Cycling In Norway, 2007

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Updated 14 December, 2007

Guides To The Route

"HUSK - en vellykket sykkelferie starter med planlegging på kartet! -

Yes, a successful cycling holiday starts with planning on a map.

To be honest, there are so many options that "analysis paralysis" can be a problem after choosing Bergen as a starting point.

There's so much to see, but it isn't immediately obvious which routes are going to be difficult in terms of terrain or traffic volumes: the North Sea Cycle Route looks tempting, but wouldn't it be more rewarding to find quieter, less travelled roads along the bottom of the really big mountains, beside the fjords? But when you look at these, which roads have tunnels closed to cyclists? Which roads provide the basis for a two-week circular tour without a long commute back to the start?

The good news is that there's a lot of research already by Knut Bjoraa and the Syklistenes Landsforening (Norway's national cycling association) - they've done a huge amount to establish national cycle routes in Norway and to overturn the view that the country is for hill climbers and long distance expeditions only. Unfortunately that message hasn't really spread outside Norway yet! Certainly their research isn't yet easily accessible via the web, and the cost of entry (buying Norwegian cycling maps) is high, and is likely to remain so unless use of the cycle route networks takes off and critical mass is achieved. But this is a great time to be riding in Norway, because the network is ready and waiting to be explored!

Published (Printed) Resources for Route Planning

Here's a quick survey of printed material (they make you pay for it, but it is usually accurate!):-

Sykkelruter I Norge - Tunnel- og planleggningskart for syklister

1:1 000 000 map of Norway for cyclists. Printed on both sides, Norwegian text only.

Pretty hefty price (160 kr) for a map at such a small scale, but this does list the roads closed to cyclists and the tunnels you can't ride through, and it is helpful for picking an area and getting a feel for what you'll find in the way of terrain there.


This map is available from the online shop at ISBN Number 9-7882920242100.
Veiatlas Norge 1:300 000

Too heavy to travel with, but highly recommended!

Spiral-bound road atlas of the whole country, shows roads, campsites, hotels, ferries, DNT huts, viewpoints. Reasonable attempt at showing relief. Cheapest way of getting small-scale maps of the whole country. Key in Norwegian, German, English.

Order number 2146, ISBN 82-7945-028-9. Approx. price in the UK: £34.95 from Stanfords

Try if Stanfords can't help?

Hjuggleder Oversiktskart

This is an overview map for the seven Castor cycling route guides for Southern Norway, at a 1: 1 000 000 scale - basically it shows how the routes interconnect, and provides enough detail to extrapolate the routes from a larger scale map.

Knut Bjoraa / Castor Press 2007

Get this free with each route guide in the Castor Hjuggleder series. The guides are also available from the online shop at

- individual routes currently have an individual PDF document showing the route outline, for instance here's one for the Numedal route.


Hjuggleder Rallarveg og Hallingdal

This is the Castor guide to the long-distance route Bergen - Voss - Finse - Geilo - Ål - Gol - Nesbyen - Flå - Dramen. There's a fairly complete list of available guides on the bike-norway website (but the SLF sell books and guides on behalf of bike-norway so if you choose to buy through the former, you'll find the SLF handling the transaction).

Whilst they are expensive outside Norway, the guides are detailed and confidence-building - each takes the form of a 1 cm thick stack of map cards, with a detailed mapping of a route section on one side at 1:100 000 scale, and accommodation details and tips on the other. The maps are printed on plastic card and are weatherproof, and ideal for a bar bag map holder. Each guide also has a 50-page leaflet which describes the area briefly; the intention is to whet the appetite, so the leaflet combines pages of pictures with a short description of what you might expect to find on the route. The leaflet is multi-lingual, but the cards are printed in Norwegian only.

Knut Bjoraa / Castor Press 2007

Get this free with each route guide in the Castor Hjuggleder series. The guides are also available from the online shop at

Sykkelturer i vest This is a 112-page pocket guide to 27 rides in Western Norway. Most of the rides are clustered around Bergen and the coast, but it does provide detailed descriptions of the Bergen - Voss - Myrdal -Finse - Haugastol route. The book is written entirely in Norwegian. Published by Bergens Tidende with the SLF.

Resources on the Web for Route Planning

The bike-norway site is very good but not yet up-to-date with the latest guide books, and the English pages are missing in places. Probably the best place to start though.

Stanislav Williams has produced a very readable guide to the Norwegian section of the North Sea Cycle route, thanks Stanislav!

The Cycletourer tunnel guide for Norway by Jon Houseago is more accessible than the tunnel map described above, Jon's site has many useful tips on it too.

Buying Food

We try to plan routes that are going to take us past an open supermarket once a day. The "Find Shop" ("Finn butikk") link on the Norgesgruppen website is useful for this (they own the Joker, Spar and Mix stores you often find in smaller towns and villages). Our favourite food shop is the local ICA if available. The ICA website has a pretty poor search engine for finding stores, but they can be tracked down if you are willing to surf around the website and find the "tilbud" link in the left hand navigation bar. The Co-Op Prix stores are another good chain for food and hardware, and they have a better search engine (with a map!) on their website, which you can find using the "Finn nærmeste butikk" link from their homepage.

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