Trollstigen (in translation from Norwegian “The Troll’s Ladder”) is considered one of the 10 most scenic tourist routes in Norway.
It is located in the municipality of Rauma, just a few miles from the fjord coast of western Norway.
You will find it not far from the towns of Andalsnes and Valldal. It is one of the main transport connections between Romsdal Fjord and Geiranger Fjord.
How it looks like
The route is considered one of the most terrifying in Europe, due to its 9 percent slope and extremely sharp turns.
It follows the easiest route through a beautiful and scenic glacial valley dotted with numerous natural wonders.
The descent to the town of Andalsnes and the low lying valley, however, wouldn’t have been possible without the 11 hairpin bends.
While many tourists choose to travel the route by car, hiking enthusiasts enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views from the nearby hiking trails and viewing facilities.
Why was the Trollstigen road created
When the Trollstigen was built in 1936, no one could have imagined how popular this place would one day become.
The road aims to provide easy and quick access from the town of Valldal to Andalsnes.
In a straight line, the two settlements are 35.4 km (22 miles) apart and are located on the shores of two neighboring fjords.
However, traveling between them is difficult and time consuming due to the mountainous terrain in the area.
What is the length of the Trollstigen and how long does it take to cross
The length of the route is approximately 106 km (65.9 miles).
However, the most popular part of the twisty mountain road is less than 6.5 km long (just over 4 miles).
Despite the relatively short length, the average time to cross the Trollstigen is about 4 hours.
Because of the steep slope and nearly 360 degree hairpin bends, even the most experienced drivers are extremely slow, even on dry, clear and sunny summer days.
To make your trip safe, slow down and fully enjoy the beautiful nature.
The Best Time to Visit Trollstigen
As a typical Scandinavian country, Norway is characterized by short cool summers and long winter seasons.
Summers bring spring-like temperatures, but winters can be harsh, albeit milder than in other countries lying at the same latitudes.
The altitude of about 850 m (2,790 ft) above sea level at some points of the route additionally worsens the weather conditions. That is why Trollstigen is usually open to cars only for a certain period of the year.
In most cases, the road opens in May (more rarely in June) and welcomes tourists until autumn.
It normally closes to travel somewhere between September and December (usually in October), depending on the weather conditions in the particular year.
Thick fogs and clouds are a quite common sight here during the autumn and winter season.
Not to mention the long-lasting and deep snow cover, which makes the passage completely impossible.
The best time to visit Trollstigen is in July, when the average temperature is around 15°C / 59°F. In August, temperatures are quite similar, but precipitation increases significantly.
Here are the maximum daytime temperatures in the vicinity of Trollstigen in the summer half of the year:
May – 11°C / 51.8°F
June – 14°C / 57.2°F
July – 15°C / 59°F
August – 15°C / 59°F
September – 13°C / 55.4°F
October – 11°C / 51.8°F
How to get there
There are several different ways to get to Trollstigen, and it all depends entirely on your preferences, finances and available time.
In most cases, the most affordable way to get there is by car but you need to drive to Norway from your home country.
Another very good option is to hire a car there. You should know, however, that it takes between 5 and 6 hours driving to reach from Oslo to Trollstigen.
By now, this is the fastest way to get to Trollstigen. It is the most expensive but also the most comfortable.
It takes approximately 55 minutes to 1 hour to get there.
There are regular flights between Oslo and Molde, which is the busiest town in the vicinity of Andalsnes.
Several different cities in Norway have regular lines to Andalsnes and Oslo is one of them.
It takes approximately 6 hours to reach your destination.
The prices are affordable.
This is another affordable way to get from Oslo via Dombas to Andalsnes. It takes, however, more than 6 hours.
What to eat
As the area is relatively secluded and remote, it’s a good idea to bring some food and water in your bag when traveling to Trollstigen.
If you still have forgotten to prepare a sandwich or something else for your trip, you can support yourself with a meal at the Trollstigen Visitor Center.
Here you can find sandwiches, fish, sausages, shrimp, french fries, desserts and many others.
If you don’t take advantage of this opportunity, on the way to Andalsnes there are only one or two roadside restaurants to eat before you reach the town.
Where to stay
The nearest accommodation options fall within the limits of the surrounding towns, especially Andalsnes and Valldal, but not only.
The hotels in the area are very few, but on the other hand there is a good choice of bungalows, cabins, holiday homes and apartment rooms where you can stay comfortably.
What clothes to wear
Choosing the proper clothes for Trollstigen is difficult.
You have to be ready for any kind of weather, even in the heat of summer.
On some days in July and August you can feel comfortable with a T-shirt, while others are cold enough for a jacket.
During the other months (May, June, September, October) it is good to bet on warmer clothes, for example sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets.
Wind and waterproof clothing is always welcome as the weather could be quite unpredictable.
4 Best Things to Do in Trollstigen
The Troll’s Road is a good reason to visit one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
The place is inspiring, and according to the Norwegians themselves, the route is among the 10 most exciting in the country.
To make the most of your trip, here’s what you shouldn’t miss:
1. Visit some of the viewing platforms
Trollstigen is well-known for its several breath-taking viewing platforms, which have been constructed on the most scenic places.
The structures were designed by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter.
The architecture company based in Norway and Denmark is known for its innovative solutions and projects.
The Trollstigen platform is easily accessible and offers a safe way to enjoy the view from places that would otherwise be virtually inaccessible.
For your convenience, there are several car parks nearby where you can leave your car while exploring the facility.
2. Enjoy the Trollstigen Visitor Center
The Trollstigen Visitor Center was completed in 2012, after 6 years of construction.
Here you can have a warm cup of coffee or a tasty sandwich while enjoying the beauty of the surrounding landscape from inside.
The modern looking building is known for its beautiful stepped fountains outside.
3. Take a few pictures of the Stigfossen Waterfall from the old Stigfossbrua Bridge
There are several wonderful waterfalls along the Trollstigen route.
Approximately 320 meters (1,050 ft) tall, the most popular of them is the Stigfossen Waterfall on the Istra river.
As this is a snow-fed river, the waterfall is most beautiful in late spring and early summer.
If you want to enjoy the most impressive view, you have to go to the Stigfossbrua bridge, built in 1930.
4. Enjoy the Troll Wall
One of the biggest tourist attractions in the area is the Troll Wall (Trollveggen).
It comes to a steep (almost vertical) mountain ridge that rises 1,700 m (5,600 ft) above sea level.
Despite its rather average height, the prominence of the mountain wall on the background of the low lying glacial valley is more than 1,100 m (3,609 ft), which makes the ridge the most impressive in Europe.