Gaularfjellet: Driving from Sognefjord to Sunnfjord

Gaularfjellet is one of the 18 lesser-known Norwegian tourist routes. Here’s what you need to know about road trips:

One of the things we wanted to do on our road trip last summer was to cut off a few more scenic routes in Norway. Road trips are a natural bucket list for drivers, especially during the summer months.

Gaular fjellet Country scenic route sign. Photo: Trine Kanter Zerwekh
Gaular fjellet country sightseeing route. Photo: Trine Kanter Zerwekh

After driving some of the most famous ones, we left Barrestado and headed north. After a while, I found a brown sign indicating the beginning of a scenic route. It was something I didn’t even realize I was here!

It turned out to be the Gaural Fieretto, a historic cross-mountain route between the Sogun and San Fjord districts. Divided into several sections, the total length is 114 km and the altitude is increased by 784 meters.

See drive highlights

If you prefer watching rather than reading, check out this video I made along the way.

If it stimulates your curiosity, read on.

Introducing Norwegian tourist routes

Norwegian Country sightseeing route 18 designated roads with the best views offered by Norway.

Government funding has improved conditions and facilities along each route. Rest areas, perspectives and picnic areas, combined with the features of contemporary architecture, have become tourist attractions in their own right.

Introducing Gaular fjellet

Connecting Magnificent Sognefjord The Gaural Fjord, home to the San Fjord region, is a historic mountain crossing. Today, it is a quiet alternative to major roads and popular tourist routes.

The winding road of Gaular fjellet. Photo: Jarle Wæhler / Statens vegvesen
The winding road of Gaular fjellet. Photo: Jarle Wæhler / Statens vegvesen

The designated tourist routes include part of Route 613 between Moskog and Barestado and Route 610 between Sande and El Darsosen.

Roads between Mel and Mjell are closed during the winter. This closure usually takes place from December to the end of April, but some roads may be closed at night during bad weather or during the first few weeks after the opening in spring.

This route is best known for its winding climbs, spectacular perspectives and numerous waterfalls along the waterways.


The The charming village of Barrestado It is located on the coast of Sognefjord at the southern end of the route.

Norwegian bar restaurant de

This is a local cider farm, the charming Kviknes Hotel, Intriguing British church.. It is highly recommended to stop here overnight as part of a long road trip.

The route begins a few miles north of the village and crosses the ferry from the south side of Sognefjord.

Beauty begins as soon as you leave Barrestado. The road (Route 13) skirts the fjord as it heads towards the mountains for sensational views. It’s like a picture.

Driving by Sværafjorden near Balesrand.
Driving by Sværafjorden near Balesrand.

So much, we had to stop the car to take a picture in just 5 minutes of the trip! When you get back to your car, the scenery changes quickly and you’ll climb a winding mountain trail within 15 minutes.


Since its opening in 2016, this spectacular perspective has quickly become a tourist attraction in its own right.

The Triangular concrete platform There are three “wings” that give the visitor a different perspective under the mountain valley and hairpin turn, and the bathroom block (summer opening only) offers the driver a clear advantage.

A “Utsikten” perspective designed by CodeArkitektur. Photo: Frid-Jorunn Stabell, Statens vegvesen

The platform, which is over 700 meters above sea level, uses concrete that captures natural vegetation and ultimately blends into the colors of the mountains.

Upon arriving at Uzikten, the valley and surrounding mountain peaks were covered with clouds. However, it took only 10 minutes for most of the clouds to clear, so we were able to see the amazing scenery we wanted.

“In addition to the fact that the scenery is wonderful, I believe that the special architecture and its place in the landscape attracts people here. The architectural expression is special and of the facility in nature. The placement is adapted to the location. ” Trine Canter Zellweff Of the Norwegian Public Road Authority.

Gaular fjellet mountain trail image

The Road Administration describes the rest of the route as a “waterfall area.” It’s a bit poetic, but it’s still a good explanation of what to experience with the rest of the route.

Fossestien: Waterfall Path

The road runs along the Gaularvass draget, and the protected waterways feature wild torrents and waterfalls, but also gentle stretches.

The 21km-long hiking trail Fossestien follows old river trails and mountain trails, past 14 waterfalls and 7 lakes. Parking lots for Eldal, Likholefossen, Longestølen and Torsnesstølen are available to up-and-coming hikers.

Torsness tølen

Gaularfjellet’s water theme is highlighted by the thought-provoking artwork at Torsnesstølen’s rest area.

A stone path to
A stone path to “The Mirage” artwork along Gaular fjellet. Photo: Therese Ludo / Statens Begbesen.

Marianne Haier’s artwork consists of 10 wells. Nine of them are in Malawi, where water is scarce, and ten are here. According to official sources, “water represents both a specific element and a metaphor for the distribution of the world’s resources.”


Beeblossom’s river system can be powerful and there is no better place to experience its energy than Likholefossen.

The flexible steel bridge is one of the most famous waterfalls along the route and makes visitors feel at home. It also connects to the Fossestien Trail.

A bridge over the waterfall Likholefossen. Photo: Bjorn Andresen / Staten's Begbesen.
A bridge over the waterfall Likholefossen. Photo: Bjorn Andresen / Staten’s Begbesen.

Vik, a few miles west of Likholefossen, has two scenic routes. Turn right and follow Route 13 towards the Nordfjord. Along the way, there was another natural resting place at Viksdalen Camping.

The powerful river of Viksdalen Camping.
The powerful river of Viksdalen Camping.

The left turn to Route 610 continues along the river and is also part of the designated tourist route. Both roads will connect to E39.


Hestad is the most popular resting place along Route 610, a scenic route. Two walkways start from the modern service building (with bathroom!).

One is an elevated ramp that takes visitors over the water and the other runs along the water’s edge.

Hestad chapel. Photo: Frid-Jorunn Stabell, Statens vegvesen
Hestad chapel. Photo: Frid-Jorunn Stabell, Statens vegvesen

The Hestad Chapel is hundreds of meters from the rest area.It’s not Norwegian stave churchI used to stand here. It was replaced by a chapel in 1805. The original wood of the old church was used for construction.

Driving Gaular fjellet in winter

The section from Mel to Mjell is closed during the winter. This is the section from Balestrand where the hairpin climbs the mountain and includes Utsikten’s point of view.

Closures vary depending on the weather and the amount of snow, but usually occur from mid-December to the end of April. When it opens in spring, it may be closed suddenly depending on the weather and nighttime. But it’s a great time to visit.

The spring opening of Gaular fjellet is a beautiful time. Photo: Bjorn Andresen / Staten's Begbesen.
The spring opening of Gaular fjellet is a beautiful time. Photo: Bjorn Andresen / Staten’s Begbesen.

Please note that the toilet will be closed from the end of October to the beginning of May.

Have you ever driven a Gaular fjellet? Please let us know what you think. If you enjoyed this post, why not share it on Pinterest? You can find the perfect pin by pressing the red Pinterest button. Gaularfjellet: Driving from Sognefjord to Sunnfjord

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