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For the broader district in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway, see Romsdal.
View of the Romsdalen valley
Romsdalen is located in Møre og Romsdal
Møre og Romsdal and Oppland, Norway
Long-axis direction NW-SE
Long-axis length 60 kilometres (37 mi)
Type River valley
Coordinates 62°26′50″N 07°50′00″E / 62.44722°N 7.83333°E / 62.44722; 7.83333Coordinates: 62°26′50″N 07°50′00″E / 62.44722°N 7.83333°E / 62.44722; 7.83333
Population centers Åndalsnes
Watercourses Rauma River

Romsdalen is a valley in Norway. The 60-kilometre (37 mi) long valley runs through Rauma Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county and Lesja Municipality in Oppland county. The traditional district of Romsdal, which makes up about one-third of the county, is named for the valley of Romsdalen.


Road E136 at Marstein, Romsdalshorn in the distance.

The valley begins at the lake Lesjaskogsvatnet and it follows the Rauma River to the northwest to the town of Åndalsnes, where the river empties into the Romsdalsfjorden. The Raumabanen railway line and European Route E136 highway both run through the valley. The Romsdalsalpene mountains surround the river and the valley, including the mountains Store Trolltind, Store Venjetinden, Trollryggen, and Romsdalshornet.[1]

Romsdal Museum (Romsdalsmuseets) based in the town of Molde is one of the largest and most extensive folk museums in Norway. The Romsdalen Folk Museum is an outdoor museum which aspects of life in the Romsdalen valley from the 14th to the 20th century.[2]


The Old Norse form of the name was Raumsdalr. The first element is the genitive case of a name Raumr probably the old (uncompounded) name of the Romsdalsfjorden, again derived from the name of the river Rauma. The second part of the word is dalr which means "dale" or "valley". Thus the name means "The Dale of Rauma".

In fiction[edit]

The fictional detective Harry Hole is mentioned as being originally from Åndalsnes in the Romsdalen valley, while the series' writer Jo Nesbø is actually from Molde in the same region. The Bat, first book in the Harry Hole series, includes a passage of reminiscences, which might be based on the writer's own experiences:

"(...) [Harry Hole] told him about Åndalsnes, a tiny settlement up in Romsdalen Valley, surrounded by high mountains which were so beautiful that his mother had always told him that that was where God had started when He was creating the world, and that He had spent so long on Romsdalen that the rest of the world had to be done post-haste to be finished by Sunday. And fishing with his father on the fjord early in the morning, in July, and lying on the shore and smelling the sea - while the gulls screamed and the mountains stood like silent, immovable guards around their little kingdom".[3]

— Jo Nesbø, The Bat, Chapter 23


  1. ^ Welle-Strand, Erling (1996). Adventure Roads in Norway. Nortrabooks. ISBN 9788290103717. 
  2. ^ Historikk (Romsdalsmuseets)
  3. ^ Nesbø, Jo (1997). "Chapter 23". Flaggermusmannen [The Bat]. ISBN 9788203180729.