Reaching Unstad has until fairly recently been challenging. There were footpaths along the shore northwards to Eggum and over the mountain to Mærvoll in the south. Getting there by boat was only advisable during short periods of the year. The first work to build a public road southwards over the mountain Varen started towards the end of the 19th century, and later on there have been two other major road projects in the 1950-60s and the 1990s. All the three projects are still clearly visible at the inner end of the valley.

As the first road was built by man power alone great care was taken to set out a route that needed as little digging and blasting of rock as possible. Furthermore the inclines shouldn't be too steep and so this road gently winds its way upwards with minimal impact on the landscape. The first road was completed in 1904 and it is still used by walkers and cyclists. There are eight bends and they each have their own name
“Skrekulen” (the landslide bump), “Småsvingen” (the little bend),”Eliotsvingen” (Eliot's bend), “Damsvingen” (the bend by the dam), “Ragnvaldshellarn” (Ragnvald's overhanging rock), “Rundsvingen” (the round bend), “Hårtindsvingen” (the mountain Hårtind's bend), “Kleivdalsvingen” (the bend by the valley Kleivdalen).

The people of Unstad started work on their second road in 1954 and this followed the northeast side of the valley in a much straighter route up to the top of Varen. It is clearly visible to the right on the photo. The road was completed in 1968 and was a major improvement. However, too much snow in some places made safety and reliable access a major concern, and in 1994 plans to build a tunnel through the mountain were realized. The new road makes a straight line from the village through the cultural landscape to the end of the valley.