Åndalsnes is located at the mouth of the river Rauma, at the shores of the
Romsdalsfjord, one of the fjords protected as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Famous in the 19th century for salmon fishing, the Rauma flows through the Romsdalen Valley widely considered some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of Norway.
Although the river’s salmon stocks are now being replenished, today Andalsnes is better known as a centre of excellenece for Norwegian alpine sports. Mountaineering, climbing, hiking and even base jumping are all readably accessible. A newly opened Norwegian Mountaineering centre boasts Norway’s highest indoor climbing wall.
Some 15 kms out of Andalsnes is the Trollstigen (Troll Road), a mountain road that climbs the pass between the Isterdalen and Valldal valley. It’s one of Norway’s major attractions due to the steep inclines and eleven hairpin bends, only open in the summer months.
Equally exciting is a three hour round rail trip from Andalsnes to Dombas on the Rauma Railway line. A feast for the eyes from the comfort of a carriage, mountains, valleys and waterfalls come into sight, as the route follows the Rauma river. Trains thoughtfully slow down at the most photogenic spots. A feat of civil engineering the track passes over countless bridges and through tunnels, the train even performs a 180 degree turn underground.
Easily missed, look out at the train station in Andalsnes for a chapel converted from an old red "Intercity Special" railway carriage. The only train chapel in Norway and perhaps the world!