Enjoy active days with wind in your hair in Norway. Cycle as far as you like, as challenging as you like, as comfortably as you like. Cycling is a fun, convenient, healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around. The national cycle routes will guide you along fjords, through forests and even across mountains.
Cycling is an ideal way to explore the Norwegian countryside up close and at your own pace, stopping off to enjoy stunning views and well-earned picnics along the way The national cycle routes of Norway give tourists the opportunity to see the country from a bicycle seat. Some of the long-distance routes are for adventurers and experienced cyclists only. However, if you’re not in the cycling shape of your life, you can still enjoy parts of a longer route. Some of the national cycle routes are also shorter and well suited for anyone who can ride a bike.
The national cycle routes will guide you between cities and regions in Norway, avoiding most roads with heavy traffic. You can cycle along fjords, through forests and valleys and even across mountains. On the way, you can visit exciting cultural and historical sites, as well as small towns, scenic locations and interesting attractions. Bring your fishing rod or eat your way through the local food culture.
Originally a transportation road from the construction of the Bergen Railway, the Rallarvegen national cycle route is now one of the most popular in Norway. The complete route stretches from Bergen to Finse and ends in Oslo. It offers both a historical and a close-to-nature adventure.
Another famous national cycle route goes along the The Telemark Canal, which was etched into the mountain more than 100 years ago and was known as “the eight wonder of the world” when it was finished. The canal route takes you right across Southern Norway, from Porsgrunn via Skien to Dalen and all the way to the coastal city of Stavanger. Though it crosses the country, this route is actually one of the shortest national cycle routes.
For the most experienced and adventurous cyclists, the Norway from north to south route offers a real but beautiful challenge. This route is one of the longest of the ten national cycle routes, and will take you from the northernmost point of mainland Norway – The North Cape – to the southernmost point at Lindesnes lighthouse. The complete route takes about 5 weeks to accomplish.
Even if you are only visiting the capital, cycling is a great option for exploration. Many streets in Oslo have separate bicycle tracks or bicycle lanes on the roadway itself, making two-wheeled transport a safe alternative. For distances up to a few kilometres, bicycling is often faster than public transportation. The simplest way to hire a bicycle in Oslo is getting a city bike subscription from Oslo City bike (Oslo Bysykkel). A subscription gets you access to over 100 bicycle stands around the city with over 1,000 bicycles that can be borrowed for three hours at a time. Whether you want to discover attractions or explore nature, Oslo’s bicycling options range from relaxing rides with almost no inclines to difficult cross-country cycling in the hilly forests around the city.
If you are tempted to try one of the national cycle routes, you can find more information here. Cyclists Welcome also offers a list of complete package holidays, either along a route with starting point and final destination, or as a round trip where you return to your original starting point. You can chose whether to cycle with or without a guide.
Whether you seek a demanding slog up a mountain or a gentle ride between picturesque small towns, the varied landscapes of Norway will provide suitable challenges for riding on two wheels.
SOURCE: Embassy of Norway
PHOTO: Sverre Hjornevik/Visit Norway [Rallarvegen]