Bicycle Touring Experiences from Norway

Norway

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Norway (you can share your experiences here).



Ferries in northern Europe

For far less than the cost of an air ticket, there are a whole lot of useful international automobile ferries on the seas north of Europe. These ferries carry an unlimited number of bicycles and normally charge 5 euros or less (or nothing) for the bike. Bikes never have to be disassembled, can be locked with a cable lock (u-bolt locks may be harder to find something suitable to lock to) and if you trust that no one is going to take your luggage, you don't even have to unpack. (I generally did trust, although I kept money, camera, papers, etc on my person rather than on the bike.)

I traveled ferry networks on the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and the Norwegian coast. In the North, I traveled from Tallinn, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland. Helsinki also had ferries to the other Scandinavian capitols. Then after cycling to western Finland, I grabbed a local ferry to the Aland Islands and picked up the international ferry to Stockholm, Sweden. After cycling to Oslo, Norway and cycling and taking trains through Norway, I took the Hurtigruten - the coastal steamer - from Trondheim to Bergen, Norway. In Bergen, I picked up the international overnight boat to northernmost Denmark. After riding southward through Denmark, I took a short ferry to miss the southernmost neck of Denmark and land in Rostock, Germany.

Almost all these ferries were large boats with staterooms available and multiple eating options. The Hurtigruten, which stops at just about every harbor in Norway is especially interesting. Besides carrying trucking freight and short term travelers, it also carries tourist on all-expense-paid cruises. The trip from Bergen to northern-most Norway takes 7 days and it sails at daily during much of the year. For cyclists, deck-class tickets are available and prices vary depending on where you board and disembark. The amazing scenery is available whether you are on the cruise option or not.

The other boats generally carry day or weekend travelers, many of which are traveling to destination with lower alcohol taxes. Trucks are also big users of the ferries. Almost all of the ferries listed above operate at least daily, at least during the summer. Ferry docks are normally a short cycle or a long walk from city centers.

Traveling by bicycle and ferry was very convenient and if you want to make a point-to-point trip in Northern Europe, you should check out ferry routes. Normally you can figure out where ferries travel from and to by looking on road maps and following the dashed lines leaving ports. For schedules and prices, check the web. One site that may be useful is www.ferrylines.com. It seems to have a lot of schedules. For bicycle travel, there is no reason to book ahead unless you want a stateroom. Otherwise, deck-class passengers never sell out on these ferries.

Craig Smilovitz, November 20, 2009

extremely high overweight price ( Czech airlines)

I've requested to pay around 250$ for 6kg overweight on flight Oslo -Prague-Tel Aviv ( bike was packed in the bag).

Avoid Czech Airlines. The overweight price depends on flight length.

Vadim, August 22, 2007

Freebike Norway Adventures

Custom made bicycletrips all over Norway.
bike rental, fully supported, or self guided trips

Freebike Norway Adventures, June 13, 2005

information on Norway and people in general

Just exchange some ideas so as to see how does the climate affect personalities

Pella Bakagianni, May 09, 2005

Austria, France Slovenia, Norway

South-west France

Toured in 2002. Easy-going - only problem on ICE trains is that bikes go in a special carriage; nobody at stations knows beforehand where that carriage is which makes it all hectic as French trains don't hang about at stations. And on Fridays, French trains are very crowded.

Austria

Toured in 2003. Bike-aware country, no problems taking bikes on trains. You pay (not a lot) but you get service for your money.

Slovenia

Toured in 2003, from Italian border to Postojna via Bled, Lubljana. Not a lot of cycle-track outside Lubljana, but roads aren't too busy and Slovenes are considerate drivers Bikes on trains OK, but if the timetable says 'yes' to bikes, confirm at the local station because in reality some trains do, some don't.

Norway

Live here (Stavanger). Trains OK (you pay). Drivers OK: the heirarchy here is pedestrians>cyclists>powered vehicles - driver hits pedestrian, he has big-time problems. Plenty of cycle-tracks in towns, both asphalt and compacted gravel "off-road" suitable for city-bikes and kids. Out in the countryside, tracks and their length relate to the amount of cash the the local 'kommune' can afford.

Airlines

We use SAS and KLM, from our local (small) airport. Never any problem with bikes - SAS likes a warning that you're bringing one, but generally both airlines regard a bike as 'checked-luggage' (turn the bars and pedals and de-pressurise the tyres, of course)

Only problem we've had was checking them in at Toulouse; KLM in London said no box needed, but young girl 'handling' for KLM mis-read the rules, wouldn't listen to anybody not even her superiors (could here her phone converstion), just being bloody-minded.

Interesting bit of naughtiness. If you're using LHR, you can check -in for some airlines at Paddington; the checkers-in don't question you, don't weigh what you're checking in ... I've transported some incredible items this way, sorts of things it needs two big strong lads to drag across London. gordon large, May 29, 2004

Bikes & Batteries

Flying home to Seattle in July of 2003, we cycled up to the Bergen airport on a great bike path that led to the front door, wheeled our bikes to the SAS counter and they took them very easily with no boxing.

We had to change planes in Copenhagen and that is where the problem started. An airport security person came on board the plane as we sat in our seats and pulled us off saying that our bikes had a problem. We then were walked under the 767 to where one of our bikes was waiting with several men looking at it.

Turns out that our light had its large battery still sitting in the water bottle cage, and everyone thought it could be a bomb. It was removed and destroyed....so don't leave anything on your bike, especially batteries.

Dana Berg

dana berg, March 31, 2004

Tours in France, Norway, Italy, Austria, Spain, Chile, and the Easter Islands.

Hi,

My name is Dainius Lukosevicius, I am the managing director at Brindisi Biking and Hiking. We provide guided biking and hiking tours in France, Norway and will add Italy (Tuscany in 2003), Austria, Spain, Chile, and the Easter Islands.

You may call me toll free in North America. 1 888 849 9474, 1 514 849 1187 You may view our site at http://www.brindisi.ca

Regards....Dainius

Dainius Lukosevicius, August 19, 2002

Oslo, Norway

I just got back from a bike trip in Norway & Sweden. I have good news (and bad news) from Oslo Gardermoen airport. Do you need an update for Gardermoen? The last time I checked the Oslo info was from 1998. In brief:

. Good news- very good access on bike lanes from terminal building to surrounding countryside . Bad news - my bicycle was damaged and parts lost on the return flight

--
David Dermott , Wolfville Ridge, Nova Scotia, Canada
WWW pages: http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/dermott/




David Dermott, July 28, 2002

Bikes on Norwegian trains


You are quite right about official sources but I think the official rules might be good to bring along in the back pocket. Here's a rough translation from the Norwegian railway company:
"It is not possible to bring bicycles on all trains or destinations in Norway. Often the bike must be delivered 24 hours before the departure. If your question concerns next summer it is too early to say which rules will come."

In the original language:
"Det er ikke på alle tog eller strekninger i Norge. Ofte må sykkel leveres 24 timer før avreise. Dersom din forespørsel er i forbindelse med neste sommer er det annå for tidlig å si hvilke ordninger som kommer. "

How 'bout that?

Norwegians are known to be sporty, born on skis and with the rucksack on. Cycling seems to be different.
Tomas Nilsson , November 15, 2000

Touring Lapland

Biking in Lapland Jarmo Hupli, March 20, 1999

Oslo, Norway

As promised I checked out the Gardemoen [new Oslo airport] train for bike space this last weekend.

At one end of the train 12 seats have been removed (or were not put in) and the space is left open for prams, wheelchairs, and bikes. The space is quite long (three rows of seats equiv.) with enough width to get a whole heap of bikes in there (as long as you don't block the door.), at least 6 with ease, possibly twice that with care, or about four hundred folders!! No securing mechanism but that doesn't seem to be terribly important as the journey is very smooth.

Access at both ends and all stations in between is good with ramps or lifts, and the station is underneath the terminal building with escalators or ramps to all levels.

I was generally very impressed. They even have video screens showing lots of Norway touristy videoclips and further information. I think (though I am not sure) that bikes travel free. It also costs about 70% the amount the new Heathrow express costs even though it goes further faster (and will be even faster when they have finished sealing the tunnel).

Worth using if you come to Oslo, and really easy with a bike (except maybe getting through the ticket barriers). A generally nicely integrated bit of planning.

The journey time is about 30 mins to Oslo Sentrum.  It costs about 70 NOK one way (about US$10) for a passenger. I don't know how much a bike costs but I presume it might travel free.. I will ask and let you know.

David Alexander, October 23, 1998

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