Imagine returning from a great vacation with a body that´s in much better shape than when you left. It´s accually possible ─ and you even get to be outside every day, feel the wind in your hair, get some color in your cheeks – and get close to nature.
Many people dream of exploring Norway by bike, just pedaling away, into the forest, up a mountain, or simply across the city streets. Unfortunately, those dreams are often not fulfilled due to practical reasons.
A bike can be cumbersome to drag around. It’s bad enough when you’re travelling alone, but for a family, bringing bikes for everyone quickly gets out of the question. Bringing a bike on a bus or a train is not easy either, especially not during tourist season.
Luckily there’s a fantastic concept that will let you go on the bike holiday of a lifetime ─ without even bringing a bike.
Fly and Bike
With the concept Fly and Bike, Widerøe lets you combine the convenience of airplane travelling and an easily accessible bike holiday.
It’s as easy as it is genius.The same way you rent a car, you can rent a bicycle directely at the airport. Just pick up your backpack from the luggage belt, and hop on the bike.
Fly and Bike gives you the opportunity to choose between some of Norway’s best hike- and nature areas, which are also well facilitated for cycling. The destinations have sufficient road and trail standard, plenty of accommodations, and a lot of beautiful and intersting places to see along the way.
How to get on a cycling holiday
It’s really simple as well: Book a flight to a destination with the arrangment, add a bike booking (remember to choose either pick up or delivery), and the bike will be waiting for you shorly after landing.
The following destinations are currently available for Widerøe’s Fly and Bike arrangement. You’ll also find some exellent tips for trails and sights on the various locations:
In Norway´s northernmost town, Hammerfest, you can rent an electric bike that gives you an extra push up the hills. Find time to visit Energihuset (the Energy house) to get an insight of the exciting history of the town, before venturing into wild Arcitc nature. Between mountains and fjords, you’ll experience a bustling vegetation and wildlife you won’t find anywhere else.
Feel free to combine the cycling vacation with island hopping. A boat can take you to Sørøya, where you pedal along the old, but newly renovated, «Lighthouse watcher´s road». This track will lead you to the outstanding coastal nature of western Finnmark. Along the way you’ll pass Kjøttvikvarden, which is Norway’s tallest beacon with its 12,5 meters. Keep your eyes open for sea eagles and whales, and stop at Gamvik Gjestegård for a proper, northern lunch.
Et bilde publisert av GLØD Explorer (@glodexplorer)
The possibilities for biking are almost endless in Western Finnmark. In Alta, you can ride your bike along country roads or hit the terrain trails. The enviroment is more than just gravel and gentle slopes. If you get on the mountain bike, you can play aroud on amusing wood trails with roots and rocks, and ofcourse ancient Sami roads. It is all pretty exotic.
«What makes Alta so unique is the possibilities to explore the areas surrounding Alta. The lush AltaValley and the beatutiful Alta River, but also the Arctic wilderness. After all, Alta lies at the foot of the Finnmark plateau», Trygve Nygård in Glød Explorer, who rents out the bikes, says.
Glød lets you come along on a guided three days trip around the Finnmark plateau, where you visit places like Jotkavann and the idyllically Mollisjok mountain lodge. You can also find a piece of the world heritage in Alta. The Rock Art of Alta consists of 6000 rock carvings and 50 cave paintings, and is more than a 7000 years old. A comfortable bike ride of just over four kilometers takes you to Hjemmeluft where you can see the Rock Art.
Check out biking experiences in Finnmark here – and watch out for reindeers!
Solli Guesthouse in Kirkenes gives you great, accomodation and northern food, but you can also rent a steady fatbike – perfect for the terrain in and around Kirkenes. The guesthouse is idyllically placed by Pikevannet with a view towards Russia. The area consists of lush, Arctic nature with coniferous forest, peaks and water. Just take the fatbike right outside the door, and pedal away on trails that bring you to hidden fish waters, gorgeous valleys and beautiful viewpoints. After the bike ride, you can enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant Gapahuken which is located all the way down by the water side. Alternatively, you can relax in the sauna. A guided bike trip to the Russian border by Storskog is recommended. In Kirkenes, you will definitely be challenged on the exciting, Arctic forest trails!
In the northern town Tromsø, you don’t have to go far before you’re out on the countryside, and close to fjords and mountains. A trip around Tromsøya is a flat and nice tour not far from the city. On this trip, you can go straight down to the ebb and catch several sights. The Science Centre of Northern Norway, the botanical garden, the Telegraf bay, and Tromsø Museum are also on the ride. Make sure to catch Tromsø Bike Festival in June at Charlottenlund. The festival hosts activities for the whole family.
Vesterålen is located all the way north in Nordland, and covers five islands connected with bridges or tunnels. The destination offers exciting whale- and orca safari, in addition to attractions like Museum Nord. The disused fishing village, Nyksund, is also an exciting place to go, where you´ll find a tasty fish restaurant, among others.
Experiencing Vesterålen from the bike seat is something you just got to do. The recommended trail around Hadselsøya (42 km) is well suited for a day trip. Here you travel on the outer side of Hadselsøya, between Melbu and Stokmarknes, a narrow, cumbersome, but easily biked trail. On the way you’ll enjoy the the view over the great ocean towards Lofoten and Bø in Vesterålen. Take a break at the bench of love at Taen beach. Here you’ll find the great art installation Ræk IV as well. Some kilometers off the beach, towards Stokmarknes, you’ll pass Uvêrshula – created by mother nature’s own building blocks. The cave is great for a visit in the midnight sun, as well as during a storm. Next stop is Gallery Uvær, which is recommended for everyone, regardless of weather you are interested in art or not.
Stokmarknes is also known for beeing the birthplace of Hurtigruta. At The House of Hurtigruten, you’ll find a museum with the ship Finnmarken that’s been put ashore. This is Vesterålen’s most dearing art initiative, and absolutely worth a visit.
Lofoten has become famous for its dramatic nature and teeming bird life, which facilitates amazing bike trips. Most of Lofoten is flat and easy to travel through, and you´re offered great overview of the landscape. If you choose to ride the bike on the north and west facing trails, you’ll be biking in the midnight sun, which shines from May to the midst of July. To avoid heavy traffic, it´s highly recommended to bike during the evening and under the midnight sun.
The 68 kilometers long trail between Fiskebøl and Svolvær is a good option if you want to travel alone. From Fiskebøl, the tour goes along the outer side of Austvågøya, which has beautiful surroundings. The nice, sandy beaches and excellent hiking terrain is guaranteed to make you want to spend a lot of time on this trail. During summer you can enjoy the midnight sun in Laukvika, and the landscape varies between marshland to lakes and fjords. The last part of the trip is cycled along E10.
Read more about the wheeling delights of Lofoten here. Remember to book a bike for your cycling holiday in Lofoten, if you are travelling to Leknes or Svolvær.
Just outside of the northern town Bodø, you’ll find an island realm not many people are familar with. The islands are located one to two miles from the shore, and can be reached by boat from Bodø centre. On the northwestern side, you’ll find your way to Langsanden, a sandy beach that’s almost two kilometers long. If you go just a bit north, you should stop by the hills leading to Alsvik, and walk by foot up to the hilltops of Kleivan. In just a matter of minutes, you’ll reach a top with an amazing view over the island realm.
The trip to the magical island of Kjerringøy is said to be one of Norway’s – and the world´s – most beautiful biking routes. On your way you’ll have a great view to the sea, and in the distance you get a glimps of the great Lofoten wall and the island Landegode. This is a trip everyone an manage, as it only has two short uphill climbs. The trip should take about 2-2,5 hours to complete, including a 10 minute trip with the ferry.
It’s not the uphill climbs that will take your breath away when you´re biking along the coast of Helgeland. It’s the nature. You’ll pedal around a varied coastline, around fjords, over bridges and along the feet of majestic mountains. You can fly to either Sandnessjøen or Brønnøysund, pick up a bike and get going.
If you travel to Sandnessjøen, a one day expedition to the Petter Dass museum and Herøy is recommended. After exciting experiences at the museum, you should visit Margrethe’s café for some local food. After the meal, head back to the docks at Søvik and take the ferry to Herøy. This island has a flat terrain and a beautiful landscape with white sandy beaches, small bridges and small fishermen cabins. Make sure to stop by the 900 year old church in Herøy.
If you are travelling to Brønnøysund, you should spend a day visiting Torghatten (15 kilometers from the town center) – the famous mountain with a hole in the middle. Go southwest, over the magnificent Brønnøysund bridge and further down. Hop off the bike, and walk up to the great hole, where you’ll get a spectacular view over the island realm. When going back down, you can stop at Torghatten Camping & Strand Restaurant. The restaurant is located by a white sandy beach, and offers both great opportunities for both food and swimming. Take a detour on your way back to town, and stop by the Norwegian Aquaculture Center, to learn about the life by the sea.
#leka #kystriksveien #momentnorway #sykkeltur Et bilde publisert av Gry Falch-Olsen (@gryfo)
Flying to either Namsos or Rørvik gives you the opportunity to experience the coastal route along the Nordland coastline. from your bike. This road is known to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Kystriksveien starts in Namsos, Trøndelag, and wriggles its way through stunning landscape through the coast of Namdal and Helgeland, before it reaches its end in Bodø, 650 kilometers later. Along the way you’ll come across several sights such as Leka, Torghatten, The Norwegian Aviation museum, The mountain Seven Sisters, Svartisen, Saltstraumen. The attractions are easily accessible, and are located consecutively along the wat.
Here you find a great suggestion for a 13 day long bike trip between Namsos, Rørvik and Bodø. This suggestion take you through the entire route of Kystriksveien, including island hopping, but you’re of course free to arrange shorter trips along Kystriksveien, starting in Namsos or Rørvik.
Fearing heavy pedaling? Kystriksveien Reiseliv offers luggage transport all along Kystriksveien to make your trip more comfortable. All you have to worry about is getting on your bike, and your luggage will be transported from place to place for you. The offer applies all the way from Stjørdal (Trondheim Airport Værnes) to Bodø including the Islands. Luggage transport must be booked well in advance, and can be done through Kystriksveien booking.
In combination with an Explore Norway Ticket from Widerøe, you can literally bike through all the most amazing places in Norway during the summer!
Keep in mind that the backpack might become heavy during the trip. Think about weight, and avoid bringing things you don’t really need. If you´re looking for more tips on how to pack your backpack, and recommendations about clothing, check out this complete packing list for bike trips.
With Fly and Bike, we guarantee you the most vigorous vacation ever!
Top Photo: Pixabay