Image by Natalia Eriksson 500px Images

South of Åndalsnes, the Troll's Ladder is a thriller of a climb or descent. Recently declared a National Tourist Route, it was completed in 1936 after eight years of labour. To add an extra daredevil element to its 11 hairpin bends and a 1:12 gradient, much of it is effectively single lane. Several dramatic waterfalls, including the thundering 180m-high Stigfossen, slice down its flanks.

At the top, a visitors centre has been built from concrete, rusted steel and glass, to both withstand the extreme terrain and to mimic its many textures. Leading from here are dramatic viewing platforms that jut here and there over the abyss and offer panormas of the snaking road and the lush valley below, as well as a perputal waterfall soundtrack. Around you as you descend are the open reaches of Reinheimen National Park, established in 2006 and Norway's third largest, where wild reindeer still crop the mosses and soft grass.

The pass is usually cleared and open from late May to mid-October; early in the season it's an impressive trip through a popular cross-country ski field, between high walls of snow.