Picturesque cycle paths amidst lonesome nature where you hear nothing but the rustling of trees, the gentle flow of rivers, the sound of the sea and the silence of smooth lakes. Behind narrow bends, the paths wind their way up steep mountains crowned by rugged rocks to give a magnificent view of the deeply cut fjords. They lead through rocky tunnels and turn into rapid descents—and wind their way all the way to the coast.
The North Sea Coast Cycle Route winds over 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) from Norway to Great Britain, taking you through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. In this first part, we'll take you through Norway in 16 stages. The approximately 1,150 kilometers (715 miles) route from Bergen to Halden is very demanding, with tons of elevation gain spread out over short distances, as well as the length of the individual stages, which you can easily shorten or distribute over more stages. The best time to do the Tour is in the summer months when the weather is warmer and it stays light until late: The perfect recipe for long distance cycle tours.
We have chosen the below itinerary so that you can choose from different types of accommodation while having the opportunity to stop for refreshments in shops along the route. If you would like to take a break and stay overnight between stages, feel free! There are many smaller places on the way with overnight accommodation, such as holiday apartments, guesthouses and, above all, campsites.
The starting point of this Tour is Bergen, to which you can arrive conveniently by plane, train or ferry. While cycling, feel free to give your legs a break and jump on one of the trains or ferries to shorten your ride. In Halden, the final destination of the Tour, you can take the train to Oslo—from where you can easily travel the rest of your way home.
If you prefer to continue by bike, you can cycle further south on the North Sea Coast Cycle Path in Sweden. We have put together the Tour for you in the second part of the North Sea Coast Cycle Route: komoot.com/collection/515/the-north-sea-coast-cycle-route-part-2-sweden
The other parts can be found here:
Start of the North Sea Coast Tour through Norway is Bergen. The city has an airport, but can also be reached by ferry from Denmark or the train. The route to the stage destination in Leirvik holds some uphill slopes for you and meanders through Norway's unique untouched nature. Halfway there you take a break from cycling and drive about 20 kilometers by ferry. Then it goes on the bike to the finish line Leirvik.
On the 79-kilometer second stage from Leirvik to Haugesund today, as on the previous day, we will travel from one island to the next. You will come across breathtaking bridges with great views and will also take a short ferry ride on this route. In the stage destination Haugesund you can end the day in the beautiful city. A visit to the harbor district is worthwhile, for example, to stroll on the harbor quay and end the day in one of the many restaurants and cafes.
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Today there are 90 kilometers from Haugesund to Hjelmeland. Maybe this distance seems pretty neat to you at first glance. However, today you are traveling twice with the ferry, where you drive about 25 kilometers in total. To reach the finish well, you should start very early, because the ferry from Nedstrand to Eidsund sets only twice a day and it is recommended to reach the first of the two ferries that leaves at noon.So you still have enough time to drive the second part of the route on the island of Ombo. From the harbor, it goes on a neat climb on the hills of the island, and then on the other side back to the nearest port, where the second ferry crossing to the stage destination waiting for you.
On the fourth stage of the North Sea Coast Cycle Route, 67 kilometers are waiting for you, of which you will cover about 15 kilometers by ferry. The tour from Hjelmeland to Stavanger is characterized by many beautiful lakes, such as Tysdalsvatnet Lake, and two larger climbs. The landscape and the untouched nature are an absolute highlight throughout.After about 52 kilometers on the bike you will arrive in Tau. From there you take the bus through the car tunnel to Stavanger, a large but charming coastal town and today's destination.
Today's route takes you south without much detours. From Stavanger it goes on 84 kilometers to Egersund. There are beautiful sections waiting for you, which lead along the water and natural North Sea beaches, which invite you to take a rest. Shortly before the final destination, you can look forward to a particularly beautiful section of the cycle path, which leads away from traffic through the lonely and original nature of Norway, which is characterized here by large rocks and low vegetation.
The distance from Egersund to Flekkefjord is 64 kilometers shorter than the previous stage, but it is characterized by more climbs, each of which is crowned by a beautiful winding downhill. Thanks to the many hills on the route, you can enjoy the beautiful view from the top, which, for example, gives you a wonderful view of a bay on the coast.About half way you will pass a famous highlight. From the street you can see the brighter ones and the houses underneath, which you can even visit. Then it goes past beautiful lakes to the stage destination Flekkefjord.
Today it goes from Flekkefjord to Vestbygd. On the 67 kilometer long stage, you will again encounter a few meters of altitude, which will give you beautiful views and fantastic descents.On the way you can look forward as always to some highlights, for example in the small town Feda, where you drive over a bridge, from which you have a wonderful view of the houses directly on the water and the mountain backdrop behind.The Kvinesdal region, which you pass several kilometers further, offers you a beautiful panorama. Then it goes along the fjord to the coast, where today's stage destination Vestbygd is located.
True to the name North Sea Cycle Route, it is now mainly along the coast. At 79 kilometers you cycle from Vestbygd to Mandal. You will come through many charming coastal towns with beautiful harbors. Here you can not only admire pretty boats, but also rest well and eat fresh fish in the restaurants.Away from the coastline, dreamlike routes through beautiful forests with enchanted lakes and lots of nature await you. At Mandal, which is Norway's southernmost city, you can relax your legs with a leisurely walk, marveling at the city's beautiful white houses.
At 56 kilometers, this is one of the shortest stages of cycling through Norway. From Mandal, we continue along the coast to Kristiansand, one of Norway's most popular holiday destinations.On the way you will pass beautiful sections and points that are located directly on the water and give you a magnificent view of the sea with the countless rocky islands off the coast as well as impressive fjords and beautiful lakes.Shortly before Kristiansand, a climb awaits you, whose sweeping descent brings you almost to the final destination, where beautiful beaches and a wide range of leisure activities await you.
85 kilometers and some small slopes lie between Kristiansand and Arendal. After crossing the Topdalsfjord on a bridge with beautiful views of the bay and the fjord, we head inland, where we pass winding rivers and enchanting inland waters. Then you cycle back to the coast where cozy towns like Lillesand and Grimstad are waiting for you, which are perfect for resting. Afterwards, it always goes on near the coast until the stage destination in Arendal.
On Norway's rugged coast, it continues from Arendal to Risør. The distance between the two cities is 68 kilometers long and contains many small slopes that make this tour so varied. In addition to beautiful passages through nature and beautiful waters along, you will come today mainly through many small places where you can rest comfortably.The stage destination in Risør is the ferry terminal, where the next day you go by ferry over the fjord. You can find the timetable of the ferry at the quay, in the tourist office or at oisangferga.no/?p=17.
In Risør you start the 83-kilometer day's stage to Brevik with a ferry ride that will take you to Øysang. From there you cycle a few kilometers near the coast to the next harbor in Stabbestad where another ferry crossing is waiting for you. After that, the route meanders in several loops to the northeast. It leads over dozens of hills and between the North Sea coast and countless lakes. On the way, you will always have a beautiful view of bays with countless islands and come through small Norwegian places where you can rest and strengthen yourself.
Today, it's off Brevik in some loops along the coast to Sandefjord. On 73 kilometers, the route takes you over smaller and larger hills, where you can look forward to a fast descent with great views of the Langangsfjord right at the beginning. About half way you come to a beautiful beach, which not only invites you to swim, but is also perfect for resting.Shortly before the town of Sandjeford, which is today's stage destination, a wonderful section of the long-distance cycle path awaits you, which leads directly through the forest and untouched nature.
Today you can take it a bit easier, because of the 60 kilometer stage you drive only about 48 by bike. The rest you spend at the end of the day trip on the ferry to the stage destination Moss.It starts from Sandefjord in the north, until you finally turn to the east to get to the Oslofjord. On the way there you drive through the beautiful town of Tønsberg, which is the oldest city in Norway. Then you cycle north again, always near the fjord, where you have a nice view in some places. In Horten you cross the Oslofjord with the ferry to Moss.
Arrived by ferry in Moss, the coastal town is 71 kilometers to Sarpsborg. On this penultimate stage of the North Sea Coast Cycle Route in Norway, a mix of ferry rides, many small hills, beautiful stretches along the coast, beautiful pristine nature and interesting cities awaits you - such as Fredrikstad with its beautiful old town. From Fredrikstad it is always near the river into the interior to Sarpsborg, today's stage destination.
Today, the last and shortest leg of the North Sea Coast Cycle Route in Norway is on. On relatively flat 30 kilometers, it goes from Sarpsborg to Halden, which is located directly on the border with Sweden. On this relatively easy stage you can cycle the last few kilometers of the long tour through Norway, enjoying the breathtaking nature and resting on the beautiful beach that lies on the track. The stage destination and the end point of the North Sea Coast Cycle Route through Norway is Halden. For example, to travel home from there, you can take the train to Oslo, where you can transfer to the ferry or plane.If you would like to continue cycling through Sweden, you can skip Halden and drive directly south across the border.