The most exciting part of Helgeland for cyclists is the coastline. Fjords, shallow inlets, secluded beaches, soaring eagles, remote fishing villages and countless islands with extraordinary mountains are just a few things you can expect.
Spend some time in the old fishing villages in the Lofoten Islands and Helgeland, look for puffins and other wildlife, join a whale safari, find a secluded beach and catch your own fish for dinner. In Helgeland you can also visit the only eider duck museum in the world.
The season lasts from early June to late September.
Cycle along fv. 17, the Coastal Route through Helgeland, from Brønnøysund to Bodø.
Many roads follow the ocean closely and are fairly flat and easy for cyclists. The landscape is highly varied with thousands of islands, green forests and valleys, fjord shores and flat countryside with grand sea views.
One of the most popular options is to go north from the town of Brønnøysund in Helgeland, accessible by plane or the coastal steamer Hurtigruten.
Hurtigruten stops at many interesting cycling locations on its way from Bergen to Kirkenes.
When you cycle along the coast of Helgeland, you will notice a myriad of islands, both close to the mainland and further out in the ocean. A detour to the islands makes a nice break from riding along the highway. On the islands the pace of life is slower and there is hardly any traffic. A few islands worth visiting are the Vega Islands, Dønna, Herøy, Lovund, Rødøy and Træna, all of which are served by regular ferry or express boat services.
From Sandnessjøen to Bodø, three ferry trips (25, 60 and 10 minutes each) are included, allowing for natural breaks. If you want to cover the whole distance of the coastal highway (Steinkjer to Bodø), there are a total of seven ferry trips.
If you plan to go further north from Bodø, we advise you to bring your bike onto Hurtigruten or the express ferry Nordlandsekspressen instead of cycling along E6. Both options take you across the Vestfjord to the spectacular formations of the Lofoten Islands. While there is a fair bit of traffic on the Lofoten Islands in the summer, there are plenty of routes you can choose to avoid the main roads.
The islands of Vesterålen north of Lofoten are less populated and less congested. Here you will find many pleasant cycling options, especially on the western side of Hadsel and the dead-end road from Sortland to Myre and Nykvåg.
From Sortland to Andenes, choose the western road along the Andøya Island. It may be windy, but the open landscape with white beaches and mountains is worth the effort.
Between Andenes and Tromsø you cross the Senja Island, with a jagged, rough coastline. The route is relatively flat thanks to a few tunnels along the way.
In Helgeland you can hire bicycles at the tourist information centres of Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen, or book online at visithelgeland.com.
You can choose between rorbuer (fishermen’s cabins), apartments, hotels and campsites with cabins. Many lodgings are particularly welcoming to cyclists. Visit northernnorway.com for more information and to book online.
How to get there
There are direct flights from Oslo and Trondheim to Tromsø, Bodø, Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen. Alternatively there are trains to Mosjøen and Bodø and bus connections to Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Bodø, Narvik and Tromsø. Visit northernnorway.com for more information about transport.