Rallarvegen lets you set your own pace through 82 kilometres of mountainous scenery. No wonder it’s Norway’s most popular cycle route.
Following the outskirts of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, Rallarvegen (the navvie’s road) leads you along the Bergen Railway Line from Haugastøl via Finse, Hallingskeid, Myrdal and all the way down to Flåm by the Sognefjord, or to Voss, located in-between the Sognefjord and the Hardangerfjord. The route was first opened for cycling in 1974, and the last few years about 25,000 cyclists from Norway and abroad find their way here each year. You can cycle the whole distance in one day, or you can spend a few days and really see the sights along the road. There is always an option to cycle only parts of the distance according to your own desires.
The construction route known as Rallarvegen was originally designed for transporting materials during the building of the most mountainous sector of the Oslo–Bergen railway line. Today, the road is a cultural and historical monument where you will discover painstakingly detailed work in stone and earth, line inspectors’ houses of high architectural standard, and scenery that spans from tall mountains and glaciers via high waterfalls and wild rivers to lush valleys and fjord views.
The best time to cycle Rallarvegen is from mid-July to the end of September. In the high season and on weekends it is wise to pre-book rental bikes, train tickets and accommodation. Bicycle rental is available at Haugastøl, Finse, and Myrdal. You can return the bicycle in Flåm.
If you’re travelling with children – or are afraid of hights – note that Rallarvegen is pretty steep at times, and that the road is largely unsecured and not always in the best condition. You will also have to cycle through some snow-covered stretches. Make sure to bring spare breakpads and necessary equipment in case of a puncture, as well as clothes for all types of weather.
Geilo is a great starting point for the trip, and it is easy to get to Rallarvegen from Oslo or Bergen. There are a number of private hotels and mountain lodges along the route, as well as plenty of options for wildlife camping.