Hi, I'm planning a bicycle tour around Norway. I'm going to start my trip in Bodo, go through the Lofoten and Vesterålen islands and then back to the south. I want to see as many wonderful places as possible, so I don't have to choose the shortest route. I have 6 weeks to get to Stavanger.
I'd love to see the Rondane and Dovre National Parks, but since I really want to follow the Sognefjellet Road (rv 55 from Lom to Luster) and I'll get to this road from the west, I'll have to make a circle around these parks. And I really don't know which roads to follow! I've seen on the visitnorway.com that there's a popular bike route in this area, Dovrefjell and Rondane, from Hjerkinn to Dovre, but there's no detailed information about the route. For now, my plan is to:
- start and end this circle in Lom as I'll get there from the west, so I could continue riding east towards Dovre and Rondane and then go back to Lom from where I want to follow the Rv 55.
- from Lom go to the east to Nord-Sel and then go to the north towards Dovre.
- in Dovre... I don't know what to do. I can either go a little further to the north and follow the E6 road to Hjerkinn (and then to the south towards Folldal), but from what I see in goggle maps there's also a local road starting in Dovre and going close to the southern border of the Dovre national park. This local road ends in Folldal.
- Anyway, when I get to Folldal, I want to go to the south along the Rv 27 road which I heard is magnificent. In Ringebu I'd turn to the NW and follow E6, then 257 to Randsverk and then along 51 to Tessand. From there I could finally go back to the west to Lom.
What do you think of such a route? I'd be really grateful for any ideas and suggestions! Of course I'd like to go for a short hike somewhere in the mountains if only I find a kind person that would agree to keep my bike and stuff for a day. If you know a nice, short route (I won't even have a backpack and proper mountain shoes), please share it!
Thanks a lot for your help in advance. Btw, I also really want to see a glacier and maybe take a short hike on one of them. Would you recommend me any especially worth visiting?
Or maybe if you have any other tips what to see, where to go or which roads to follow - I will gladly hear your opinions and include them in planning my trip:)
Hi Janka - What a lovely trip you've got planned.
I've spent a couple months in Norway, and I think just about ANY road you take north of say, Lillehammer, would be an acceptable bike road. There just aren't that many people that far north, at least that I saw. For that matter, there aren't that many roads either, so you must take what you get. You should be prepared for dirt anytime you get off of an E-road, especially if the road is white in Google Maps. And you should be prepared for busses and fast cars on the E-roads.
There is one quite narrow stretch just south of Dovrefjell & Rondane, on E6 I think, where the road passes through a beautiful gorge. If you don't travel this part on a weekend, E6 is ok. Not stellar, but ok.
29 and 27 through Folldal are lovely, but if I recall, some stretches are dirt. It can be mucky if it's raining.
If you're going on 63, Geiranger fjord is absolutely stunning. It's one of the most lovely places I've ever been. Ever. There are some wicked steep hills, though (that's just the nature of fjords....). The bus & cruise ship traffic can be heavy at times. If you follow the little road that curves east of Geiranger on the south side of the fjord, you'll end up at Homlong. From Homlong you can walk above the fjord to an old farm. The views are stunning. Waterfalls, farms across the fjord that seem to be just barely clinging to the cliff... lovely. The bus and cruise ship passengers don't get up here. You will see Norwegians, and maybe a few foreigners who took the time to find this place, but no one else. I don't remember there being many signs, but the trail is marked by rock cairns and paint flashes. Someone in Geiranger or Homlong could help you out, especially if you're staying at the campground. This walk can be as long or as short as you like. If you leave Homlong mid-morning, you can have a picnic lunch at the farm, and still make it back to Homlong in plenty of time to set up camp, or even ride on.
You don't say when you are going. There is still snow in the mountains in June. The roads will be clear, but hiking trails probably won't, except for those on the coast (like Homlong).
In theory, you can camp pretty much anywhere in Norway (I saw someone bike-camping on the shoulder of E6 once). In reality, it can be very hard to find a dry flat spot in some areas. Norway is pretty soggy. Make sure your tent bottom is waterproof. Large flat boulders are nice.
Also look around first for ants. The ants are big, and bite, and make GIANT mounds -- so big, that you could easily not recognize it as an ant hill if you weren't expecting it. It makes sense -- the ground is too soggy for them to live underground.
Since you've been to Sweden, you probably already know that things are more expensive the farther north you go. Bread is pretty reasonable, though.
I hope this doesn't sound like a load of bad news. Norway is wonderful! It's beautiful, clean, and friendly. Have fun !! (sorry, I'm no help with glaciers.) -- Kate
Thanks a lot for your suggestions and advices. I'm going to start my trip on July 10th and end it 6 weeks later, at the end of August. So I hope there won't be too much snow, although I know I must be prepared for that.
Thanks for the information about Homlong and the farms! I'll be riding there - from the north (Rv 63) to Geiranger and there I wanted to take a ferry to Hellesylt. But of course I'll look for these farms! Thanks again:)
But the ANTS are really a bad news. I HATE ants, I have a ant-fobia or whatever it's called... I won't put a tent anywhere near an anthill nor anywhere where I can see a lot of ants, especially big ones. I'd ride for 20 km more rather than put a tent in such a place. That was one of the reasons for which we preferred camping in local people's backyards - apart from making new friends and feeling more safe - that there usually weren't any anthills and the ants were smaller than in the forests:)
So this is really a bad, bad news, I already have the goose-flesh... Ants, mosquitoes and rain are what I'm most afraid of in Norway:( But apart from that, I can't wait, and I'm more happy to see the fjords and glaciers (I've never seen any!) than afraid of ants;)