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Cycling on the island of Hadseløya, Norway - Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo
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Cycling on the island of Hadseløya, Norway Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo

A cycling expert's favourite bike trips in Norway

Author of cycling books Øyvind Wold names 10 of his favorite biking trips in Norway. Some of them are well known, others in undiscovered places.

Kystriksveien Coastal Road

Bodø-Sandnessjøen, 310 kilometres
The northern part of the Kystriksveien Coastal Road is the most attractive stretch for cycling you will find along the Norwegian coastline. National road 17, the coastal highway, takes you past jagged mountains, countless inlets, medieval churches, small villages, sandy beaches and thousands of islands. There are great chances you will see the majestic sea eagle. It is easy to take your bike onto local ferries to visit the more remote island settlements like Rødøy, Lovund and Meløy.

While in these parts of Norway, be sure to bring your fishing gear and trekking boots as well. If you like to go on, you can follow the coastal highway even 350 kilometres further south, to the town of Steinkjer.

The "Troll-Route"

Ringebu – Lillehammer, 135 kilometres
(via Fåvang Østfjell, Åstdalen and Øyerfjellet)
This peaceful trip follows gravel roads and old farm roads in the mountain region on the eastern side of the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. While the route is steep with a long hill from the start at Ringebu up towards Skotten mountain pasture (taxi transportation is available if you don’t feel up to it), the rest of this ride is only moderately strenuous.

The route passes through farmland, summer dairies, forest and open mountain areas. Car traffic is almost non-existent on these roads. Partially rough road surface makes this tour best suitable with a mountain bike. Accommodation is possible in several of the Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT) cabins, or hotels at Hornsjø and Nordseter.

The Rendalen Valley

Rendalen – Sølensjøen, 35 kilometres (one way)
The Rendalen Valley is situated north east in Hedmark County. Rendalen is also nicknamed ”The Alaska of Norway”, being both vast, mountainous, beautiful and almost uninhabited. The trip is challenging due to several long climbs.

The winding road going eastward gives spectacular views featuring reindeer moss, lichen-covered mountains, lakes and a few old cabins and summer farms. The road ends at the small settlement Fiskevollen by Lake Sølensjøen, well known for its rich Gwyniad fishing traditions, going back at least 800 years. Accommodation is available at Mefurua Fjellstue Mountain Lodge

The Grimsdalen Valley

Folldal – Grimsdalen – Dovre, 70 kilometres
A trip through the peaceful Grimsdalen Valley gives you some of the easiest, yet finest, of mountain cycling. The isolated Grimsdalen Valley has no electricity, and no settlements apart from a few old charming summer farms. You are surrounded by scattered pine, mountain birch, green heathery mountain slopes, and great views of the steep 2,000-metre peaks in the Rondane National Park. The Grimsa River runs through the valley, and you will find several places to camp or just stop for a rest along the river bank. Grazing cattle, sheep and horses add life to the scenery.

Because of the altitude and snow, the road in Grimsdalen is open from around 15 June until the end of October. Accommodation and cafe are available at Grimsdalshytta cabin, 28 kilometres from Folldal.

The Vesterålen Islands

Melbu – Sortland – Bø, 105 kilometres
North of the Lofoten Islands lies Vesterålen, consisting of five big islands connected by bridges and tunnels. Keeping off the main road fv. 820, you will as a cyclist find lots of attractive byroads, detours and dead ends. Things to see include the midnight sun, secluded beaches, bird cliffs and small fishing communities.

The best places to bike are along the western sides of Hadsel Island and Lang Island. Vesterålen has hundreds of spectacular mountain peaks, rising up to 1,200 metres, yet cycling in this region is easy, as most roads are fairly flat. Accommodation is available at campsites, cabins and a few hotels.

The Rondane Mountains

Mysuseter – Rondvassbu, 11 kilometres (one way)
If you want to try mountain cycling, this is the place to start. The main part of this road is closed to car traffic, and takes you straight into the dramatic landscape of the Rondane National Park. The route follows the Ula River, and you are surrounded by impressive mountains, 1,500 – 2,000 metres high. The road ends at Rondvassbu, where you can do several hikes on marked trails.

The first kilometre of cycling from Mysuseter is a bit steep, the rest is quite easy. If you bring children along, or want an even shorter trip, you can drive a few kilometres and park at Spranget, and start there instead.  
Accommodation is available at Rondane Spa Hotel at Mysuseter or at Rondvassbu.

The Nea Valley

Stugudal – Selbu, 85 kilometres
Ride through the wild, desolate and narrow parts of the Nea Valley in Sør-Trøndelag County, undiscovered by most tourists and bikers. This trip utilises the back roads of Nea, passing through mountain forest, but also farmland and a few small communities.
Apart from one hard climb at the Heggseth Dam, this ride is fairly easy and has a lot of downhill.

If you like to make the trip longer, and have more mountain views, start at the old idyllic mining town of Røros. Total distance Røros to Selbu is 140 kilometres.
Accommodation is available at Vektarstugu Hotel in Stugudal, and Selbusjøen Hotel in Selbu.

The Østfold Coast

Rygge – Onsøy – Slevik – Fredrikstad – Kråkerøy – Hvaler, 55 kilometres
Nice and easy cycling through some of the richest farmlands in Norway. The trip starts inland and heads towards the coast. From the lively town of Fredrikstad we follow fv. 108 through a string of islands named Hvaler, until we reach the end of the road on Kirkøy. Hvaler, consisting of a handful of big islands and several hundred smaller ones, is also recommended for kayaking trips (can be rented locally).

Along our route, there are plenty of opportunities to explore byroads and dead ends, leading to beaches, campsites and small villages. On the western side of Vesterøy in Hvaler, you will find huge areas of yellowish grind rock face, a great place for walking, climbing, sunbathing and fishing.  

The Peer Gynt Road

Dalseter – Skei, 60 kilometres
Cyclists have recently discovered the Peer Gynt Road, which has several climbs, but also includes long stretches of fast cycling and lots of mountainous scenery. Along the way you pass several beautiful lakes, including Feforvannet and Gålåvannet, where you will find traditional hotels with a history dating back to the late 18th century.

The trip can easily be made longer by going south to the town of Lillehammer - this extra trip is 45 kilometres, and includes a lot of downhill.

Round-trip Oslo Nordmarka (northern forest), 40 kilometres

Oslo is surrounded by forests offering cyclists a network of gravel roads that are closed to normal traffic.  An easy accessible and much used round trip goes from the subway station at Røa via – Sørkedalen – Finnerud – Kikut – Bjørnholt – Hammeren to the train station at Kjelsås. This ride passes farmland, dense spruce forest and several of the biggest lakes in the Oslo area. The terrain is quite hilly, accumulated elevation for this trip is more than 600 metres.

Food and snacks are served at Sørkedalen Café, Kikut and Ullevålsseter. Stopping at Kikut you can also hire a canoe to explore Lake Bjørnsjøen, or hike up to the viewpoint Kikut-toppen, 611 metres above sea level.

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Last updated:  2012-10-15
Try cycling the Troll Route in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley - Photo: Morten Brun/www.visitnorway.com
Try cycling the Troll Route in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley
Cycling near Oslo - Photo: Nancy Bundt/www.visitnorway.com
Cycling near Oslo
Norway offers biking opportunities for all ages and with different levels of difficulty - Photo: Morten Brun/www.visitnorway.com
Norway offers biking opportunities for all ages and with different levels of difficulty

Interest:  Cycling, Activities in Norway, Top ten lists

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Cycling on the island of Hadseløya, Norway - Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo

A cycling expert's favourite bike trips in Norway

Author of cycling books Øyvind Wold names 10 of his favorite biking trips in Norway. Some of them are well known, others in undiscovered places.

A cycling expert's favourite bike trips in Norway

Source: Visitnorway

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