It's one o'clock in the morning and it's still bright enough to ride along fjords full of crystal clear water. Here, this far north, the sun doesn't set for weeks. You're in the Arctic Circle, a place where the word night has different connotations; a place where the sun bathes the landscape in a mystical type of light during the midnight hours, compelling you to get out and go. Here, during the hours you'd normally be fast asleep, you feel enlivened to explore and even in the wee morning hours—sleep couldn't be further from your mind.
Riding through northern Norway is an experience you will never forget. The region is one of the wildest and most interesting landscapes Norway has to offer.
The starting point of this ride is at the southern tip of the Lofoten Islands. Vertical rock formations rising from the sea, deep fjords and picturesque fishing villages make Lofoten a magical place. The ride runs mainly along the coast, taking you over fairly simple and flat terrain. The individual islands are connected by a chain of bridges and tunnels, although you'll take a ferry to Vesterålen on the third stage of the ride. Here, the landscapes become less dramatic in comparison to those before it, but you'll still encounter miles of sandy beaches, wide bogs and green hills.
Senja, Norway's second largest island, will be explored after another ferry trip. The region is sparsely populated and can easily compete with Lofoten with its beauty. But beware, here it gets a bit hillier and you can expect some mile-long tunnels. Fortunately, the island has so far been spared from mass tourism and there is practically no traffic. Light vests for driving through the tunnels are also available to you free of charge.
On the last stage you will reach Tromsø, the largest town in northern Norway. An incredibly colorful place, Tromsø really is full of energy and is not known as "Paris of the North" for nothing.
The routes detailed below are not built to take you as fast as possible. Instead, the routes favor lonely side roads and places where experience trumps performance. Therefore, don't expect to follow the EuroVelo 1 (Atlantic Route) for the full duration of the ride.
The midnight sun is best enjoyed on a lonely beach, the open sea to the north. In Norway, the "Allemannsretten", allows you to pitch your tent practically anywhere you'd like—so you can enjoy this untamed wilderness in the way it should be experienced. If you prefer to spend the evening in a red fishing hut, on a camping site or hotel, you will also find what you are looking for along the ride.
The ferry to Senja is in operation from mid-May to the end of August. July and August are the two months with the lowest average rainfall. While this is good for your ride, just bear in mind that because of the better weather, these two months are also the region's busiest, especially in terms of traffic.
You can reach Moskenes either by ferry from Bodø or by bus from Narvik.
You can depart from Tromsø by bus, plane or via one of the Hurtigruten ferry services.
The first stage takes you from Å to Ramberg. And yes, the name of the place consists of only one letter. By the way, Å is also the last letter of the Norwegian alphabet.The track you cover today is only 35 kilometers long and allows you time to stop and enjoy all the new impressions. The tunnels along the route can be bypassed traffic-free, otherwise you are today only on the main road E10 on the way.But back to the start. The Lofoten do not only inspire by their majestic nature. Å feels like an open-air museum and you should definitely stroll around in the village and see the enormous quantities of stockfish that are hung here on scaffolding to dry. Then you cycle along the coast to Reine. Over elegantly curved bridges, you will get from island to island, each as if from a picture book. Expect exciting and dramatic views of steep cliffs and quaint fishing villages.In Ramberg there are various accommodation options, a supermarket and a cozy tourist information. With a little luck, you will be able to observe the midnight sun for the first time.
How about a refreshing morning swim in the ocean before setting off for today's stage? On the first few kilometers you will pass both the Rambergstranda and the Flakstadstranda, two of the most beautiful beaches in the Lofoten Islands.Afterwards, you can decide whether you also enjoy a six-kilometer detour into the Nusfjord. The small picturesque fishing village is one of the tourist highlights of the Lofoten islands.Through the inland, you approach the Nappstraumentunnel (1776 meters). Through the underwater tunnel you will reach Vestvågøya.Nearby Leknes offers good shopping and tourist information in the library.In Leknes you leave the E10 and follow the attractive and less traffic-consuming Rv815 along the east coast of Vestvågøya Island.Back on the main road, you soon come across the "Lyngvaer Lofoten Bobil Camping". Enjoy the view of the open sea before you build your tent here.
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Shortly after you start today, you can decide if you want to drive a few extra kilometers and enjoy a detour to Henningsvær. The place is also known as The Venice of the Lofoten and is popular with outdoor sports enthusiasts and tourists alike.In Kabelvåg or Svolvær you should fill up your supplies, because later you leave the E10 and turn into less populated area. The landscape is always as impressive and you have an impressive view of mountains that tower steeply out of the sea.There is virtually no traffic on Austvågøy's coast. The road passes through marshes, along lakes and fjord arms. You will pass a shelter, which was built especially for cyclists. It is also suitable as a shelter for the night, if you want to end your stage today a little early.
From Fiskebøl you leave the Lofoten Islands and arrive by ferry to Melbu, your 3rd stage destination.Info about the ferry connections: ruteinfo.thn.no/no/default.aspx?rnr=136
From Fiskebøl you change with the ferry from the Lofoten Islands to the Vesterålen. The mountains are not as dramatic as before, but the area is much lonelier and greener.Here you leave the Eurovelo 1 (Atlantic Route) and treat yourself instead the traffic-free way along the west coast. After a short stroll in Stokmarknes you will reach Langøya via beautifully curved bridges. Again, treat yourself to the much more attractive side street along the Eidsfjord. The road is narrow and winding and leads you through a typical Norwegian landscape with unique nature and many boathouses.About various island backs you get back to the RV82. With a fantastic descent you will reach Sortland, your destination of today. The city is the center of the region and offers many shopping and accommodation options.
The fifth stage takes you from Sortland to Bleik on Andøy. On the first section of the track you will follow the eastern shore of the Sortlandsund to the north without climbing. At the Buksnesfjord in Andøy Friluftssenter, make a stop for a coffee, then continue along the very lonely Risøysund.Over the Andøybrücke you reach the island of the same name. This part of the stage is much more interesting and is one of the Norwegian tourist routes. You cycle between the open seashore and the grassy hills. In the south, the marsh berry dominates and in the north, the bird cliff Bleiksøya will draw your attention.The stage destination is Bleik with the longest beach in Norway. The place has a small harbor and shopping and accommodation facilities.
Today's tour starts very relaxed, because soon you are on the ferry from Andenes to Gryllefjord, which takes about 1.5 hours.Right at the ferry dock, there is a supermarket, the last on today's stage. Then it starts with fully packed bags and fresh legs. You'll soon discover that there are some steep passes waiting for you on Senja. The route soon leads through the first tunnel. Otherwise, the island is simply breathtakingly beautiful and a paradise for nature lovers. The route is signposted as a Norwegian tourist route.Along the way you will find many rest areas, which are beautifully designed with innovative architecture.At the top of the peninsula you turn into the Ersfjord. At the inner end of the fjord, a sandy, loosely grassy plain awaits you, perfect for camping. There is a golden toilet building and many picnic tables overlooking the steeply sloping pinnacles and the sea. The place is very popular for wild camping and you too can pitch your tent here.Information about the ferry connections: tromskortet.no/getfile.php/1316573-1523513596/Rutetabeller%20%28pdf%29/2018/Hovedtermin%20%28jan.%2018%20-jan.%2019%29/180_180518.pdfAttention: Only three ferries per day / summer only
The final leg is about to begin, and you will find many tunnels, bridges, a ferry crossing and many new and beautiful sights behind every turn. After seven days on the bike you will reach Tromsø in the evening.In the morning, the tour leads along the Mefjords, where in the background Segla rises directly out of the sea. After defeating the 125 meter pass at the end of the fjord, the road turns left towards Botnhamn.
You can take the ferry from here to Brensholmen. In good weather, we recommend you to enjoy the time on the sundeck, especially because the driveway overlooking the islands Edøya and Hillesøya is very impressive.Flat it continues a few kilometers along the coast. Then the road climbs again to 175 meters and leads you hüglig through a lonely landscape. Then you can enjoy a descent. At the end, the busy main road into the city center awaits you. Luckily, there is a bike path that leads to your destination.Tromsø is the largest city in Northern Norway. The tour ends at the harbor right in the center, from where you have a beautiful view of the famous Arctic Cathedral and the curved bridge.Information about the ferry connections: botnhamn.com/departuretimes.htm