Grenland has a long, varied and fascinating coastline stretching from Bamble in the south to Porsgrunn in the north.
Enjoy cycling on quiet rural roads, through forests and open country, and stop off in the coastal towns of Langesund and Brevik. You should also allow time for several bathing stops at the area’s beautiful beaches.
Starting out from the pretty town of Langesund, we head south towards Kragerø on National Cycle Route 1. The route is well signposted, and a route map is available. The distance from Langesund to Valle is about 20 km.
Many cyclists arrive in Langesund on the ferry from Helgeroa in Vestfold, which operates on a fixed schedule between Midsummer’s Eve (23 June) and the beginning of the new school year in mid-August.
Our itinerary starts in Langesund at the ferry terminal or the town centre. While in town, we suggest you cycle the length of Vaterlandsgate and admire the fine old wooden houses. At the far end of the street, enjoy the fabulous view out over the Langesundsfjord to the open sea.
Another major attraction in the area is the Gea Norvegica Geopark (www.geanor.no), which includes exhibits at Steinvika and Rognstranda on the cycle route (plus lots of great fossils). Look out for the information panels.
Leaving the town centre, follow the National Cycle Route 1 signs. You will soon find yourself at the start of the beautiful coastal section.
After about 5 km, head east towards Riis and Hwy E 18. Traffic is light, but there are some steep downhill sections. Along the way, make a detour down to Rognstranda, Norway’s loveliest beach. Combine a dip with a visit to the Geopark exhibit, which features information panels on local geology.
Back on the main cycle route, you pass through a forest (well signposted). Take extra care when navigating this especially steep and gravelly section. When you emerge from the forest, an ordinary paved country road brings you to Valle. Watch out for traffic on this road.
If you’re looking for a place to stay en route to Valle, turn off for Kjønnøya, about 7 km after Åbykrysset (where you rejoin the paved road after the forest). Here you will find a great campsite, Kjønnøya Camping, with a few cabins and ample space to pitch your tent amid beautiful surroundings. For more information, call VisitGrenland at +47 35 90 55 20.
Arriving in Valle, you have reached the crown jewel of the Bamble coast. Here you will find a grocery store, a restaurant, specialty boutiques, and a gallery featuring works by local artists. The community is a hive of activity from Easter until late September.
From Valle, many cyclists go back the way they came, but you can also continue west to Kragerø. You will encounter quite a few hills as you cycle along narrow paved roads, but there are plenty of great stopping places along the way. Another option is to take the taxiboat from Valle to Jomfruland, where you can stay overnight and cycle around the island before taking another boat to Kragerø. From there, National Cycle Route 1 continues south towards Kristiansand.