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Stalheimskleiva

Stalheimskleiva, the steepest road in Northern Europe

Located in Vestland county, in Western Norway, Stalheimskleiva is the name of a very challenging drive. With a brutal gradient, it’s said to be one of the steepest roads in Northern Europe.

How long is the Stalheimskleiva?

Tucked away a few miles to the north of Voss, in Hordaland county, just off the main highway in Norway, the serpentine mountain road is 1.9km (1.18 miles) long. It’s totally paved and runs east-west, from Nærøydalsvegen 351 road to Stalheimsvegen 132 road. There is a total of thirteen hairpin bends on the road. It’s one of the famous hairpinned roads in the world. It’s very narrow, so speeds are often reduced as cars make the hairpin turns. Previously, cars traveled in both directions on this road making it a bit risky if surrounding drivers were not as skilled. Now, maybe because of the tourist buses, it is a one-lane road. 

Is the Stalheimskleiva steep?

The road is very steep, hitting a 33% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. With this gradient it’s said to be one of the steepest roads in Northern Europe. The elevation gain is 244 meters and the average gradient is 12.84%.

Is the Stalheimskleiva road open?

This road is usually impassable from late October through late June or early July (depending on snow and ice). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year. The Stalheimskleiva road was built by manual labour between 1842 and 1846 in order to improve the post road between Oslo and Bergen.

Is the Stalheimskleiva worth it?

This is a remarkable road trip. Plan around 6 minutes to complete the drive. The road is, today, primarily used by tourists. Along the road, you can experience the magnificent views of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Nærøydalen valley. The Stalheimskleiva road runs up a ridge between two cascading waterfalls that can both be seen from the road. To the north, you can see the Sivlefossen waterfall, which has a fall of about 140 metres. To the south, the Stalheimsfossen waterfall with a fall of 126 metres.

 

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