With a length of 1,7km and a gradient of 20%, Stalheimskleiva is one of the steepest roads in Northern Europe. This road lies a few miles to the north of Voss, in Hordaland county, just off the main highway in Norway. It has 13 hairpin bends and was built during 1842-1846.
This road is very exciting. Experience the magnificent views of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Nærøydalen valley. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don't forget your camera with lots of film/memory, fully charged batteries and an empty memory card! 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.
The road includes some steep sections. The surface of the road is asphalt. This road is open except from winter-season, when there is snow and ice, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. There are a total of thirteen hairpin bends on the road. 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.
It’s one of the famous hairpinned roads in the world. The route demands 100% concentration. This road has humbled many egos. It’s not for the sissies and shouldn’t be attempted by novice drivers. The road starts at an elevation of 119m above the sea level and ends at 377m. The ascent is 1.75 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 258 meters. The average percentage is 14.7 %.
There are sheer drops virtually along the entire route and enough hairpins to make a whirling dervish dizzy. A quick glance at the map at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. The Stalheimskleiva road was built by manual labour between 1842 and 1846 in order to improve the post road between Oslo and Bergen.