Allow yourself to be awed by Norway's architecture, design and industrial history on this four-day journey through stunning scenery. Highlights include stays at the majestic mansion Rjukan Admini, the minimalistic Energihotellet and Høyevarde Fyr Hotell. Getting from A to B between these boutique hotels is all part of the experience too: immerse yourself in the nooks and crannies of old stave churches and pin-sharp modern architecture, imposing power stations and Viking burial grounds, mountaintops, waterfalls and an idyllic whitewashed village by the water, with royal connections.
Season: Summer, May – September, Duration: 3 nights/4 days.
Includes: Historical hotel stays with local breakfasts and three-course dinners at Rjukan Admini, Energihotellet (The Energy Hotel) and Høyevarde Fyr (Lighthouse). Up Digital Travel Guide.
Price per person from: €477 / $506 / NOK 4285 *Based on two people travelling together.
Slideshow: 1: Høsebrua (Høse Bridge) on Scenic Route Ryfylke. Architect: Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter (Jarle Lunde). 2: Public rest rooms at Allmannajuvet, Architect Peter Zumthor (Lars Grimsby). 3: Svandalsfossen Waterfall on Scenic Route Ryfylke (Roger Ellingsen). 4 & 5: Energihotellet (The Energy Hotel). 6: Gaustatoppen (Håkon Nordby). 7: Rjukan Admini. 8: Høyevarde Lighthouse.
DAY 1: OSLO – RJUKAN (2 1/2 HRS)
Rjukan, cradle of the Second Industrial Revolution
If arriving from Oslo, stop to admire Heddal Stave Church en route. The Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Site is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Your home for the night, Rjukan Admini, has entertained prominent guests since 1908. Here, you will get the feel of a fin de siècle court as you settle into the majestic surroundings and admire the mansion's meticulous attention to detail. Sink into a chair in the library, sip a whisky or vintage wine, and indulge in the excellent local Telemark cuisine.
DAY 2: Rjukan – suldal (3 Hrs)
Power stations, Mountaintops and Impressive Buildings
Attractions such as Vemork and Solspeilet (The Sun Mirror) are worth a visit, but Rjukan is also a great base for mountain hikes of varying lengths. How about a walk or cable car ride up the mountain to Gaustatoppen for a waffle and a 360 degree view from the top? Once you’ve had your fill of everything this charming village has to offer, continue to Energihotellet, a masterpiece of 1960s functionalism by Geir Grung. The architect strove for a minimalist style, with the bedroom functioning as a kind of painting, framing the idyllic views towards Suldalsvatnet lake and the surrounding mountains. Dinner is served along with an introduction to the history of the building in front of the hotel’s famous gilded fireplace.
DAY 3: SULDAL – kARMØY (3 hrs)
Scenic Route Ryfylke to Høyevarde Lighthouse
Norway has 18 selected routes bejewelled with design and architectural treats. This morning’s route is one of them. At Almannajuvet you can marvel at Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s spectacular installation at a gorge by an old zinc mine. Walk 540 steps to feel the dazzling spray from Svandalsfossen waterfalls before continuing to the coast. Høyevarde Lighthouse is a true treasure in virgin landscape. The lighthouse was constructed in 1700 and is now a protected cultural heritage site, offering a unique dining and quality overnight experience.
DAY 4: coast, village & vikings
Skudeneshavn, 'the White Lady of Empire', & Avaldsnes Viking Ground
Enjoy a leisurely morning – after all, it’s not every day you get to wake up in a lighthouse! We recommend the 30 minute drive along the water's edge to Skudeneshavn, an exquisitely preserved olde-world collection of white-painted Empire-style houses. Ramble around the heritage trail through this charming, picturesque settlement. Round it off with a visit to Avaldsnes – Norway's oldest royal seat – for an insight into the Viking Age. We will either help you find your way back to where you started, or make a plan for your continued exploration of Norway.