Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger: Hiking Trails and Viewpoints
Foto: Fredrik Fløgstad, Statens vegvesen
Visit Norway’s most easterly points on a drive along Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger. The 160 kilometer long route traces the coastline on its journey from Varangerbotn to Hamningberg. Inland lies the Varangerhalvøya National Park, while the Barents Sea closes in from the other side. The scenic route leads past white sandy beaches, old fishing villages, and a shifting landscape of mountains and plains.
Get a feel for local life with short hikes along the coast or hike into the national park for remote natural wonders. The route is a paradise for birdwatchers with an incredible array of seabirds passing through and nesting in the area. Visit the islands of Ekkerøya or Hornøya or trek inland along the Komagdalen Bird Trail.
For a road trip through Norway’s raw and remote landscape combine this route with Norwegian Scenic Route Havøysund. It’s about a four and half hour drive between the two end points. From near the beginning of the Havøysund route you can also take a detour to the North Cape and Knivskjelodden, Norway’s most northerly points that are easily reachable from the mainland.
Road closures The section of road between Smelror, just north of Vardø, and Hamningberg is closed during winter, normally from November to May.
Public transportation The Hurtigruten ferry stops daily at Vardø and Vadsø and other popular destinations along the northern coast, including Kirkenes, Havøysund, and Honningsvåg. Check the port-to-port options for shorter journeys.
A bus runs two to three times daily (except Saturdays) between Kirkenes and Vardø, stopping in Varangerbotn and Vadsø. Check departure times on Entur.
Tips • There are endless opportunities for camping along the route, whether by the roadside or further inland. Just remember to be protected against the cold.