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Norway’s toughest uphill bike routes

Looking for a cycling route that requires strength, stamina and willpower? Check out these tips from Geir Stian Ulstein, the recognized mountain cycling enthusiast behind several reference books on uphill road cycling. Here he shares his steepest favourites in Norway.

Tough ascents, roads that wind their ways through lush valleys, and impeccable views – no hard-boiled cycling enthusiast can say no to that! In the Norwegian mountains, you can combine a good workout with an adventure through a magnificent landscape. But where should you go?

Geir Stian Ulstein, author of several reference books on cycling – especially uphill – has compiled his favourite routes for those who want a challenging but memorable bike ride.

Please note that his tips involve some transport of bikes by car. The local travel destinations can point out suitable points of departure with parking.

5 badass uphill cycling routes

1. Skykula

The Stavanger region in Fjord Norway

The characteristic nature in Fjord Norway is a pretty good reason to go cycling on the western coast. The area south of Stavanger is no exception.

“Skykula is an extraordinary trip in the Stavanger region. Depart from Lake Ørsdalsvatnet to get the most out of the challenging uphill part of the route. There are plenty of good opportunities for dining along the way back to the coastal city of Egersund.”

2. Stalheimskleiva

Voss in Fjord Norway

Norway’s adventure capital is the perfect place for anyone who needs a dose of adrenaline in their everyday lives. In Voss in Fjord Norway, you can go rafting and parachuting, taste proper traditional food, and last but not least, experience Stalheimskleiva from the bike seat.

Northern Europe’s steepest kilometre features rough tarmac, serpentine roads and the sound of waterfalls. Stalheim hotel and restaurant is your reward at the top. The route was built between 1842 and 1846 to improve the road between Oslo and Bergen.”

3. Galdhøpiggvegen

Jotunheimen in Eastern Norway

In Jotunheimen national park you’ll find some of the tallest mountains in the country, and every year people put on their hiking boots to climb the famous peaks. But if you replace your boots with bicycle shoes, you’ll get a totally different challenge.

“One of Europe’s toughest uphill routes lies in Jotunheimen. You’ll have a hard time finding a higher tarmac road alternative. Galdhøpiggvegen is so steep that it can feel almost endless, but the view of the glacier which leads to Norway’s highest mountain Galdhøpiggen (2,469 metres above sea level) makes it worth it.”

4. Vestkapp

The Fjord Coast in Fjord Norway

Vestkapp is located on the Fjord Coast in Fjord Norway and is quite unprotected from the sea. The waters outside of Stad can be a challenge to pass with a boat. The weather is often good for surfing in Hoddevik, though – so why not combine your cycling holiday with a few hours on the surfboard?

“The Fjord Coast offers some of Norway’s best short uphill routes, with Vestkapp (the West Cape) as the most remarkable. Fix your eyes at the spherical weather station on the top at the end of the road, which has a panoramic view of the sea.”

5. Kaperskaret

Senja in Northern Norway

The island of Senja lies north of the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway and greets you with blue waters and steep mountains. Cycle across the island under the midnight sun!

An engineering marvel way up north at the outermost part of Senja, Norway’s second-largest island. Whether you choose the shortest route uphill or the longer route around the island, you’ll enjoy twisting roads, waterfalls, and sea views. For a tasty lunch, continue towards Finnsnes and Hamn.”

Book a pre-planned cycling holiday package with Discover Norway! Or plan your own cycling routes and accommodation.

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