The Atlantic Road -
The road over seven bridges and six islands
Last update June 2016. Weekend trip
One of the National Tourist Routes runs for 36 km from Kårvåg to Bud over various bridges really close to the ocean. This and the stretch from Molde to Bud to Kristiansund makes this a very pleasant weekend trip.
Starting off in Molde
We started off the weekend by flying to Molde and staying there at the iconic Scandic Seilet hotel, the one that is shaped like a sail, hence the name "seilet". For such a little town a lot was going on alongside the water front and on the main shopping street. It probably helped that the immensely popular local football team played that day, so lots of people with "hh" scarf, T-shirts and baseball caps were running around. After a quick trip to the sightseeing point "Varden" from where you can overlook parts of the town, but more interestingly the whole fjord, we went early to bed as we planned to be early up in the morning.
Following the coast line
Our destination for the next day was the little island of Håholmen (see box). We had plenty of time to get there as the direct way is only about 50 km from Molde. So we took the road closest to the sea via Gauset, Hollingen, Tornes, Bud and Hustad.
For being so "far" up North and so close to the rough North Sea the landscape is surprisingly gentle: Lush, green rolling hills where the roads meanders between them, with plenty of typical, beautiful farm houses in red and white. The weather helped as well to create a very fresh, vivid picture as it changed often between sunshine, clouds, heavy winds and some spots of rain.
Along the "Atlanterhasvegen", which is a National Tourist Route, you find 6 specially places to stop. Kjeksa is the first one coming from West: It is just a simple platform and a long way towards the sea but it suits well the rather barren landscape. Afterwards comes Askevågen, a small glass and steel construction reaching out into the landscape. For no good reason we manage to overlook that one... Next time then.
The other stop points are the Storseisundet bridge, that is the famously bended bridge over often wild water, as well as a couple of more bridges, which were apparently quite interesting for anglers; at least quite a lot tried their luck.
From the Storseisundet bridge it was just a 10 min ride with the taxi boat from Håholmen to our overnight stay for the next 2 nights.
The famous bended Storseisundet bridge
This bridge is quite a construction - but, admittedly, it looks more dramatic on pictures than in reality: the bend is not that extreme and
the impressive view depends on selecting the right viewpoint.
What makes it special anyhow, is the weather and the surrounding nature: We figured it's best during sunset or when it is a bit foggy. You will have the most dramatic view during a heavy strom when the waves roll against the pillars and spray water high up and the wind blows it all over. Then the bridge might be closed, of course, so you better be on the right side when the show starts!
Unfortunately, we had none of the above, but enjoyed it anyhow.
Kvernes stave church
On the way from the Storseisundet bridge to Kristiansand, there was a chance to further complete our visits to all stave churches of Norway: In the south-east corner of the same island the bridges are located, Averøy, you find the Kvernes church. This one is famous for its rich and well preserved interior.
Unfortunately, we can tell only from hearsay and saw it only from the outside because it opens for visitor not before June 25th - so we were a week early... Great planning.
Yes, it was a bit fresh that day...
Overnight stay at Håholmen
Håholmen has once been one of many small fishing villages along Norway's coast line.
When small scale fishing had no future any longer, it was abandoned and a bit later the 10 buildings were transformed into a hotel. Now you can sleep in one of the small houses, enjoy a rainy day in the bar and restaurant or have a big event in the great hall where groups up to 80 people easily find place.
All in a great atmosphere that provides you with a glimpse how remote and exposed life has been here in the beginning of the past century.
So it is a little charming hideaway, perfect for bookworms when the weather is bad, for kayak enthusiasts in case the weather is good or for bird watchers and photographers in either case. We went for the kayak option even though with 12 degrees Celsius it was not as warm as we hoped for in mid-June and we begged not to loose control over the kayak, the water was for sure much much colder. First we intended to paddle to and under the Storseisundet bridge but we shied away from it as we had to go under another bridge first and there was quite a current. So we just enjoyed ourselves by paddling around the countless little islands, which was great as well.
Yes, we have been to Kristiansund but not long enough to talk much about it. Also, the weather was really bad, so our first impression was not that great. After walking up and down the waterline and quick visit to the city center with the usual shops, we stopped at a cafe, had lunch and finally headed back to Molde to catch the plane to Oslo.
We have to return when it is sunny and warm, we figured, because every little village we have seen and that lies at the coastline, has not some nice spots to enjoy it.
Distance from Oslo
550 km / 7,5 hrs by car
45 min by plane to Molde
The road over 7 bridges, of course
The city of Kristiansund
View from Varde in Molde
Stavechurch in Kvernes
Overnight stay we can recommend
Håholmen, see above
In Molde: Scandic Seilet, iconic building
With a kajak under the various bridges and between the small islands and rocks in the water: fabulous!
Click on the map for opening the right clipping in google maps in a new window