The North Sea Cycle Route winds over 6,000 km (3,700 miles), taking you from Norway to the UK via Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The most demanding part is the one along the Norwegian coast. Less rugged than the interior of the country, the southern coast is characterized by its unique landscape, with sheer, craggy drops and numerous secluded, elegant bays. Cutting up the coast are many bursts of gentle, hilly landscapes with long straights, as well as the odd segment with some neat altitude. Do you think this sounds like a route that was tailored for you and your road bike? Be warned: These wonderful tourist routes aren’t all designed for narrow tires and sporty riders, which means you may have to adjust the route from time to time for a smooth road bike adventure.
That’s why we created eight road bike-tested stages from Bergen to Kristiansand following the North Sea Cycle Route. These offer the perfect mix of hard mountain stages that take you approximately 100 km (62 miles) and up over 1,000 meters (3,200 ft) of elevation, as well as some loose, relaxing stages of up to 60 km (37 miles) in length. And so you can recharge between demanding stages and reenergize for the next day, you can easily find a campsite or B&B in one of the quiet harbor cities.
Norway's second largest city offers a nice starting point for your trip. Before the first leg starts, you can top up your reserves, buy missing equipment or enjoy a tasty fish specialty on the market.From Bergen, the official North Sea Cycle Route begins, signposted by a red or green one. You will encounter this symbol over and over again, but often deviate from the route in order to drive on a road bike-suitable route. Today there is only one ramp and otherwise you can curl up comfortably.Accommodation in the peaceful island of Stord can be found in Fitjar. Alternatively, you cycle a few kilometers and spend the night with your tent on a campsite on the east coast.
The second stage is more relaxed. The two sleepy fishing islands of Stord and Bømlo are almost free tourists. Gently, one hill connects to the other. The typical norwegian narrow and perfectly paved roads meander along forests and sometimes along the Atlantic Ocean. Both your thighs and your optic nerve are thus optimally utilized, so that the 100 kilometers are covered in no time.
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Today you spend almost a third of your tour on ferries. It is therefore advisable to leave early and keep an eye on the departure times of the ferries. The first 50 kilometers to Nedstrand are a constant up and down. Then you can relax wonderfully on the ferry to Judaberg. When you arrive in Eidsund, two steep climbs are waiting for you, the subsequent ferry ride is just what your legs want. In Tau you change to the bus that will take you through the car tunnel to Stavanger and will soon have reached your destination. In the coming days you will have to get back on your feet completely, so enjoy the fresh breeze and the gentle sway of the sea one last time.
The stage starts enstpannt. The landscape behind Stavanger is so flat that you could almost mistake it for Denmark. The wind blows accordingly on the coast!
Shortly before Egersund begins the millions of years old Magma National Park. This changes the landscape abruptly and gives a foretaste of tomorrow's tour - the king's stage to Flekkefjörd.
This will be the queen stage of your trip! The stretch between Egersund and Flekkefjord is the hardest stretch on the entire North Sea Cycle Route. No wonder, you also cross the Magmapark!There are four mountains waiting for you, each with a diameter of about 200 meters over a few kilometers. It is a single up and down from sea level to the next peak.In between, you will be rewarded with great views over lonely mountain lakes and the unique Norwegian fjords.
After the queen stage is a bit calmer day.
To cross the Fedafjord, take a small detour via Kvinesdal, as the E39 with several longer sections of the tunnel would be too dangerous to cycle on.You will be rewarded with a beautiful view over the fjord and a decent ramp back into the interior. On the island of Lista you will find several beautiful campsites with beach access. Alternatively, you spend the night in the tranquil harbor town of Farsund.
Slowly you reach the touristically well-developed South Coast region. Here, the traffic slowly increases and you will encounter many campers.Hard is the section between Lygndal and Spangereid. The highlight of the day is definitely the oldest and southernmost lighthouse in Norway.