right away!