Th alpine town turned cruise port is nestled where the Romsdal Alps meet the northern end of the Unesco-listed Romsdalfjord. Situated at the mouth of the river Rauma, which flows through the Romsdalen valley, Åndalsnes is famed for its spectacular scenery, with its forest walks and hilly terrain making it a magnet for hikers. Often referred to as the mountaineering capital of Norway, Åndalsnes is nearby to Trollveggen (the Troll Wall), the tallest vertical rock face in Europe.
Why cruise Andalsnes
Cruisers have been sailing to Åndalsnes for more than 120 years, no doubt drawn to its spectacular scenery and natural attractions. Åndalsnes, together with Molde, the main town in the region, is located in the Romsdalsfjord, a Unesco World Heritage Site. As well as an amazing coastline, Norway also boasts some of the world’s most scenic drives, many of which are situated in Åndalsnes, including the Atlantic Ocean Road and the Rauma Line. Alternatively, the more intrepid among you can tackle the area’s challenging treks, such as the Trollstigen. Offering adventure, incredibly sightseeing and spectacular scenery, the Norwegian town offers something for every type of cruiser.
What to see and do in Andalsnes
Trollveggen (Troll Wall)
One for the intrepid, Europe’s tallest vertical rock face – which stands around 3,600ft high from its summit – features the continent’s longest climbing route. Today, climbers from all parts of the world come to visit the Troll’s Wall to try out the various routes to the top.
Norwegian Mountaineering Centre
This new visitor centre in Åndalsnes explores Norway’s mountaineering history and the country’s outdoor mountain activities. The centre includes a museum which details the development of mountaineering from the first ascent of Romsdalshorn in 1828 up until the modern day, a unique multimedia show and Norway’s highest indoor climbing wall.
Raumabanen (Rauma Line)
If you’re not feeling active, then there is another way to see Åndalsnes’ dramatic landscape without having to hike. Opened between 1921 and 1924, the iconic Rauma Railway takes you between the town of Åndalsnes and the village of Dombås, passing through some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery and stopping at famous sites, including Kylling Bridge and Trollveggen, Europe’s highest perpendicular mountain wall. Harry Potter movie fans will be able follow in the actors’ footsteps, with parts of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince having been shot on the Rauma Railway.
Stretching out over 5.2 miles, this scenic roadway is a cultural heritage site and has been classified as a National Tourist Route. It connects Averøy with the mainland via a series of small islands and islets spanned by eight bridges. Viewpoints have been strategically placed throughout the route, but the best is Askevågen, which boasts a 360º view across the ocean. Cruise lines such as Fred Olsen and Princess offer an excursion to the Atlantic Road, which includes panoramic drive along the Isfjorden to Afarnes, where you'll take a short ferry ride to the village of Sølsnes to board the coach that will take you to the Atlantic Road via an underground tunnel.
Another scenic and memorable drive in Åndalsnes is the famous Trollstigen (The Troll’s Path). The panoramic mountain route includes 11 seat-gripping hairpin bends and a hair-rising steep gradient. The drive is punctuated with photo-worthy viewpoints, including one in the valley near the cascading Stigfossen waterfall. On reaching the top, you will be greeted with magnificent views over the Isterdal valley and the surrounding rock formations, which have christened special names, including Kongen (the King), Dronningen (the Queen) and Bispen (the Bishop). Costa Cruises, Holland America Line and Princess are just a few of the cruise lines to offer this as an excursion. The intrepid among you can also choose to hike up Trollstigen via a trail, which residents refer to as the troll’s staircase.
Need to know when travelling to Åndalsnes
Getting around in Åndalsnes
In Åndalsnes, you will be docked conveniently in the centre of town. Most of the main sights are located away from the town and you can either book organised cruise excursions with your cruise operator or go independently.
When to go to Åndalsnes
For the least rainfall, the best time to visit Åndalsnes is from June until September.
Andalsnes uses the Norwegian krone.
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don't need a visa to enter Norway if you're not planning to stay longer than three months.
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