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The best road in Norway: Fylkesvei 17

Forget the Atlantic Road if you are looking for the road with the best views over the Norwegian landscape! The Atlantic Road is overrated and many consider it a tourist trap. The best road I drove in Norway was definitely the Fylkesvei 17 (short: Fv17, translates to: Coastal Route 17).

Don’t get me wrong, Trollstigen and the Eagle Road at Geiranger are amazing, but are only good for a few kilometers of excitement. The Fv17 runs from Steinkjer to Bodø and has a total length of 630 and includes 6 ferries. You should bring some time when you want to drive this road because you will need to wait a lot for these ferries. Or, let me rephrase that: you will have some extra time to enjoy the Norwegian coastal scenery.

I skipped the first kilometers of the Fv17 because I spend the night at Rob and Ines’ house in Åfjord (Thank you, Rob and Ines!) and did not want to drive to Steinkjer first. Today I will drive to the village just before the first ferry on my route and tomorrow I will have to do 3 ferry crossings.

The road quality of the Fv17 is really good. It’s easy to drive with a motorcycle but also with a car with caravan. You will drive through a lot of small villages and there is hardly any traffic on your route. There are also hardly any restaurants or supermarkets. The supermarkets I spotted, were a combination of a gas station, supermarket and usually some other kind of store. You can get some basics here, but don’t expect anything fancy (or fresh/non-frozen, but maybe you are lucky…)

I did not visit any special or remarkable places at the Fv17, the road and the scenery were spectaculair enough. These are some photos that I took on my trip today.

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My house

You need at least two or three days to drive the Fv17. I needed to spend two nights and did not have any camping gear with me. Usually I try to find an apartment or room on Airbnb but I did not find any accommodation for my first night. I did find a cottage, which is rather expensive if you are traveling alone, but there was no other choice on the night that I needed a place to stay.

I decided to rent the cottage. It costed around €90, which is a fair price for the place, although it meant that I would have to save some money the next couple of days. The place is huge, you can sleep here with 4 people easily, has a fancy terrace, and is obviously in some kind of fishing hotspot. There are pictures on the walls of people showing of with their freshly caught fish, and there is a fridge to keep your fish fresh… if you are into fishing, of course.

You can pay by card at the gas station 50m further down the road, because the cabin owners wife works there. I guess they let their guests pay by card and then get cash out of the cash register, or something like that.

Website: bogen-feriehus.no

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Day 2

I leave my beautiful and huge cottage in Bogen around 10 in the morning and get ready for the first ferry on my trip. Today I will have to take three ferries on the Fv17 and I will not be completely in charge of my time on the road. Luckily, this part of the Fv17 is supposed to be one of the most beautiful parts of the road, let’s find out! Already before I get to the first ferry, I get spoiled by this amazing view. I am not sure if my day could start any better. I love this country!

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Ferry Holm – Vennesund

Twenty minutes later I arrive at the ferry docks and there are already a bunch of cars waiting. I pass the cars and put my bike on front of the line. (It took me a few ferries to get comfortable to pass all the waiting cars. Then I figured out that the ferry people always wanted me to board first and were more annoyed if I would waste the space of a car in the middle of the ferry). I’m lucky, and I only have to wait 15 minutes to board on the ferry. This ferry crossing takes the usual 20 minutes (this seems to be a thing in Norway, I would guess that 80% of my ferry crossings took 20 minutes) and costed me 58 NOK (about € 6,50).

I drive to Brønnøysund after I get off the ferry in Vennesund. The area around Brønnøysund seemes to be an area where you can easily spend several days if you are into hiking and exploring the nature. There is also a famous rock, Torghatten, just west of Brønnøysund and I spontaneously decide to visit it. The views during these few kilometers from Brønnøysund to Torghatten are absolutely stunning. I think I might have taken the best photo of my trip up here.

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When I finally (after all the photo stops) get to Torghatten, I decide not to take the walk up to the mountain because it would probably take too long. There is a sign that says that I would need about 30-45 minutes to get up the mountain, and 30-45 minutes back. It is already 13:00 and I was already on the road for three hours. Therefore I decide to drive back to Brønnøysund and get lunch at at “Lokalmatbutikk” (lokal = local, mat = food, butikk = store), which was a good choice. They have a sunny terrace and several people were already enjoying the sunshine. I take off my jacket, order a (delicious!) burger, take a seat on the terrace, and enjoy the sun for almost an hour.

Ferry Horn – Anndalsvågen

I need to drive for about ten minutes to get from Brønnøysund to Horn, where the second ferry of the day is already waiting for me. This ferry also takes about 20 minutes and costs 54 NOK (about € 6,05), a little bit cheaper than the previous one. I consider myself really lucky because you usually have to wait for ferries. Today, two out of two ferries are already waiting for me when I get at the ferry docks. I actually might be in Sandessjøen really early if the third ferry will also be waiting for me. That would give me some extra time to sort out those photos I took earlier today and writing some stories… Hmm.

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When I get of the ferry in Anndalsvågen, there seems to be only one single road between this and the next ferry crossing. The road is about 20 kilometers long and there is a supermarket and a church. When I get to the ferry dock, I am surprised that the timetables of both ferries are not synchronized. I have to wait 45 minutes. I drive back to the supermarket, buy some groceries and take some photos at the church. There is not much more to see or do at this island, but at least I did not waste any time.

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Ferry Forvik – Tjøtta

This is the second time that I pass the cars that are already waiting at the ferry docks for 45 minutes. While waiting for the ferry, I speak to some Norwegian people that recommend me to keep my camera ready on the ferry because we would have a view on the Syv Søstre (seven sisters) mountains. This ferry is more expensive than the previous two. This one costs 85 NOK (about € 9,50) and needs about an hour to get to Tjøtta. It is good value for money though: the view from the ferry is awesome. On the last photo you see the Syv Søstre (seven mountain tops).

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It is already 17:00 when I get off the ferry in Tjøtta and I continue my trip to Sandessjøen. I’ve been on the road for 7 hours now, although that includes spending my time at the ferries. I don’t feel exhausted and can easily drive a bit further than Sandessjøen, but I picked my accommodation in strategically because it would leave the perfect distance to drive to Bodø, my destination for tomorrow. I take some photos and continue to my Airbnb accommodation. Tomorrow I will cross the Arctic Circle for the first time in my life.

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