In the summer of 2016 I rode a 5360 kilometer long round trip in Norway. Based on the experiences of the 76-day trip, I have created a highly subjective ranking of the 25 best stretches of cycling.
Usually, such lists are based on relatively objective criteria such as the experience value of the road's surroundings, amount of traffic, accessibility, etc. In addition, I have included factors such as day shape, weather, my own mental condition and if I took some nice pictures, making the list about equally well-founded as an average rumbling by Donald Trump. I want to emphasize that all these stretches are fine. Number 20 is also really nice.
Some known routes and obviously amazing places, such as Rallarvegen, are missing from my list, for reasons mentioned above or that I simply did not ride them on my tour.
See my route:
Some stretches are long, others are short. Many times I thought this must be the best day of the trip. Here the stretches are located on the map.
And here are the lovely rides.
The new road across the mountain is perfect in the rugged terrain, 30 kilometers long. A heavy climb up on the mountain, but it's worth it. Watch out for reindeer and reefs.
24. Telemark channels
Peacefull stretch. Hilly and thinly populated here and there, flat and more urban elsewhere. Forests and mountains in the west, fjord and sea in the east. The sluices are fascinating and interesting.
20 kilometers over the mountain from Bygdin to Gjendesheim, all the time over the tree line, nice views to Jotunheimen. Lovely route, but a little bit too many cars on the road.
22. Alta-Karasjok over the Finnmark plateau (Finnmarksvidda)
200 kilometers over the plateau, thinly populated, miles with views, not many to meet along the way.
One of Norway's longest old farm valleys, 47 kilometers on a nice gravel road between the national parks Rondane in the south and Dovre in the north. Monstrous climb from Dovre (town center) and up on the mountain, then easy. Easier to ride the opposite direction, ie from Folldal towards Dombås. Farms, cows and an open tourist cabin along the road.
88 kilometers of peaceful roads in Northwest Norway in varied coastal landscapes.
19. Along Mjøsa
30 kilometers close to the country's largest lake, partly on a small road almost free of traffic, partly on a disused railway track.
18. Røldal ski center-Sauda
High mountain road only open during the summer, 43 kilometers long. Hilly, tiresome, rough and beautiful. Little traffic. Steep descent down from the mountain towards Hellandsbygda.
10 kilometers of Vestlandsfjord at its very best. Flowers in the roadside. Nice view to the fjord.
28 peaceful kilometers from Halsa to ferry port on Vassdalsvik. You have the road all to yourself, the sound of the wheel to the asphalt is probably the only thing you will hear. Views of fjord and steep mountains.
15. Porsangerfjorden, Lakselv-Børselv
40 kilometers of flat road, close to the wide Porsangerfjord, few cars. Several nice places to take a break. Constant good view.
14. Vesterålen, Myre-Nyksund
11 km of dirt road with steep mountains on one side and rugged northern Norway fjord on the other side. Zero vegetation = brilliant view. Lovely bonus to end up in Nyksund, an old fishing village that the last few years have come to life.
13. Peer Gynt road
57 km of gravel road from Skeikampen via Gålå to Ruten in Espedalen. Alternating flat and hilly, large portions of the trip with top views.
12. Stadlandet, Leikanger-Hoddevik
Small-scale climbing over two passes on the 13 kilometer long trip. Access to Hoddevik via a winding road with a couple of hairpins, overlooking a small village, a huge beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Wonder if there is any tougher access to any place in Norway? You must go back the same way.
80 kilometers in Norway's fruit plate from Jondal to Odda via Utne. Close to the fjord and mountains, all the time with phenomenal views. In late summer and early autumn you can buy fresh produce right from the farmers.
25 kilometers of national romantic adventure landscapes from fjord to mountain and down to fjord again. A perfect final with nine hairpin switchbacks on Ørneveien (the eagle road). Make sure the brakes are functioning.
9. The Atlantic Ocean Road
The Atlantic Ocean Road was elected the century's construction work in Norway in 2005, and is also referred to as the world's most beautiful car journey. Also great to ride a bike. Fine stops. Remember fishing rod. Only downside is that the eight kilometers go so fast. But the area around is also nice, especially on the south side towards Bud.
This stretch is long, more hilly than any other throughout Norway, and consequently unusually exhauting to ride. At the same time, this is an extraordinarily beautiful coastal landscape, on the North Sea coast, which passes through several small, charming towns. Several sights along the way. Much sweat, tears and a wide smile.
Zigzag road through eleven hairpins from the valley bottom to the mountain. Steep mountains and a roaring waterfall surround the road. Iconic stopover at the top with world class view down the valley. Lovely downhill ride towards Valldal on the other side.
The entire area between Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen is superb for cyclists. Especially I like the detour out to the islands Herøy and Dønna. Between two ferry routes you can enjoy 28 kilometers of peaceful roads, across several bridges and small islands with many nice places to take a break, on a good day with a beautiful view of the mountains The seven sisters.
32 km long gravel road from Vågåmo to Lesja. Many height meters but formidable reward in the form of panoramic views in all directions from the highest point of the road, 1180 meters above sea level. Few cars. Admittedly some flies from Vågåmo and uphill, but there are bigger plagues in the world.
45 kilometers on gravel road close to the mountain area of Jotunheimen from Skåbu to Bygdin. Nice and open mountain terrain. Snow on the distant peaks and large lakes. More cows than cars to share the road with.
A peaceful and lush valley on Sunnmøre, 25 kilometers long and rather almost without width. Hardly any cars to share the road with. Mountains that rise almost vertically up to well over a thousand meters. Make sure you do not get neck pain by staring upwards. A couple of interesting sights. Nice contrast to more busy Geiranger and Trollstigen.
The entire Lofoten is awesome. Nevertheless, I choose a stretch that is among the nicest I have ever rode, 30 kilometers on the county road called 815 Valbergsveien. Blue sea, blue sky, tailwind and almost zero cars.
The entire 78 kilometer stretch from Gryllefjord to Botnhamn is a cycle touring paradise. Brilliant views of fjords and mountains all the time, modest car traffic and spectacular stopping points along the National Tourist Route Senja. Constantly jaw dropping and sky high wow factor.
Autumn 2018: Currently I am working on a ebook guide on bicycle touring in Norway. It will cover most aspects of what it is like to do a bicycle trip in Norway. Read more.