Date and pricing coming soon
Norway’s Mountains and Fjords
Norway is fast becoming the new ‘go to’ destination for the discerning cyclist, in part thanks to coverage from races such as the ‘Arctic race of Norway’ and the ‘Tour of Norway’. Each revealing to avid viewers the sublime natural beauty of this wild country.
From Ålesund, the bracing coastal town of our departure, to the climb of Sognefjellet, the ‘roof of Norway’ and highest mountain road in northern Europe, this is a trip full of contrasts. Amongst idyllic UNESCO listed fjords and the rugged wilderness of the eternally snow capped Norwegian high mountains; you will find some of the worlds most spectacular cycling roads waiting for you here.
Day 1: Arrive into Ålesund
Arriving into Ålesund in the early afternoon, a private transfer of approximately 20 minutes will take you to our hotel. After our mechanic assists you with assembling your bike you will have time to saviour this charming town. Described by the‘Times’ newspaper as ‘Norway’s most beautiful city’, it is here that you will find the world’s most harmonious concentration of Art Nouveau buildings.
Day 2: Ålesund – Åldalsnes
Major climbs: Ørskogfjellet (332m) 7.7km at 4% (max 7%); Vakåsen (195m) 2.3km at 7.7% (max 8%)
After a superb Norwegian style breakfast we will be more than prepared for our first day of riding in Norway. LeavingÅlesund behind we are soon on peaceful roads meandering through forests with views of the Atlantic ocean over our left shoulder. The terrain for these first kilometres is undulating, providing the perfect warm up for the days riding. A taster of things to come arrives after 45km with a fun little descent into the town of Sjøholt where we regroup before tackling our first serious climb of the trip up to Ørskogfjellet and our stop for lunch.
The route then descends to the edges of Tresfjord where we hug the shoreline along a road recently made even quieter than its usual quiet self thanks to the newly opened spectacular bypass bridge further north. Between views of mountains and water, whilst passing numerous Atlantic salmon farms, one last difficulty remains for the day with a short back road climb over Vakåsen before our arrival into Åldalsnes on the shores of Romsdalsfjorden.
Day 3: Åldalsnes – Geiranger
Major climbs: Trollstigen (875m) 12.1km at 7% (max 10%); Ørnevegen (622m) 16.5km at 3.7% (max 7.5%)
The shortest day of the trip, but with two breathtaking climbs on the menu, a truly memorable day is guaranteed. Beginning with the Troll road or Trollstigen as the Norwegians like to call it, it’s eleven hairpin bends and inclines of up to 10% may seem daunting, but its sheer beauty and spectacular waterfalls ensure its place as one of the most impressive climbs ever made for the road cyclist to tackle. Surely the quintessential bucket list road climb you just have to do in Norway! After taking stock of your surroundings and marvelling at some impressive Norwegian architecture which doubles up as our coffee stop, we continue on through a mountain plateau before eventually descending amongst yet more vertiginous waterfalls and endless views of strawberry fields. Arriving into Valldalen nestled on the shores ofNorddalsfjorden; we take advantage of the town’s micro-climate to have lunch overlooking the water.
A brief ten minute ferry crossing allows us to continue on our way to the southern side of Norddalsfjorden and our second difficulty of the day, the climb of Ørnevegen. By no means as difficult as this mornings climb, we are however rewarded with as equally impressive views once at its summit, overlooking the UNESCO listed Geiranger fjord. After admiring the vista from the purpose built viewing platform from where we can imagine how the Eagle Road got its name, a series of hairpin turns allow us to descend into our destination for the night where a welcome spa awaits us in our hotel to help us relax from the day’s exertions.
Day 4: Geiranger – Sognefjellet
Major climbs: Djupvasshytta (1032m) 16km at 6% (max 9%); Sognefjellet (1434m) 30km at 3% (max 9.5%)
With the first climb of the day coming straight out of the hotel car park and requiring a height gain of over 1000 metres up to Djupvasshytta, the length of today’s ride may feel a little disconcerting. However, once at the top the real beauty of the Norwegian high mountains can be admired as we pass the watershed between western and eastern Norway and continue along past the lake of Djupvatnet and the snowy peaks beyond.
We are now above the tree line on a 1000 metre high plateau which we steadily descend over the next 75 kilometres following the Otta river on a perfectly surfaced Norwegian road, made to measure for rolling along as a peloton. After taking lunch by one of the valleys crystal clear lakes we arrive into the idyllic little town of Lom. From here we turn west, but not before a little coffee stop in the town to prepare us for our final climb of the day.
Sognefjellet, at 1434m, not only lays claim to being the highest mountain pass in northern Europe, but is also cited as one of the world’s most spectacular cycle routes. With 30km to climb, the early gradients are thankfully relatively shallow, it is only with 8km remaining that we tackle the real climbing, by which time the surrounding panorama of glaciers and mountains will surely have made the effort more than rewarding.
Tonight we stay in a mountain lodge nestled right on the summit, perfectly used to hosting sports people, but usually in the form of cross country ski teams during their winter training camps.
Day 5: Sognefjellet – Aurlandsvangen
Major climbs: Tindevegen (1331m) 12.6km at 3.5% (max 10%); Snøvegen (1306m) 18.2km at 7% (max 10%)
From our high mountain overnight base, this morning we cycle the remaining few kilometres over the ‘roof of Norway’ before plunging down the steep twisty descent of Sognefjellets’ much more brutal western slopes. Not in its entirety however, as we soon take a left turn mid descent to start the testing wild and open climb of Tindevegen. Cyclists can ignore the signs at the bottom announcing payment by credit card only, as we simply edge our way around the toll booth gates that signal the summit of this tourist road.
The descent that follows provides all of the necessary ingredients for an exhilarating experience with straight open lines running into switchback turns becoming ever tighter as we arrive back into the tree line and approach the town of Øvre Årdal beside the lake of Ardalsvatnet. We refuel in town before tackling some flatter roads along the edge of the fjord and after negotiating a few tunnels the foot of Snøvegen is soon before us.
Journeying across a barren plateau, through a desolate landscape of rocks and pockets of snow, the Snow Road fully lives up to its name. The descent from the top takes us from its 1306 metre high summit, back down to sea level at the small town of Aurlandsvangen where our accommodation looks out over the Sognefjord, the world’s longest fjord at 205 kilometres in length.
Day 6: Aurlandsvangen – Norheimsund
Major climbs: Stalheimskleiva (373m) 2.1km at 12% (max 30%)
Our final day adds a bit of variety with a 20 metre walk down to the towns harbour to catch the morning sailing for our boat transfer through the Sognefjord to our ride start in Gudvangen. From here, our late morning roll out will bring us all too soon to what can only be described as a brute of a climb. Somehow the road engineers back in 1846 managed to squeeze 13 hairpin bends into this 2.1km climb. Stalheimskleiva really is a challenge to get up, as difficult to ride as it is to pronounce. But as northern Europe’s steepest road climb, bragging rights will be well and truly deserved once over the top.
The following roads thankfully allow some respite as we roll along in a group once more whilst predominantly heading downhill. After skirting around the edges of Voss we pick up the route of the famous Norwegian cyclosportive ride ‘Bergen – Voss’, albeit in the opposite direction. However, this allows us to experience a thrilling descent past the impressiveSkjervsfossen waterfall before reaching our destination fjord of the trip, Hardangerfjord.
The remaining 50km takes us along National Tourist Route 7, providing constant views of water and snow capped peaks as we follow nature’s contours towards our final destination of Norheimsund. But not before one last little rise that allows us to end in style descending into town with a final series of switchback turns to finish off an epic journey through Norway’s mountains and fjords!
Day 7: Transfer to Bergen airport
After one last breakfast overlooking the fjord, you can then partake in an optional short morning ride with coffee stop, along the water’s edge. Or perhaps prefer for a more relaxing morning, before our private transfer of approximately 1 hour 30 minutes takes you to Bergen airport for flights leaving in the evening.
The Price Includes
- Private airport transfers
- Single room accommodation
- Assistance to assemble & pack your bike
- All meals and sports nutrition
- Professional mechanic
- Experienced guides & staff
- Professionally equipped support vehicles
- Complimentary products for use on the trip
- Client to staff ratio of 4-1