Norway has some of the most majestic scenery on the planet, from the highest mountains to the deepest fjords; from the gentle rolling highland tundra to the rocky beaches of the 25,000 kilometre coastline. For tourists, this can mean the vacation of a lifetime – to experience a road trip in the most beautiful areas of Norwegian nature, making exciting stops, and meeting the friendly local people along the way.
Several years ago, the Norwegian Public Road Administration (NPRA) set out to make a vision come true – to make the already beautiful road network in this country even more fulfilling – with a focus on unique, high quality experiences combining the landscape with creative architectural projects. Together with the Architectural Council for the National Tourist Route Project, the NPRA began the task of making an excellent Norwegian road network even more inviting, with the use of design, architecture and urban planning as part of the Route Project.
The National Tourist Route Project blends architecture with nature.
© Bjorn Andresen/NPRA
A Part of Nature
Now, those who travel along any of the 18 designated national tourist routes will experience architectural wonders clearly showing the special relationship Norwegians have with their natural surroundings. Not only are the roads in excellent condition, the surrounding countryside also has the look of a home ready to receive guests – clean and inviting.
In addition to these aesthetic niceties, practical tourist needs have been taken into account with the installation of car parks with capacity for summer traffic, pull-off and scenic points that allow travellers to fully appreciate their journey, picnic areas, overnight parking, hotels, restaurants – in effect, everything that you would want on a journey through the scenic wonderland of Norway.
Choosing the Best
Together with the NPRA, the Architectural Council has been a valued partner in choosing the best architects for each stretch of road, ensuring that each site is a piece of excellence. In addition, Norsk Form is making the project known from a broader perspective with exhibitions and written material, including a book on the National Tourist Route Project.
The Norwegian authorities have a long tradition of using creative architects who best understand how the art of architecture can be holistically combined with the surrounding terrain and scenery. The designs have been made by a wide range of architects and designers from Norway as well as abroad, and several sites already have received international recognition within the architecture profession.
Getting to Know You
The National Tourist Routes Project is designed to touch the hearts and souls of tourists by showcasing magnificent scenery in harmony as it runs along fjords, coasts, mountains and waterfalls. The 18 selected routes embrace Norway and its beautiful countryside, and invite you to take a break and enjoy life at a slower pace.
NPRA Project Manager Hege Lysholm says, “There’s an old saying that goes: ‘Whoever makes a journey has a story to tell’. We are making sure that those who make the journey along the National Tourist Routes in Norway will have stories to last a lifetime.”