Flowers by the coast of Bø in Vesterålen.

Cycling in Vesterålen: Up close to coastal culture

PHOTO Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen/Nordnorge.com/Bø

With few hills and little traffic, Vesterålen offers plenty of unspoiled cycling terrain – both for families and beginners, as well as the more seasoned riders.

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Vesterålen is located all the way north in Nordland, and covers five islands connected with bridges or tunnels. When seeing all the mountains, one might think cycling in Vesterålen is incredibly heavy and for serious riders only. But in fact, it’s not. The roads where made to connect people living in the area, and originally people lived from fishing or farming  – by the sea, where the ground is flat.

– When cycling here you have mountains on one side, and the ocean on the other, while you continuously pass small and charming places where you can stop for photos or a snack. Just remember to bring water and food with you, there are not too many supermarkets in this area, states Astrid Berthinussen, Director of Tourism in Vesterålen.

Mother and daughter biking in Hadsel, Vesterålen.

Photo

Øystein Wold/Vsitvesteralen.com/Hadsel

COAST LINE BIKING: The route around the island of Hadsel offers beautiful scenery and is a super one day trip.

One day trip

The recommended trail around Hadselsøya (42 km) is well suited for a day trip. You'll ride on the outer side of Hadselsøya, between Melbu and Stokmarknes, a narrow, slightly cumbersome, but yet, easily biked trail. On the way you’ll enjoy the wonderful view over the great ocean towards Lofoten and Bø in Vesterålen.

Take a break at the bench of love at Taen beach. Make sure to catch the curious art installation Ræk IV as well. Some kilometers off the beach, towards Stokmarknes, you’ll pass by Uvêrshula which literally translates into the Bad Weather Cave – a structure 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 comes highly recommended, regardless of whether you're interested in art or not.

Vesterålen also offers exciting whale- and orca safari, in addition to attractions like Museum Nord. The disused fishing village, Nyksund, is also a unique place to visit, where you'll find a tasty fish restaurant, among other activities.

Woman biking by the mountains and the village of Bleik, Andøya, Vesterålen.

Photo

Øyvind Wold/Visitvesteralen.com/Andøy

ANDØYA: The island offers excellent conditions for bikers. Bike around the island and see the lighthouse of Andenes and the charming village of Bleik.

Step inside a very special museum

Did you know that Hurtigruten, The Norwegian Coastal Express, is often referred to as «the most beautiful sea voyage in the world»? Then you should also know that Hurtigruten originated in Stokmarknes. At The House of Hurtigruten, you’ll find the landlocked ship M/S Finnmarken which is the world's largest museum artifact. This is by far Vesterålen’s most endearing art initiative, and definitely worth your time for a unique glimpse into Norway's cultural heritage.

You’ll find more information about this trip recommendations to other bike trails around Vesterålen here.

Boats by the docks of Lødingen, Vesterålen.

Photo

Sebastien Goujaud/Nordnorge.com/Lødingen

LØDINGEN: Several on road and off road bikepaths are established at the beautiful Vestfjord Panorama area located in the south of the island of Hinnøya. You hire bikes and helmets in Lødingen.