There are compelling reasons why your rented motorhome should be headed towards Molde. If timed right, you can be a part of one of the largest jazz festivals in the world, and then keep on rocking down the Atlantic Road. This small 8 kilometer stretch of highway is large when it comes to infusing your trip with once in a lifetime experiences.
The Molde Jazz Festival
Each July, the quiet town of Molde turns into a frenzy of jazz as close to 100,000 visitors turn up to celebrate the music. The festival goes on for a week, seemingly around the clock, as artists from around the world show up on stage. Over a 100 distinct concerts are scheduled during this time, and a lot of them are for free.
The 2015 festival will be running from July 13th through the 18th, and has already scored an incredible line-up of internationally acclaimed artists. These include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kris Davis, Gregory Porter and Robert Plant. New acts are constantly being added so you never know exactly who else may show up.
This is a full scale festival, with booths set up all over the town selling arts and crafts, food and clothing. The hotels in town fill up months in advance, but you’ll have no trouble finding a place to lay your head since with your rented motorhome. Just 4 kilometers east of town is a popular campground that will roll out the carpet for you and your motorhome.
While in Molde, make it a point to take the hour long walk to the Varden Viewpoint. This vantage point gives spectators a spectacular look at the Molde panaroma and its 222 snow laden mountain peaks.
The Atlantic Road
Your Molde trip will not be complete without a 4 and 1/2 hour trip along the Atlantic Road. Just follow fv. 64 to the roundabout at Moen and continue on fv. 663 to fv. 664 which takes you to Bud, and the start of the Atlantic Road. This is one of the most visited attractions in Norway and a winner of the Engineering Feat of the Century award in 2005. Once you head out on your journey, you are going to understand why.
Seven bridges make up the road, connecting various small islands that lie between Molde and your destination – Kristiansund – located in the Western Fjords. Keep your eyes peeled as you pass over the bodies of water for whales and seals passing below you. Along the way you will come across four inviting rest stops which feature viewing platforms to gaze onto the Atlantic from.
At the end of your scenic journey over the Atlantic Road you arrive in Kristiansund, a small city that was almost completely demolished during the second world war. The rebuilding resulted in a city with some of the most interesting and complex architectural elements in Norway. The city spreads out over 5 different islands, just off of the Norway mainland. Allow ferries to shuttle you back and forth as you explore the city and its incredible heritage and make sure to stop off at the Kristiansund Opera House. Built in 1914, it is the oldest opera house in Norway and one of the few buildings left standing after the bomb raids of the early 1940’s.
Both Molde and Kristiansund offer unique views into the heritage of Norway. This is an area where motorhome exploration is encouraged with a stretch of highway that is a tourist attraction in itself.