The National Tourist Route Ryfylke through Ryfylke, which opened in 2011, is one of the longest of Norway’s 18 National Tourist Routes. The route through Ryfylke – from Oanes by the Lysefjord to Hårå in Røldal – is 183 kilometres long and travels Rv. 13 and Fv. 520.
You can now discover the National Tourist Route using our free app Ryfylke Multiguide. This guide for smartphones is a multimedia guide to points of interest along the way. It can be downloaded and used without roaming costs.
Norway’s National Tourist Routes offer exceptional scenic experiences, passing through some of the country’s most magnificent landscapes. Along the way are viewpoints and picnic areas, designed to enhance the pleasure of travellers and to fit in with the surrounding scenery. The National Tourist Route Ryfylke is an exciting encounter with the very best of Fjord Norway – with stunning fjords, a myriad of beautiful islands and islets, forests, heathlands and lush farmland, sheer cliffs, screes and boulder fields, and a cultural landscape that tells of Ryfylke’s long history.
Ryfylke’s three most famous attractions are the Lysefjord, the Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) and Kjerag. As you travel the scenic road you will discover picnic areas set in beautiful surroundings, and cultural monuments that are centuries or even thousands of years old. You may also want to check out our 360 panorama skycam images of the region.
Your journey starts at Oanes in the south, overlooking the mouth of the Lysefjord. From the lodge Preikestolen Fjellstue, slightly further northeast, you can take a rewarding hike to the top of Preikestolen (a two-hour walk). A little further north you will find petroglyphs at Solbakk and Årdal old church. Skomakarnibbå rises high above the southern shore of the Jøsenfjord. The fjordside village of Jelsa, with its old wooden houses and distinctive church, are well worth a detour. Then you can pause at the picnic area overlooking the Lovrafjord, before you continue to Sand. In this village do visit Ryfylke Museum, and stop at the Salmon Studio at Sandsfossen falls to watch powerful salmon swim upstream to their spawning areas and cross the new Høse bridge. Relax with a cup of coffee and savour the panorama from the café. From Sand there is a ferry to Ropeid, where even the strikingly designed waiting room merits a closer look.
On the north side of Sandsfjord, just before you reach Saudasjøen, is Svandalsfossen falls. A series of stairs climb up close to the waterfall – you can really sense the force of the water! Near the town of Sauda you can visit the zinc mines at Allmannajuvet. Until 2015 the National Tourist Route Project will open new buildings at Allmannajuvet designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. Over the next few years additional picnic spots and viewpoints will be added along the road. In Sauda town centre you can enjoy friendly shopping.
From Sauda and Allmannajuvet the journey continues to Røldal. The road over Saudafjellet, which takes you through a varied landscape and a 900-metre high mountain pass, was completed in 1960. The scenery is magnificent and parts of the road are quite narrow, so please take your time. Saudafjellet pass, on Rv. 520 between Hellandsbygd and Røldal, is closed in the winter when the snow can pile up to five–six metres thick! During winter use the alternative route Sand–Røldal along Rv. 13, where freely grazing goats may share your road.
This summer route is part of the Fjord Road from Sandnes in the south, through Hardanger and Vikafjellet, and northwards to Førde. The Fjord Road comprises two additional National Tourist Routes: Hardanger and Gaularfjell.
To get here: To reach the National Tourist Route Ryfylke from the south, take either the Lauvvik–Oanes or Stavanger–Tau ferry. From the north you can drive via Røldal. If you arrive from eastern or southern Norway, via Suleskar, we strongly advise you book a space well in advance on the popular Lysefjord ferry, from Lysebotn to Oanes.
National Geographic Traveler picked Fjord Norway as one of the 20 best places in the world to visit in 2011.