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A group biking along a lake at Rallarvegen in Eastern Norway
Rallarvegen.
Photo: Visitnorway.com

Rallarvegen – cycle through navvy history

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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 navvies’ road) leads you along the Bergen train line from Haugastøl to Flåm by the Sognefjord, or to Voss closer to the Hardangerfjord. On your way, you pass Finse, Hallingskeid, and Myrdal. 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 every 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. You can also choose to cycle only parts of the distance if you so desire.

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. Bike rental is available at Haugastøl, Finse, and Myrdal, and you can return the bicycle in Flåm. Or why not invest in a cycle package with everything included?

If you’re travelling with children – or are afraid of heights – 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 brake pads and necessary equipment in case of a puncture, as well as clothes for all types of weather.

The small town Geilo is a great starting point for the trip, and it is easy to get to Rallarvegen from Oslo or Bergen by train. There are a number of private hotels and mountain lodges along the route, as well as plenty of options for wildlife camping.

Two tour cyclists ready to cycle Rallarvegen renting at the bike rental at Finse in Fjord Norway
Cycling Rallarvegen at Finse.
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik / Visitnorway.com

Stages along Rallarvegen

Haugastøl to Finse

27 kilometres
1000–1222 metres above sea level

This stretch is recommended if you’re bringing children, as the road is in good condition. Rallarvegen starts by the Haugastøl tourist centre close to the Haugastøl train station. Here, you can rent bikes or buy a bike rental package.

The cycle route from Haugastøl to Finse rises 222 metres through scenic nature, with plenty of cultural artefacts from the time when the Bergen Line was built. At Finse, you can take a guided tour on Hardangejøkulen glacier, and a visit to the Rallar museum is mandatory.

Finse to Hallingskeid

21 kilometres​
1222–1110 metres above sea level

At Finse, you can see the ice cap and icefalls of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier. Don’t be surprised if snow covers parts of the road well into the autumn, and be aware that parts of the road are in poor condition. The route takes you into the Hardangervidda national park and up to Lake Fagervatnet (1,343 masl), Rallarvegen’s highest point. From here, there is more or less downhill all the way to Flåm. At Fagernut, you can stop and explore the exhibition on display and taste some yummy “Rallarvafler” (waffles) and “Sluskesuppe” (soup).

Cyclists on the Rallarvegen bike route in Fjord Norway
Cycling Rallarvegen.
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik / Visitnorway.com

Hallingskeid to Vatnahalsen

17 kilometres
1110–812 metres above sea level

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. Between Hallingskeid and Myrdal, the railway creeps along a mountain shelf, a stretch troubled by avalanches during the winter months. The road follows a narrow shelf, so be careful – unmount your bike and walk. You also have to decide if you want to carry on to Myrdal and Flåm, or if you’d rather take the route to Voss.

Vatnahalsen to Flåm

17 kilometres
812–2 metres above sea level

From Vatnahalsen, a steep run through 21 hairpin bends will take you down to the Flåmsdalen valley. We strongly advise that you get off your bike at the steepest parts of the hairpin bends, as the road is rocky and in poor condition in places. From the upper part of Flåmsdalen, there is a pleasant winding road down to Flåm. The valley opens up to show you steep mountains, vertical waterfalls, fast-flowing rivers, and green valley terrain. Enjoy the ride, stop and look back, listen to the sounds of nature, and enjoy the streams of crystal clear water and the fresh air.

A group of cyclists meets a herd of goats at the cycle route Rallarvegen in Fjord Norway
Goats resting at Rallarvegen.
Photo: Voss / Foap / Visitnorway.com

Alternative route: Myrdal to Voss

43 kilometres
867–57 metres above sea level

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. From there, follow the standard road to Voss.

Not only cycling

Stay a few days extra 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 Rimstigfjellet mountain, where you have a great view of the Nærøyfjord. Join a fjord cruise, rent a kayak, take a swim in the fjord, or go on a journey with the Flåm railway, one of the world’s most beautiful train rides.

Get tour cycling expert Øyvind Wold’s best tips on how to plan and pack for your cycling trip, and check out 13 of the most scenic bike routes in the country.

Safety on two wheels

When cycling on the roads in Norway, the same rules and road signs apply to you as to cars and other vehicles:
• Keep to the right.
• Give way to those coming from your right.
• Don’t drink and bike.

You may cycle on the pavement, but adapt your speed.

You may not cycle on motorways and dual carriageways.

Only children under the age of 10 may be carried as passengers.

Always wear a helmet when cycling. A high visibility vest is a good idea, especially on busy roads.

Read more about bike safety

What to pack for a cycling holiday

• an old-fashioned map (they don’t run out of battery)
• sunblock
• plasters, gel plasters to treat blisters, mosquito repellents
• power bank
• toiletries
• toilet paper
• enough food and drink
• coffee (obviously)
• helmet
• cycling gloves (protects your palms if you fall off the bike)
• cycling glasses (protects your eyes from road dust, wind, bugs, and to an extent rain)
• thin woollen clothes (can be used for more than one day before it starts to smell)
• lightweight sportswear
• rainwear
• compact and lightweight tent and sleeping pad
• inflatable pillow
• camping stove and cutlery
• bike tools
• patch kit
• spare tube
• bicycle pump

Learn more about how to plan your cycling trip.

How long you can bike each day?

People who exercise regularly, but are not used to biking: 30–45 km.

People who are fit and want a challenge: 70–90 km.

Children between the ages of 7 and 9: 15–20 km.

Children between the ages of 10 and 12: 20–30 km.

Remember that this is just an estimate. The distance you’re able to cover in a day will vary based on the road itself, hills, wind, and the weight of your luggage.

Cycle Rallarvegen
In the middle of Southern Norway, between the major cities Oslo and Bergen, lies Geilo, a charming town at the foot of the national parks… Read more
Geilo
Haugastøl
Rallarvegen starts by the Haugastøl tourist centre, close to the Haugastøl train station.
Haugastøl
Finse
Many people take the train to Finse and start cycling Rallarvegen from there.
Finse
Hallingskeid
From Hallingskeid, the high mountain scenery changes gradually into a wilder and steeper landscape.
Hallingskeid
Vatnahalsen
From Vatnahalsen, a steep run through 21 hairpin bends will take you down to the Flåmsdalen valley.
Vatnahalsen
Myrdal
From Myrdal you can choose to if you want to cycle to Flåm or Voss.
Myrdal
Each year, several hundred thousand visitors arrive in Flåm to ride the Flåmsbana Railway, cycle Rallarvegen, or go hiking. Read more
Flåm
If you are craving outdoor adventures, extreme surroundings and Norwegian food specialities, Voss will not let you down. Read more
Voss
Where to stay
The family run hotel located in Haugastøl, 1000 meters above sea level, offers high quality accommodation, meals in our restaurant, coffee bar,… Read more
Haugastøl 1000 Moh
Haugastøl is a good place to start a activity weekend. Read more
Haugastøl Turistsenter
Finse1222 is the hotel which is located on the highest point of the Bergen Railway, 1222 meters above the sea level. Finse is only reachable by train… Read more
Finse 1222
A fully equipped cabin located in the highlands. Both the mountain ridge Hallingskavet and the glacier Hardangergjøkulen are within reach for a day… Read more
Hardangervidda / Finse / Rallarvegen - Oksebotn Vokterbolig II
Are you looking for a mountain resort? Then you are heartily welcome to visit Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell 820 meters above sea level close to the… Read more
Vatnahalsen Mountain resort
Linda and Sigurd look forward to welcome you to their home, situated near the famous Flåm Railway overlooking the Brekke waterfall and the surrounding… Read more
Garnes -private accommodation
Flåmsbrygga Hotel – the Brewery Hotel is situated on the pier in Flåm with a splendid view of the Aurlandsfjord. Just a few steps… Read more
Flåmsbrygga Hotel
Heimly is a delightful guest house offering a good standard and amazing fjord views. Read more
Heimly Pensjonat
At the end of the Sognefjord you will find Flåm Camping and Youth Hostel surrounded by the World Heritage Listed fjord landscape of Norway.… Read more
Flåm Camping and Hostel
Flåm Marina is situated in magnificent surroundings about 400m from the center of Flåm Read more
Flåm Marina
Food and drink
Finse1222 is the hotel which is located on the highest point of the Bergen Railway, 1222 meters above the sea level. Finse is only reachable by train… Read more
Finse 1222
A fully equipped cabin located in the highlands. Both the mountain ridge Hallingskavet and the glacier Hardangergjøkulen are within reach for a day… Read more
Hardangervidda / Finse / Rallarvegen - Oksebotn Vokterbolig II
Are you looking for a mountain resort? Then you are heartily welcome to visit Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell 820 meters above sea level close to the… Read more
Vatnahalsen Mountain resort
Cafe Rallaren at Myrdal station. Railwaystation on the Flåm- and Bergen line. We offer a good selection of light meals - warm and cold dishes,… Read more
Cafe Rallaren
Ægir is our very own brewery, which opened in 2007 and is one of the best craft breweries in Norway. The building is inspired by Norse mythology… Read more
Ægir BrewPub
Flåm Bakery offer delicious freshly baked pastries to visitors and locals year-round. Read more
Flåm Bakery
Flåmstova Restaurant er i delikat og moderne, norsk stil med ei varm atmosfære. Her serverer vi frukost, og 2- og 3 rettars gruppemenyar… Read more
Flåmstova Restaurant
Flåmsbrygga Hotel – the Brewery Hotel is situated on the pier in Flåm with a splendid view of the Aurlandsfjord. Just a few steps… Read more
Flåmsbrygga Hotel
Furukroa is a colourful and contemporary café with a large terrace by the harbour, close to the boats and the Flåm Railway. Furukroa… Read more
Furukroa Kafè
Heimly is a delightful guest house offering a good standard and amazing fjord views. Read more
Heimly Pensjonat
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