History of the Atlantic Road in Norway

Flying is convenient, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned road trip! Getting behind the wheel of a car and hitting the open road is the ultimate freedom, and nothing is out of your reach! But if you want to cruise among the best routes in the world, the Atlantic Road should be at the top of your list.

Let’s take a look at this scenic route and the incredible effort it took to build it!

What is the Atlantic Road?

The Atlantic Road, often called the Atlantic Ocean Road or Atlantic Highway, is located in Norway and is popular for its scenic beauty and unique engineering.

It was named a Norwegian Scenic Route for its picturesque beauty and tourist-friendly infrastructure. And there are plenty of parking lots, viewpoints and rest areas to explore along the way!

This modern masterpiece stretches for 5.2 miles (8.3 kilometers) along the beautiful coast of Møre og Romsdal county and connects the island of Averøya with the mainland. The road stretches across roughly 60 miles and runs through an archipelago of small islands and islets.

It crosses eight bridges, including the Storseisundet Bridge, which is often referred to as the “Drunken Bridge” due to its curved and roller-coaster-like design.

When Was the Atlantic Road Built?

Construction on the Atlantic Road kicked off in 1983 and was completed in 1989. The road was built to simplify transportation and communication between the multiple islands that it passes through. It was also meant to boost tourism throughout the area.

 Building a road of this complexity while battling the elements was no small undertaking. It involved constructing several bridges and viaducts to span the islands. The area was hit by twelve hurricanes throughout the six years of construction!

Private investors, local municipalities, and the Norwegian government funded the project costing 122 million Norwegian krone (NOK).

The Atlantic Ocean Road is Toll-Free

Initially, tolls were to be collected for 15 years following the construction. But 10 years later, in 1999, the road was paid in full, and the tolls were removed. It is now preserved as a cultural heritage site and named a National Tourist Route.

The Norwegian Construction of the Century

In 2005, the Atlantic Road was named the Norwegian Construction of the Century. It is often called the “world’s best road trip” and has been featured in various TV shows, movies, and commercials! The initial plan was to build a railway line in the early 20th century. However, this idea was abandoned, and planning for the road began in 1970. 

Beyond the Road Trip

In addition to the fishermen who frequent the Atlantic Road, cycling is extremely popular along the route. In fact, it also has been voted Norway’s “Best Cycle Route” for many years in a row by worldwide organizations. 


Norway is a beautiful country with some incredible landscapes. But if you want a truly unique and breathtaking experience, taking a drive across the Atlantic Road will scratch that itch. Whether you are walking, cycling, or taking a drive, this scenic route has something for everyone!

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