A record number of UCI WorldTeams – the world’s top pro cycling teams – will line up for the start of this year’s Arctic Race of Norway on Thursday 11 August.
Running from 11–14 August 2016, the 4th annual edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will be made up of 4 stages and cover a total distance of 727,5 kilometers.
Some of the best pro cyclists in the world will compete, surrounded by stunning, wild and dramatic Norwegian scenic backdrops.
The race can be seen on TV worldwide and gets extensive media coverage. However, we invite you to come to Norway and see and explore what the Arctic Race of Norway is all about.
If you choose to come and see the top riders conquer the mountains of Northern Norway, be prepared for cheering crowds, fun activities and welcoming hosts.
But you don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy cycling along the winding roads of Norway yourself. You don’t even have to bring your own bike. From late spring until autumn, you can find numerous biking adventures throughout the country, either on the roads or on off road tracks.
Stage 1: Fauske/Rognan 176,5 kilometres
Stage 2: Mo i Rana / Sandnessjøen 198 kilometres
Stage 3: Nesna/Korgfjellet 160 kilometres
Stage 4: Arctic Circle / Bodø 193 kilometres
Map source: ASO
Fauske is an elongated municipality, stretching from the Swedish border in the east to Bodø in the west. In Fauske center you can see beautiful marble both in the square and in Fauske hotel. The same marble is used in constructions around the world, including the UN building in New York.
There are two national parks within the municipality, and the mining town of Sulitjelma – locally known as “Sulis” – is the gateway to five protected areas in Norway and Sweden.
When visiting Fauske, you should treat yourself to locally grown carrots. Light conditions and good climate give the produce from this area an extra sweet taste. Over the past year, the growing business “Han Sylte” has had great success with its carrot marmelade.
Saltdal has about 4 700 inhabitants and offers a varied selection of trade, industry, tourism, agriculture, service industries and public sector services. The municipality’s cultural history can be traced back to the Vikings. The largest local industry is the worldwide company Nexans Norway AS, which produces fiber cables for the international market. Many tourist oriented businesses are also located here and are important assets to the local economy.
Rognan is the municipal and trade center in Saltdal. With a pedestrian only downtown, it is clean and child friendly. Here you can find shops, restaurants, cafes, banks, a post office and public services.
At Saltdal Museum you will find Blodveimuseet (the Blood Road Museum). The history of the prisoners of war and their living and working conditions in labour camps during WWII is depicted here. Today’s main road E6 is more peaceful, and the railroad also runs through Saltdal. The airport at Bodø is located 90 kilometres from Rognan.
Mo i Rana is one of four towns in the region of Helgeland. Earlier, the city had the nickname “the Iron Works town”, but is now called “the Arctic Circle town”, as the Arctic Circle cuts through the municipality near the border of Saltdal. For years, the steel mill has been the main employer with 3 200 employees at the most.
Today about 120 businesses populate the area of Mo Industrial Park (MIP) on the grounds of the steel mill, with more than 2 000 employees. The businesses form a green cluster of industries with the ambition to become world leaders in the field of environment and energy efficiency.
The island municipality of Alstahaug in Helgeland is home to around 7 500 people. The village of Sandnessjøen is the heart of the municipality and offers easy access to a coastal region of natural beauty.
If you follow the coast on Hurtigruten or by car, you will never lose sight of the Seven Sisters, one of Norway’s most striking mountain ranges. You can appreciate the beauty of the Sisters either from a distance or close up from one of the many well-marked trails.
Alstahaug is also famous for its rich and well-documented Viking heritage. The best place to experience this is at the long house at Sandnes, the old chieftain’s farm. From Sandnessjøen you can explore a beautiful archipelago that is great for cycling, hiking, kayaking and boat trips. With 24 hours of sunlight in the summer, you can really make the most of your time here.
Nesna is strategically situated between the towns of Sandnessjøen, Mosjøen and Mo i Rana. The municipality consists of the small town of Nesna and the three islands Tomma, Hugla and Handnesøy. For travellers, landscape and location make Nesna a good base for their exploration of Helgeland, whether by car, in hiking boots or on two wheels, by boat, kayak or on skis. Nesna has a large marina, a daily service by the Hurtigruten coastal steamers, and the largest campsite and conference centre in Northern Norway.
Nesna is a transportation node for Helgeland, with ferries and express boats to the islands and mainland destinations along the Coastal Highway. There are buses from Nesna to the town of Mo i Rana, which has connections to inland destinations in Norway and Sweden, and which also has a railway station. There are three airports within an hour’s drive of Nesna. In addition, Hurtigruten calls twice a day.
Nesna has a varied population with people from many countries, who come to live, study and work in the area. For more than a century, Nesna has hosted many events, and tourists come to enjoy the magnificent scenery of Helgeland.
Mosjøen is the “town in the middle of Norway” and Helgeland’s oldest town. It is famous for its music and culture, and offers numerous concerts and performances throughout the year. The pride of the town is Sjøgata in the old area, which dates back to the 19th century.
The river Vefsna is the largest river in Nordland county. It is 163 kilometres long and drains a watershed of 4 122 square kilometres. Its headwater is in the mountains of Børgefjell National Park. The river runs through the municipalities Hattfjelldal and Vefsn.
The southern parts of the river are sometimes called Susna. The river flows northwards not far from the Swedish border, and some of the minor tributaries come from Sweden. In Mosjøen the river discharges into the Vefsnfjord. Laksforsen waterfall lies along its course.
(Photo of Sjøgata: Jørgen J.Jensen, visithelgeland.com/vefsn).
Korgfjellet is an important grazing area for reindeer and sheep, and a popular recreation area to be enjoyed all year around. Visitors and locals come to hike, pick berries, fish and hunt, and in the winter, the cross-country trails are endless.
The old mountain pass offers one of the most impressive viewpoints in all of Nordland county. From the highest point 555 metres above sea level, the panorama sweeps from the Okstindan mountains to the Svartisbreen glacier. At the top, Korgfjellet Fjellstue offers good dining and friendly accommodation.
The municipality of Hemnes has a thriving cultural life, with many artists and musicians, and during the summer it hosts many festivals, concerts and other events. Thanks to the magnificent Okstindan massif, with its renowned Rabothytta cabin, an increasing number of travellers are discovering the pleasures of the area’s pristine beauty.
Leirfjord is a costal municipality in the middle of the Helgeland region, centrally placed in proximity to large working and educational institutions. Leland, the municipality center, holds a larger grocery store, health services and more.
Leirfjord lies close to airports, the railway and coastal transportation. The Coastal Highway Fv 17 passes through the municipality, and you can also easily connect to the main road E6. The mix of coast and inland clima contribute to a stabile amount of snow in the winter, and the area offers a wide variety of winter activities. Leirfjord is part of the Helgeland museum and has several landmarks worth visiting. Amongst them is Wangbrygga in Bardal, where you can experience local cuisine in the summer. There are several “Rorbuer” and other accommodation in Leirfjord, and here you get plenty of fishing opportunities.
Leirfjord is also part of the “Sculptural Landscape Nordland”. On your way to Fagervika, you can see the sculpture “Omkring” (“Around”). Last, but not least, Leirfjord is home to Øvre Forsland power station, a hydro power station renowned for its architecture.
The Arctic Circle is the most northerly of the Earth’s five circles of latitude. It marks the border to the Arctic region, an area known as the kingdom of light with midnight sun in the summer and polar nights in the winter. In Norway, it cuts through Helgeland in the county of Nordland.
You can cross the Arctic Circle in two places in Helgeland, both of which are marked with a monument. The first one is on the island Vikingen, which you can see if you travel through with Hurtigruten or, if you travel by car on the Fv 17, on board the ferry between Kilboghamn and Jektvik. The second monument is at Saltfjellet close to E6. Not far from the monument you can visit the Arctic Circle Centre with exhibitions, a cinema, a post office, a souvenir shop and a café.
The city of Bodø lies north of the Arctic Circle in the middle of Nordland county. The natural surroundings around Bodø offers a beautiful coastline, scenic fjords with the vast ocean beyond, the Svartisen glacier, Saltstraumen tidal current and the old trading post on Kjerringøy.
The majestic Børvasstindan mountains to the south and the characteristic mountain of Landegode island to the north frame the city. From 2. June to 10. July you can experience the Midnight Sun. Aurora Borealis – The Northern Lights – can be seen between October and April.
The City of Bodø has almost 51 000 inhabitants. The average resident is young and well-educated, and the local job market provides plenty of opportunities and challenges.