A cycling holiday in Norway is possible for everyone. The country offers many different cycling routes, but there is a route available for every level and experience. The best months for a cycling holiday in Norway are for trips along the coast from mid-May to the end of September and in the mountains it is best to cycle from mid-June to the end of September.
Cycling in Norway means riding along the fjords, lots of nature, mountains, valleys, water and beautiful cycling routes, mostly on asphalt, but also rain and wind and sometimes nice weather.
Norway is best known as a holiday destination for hikers, fishermen, winter sports enthusiasts, climbers, etc. But it is less known that you can also cycle well in Norway. Are you a fanatic cyclist? Then Norway is a beautiful destination as an alternative to, for example, the Alps, Dolomites or Pyrenees.
Norway has many mountains, but most of the time it is not steep, but more long climbing sections. You will come across big climbs when cycling in one valley to another in Norway. The weather in Norway is rather changeable. Even in the summer, Norway is generally quite rainy, colder than the Netherlands, but can also be surprisingly warm. So be sure to take warm and waterproof clothing with you when cycling in Norway.
When is the cycling season in Norway?
In the summer the days in Norway are very long and when you are past the polar circle, it doesn’t get dark at all anymore. It is good to take into account the temperatures in the country. During the day it is nice and warm at around 25 degrees, but it is often very cold at night.
The days in Norway are long in summer, with endless sunsets. Once you have passed the polar circle, it will no longer get dark at all. Although it can be nice and warm during the day (up to 25 degrees), it is often cold and wet at night. If you cycle at a height of 1000 meters, then that can be compared to an alpine pass of 2000 meters.
From October to May, the higher roads, such as the pass over the Sognejell and the road from the Setesdal to Lysebotn, are blocked by snow.
The best time for cycling in Norway is from May to mid-July. There is more rainfall in August than in the preceding months. The disadvantage of cycling in the spring is that some passes are not yet open.
Weather conditions can change quickly in Norway. Be prepared for this and bring some extra layers, even if you leave with 20+ degrees. It gets colder anyway as you climb higher and higher. That 20 degrees at sea level can only be 5 degrees at an altitude of 1,500 meters. And then you are very happy with a (wind) jacket when you go down!
Where to cycle in Norway
The south of Norway (Telemark and Hardanger Vidda) is the most densely populated. Here you will find the well-known wooden churches, and there are even areas where agriculture and horticulture are possible. Between Bergen and Trondheim (in Jotunheim) it is mountainous, and the landscape is intersected by glaciers and fjords. Some fjords are more than 1000 meters deep. The Sognefjord and the Sorfjord reach far into the country.
The foothills of these mountains run to the east and north, where cycling is good. Even further north you cycle through the tundra. Finnmark is located in the far north of Norway, with the North Cape as the absolute tourist attraction.
Popular cycling routes in Norway
The most recommended multi-day cycle routes in Norway are the routes from Hardangervidda to Flam on the Aurlandsfjord (area of Bergen), the North Sea cycle route through Rogaland, the Vestfjord Route via the Lofoten and the cycle route from Voss to Bergen. If you want a complete overview of cycle paths in Norway, we recommend that you purchase a good cycle guide.
The top 10 bicycle routes Norway has a big number 1, the already mentioned Rallarvege. There is also a beautiful cycle route along the Oslofjord, where you can cross the Oslofjord by boat on the way, a cycle route through two nature parks Dovrefjell and Rondane and the Atlantic route.
If you want to spend a cycling holiday in Norway, there are many possible routes available. Below you will find a selection of the cycling routes that are available in Norway:
- National Cycling Network: consists of 10 different cycling routes for different levels.
- Rallarvegen, from Geilo to Voss: the most popular route in Norway. The route is 210 kilometers long.
- From Skien to Dalen, the Telemark canal: here difficult, long and shorter, easier routes are offered.
- Numedal, from Geilo to Kongsberg: this route covers three mountain passes, so the route is quite a challenge.
- Hallingdalen Route: a route of 77 kilometers long and suitable for children, due to little difference in height and quiet roads
Cycling on the Rallarvegen
The Rallarvegen is one of the most popular cycle routes for tourists in Norway. The path leads from Haugastol, via Finse to the town of Flam. The cycle route was originally built for the construction of the well-known railroad that quickly rises from Flam. The path has been used as a cycle route since the 1970s. The highest point of the Rallarvegen route is at an altitude of 1341 meters. Anyone who cycles the Rallarvegen from Flam (sea level) to Myrdal has to climb a lot. If you want to cycle a little easier, you can take the bike on the Flamsbana train. Get off at Myrdal and cycle downhill to Flam.
Cycling in Jotunheimen
Jotunheimen National Park includes some of the highest mountains in Norway. Different passes pose a hefty challenge for cyclists, but the reward is amazing: Norway’s most beautiful mountain landscapes, snow-covered mountains and crystal clear blue lakes alternate with green grass.
Just like the famous cycling destinations, Norway offers everything you are looking for: beautiful views, long climbs with a lot of altimeters or short and steep pimples and generally good road surfaces.
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