Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.
Getting To Know Åndalsnes – Cruise Port Guide
Located at the end of the Romsdalsfjord, the ninth longest in Norway, Åndalsnes is blessed with a wonderful setting, between the lofty mountain peaks and the waters of the fjord. Without a doubt it’s the scenery of the area that you’ll love about this destination. Our Åndalsnes cruise port guide is the perfect planning tool to ensure you make the most of your time ashore.
This is a small town, and you don’t even really need a map to get around it. This destination is all about exploring the breath-taking scenery. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a trip on the train from Åndalsnes through the Rauma valley. The train station is located next to the port at 4 metres above sea level and the line ends in Dombås, 659 metres above sea level, 100 kilometres away. The Raumabanen’s been described as one of the finest railway stretches in Europe and it first opened in 1924 after 40 years of planning. Since the route started almost 100 years ago it has played an important role for the people of Åndalsnes and to a wider extent Norway, transporting the Bank of Norway’s gold reserves to safety during the Second World War and in recent times transporting all the cruise ship tourists through the Rauma valley. It has even become famous in the movies, having been featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince standing in for the Hogwart’s Express route using a veteran train belonging to the Norwegian Railway Club.
Aside from the railway, the surrounding area derives a lot of its mystique from Norwegian folklore, particularly concerning trolls. Trolls are generally depicted as harmless but mischievous creatures, who live in the mountains and head into the villages and towns at night to misbehave. Local folklore says they only come out at night, because the daylight sun would petrify them and turn them into stone. Maybe that’s why close by one of the most impressive rock faces, and in fact the tallest vertical rock face in all of Europe is known as the Trollveggen, or Troll Wall, rising up over 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) as part of the mountain massif Trolltindene, or Troll Peaks. Then there is the Trollstigen, also know as the Troll’s Path or Way of the Trolls, a mountainside road that has 11 hair pin bends , winding over 700 metres (2,300 ft) high to a viewing plateau and is overlooked by mountains known as The King, The Queen and The Bishop. The Stigfossen waterfall falls 320 metres (1,050 ft) down the mountainside and can also be viewed from the viewing platforms at the rest stop area.
So whether its heading off on a leisurely rail journey, or going in search of the mythical trolls and their namesake local attractions, you’re sure to be in awe of the impressive vistas that abound in and around Åndalsnes.
The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone. Norway has a reputation as one of the most expensive countries in Europe and the average price of a standard cup of coffee is around £3/$4. Budget accordingly if you plan to dine out each day, as meals are roughly around 110kr per person (£11/$13 per person).
The Rauma Railway is part of the Norwegian National Rail Service and tickets can be obtained at the railway station near to the port. This is also where you can find tourist information and taxi services for visiting local attractions. It is advised to ride the train to the station at Bjorli and then alight for the returning train service back to Åndalsnes
Did you know that an old train carriage has been converted into a sweet little chapel, known as the Church on Rails. Take a moment to visit inside and have a moment of reflection before you set off on your adventures for the day.
There are a few hiking routes from the port, the most impressive being the hike up the Romsdalseggen. It takes about 1 hour to 90 minutes to make the ascent up to the summit of Nesaksla, 715 metres above sea level. From here you have sweeping views of Åndalsnes, The Rauma Valley and the Romsdalsfjord. The start is fairly simple with organized walways, before it gets tougher on the Romsdalstrappa, a series of natural stone stairs built by Nepalese Sherpas that leads to a viewpoint called Rampestreken. This metal viewing platform is very impressive, jutting 6.5 metres out into thin air, 550 metres above sea level. From this point it’s only around 20 minutes more to reach the top, so bring plenty of water, use footwear suitable for a rough hike, or sneakers and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.
Key highlights of Åndalsnes
- Rauma Railway
- Troll Wall
- Rødven Stave Church
- Norsk Tindesenter – Indoor Mountain Climbing and Climbing Museum
Regular cruise line visitors
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- P&O Cruises
- SAGA Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Celebrity Cruises
- Viking Ocean
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