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How would you like to feel like you’re on top of the world – and have the photos to prove it? Stegastein, the lookout tower in Flåm, hovers 650 metres above the Aurland fjord and is guaranteed to give you a breathtaking, panoramic view (and Instagram stories) of the surrounding landscape. Just, please, if you’re afraid of heights, don’t go near the edge.
Sogn og Fjordane county is downright magical. It’s home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the longest fjord in the country, not to mention all the jaw-dropping glaciers, waterfalls and national parks. So it’s understandable if you find yourself needing to take a step back and admire all the beauty of Sogn og Fjordane properly. And there’s probably no better place in the area than the Stegastein platform for you to do just that.
Aurlandsfjellet, in Sogn og Fjordane, is one of Norway’s 18 scenic routes. From Flåm, where the fjord ends, you can take a bus and follow the Aurland road to Lærdal (what the locals call “the snow road”) until you reach the Stegastein lookout tower. Don’t worry, there’s no way you could miss it. The viewing platform is 31 metres long and 3.3 metres wide, jutting out of the mountain 650 metres above the Aurland fjord.
It may look like it’s made from wood, but rest assured the Stegastein lookout tower is much sturdier – it’s actually made from steel, dressed in solid pine. A lot of thought has gone into the construction, which was designed by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen and completed in 2006. The platform has gained many accolades for its genius architecture: it goes on for 30 metres and then ends in a dramatic drop that’s covered in an almost invisible pane of glass, giving you the sense that you’re actually falling into the fjord.
Of course, you’re not actually falling. The lookout tower that’s been called “diving board” and “ski jump” due to its abrupt drop is, in reality, perfectly safe. The architects have stated that it’s meant to look scary and exciting on purpose so that you feel there’s nothing standing between you and the elements of nature (although there is). So, if you’re not afraid of heights, go ahead and lean in for these panoramic fjord views.