Explore the small town of Andalsnes
Situated in the municipality of Rauma at the mouth of the Rauma river in Norway you will find the small town of Åndalsnes. This little town in the Romsdal valley has only 3000 inhabitants so it is a great place to get a feel for Norwegian small-town hospitality. While the Raumabanen railroad may end here, Åndalsnes is the starting point for one of the most scenic motor drives in the country, the Trollstigvegen.
The Trollstigvegen is a two hour drive along Route 63 which takes passengers high up into the breathtaking Norwegian mountains and down again into the beautiful valleys. The journey starts with an engineering marvel known as Ørneveien (Eagle's Road). The road consists of eleven nerve-testing hairpin turns which culminate in the Ørnsvingen (Eagle's Bend) turn - one of the best places for viewing the Geirangerfjord. And if you thought that the hairpin turns were daunting, you then get to enjoy a 1:12 gradient decent right into Geiranger on a one lane road - definitely not for the faint-hearted!
A great place to stop for a rest is at the Stigfossen Waterfall. These thundering, pristine waters plummet 590ft (180m) to the pools below, delivering a fine mist to the immediate area. Once you're back on the road the next stop is the Vegmuseum at Trollstigen, a little museum that is situated at the pass. The museum is a must-see as it's a tribute to the incredible road you have been journeying on. The next impressive sight is that of the Trollveggen (Troll Wall), a formidable challenge to all mountaineers who have climbed it since the first team did so in 1965. The Trollveggen is an introduction to the Romsdalen Alps as it is usually the first part of the mountain range that visitors see. However the rest of the mountains are not quite so steep and there are dozens of hiking trails which can be enjoyed in the area. Many of the trails will have you climbing to the summit of some striking mountains which offer absolutely amazing panoramas in clear weather.
The Romsdalsfjord is one of the most scenic fjords in western Norway. If you prefer fishing to driving and hiking, you can arrange to enjoy a four-hour fishing tour at the tourist office where you will also be able to purchase an annual local fishing license. While the majority of Åndalsnes' attractions are best enjoyed by those who are moderately fit, the breathtaking landscapes and peaceful town are delight anybody who takes the time to visit.