Climate and temperature
The summer climate of Norway is well suited for outdoor activities like cycling and hiking. On a good day temperatures can reach 20 – 25 degrees Celsius. Southern Norway has the best climate, in Fjord Norway there is more rain, and in Northern Norway it is often a few degrees cooler.
At altitudes of 1,000 metres or more, daytime temperatures are often around 15 to 19 degrees, or a bit cooler when it is raining. The summer weather is not extreme but can change fast. Make sure you check the weather forecast before you go.
June, July and August are the best months for cycling. May and September can also be fairly warm, but generally these months have more unstable weather. Having said that, the spring in Norway is beautiful when nature comes back to life, whilst in the autumn the colours are spectacular.
For high mountain roads like Rallarvegen (the Navvies' Road) over the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, with an altitude of 1,340 metres, the season often starts as late as the first week of July due to snow conditions.
Clothing and equipment
The weather in Norway can be both fascinating and challenging. One day it is rainy and cold, the next day the skies are clear and you can go out in just shorts, t-shirt and sandals.
For a comfortable ride, you need to stay warm and dry. Pack a waterproof jacket, trousers and gloves. If you do not have waterproof shoes or boots, it is advisable to bring waterproof shoe covers.
A set of thin woollen long johns is great for cycling on cool days. A light fleece jacket will give extra comfort during breaks along the way. For sunny days it is important to use a high sun protection factor – even up north, the sun is very strong in the middle of the summer. We advise all cyclists to wear helmets.
Be sure to bring bike lights to be prepared for tunnels.
Where to stay
There is a wide range of accommodation available, from basic camping cabins to top class hotel. "Cyclists Welcome" refers to accommodation that caters for the needs of cyclists. They offer safe bike parking, dinners served in the evenings, a place to wash and dry your clothes and the possibility to make a packed lunch for the next day. You can find this type of accommodation at a range of hotels, motels, campsites and youth hostels.
National cycle routes
The national cycle routes currently consist of 10 different routes. These routes aim to connect regions that are interesting for cyclists in terms of nature, culture and attractions. The routes follow the coast or go through valleys, making it possible to cover long distances and still avoid the major roads.
A zoomable map is available at vegvesen.no (the Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s website).
There are many tunnels, especially in Fjord Norway. You can cycle through most of them or ride an alternative road that existed before the tunnel was built.
You should always use bike lights for visibility in tunnels, even in those that are lit.
In front of the tunnels you will find a sign with the name and length of the tunnel. Make sure you check this information before you enter – some of the tunnels are more than five kilometres long.
Most of the national cycle routes avoid tunnels.
Traffic and safety
Along the main roads you can ride fast, but it is neither pleasant nor safe. It is a good idea to avoid the main roads from Oslo to Bergen (E16), to Kristiansand (E18), to Hallingdal and Geilo (national route 7), and Trondheim and Bodø (E6).
Use a map to find alternative roads along these highways. This may make the trip more uneven and slow – but much safer.
Some mountain roads that lead down to the valleys and fjords can be long and steep. Several descents have hairpin bends. Control your speed and remember to check your brakes.
For more information on how to stay safe in the Norwegian wilderness, read these safety brochures:
The Norwegian association of cyclists and the Norwegian association of mountain bikers have produced some guidelines in order to enhance safety and reduce conflicts between cyclists and others. The guidelines emphasise that cyclists should have a responsible approach to cars, pedestrians, nature and fellow bikers.
A few tips on road conduct
- Stay visible – use a high visibility vest or bright coloured jacket
- Ride in a predictable way and indicate clearly when turning or changing direction
- Yield to pedestrians
- Use a helmet
Trains and buses
You can bring your bike on trains or buses. Most companies charge half the price of an adult ticket for the bike. Remember that there is no guarantee that you may bring your bike on an express or a regional train line, unless you have made a reservation for your bike in advance. Space is limited and most trains carry just two to five bikes.
On local train lines it is not possible to prebook so you will not be able to find out if there is room for your bike. For questions about bikes and train transport, please call the Norwegian State Railways on +47 815 00 888.
Zoomable maps with details of roads, terrain, gradient and more are available at kart.statkart.no.
Cappelendamm’s tourist maps are great for planning long bike trips (scale 1:335 000/400 000).