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Two people cycling along the Rallarvegen Navvies’ Road in Fjord Norway, one of Norway’s top 13 scenic bike rides
Two people cycling along the Rallarvegen Navvies’ Road in Fjord Norway, one of Norway’s top 13 scenic bike rides
Cycling Rallarvegen.
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik / Visitnorway.com
Cycling Rallarvegen.
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik / Visitnorway.com
Go bikepacking in Norway

13 scenic bike rides

From the western fjords and eastern mountains to northern islands under the midnight sun – cycling is definitely one of the best ways to see the spectacular Norwegian nature at your own pace. Here are 13 of the most stunning bike routes in the country.

    You don’t have to be in peak condition to go bikepacking in Norway, even though the country is both long and mountainous. The best thing about lengthy cycling trips is that you can decide exactly how long each stage should be and how often you want to stop.

    We have compiled a bunch of long-distance cycle routes that can be shortened – or extended – depending on what kind of holiday you want. The tours are doable for most people, but if the road seems a little long and the luggage a bit too heavy, you can rent an electric bike to help take the edge off. And why not go for a ready-made package with accommodation and meals included, and maybe even luggage transport?

  • Rallarvegen to Flåm

    Season: mid-June to late September
    Nearest train station: Geilo or Finse

    The navvies’ road, or Rallarvegen in Norwegian, has been voted Norway’s most beautiful bike ride several times, and more than 25,000 people cycle the gravel road from Haugastøl near Geilo in Eastern Norway to Flåm in Fjord Norway every year. The route follows the Bergen and Flåm train lines, which makes perfect sense as the road is named after the navvies that used it to carry materials when they laid the tracks around 1900.

    The most common route is 82 kilometres long and starts on the mountain at Haugastøl 1,000 metres above sea level. It winds its way past Finse, Hallingskeid, and Myrdal before it ends up in the charming village Flåm by the Aurlandsfjord. Even though you’ll roll mostly downhill, Rallarvegen’s highest point is Fagernut at 1,310 meters. Fortunately, there is a cafe there – and they serve waffles with jam and sour cream!

    You can go the entire stretch in one day, but most people split it into two or three stages. It’s a good idea to buy a cycle package that includes accommodation, food, bike rental, and train tickets.

    You need to be in good shape to cycle Rallarvegen, as the terrain can be challenging in some parts. To avoid the crowds, go outside of the high season.

  • Mjølkevegen in Valdres

    Season: June to October
    Nearest train station: Vinstra

    One of the best areas in the country for cycling is Valdres in Eastern Norway. Here, you can roll along hundreds of kilometres of marked routes that go mostly on low-traffic mountain roads. The 250-kilometre-long Mjølkevegen is the longest, but you don’t have to cycle the whole thing all at once, of course – you can plan your own stages, whether you want them short and sweet or long and heavy. You can also stick to one base and go on day trips.

    The route between Vinstra in Gudbrandsdalen and Gol in Hallingdal is considered one of Norway’s most beautiful rides and is part of National cycle route number 5. It is signposted in both directions and passes through an area of ​​summer mountain farms and lodges, where you can stop for a treat or stay overnight. There are also a few hotels along the road.

    A couple of alternatives to the entire Mjølkevegen are the route from Lemonsjø to Beitostølen (205 kilometres), and the shorter family-friendly route from Vaset to Storefjell (35 kilometres).

    You can rent bikes and electric bikes several places along the route, and tour operators offer bike packages that include accommodation, food, and luggage transport.

  • The Telemark Canal

    Season: May to September
    Nearest train station: Lunde or Bø

    The Telemark Canal isn’t just for boats. In connection with the canal, in its time called the eighth wonder of the world, bike paths spread out in all possible directions. The routes are signposted and marked with difficulty levels, and you can choose between asphalt roads, gravel paths or a mix of both.

    The 115-kilometre-long Canal route takes you through surprisingly wild and dramatic scenery in Telemark. It follows National cycle route number 2 from Ulefoss to Dalen, and you should estimate at least two days on the trip. At Eidsfoss you can go lock crossing with your bike, and if you get tired, you can hitch a ride with one of the canal boats.

    Along the way, you’ll find bike-friendly accommodation, like the fun sleeping boxes in Bandaksli and Fjågesund. If you don’t want to plan the whole trip yourself, you can buy packages that include accommodation, meals, and boat tickets.

    The Canal route is marked as demanding and not recommended for kids or inexperienced cyclists. But many of the other paths are easier and suitable for the whole family. The little ones might even be happy to go a few extra kilometres and spend a day in the water park Bø sommarland!

  • Tour de Dovre

    Season: early June to mid-October
    Nearest train station: Dombås

    Follow Tour de Dovre and cycle through the three national parks Rondane, Dovre, and Dovrefjell, with fantastic views of mountains, fjords, and valleys. There are numerous accommodation options along the road, so you can spend as many days as you want on the trip. Take the train to Dombås and rent a bike there, and choose the Nasjonalparkveien road to Hjerkinn. The journey continues through the Folldalen valley before you approach what many believe is Norway’s most beautiful valley, Grimsdalen. From there, pedal back to Dovre and Dombås.

    If you take the shortest route, the trip is about 125 kilometres long. But plan for a few detours if you have a couple of days extra! You can go on a musk oxen or moose safari, stop to admire the art at Hjerkinn, divert up to Viewpoint Snøhetta (1.5 kilometres to walk), and hike to the top of Mount Snøhetta.

    The trip is considered demanding but is totally manageable if you divide it into shorter stages. If you need a push, you can rent an electric bicycle, and you’ll find enough delicious local food along the way to keep you content.

  • The North Sea cycle route through Rogaland

    Season: May to October
    Nearest train station: Egersund or Sandnes

    The whole of the North Sea cycle route is 6,000 kilometres long and goes through the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Since 2003, the route has held the Guinness world record as the world’s longest continuous signposted cycle route.

    Choose one of the most beautiful stretches, between Egersund and Sola in Fjord Norway (also called Jærruta). You’ll cycle along the beaches of Jæren in a light that has inspired both painters, photographers, and writers. If you want a longer trip, you can continue northwards to Stavanger and Haugesund, or the opposite way towards Kristiansand in Southern Norway.

    Spend the nights in hotels and small guest houses, lighthouses and cabins, or at campsites. You’ll find plenty of eateries along the way, many which base their menus on local produce. And why not do as the locals – buy a bag of shrimp and eat them on white bread with mayo on the pier?

  • The Helgeland coast

    Season: May to October
    Nearest airport: Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen or Bodø

    The Helgeland coast in Northern Norway is simply a bicycle gem without crowds. Here, you can ride along the Coastal route – named one of the world’s most beautiful roads – with views to majestic mountains, white beaches, and thousands of islands and islets.

    Feel free to use the many ferries and speedboats to go island hopping, for example to the UNESCO archipelago of Vega, beautiful Herøy and Dønna, and Træna, which emerges as 338-metre-high surprise two and a half hours out at sea.

    You may want to invest in a bike package, to be sure that you don’t miss any of the highlights along the stretch (like Mount Torghatten!) You can also get your luggage transported to the next stop if you don’t want to carry the weight.

  • 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

  • Inderøy and The Golden Road

    Season: May to October
    Nearest train station: Steinkjer or Sparbu

    Travel slowly between historic landmarks in a beautiful cultural landscape in Innherred. The route literally goes from food platter to food platterThe Golden Road is famous for its eco-friendly local food and activities.

    Start your trip in Steinkjer and cycle to Stiklestad (71 kilometres), where you really get to experience a piece of Norwegian history, as this is where King Olaf II – later Saint Olaf – was killed in a famous battle that finalized the Christianising of Norway. Or enjoy a shorter trip around the Borgenfjord (30 kilometres). On your way, you can spend the nights in charming farms or hotels. If you’re smart, buy a ready-made bicycle package, with bike rental, accommodation, meals, and luggage transport included. You can also rent bikes in Steinkjer.

    Cycling in Innherred and on Inderøy is suitable for most people.

  • The classic fjord tour

    Season: summer and autumn
    Nearest airport: Molde or Kristiansund

    If you want to experience the Northwest at its best, you can cycle The classic fjord tour from Molde to Ålesund in Fjord Norway. If you’re tackling the whole 549 kilometres, you’ll get to experience The Atlantic Road, Trollstigen, the Geirangerfjord, and the Hjørundfjord, just to mention a few of the highlights.

    On your way, you’ll cross bridges at the edge of the ocean, cycle along seemingly endless beautiful fjord arms, ride through green valleys, and pedal up steep mountainsides – before you roll down on the other side.

    A variety of eateries serve delicious local food – especially the fjords provide tasty ingredients – and the accommodation options are many, whether you want to stay in charming fisherman’s cabins or high-end hotels.

    The tour in its entirety is considered demanding and especially suitable for those who have some long-distance cycling experience. But the excellent public transport network in the area allows you to put together your own stages and skip the particularly heavy stretches if you want. Besides, local guide companies are ready to tailor your route, and they also offer luggage transport and guides.

  • Around the Oslofjord

    Season: May to October
    Nearest train station: Moss, Oslo or Horten

    All the way around the Oslofjord you’ll find coastal paths and small roads perfect for bike rides. The trip along the coast from Moss in Østfold to Horten in Vestfold is about 215 kilometres long, but in this area, you can pick and choose between shorter and longer distances – and you can spend as long as you want on the trip.

    Cycle through welcoming villages like Son, Hvitsten, Drøbak, and Filtvet, and explore the country’s capital, Oslo. If you get hot, you can always go for a refreshing bath in the fjord.

    One great advantage is that you don’t have to bring a lot of food, as there are plenty of eateries along the way. There are also numerous accommodation options around the Oslofjord – hotels, hostels, cabins, and campsites. Or how about a night in a treehouse?

  • Andøya in Vesterålen

    Season: May to September
    Nearest airport: Andøya

    In Vesterålen just north of Lofoten lies the island Andøya, with the former fishing village Andenes as a charming “centre” at the northernmost tip. Here, you can rent a bike and roll the 100 kilometres around the island – but first, you should join a whale safari.

    Cycle the beautiful Norwegian Scenic Route that runs along the sea on the west side of the island. It doesn’t matter if you got a late start, as the midnight sun provides enough light all through the night. Stop by the Space centre before you head on to picturesque Bleik, where you can enjoy an ice-cold bath on the stunning white beach. If you need another break, the picnic area Bukkekjerka is worth a stop, and at Nordtun farm you’ll get lovely cheeses for your lunch and the opportunity to pet a lama. Alveland in Dverberg has good cinnamon buns and fun soap souvenirs(!).

    If you want to spend more than one day on your trip, you can spend the night in Risøyhamn or Dverberg. The route runs in fairly flat terrain and is suitable for everybody.

  • Mjøstråkk around Lake Mjøsa

    Season: April to October
    Nearest train station: Hamar, Lillehammer or Gjøvik

    Cycle around the largest lake in Norway. The Mjøstråkk route is 250 kilometres long and passes through both beautiful cultural landscapes and the cities Gjøvik, Hamar, and Lillehammer.

    Take the time to make a few stops along the way. There’s a lot to see and experience here, like Lillehammer Art Museum, Norway’s smallest chocolate factory in Gjøvik, and Domkirkeodden in Hamar, where you can see the ruins of the 950-year-old Hamar Cathedral. If you brought the kids, a detour to Hunderfossen family park north of Lillehammer is absolutely worth it!

    If you spend a few days on the trip, you can stay at some of the farms and experience the region’s famous hospitality and fantastic traditional food, often with a modern twist and based on ingredients from the farm or the surrounding area.

    Most of the trip is quite easy and suitable for most people. You can rent bikes several places along the route, and if you get tired, you can board Skibladner, the world’s oldest paddle steamer still in service.