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A cycling pilgrimage on the EuroVelo 3 – Norway to France

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A cycling pilgrimage on the EuroVelo 3 – Norway to France

Bike Touring Collection by Tobias

43-99

days

3-6 h

/ day

2,930 mi

92,750 ft

92,250 ft

Can you go on a pilgrimage by bike? Yes, of course you can! The EuroVelo 3 makes this possible. From Trondheim in Norway, you follow the most important pilgrimage routes in Europe to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.

At the beginning, you cycle on the Olav’s Way through lonely, rugged landscapes from Norway to Sweden. Next, the Oschen Way brings you across Denmark to the lowlands of North Germany. In Hamburg, you join the German Way of St. James before riding through Belgium on the Via Mosana and Via Monastica. The subsequent Via Thiérache soon becomes the Chemin d'Estelle which takes you to the heart of France – Paris. From there, you cycle on the Via Turonensis until just before the Pyrenees to the commune of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, where the Camino Francés begins.

The total distance of the EuroVelo 3 is almost 5,500 kilometres (3,417 miles) so I have divided it into two Collections to make the route easier to follow. This Collection takes you from Norway to just before the Spanish border. You can find the Camino Francés from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port here: komoot.de/collection/1080662

On your pilgrimage, you will make many unforgettable memories as you cross breathtaking landscapes shaped by incredibly different climate zones. Some days will take you to your physical limits while others will be relaxed rides along the banks of a river. Great views, wide plains, fascinating coasts and exciting cities await you. At the end of your journey, you will find it hard not to cycle the same route again.

This is a journey that you will remember for many years to come. The road may leave its mark on you as you undergo changes or help you to see the world from a different perspective than you did before. The motivation for your journey is irrelevant – whether religious, spiritual or educatative, whether you are looking for a challenge, or whether you want to find some peace and distance yourself from everyday life for a while.

The first part of the EuroVelo 3 totals 44 daily stages that vary in length from roughly 80 to 150 kilometres (50 to 93 miles) – depending on the difficulty rating and altitude difference. The stages are shorter at the beginning of the journey and become longer as you familiarise yourself with the route. As not everyone can or wants to do an average of over 100 kilometres (62 miles) per day, I’ve included additional information about overnight accommodation halfway through the day in all the stage descriptions. This lowers the daily average to just over 50 kilometres (31 miles), thus making the route also suitable for leisurely cyclists. E-bikes are also a good option for this adventure. Of course, you can cycle the entire pilgrimage route in one go, divide it into several parts, or split it across several holidays.

You can find accommodation at or near each stage destination and about halfway along the route. There is usually a selection, however, I recommend booking in advance. Nothing is nicer than the certainty of being able to stretch your tired legs in a comfy bed after a strenuous day riding. If you’re travelling with a tent, I’ve also included information on campsites near the stage destinations and halfway along the route, where possible.

Packing your luggage is also a bit of a challenge for the EuroVelo 3, especially if you’re riding the entire route in one go. While the temperatures in Norway can be quite icy, depending on the season, you will sweat much faster in southwestern Europe and need cooler clothing. In addition, you should always carry enough food and water with you on long journeys. In Scandinavia and Denmark, you often ride for hours through lonely landscapes with no possibilities to buy anything. In a few instances, you'll find no shopping facilities for one to two days.

Last but not least, one thing is certain – the EuroVelo 3 is a grandiose adventure that will certainly move more in you than just your legs. I wish you a "Buen Camino!".

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    06:01
    52.8 mi
    8.8 mph
    4,125 ft
    2,975 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your trip on EuroVelo 3 starts in Trondheim, Norway, in the Trøndelag province. EuroVelo 3 is largely based on the St. Olavs pilgrimage route. This is the most popular of a total of six Nidaros trails, all of which end at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. From the ferry pier on the coast, where the train

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  • Difficult
    05:38
    49.7 mi
    8.8 mph
    3,700 ft
    3,050 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Frillsjøen you drive in a small curve south to Meldal, where you turn into the Orkladalen. About 16 kilometers further south you turn upstream at the mouth of the Grana to the west and follow the river first to Lake Granasjøen. While the ascent is quite moderate for most of the route, about two

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  • Difficult
    06:17
    63.1 mi
    10.0 mph
    3,150 ft
    2,500 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In Drivdalen you cross the eastern foothills of the Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park and follow the Driva upstream until you reach the highest point of your journey at over 1,000 meters at the Tverrfjell pass. If you have some time to spare, a detour to the Snøhetta viewpoint to the west is definitely

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  • Difficult
    04:30
    39.5 mi
    8.8 mph
    4,125 ft
    3,800 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The trip continues along the shore of Atnsjøen Lake, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the mountains of the Rondane National Park at the Sohlbergplassen lookout point. At the southern end of the lake, turn south from the Atna river and, after passing three other, slightly smaller lakes, follow

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  • Difficult
    08:31
    59.2 mi
    7.0 mph
    4,925 ft
    5,100 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you have a decent ascent and descent that will cost you a lot of strength with an altitude of 1,500 meters. Make sure you take enough provisions with you, because you hardly pass any large towns on the way. The lonely and idyllic landscape will always reward you for your efforts. You will find

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  • Difficult
    05:29
    55.3 mi
    10.1 mph
    2,150 ft
    4,150 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After yesterday's masterpiece, you deserved to be able to let the bike run a little today. The first 13 kilometers are almost all downhill from Gudbrandsdalen to Lillehammer. There you can make a long stop, treat yourself to a hearty second breakfast and take a look at the city.

    

    With Lillehammer you can

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  • Difficult
    06:19
    65.3 mi
    10.3 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,325 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    For almost the first half of the day you follow the east bank of Mjøsa to its southern tip, where the Vorma river flows out of the lake. The last part of the route along the lake runs comfortably on the old Morskogan railway line. The idyllic loneliness of the Nordic forests and mountains is now increasingly

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  • Difficult
    05:30
    52.7 mi
    9.6 mph
    2,400 ft
    2,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Today's route takes you from Lillestrøm via Oslo further south to Moss. Although EuroVelo 3 only touches the Norwegian capital on its eastern foothills, it is of course still worth taking a short trip there. You will find a few beautiful sights with the artists' quarter north of the city center, the

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  • Difficult
    06:15
    59.6 mi
    9.5 mph
    2,475 ft
    2,450 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Today the route takes you to just before the Swedish border. You follow the peninsula-like foothills of the mainland on the Oslofjord in a southeast direction - sometimes closer to the water, sometimes a little further away from it. It is worth stopping in Fredrikstad to see the pretty old town. A few

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  • Difficult
    05:48
    54.5 mi
    9.4 mph
    2,650 ft
    2,625 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you will pass your first national border on EuroVelo 3. Over the old Svinesund Bridge it goes into Sweden. You stay mostly near the Bohuslän archipelago coast. which gives you some smaller hills on the way. After you have successfully conquered the Scandinavian mountains during the first stage

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  • Difficult
    05:33
    54.3 mi
    9.8 mph
    2,625 ft
    2,725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Fjällbacka, the route first stretches inland today, before meeting the coast again about halfway. A gentle, hilly landscape and extensive forest areas, which alternate with fields and meadows, characterize the landscape. About seven kilometers behind Munkedal you can make a detour to the Anneröd

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  • Difficult
    08:41
    107 mi
    12.4 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,775 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Don't be surprised, today's stage is only 82 kilometers long, not 173. For the sake of better planning, however, I have included the ferry connection to Denmark in the route, hence the extra kilometers.

    

    From Ljungskile you drive further south today and stay mostly near the coast. After about 40 kilometers

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  • Difficult
    06:30
    59.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,800 ft
    1,775 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    In Denmark, the landscape is now becoming increasingly flatter, but this also benefits the wind, which sometimes blows from the opposite direction depending on the weather. Today you drive from Frederikshavn to Aalborg. The area is predominantly rural. You will only come across a few small towns along

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  • Difficult
    07:27
    69.4 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,575 ft
    2,500 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Aalborg, your journey on EuroVelo 3 takes you further south. You cross Rold Skov, Denmark's second largest contiguous forest area, you can make a detour to Hobro to let your gaze wander over the Mariager Fjord and then drive through a rich lake landscape, where a little detour is worthwhile every

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  • Difficult
    06:24
    61.8 mi
    9.7 mph
    2,250 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Ochsenweg begins in Viborg, the historic land route on which the so-called ox drift ran from the 16th to the 18th century - an economically very important cattle drive at the time. The destination is Wedel in Germany. Again and again you will come across sculptures of two large horns on the way

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  • Difficult
    05:47
    59.4 mi
    10.3 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Jelling you drive south in a sweeping curve to the vicinity of Haderslev. You cross a predominantly agricultural area and a few smaller forest areas. The route profile remains flat throughout and only a few meters in altitude await you. You will also come across a few historically interesting places

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  • Difficult
    07:15
    65.3 mi
    9.0 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,225 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    We continue on the Ochsenweg southwards. Today you cross the border to Germany. After the first six kilometers, a little historical peculiarity awaits you: you cross the oldest bridge on the Ochsenweg - a stone beam bridge from 1786.

    

    You reach the border after 57 kilometers near Flensburg. If you want

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  • Difficult
    07:29
    72.2 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    If you have spent the night in Schleswig, you can drive out of the city westwards north of Friedrichsberg and come back to the Ochsenweg at Hüsby. In Germany you will now increasingly come across the typical Ochsenweg sculptures along the way. In Rendsburg you cross under the Kiel Canal and keep going

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  • Difficult
    05:47
    58.3 mi
    10.1 mph
    825 ft
    850 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Itzehoe the route leads you today to the Elbe to the heart of Hamburg. Via Elmshorn and Uetersen you get to Wedel, where you meet the banks of the Elbe. Here you can make yourself comfortable on the Elbe beach and watch the hustle and bustle. Incidentally, the Ochsenweg now ends in Wedel.

    

    The journey

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  • Difficult
    06:30
    63.2 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,375 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    You can find the way out of the city bustle in the south of Hamburg. From now on, EuroVelo 3 is based on the Via Baltica - the northernmost east-west connection in the German Jakobsweg network. You drive through the nature reserve beech forests in the rose garden, where deciduous deciduous forest alternates

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    44
  • Distance
    2,930 mi
  • Duration
    299:51 h
  • Elevation
    92,750 ft92,250 ft

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A cycling pilgrimage on the EuroVelo 3 – Norway to France

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