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You can start your Rallarvegen adventure from several points along the route - Photo: Peder Georg Helset
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You can start your Rallarvegen adventure from several points along the route Photo: Peder Georg Helset

Cycle Rallarvegen from the Mountains to the Sea

Rallarvegen lets you set your own pace through 50 miles of mountainous scenery. No wonder it's Norway's most popular cycle route.

Rallarvegen is located between Oslo and Bergen in Fjord Norway. It is possible to cycle the whole distance in one day, but if you want to take your time and stop a few times it is best to allow two to three days.

The most common starting points are Haugastøl, Finse and Myrdal, and the most popular part of the route is from Finse to Myrdal.

Cycle routes along Rallarvegen (The Navvies' Road)

Haugastøl (3,280 fasl) to Finse (4,009 fasl) – 17 miles
Rallarvegen starts by the Haugastøl Tourist Centre, where you can rent bikes or buy a bike rental package which includes accommodation and meals. You can also choose to have your luggage sent between the train stations of Haugastøl, Finse, Myrdal and Flåm. The cycle route from Haugastøl to Finse rises 728 feet through beautiful scenery with plenty of cultural artifacts from the time when the Bergen Railway was built.

Finse (4,009 fasl) to Hallingskeid (3,641 fasl) – 13 miles
At Finse, the highest point along the Bergen Railway line, you can see the ice cap and icefalls of the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier, and don’t be surprised if you see snow on parts of the road well into the autumn. From Finse, the cycle route goes uphill to Lake Fagervatnet (4,406 fasl) which is the highest point along Rallarvegen. After this point, it is more or less downhill all the way to Flåm. At Fagernut, take the opportunity to explore the exhibition on display and taste rallarvafler (waffles) and sluskesuppe (soup). Be aware that some parts of the road are in poor condition.

Hallingskeid (3,641 fasl) to Vatnahalsen (2,660 fasl) – 10 miles
Along this part of the route, the high mountain scenery changes gradually into the wilder and steeper landscape of the western part of the country. Close to Myrdal you pass Vatnahalsen Mountain Hotel, followed by a steep run down the 21 hairpin bends down to the Flåmsdalen Valley at the end of Rallarvegen. It is recommended to get off and push the bike at the steepest parts of the hairpin bends as it is rocky and in poor condition in places.

Vatnahalsen (2,660 fasl) to Flåm (3.3 fasl) – 10 miles
From the upper part of the Flåmsdalen Valley there is a pleasant, winding road down to Flåm. It is important to take it easy as the road is narrow and there may be oncoming traffic. The wonderful Flåmsdalen Valley is Norwegian nature at its best with steep mountains, vertical waterfalls, fast-flowing rivers and green valleys. Enjoy the ride, stop and look back, listen to the sounds of nature, enjoy the streams with their crystal clear water and breathe the fresh, invigorating air.

Alternative route: Myrdal (2,844 fasl) to Voss (187 fasl) – 27 miles
From Myrdal you can choose the route to Voss instead of cycling down to Flåm. Take the local train from Myrdal to Uppsete where you continue along Rallarvegen to Mjølfjell Youth Hostel. From Mjølfjell, follow the standard road to Voss.

When

The best time to cycle along Rallarvegen is from mid-July to the end of September. In July and August, there is usually snow left on parts of the road. Rallarvegen is closed in the winter.

Bike rental

Bike rental is available at the starting points of Haugastøl, Finse or Myrdal. You can leave your bike at Flåm when you have finished your trip.

Package deals

Package deals that include train, bike rental and accommodation are available from Fjord Tours and De Historiske.

Guided cycle tours

Heritage Adventures offers guided tours on request, see heritageadventures.no. Finse 1222 does the same, on request to booking@finse1222.no

Hiking, kayak, fjord cruises and other activities

Flåm is a great starting point for excursions and it is a good idea to combine your cycling trip with other adventures.

Stay a few days and walk the Aurlandsdalen Valley or the Royal Post Road along the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord. From Bakka at Gudvangen you can hike up the Rimstigen Path to the Rimstigfjellet Mountain (4,251 fasl), where you have a fabulous view over the Nærøyfjord. Join a fjord cruise or a trip in a RIB boat along the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord. At Flåm you can also rent a kayak or join a guided kayak trip on the fjord. Go to Undredal, a small village down by the Aurlandsfjord, which has the smallest stave church in Norway and is well known for its white and brown goat's cheese. Discover the Flåm Railway, one of Norway's most beautiful railway journeys. You can also visit the Stegastein viewpoint along the Aurlandsfjellet National Tourist Route, with a marvellous view of the Aurlandsfjord.

From the other end, near Finse you can go for a guided hike on a glacier.

Read more about what to do in the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord.

Where to stay

The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) has two cabins along Rallarvegen: Finsehytta at Finse (open from June/July to the end of September) and Hallingskeid Mountain Hut at Hallingskeid (self-service cabin, open all year). Members of the Norwegian TrekkingAssociation (DNT) get discounts at both.

There are also a number of private hotels and mountain lodges along the route, for example Vatnahalsen Hotel, (open all year except for Christmas and New Year), Haugastøl Turistsenter, Hotel Finse 1222 (open from 3 July until 12 October) and Myrdal Fjellstove.

Read more about where to stay in the Sognefjord area and where to stay in the Hardangerfjord area.

How to get to Rallarvegen

There are plenty of transportation options to Rallarvegen.

To Flåm
From Oslo and Bergen, there are daily flights to Sogndal Airport, from which there are bus departures to Sogndal. From Sogndal you can travel by bus and express boat to Flåm.

There is also an express boat from Bergen to Flåm.

To Finse, Myrdal and Haugastøl
From Bergen, you can take the scenic Bergen Railway to Finse, Myrdal and Haugastøl. There are also trains to Finse and Myrdal from Oslo. You can also travel to Myrdal, Finse and Haugastøl by train from Flåm.

Read more about getting to the Sognefjord and around and getting to the Hardangerfjord Region and around.

More information

The weather in the Norwegian mountains can change rapidly. Remember to bring clothes and equipment for all types of weather.

Cycling along Rallarvegen varies from easy to difficult, and you need to be in average shape. Remember that some parts of Rallarvegen go through challenging terrain. For those travelling with children, the stretch from Haugastøl to Finse is recommended as it is in good condition. If you plan to cycle the whole of Rallarvegen, it is not advisable to bring children under twelve years.

In many places it is safe to drink the water from streams, but avoid drinking meltwater from glaciers or snowbanks.

Last but not least, make sure you bring a repair kit and necessary equipment in case of a puncture.

Useful links

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Last updated:  2014-11-04
Rallarvegen has many scenic spots where you can stop and enjoy a rest - Photo: Peder Georg Helset
Rallarvegen has many scenic spots where you can stop and enjoy a rest
The majestic Hardangerjøkulen Glacier is overlooking Rallarvegen - Photo: Peder Georg Helset
The majestic Hardangerjøkulen Glacier is overlooking Rallarvegen
Rallarvegen is best enjoyed in late summer, when most of the snow has melted - Photo: Rallarvegen is best enjoyed in late summer, when most of the snow has melted
Rallarvegen is best enjoyed in late summer, when most of the snow has melted
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You can start your Rallarvegen adventure from several points along the route - Photo: Peder Georg Helset

Cycle Rallarvegen from the Mountains to the Sea

Rallarvegen lets you set your own pace through 50 miles of mountainous scenery. No wonder it's Norway's most popular cycle route.

Cycle Rallarvegen from the Mountains to the Sea

Source: Visitnorway

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