About Kystriksveien Waterfalls
The Kystriksveien Waterfalls were kind of my waterfalling excuse to talk about the beautiful coastal drive along the county road Fv17, which is also known as the Kystriksveien.
It’s hard to convey in words just how spectacular this drive was for us, especially since we did it on a sunny day.
We could have also continued further south towards Stenkjer, but for the purposes of this write-up, we’ll only focus on the waterfalls that we’ve encountered especially around the Svartisen Glacier.
Pages like these are hard to compose because there were so many waterfalls that we noticed, but for only a fraction of them, we could take a picture safely.
And of that fraction, even fewer could be identified.
We’ll do what we can as we describe how we did the drive going south on the Fv17 starting near the Saltstraumen around Bodø and ending near Mo i Rana.
From Saltstraumen to Norskehavet
We basically started by leaving the Rv80 and going south on the Fv17 about 16km east of Bodø.
We then drove south past the Saltstraumen (12km south of start of the Fv17), where strong tidal currents can be seen when the tides transition from low tide to high tide or vice versa.
Further to the south we passed by more dazzling displays of sharp mountain peaks juxtaposed with the Atlantic Ocean.
At around 74km south of the junction (or 62km south of Saltstraumen), we then stopped for a series of snowmelt waterfalls dropping side by side down some massif.
There was a definite pullout where we got to look at these falls, but it was against the sun in the afternoon of our visit.
The Svartisen Glacier
Continuing further south on the Fv17, the road then bent around a peninsula before entering a very scenic fjord and valley.
At roughly 36km from the waterfall pullout we stopped at (or 110km from the start of the Fv17), we started to see waterfalls coming down from the melting Svartisen Glacier.
Due to the glacier’s former presence, we witnessed the familiar sharp U-shaped valleys with steep walls, which made the waterfalls spotted here that much more dramatic.
The vast majority of the waterfalls that we saw along the stretch of the Kystriksveien that we’re describing on this page were here.
Unfortunately, as was customary on lots of the Norwegian roads, pullouts were few and far between so we didn’t really get a chance to stop for many of these.
Eventually, after passing through a very long tunnel that went underneath the Svartisen Glacier, we then showed up to the visitor center about 10km after the exit of the tunnel.
Another kilometer west of the visitor center was a car park where the boat would go back-and-forth every hour to get closer to the terminus of the Engabreen arm of the Svartisen Glacier.
And another kilometer after that, we found a viewing area where we got our best views of the Engabreen arm of the Svartisen Glacier.
Ferries and the Deviation to Mo i Rana
In another 11km to the west, we then had to catch a ferry between Æsvik and Ågskardet.
After this ferry, we then had to drive another 27km (including a dark and narrow tunnel) before arriving at the long and fairly infrequent ferry between Jektvik and Kilboghamn.
There were more waterfalls that I noticed while on the long ferry ride though most of the waterfalls were pretty distant from the vessel.
This included a waterfall that tumbled behind the town of Kilboghamn, which became harder to see the closer to the ferry dock we got.
After getting off at Kilboghamn, we drove about 59km straight to a junction where we left the Fv17 for the Fv12, which then went about 34km to the industrial town of Mo i Rana.
The Kystriksveien Waterfalls cover the Gildeskal Municipality in the north, the Meløy Municipality in the middle, and the Rødøy Municipality to the south. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit each municipality’s websites here, here, and here.
You can route to each of these towns pretty readily using software like GoogleMaps.
For geographic context, Bodø was 53km (under 1 hour drive) west of Fauske, 228km (over 3 hours drive via the E6) north of Mo i Rana, 300km (under 5 hours drive) south of Narvik, 473km (under 7 hours drive via the E6) north of Brønnøysund, and 585km (about 8 hours drive via the E6) north of Steinkjer.
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