We have broken down the routes in Norway into eight series. The National Cycle Routes are the official 9 long-distance routes established by the Norwegian Public Road Administration. The Atlantic Coast Route is part of the national routes but deserves its own series due to its length, popularity and natural attractions.
Cycle Norway is the architect of the Norse All-Road, Gravel and Loop series. Here you will find many exciting shorter and longer routes that go beyond the typical known areas in Norway.
We understand some cyclists don’t just cycle Norway and may want to combine Denmark, Sweden, or Finland into the mix. Our Scandi loops series will provide inspiration and guidance for multi country routes.
The Norwegian Scenic routes are famous historic roads. Most are covered already in other series, but felt they deserved a closer examination due to their status. And lastly, we have the Base, or better known as Day Rides from popular coastal cities and towns. You may be amazed at the short adventures to be had just beyond the city borders.
Please note, you will naturally find some routes overlap others due to the limited roads in mountainous regions. However, we believe the more alternative options you have available the better the decisions you can make. Happy route hunting!
Our eight route series have primarily been put together to cater to the international cycling community. When we refer to ‘cyclist’ we are mainly alluding to people who own a bike and enjoy cycling as a recreational activity throughout the year or for some part of it. There is a big difference between a commuter on a bike who cycles 5-10km to work and a recreational cyclist who rides 60-100km on a Saturday morning for the joy of it.
We expect you to have experience cycling on the open road and are self-sufficient in looking after yourself with adequate clothing, safety, and maintenance gear. Norway, in general, is not a beginner environment for bike touring/bikepacking. You should have some level of fitness that can deal with the challenges of a mountainous country.
You will find VisitNorway caters better to beginners and families with young children. Nevertheless, we hope novice cyclists will also find this website helpful to a degree. The more experienced you become the more this site will benefit you.
Let’s start by saying this site is not for MTB or Downhill Biking. You will find excellent sites regarding these sports all over Google. The one we recommend is Trailguide.
Cycle Norway promotes Road and Gravel cycling that offers single-day, multi-day, and extended travels spanning weeks or months. We encourage and promote bike touring & bikepacking, cycling for pleasure, adventure, or freedom rather than sport, commuting, or exercise.
Using a Road, Gravel, Mountain, or Touring bike will allow you to enjoy many of the routes on this site. What is right for you depends on your route and experience. The less experineced should use a bike with comfort and wider tires. Road bikes should only be considered for shorter paved only routes (less than a week). If you plan to cycle 2000km up to Nordkapp sitting on a road bike all day every day can be uncomfortable with it’s lower racing geometry.
A good alternative that won’t slow you down too much is an All-Road bike which has a little more design for comfort. On paved roads, It will feel like a road bike but can handle hard-packed gravel roads when required. If you plan several gravel sections and require further comfort then a Gravel bike is perfect for Norway. The geometry allows you to be in a more upright position but you can drop down when going at speed or fighting headwind. The versatility of these bikes has made them extremely popular over recent years and has been my bike of choice for bikepacking in Norway.
If you are less concerned with speed and more interested in comfort a mountain bike (MTB) is a good option that has built-in fork suspension and a comfortable wide tire setup. These bikes pretty much allow you to go anywhere. But on the paved roads, they will be considerably slower than the other bikes. Lastly, a well-built touring bike is certainly a great all-round option for long-distance cycling. These bikes are comfortable, built to last, offer wide tire clearance, easier to maintain and service, and come with pannier and rack mounts to allow for a practical touring setup.
Remember, when considering a bike for touring always consider what can be fitted onto it and how easy it is to fit. Premium Road and Gravel bikes will probably not come with many eyelids/mounts making it difficult to attach racks, cages, and bags in certain places.
If I’m sticking mainly to paved roads I use between a 28-32mm slick tire to give me a balance between speed and comfort. If there are gravel sections that aren’t too rough I will use a 32-35mm with some tread/grip. If I’m doing a main gravel route with uneven and unknown terrain I will use a 40mm gravel tire. Some people prefer a bit more control and comfort and use 50mm tires.
Many touring tires like the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire come with a 5mm thick puncture guard that makes them more or less puncture free. Tires like this add extra weight to your bike but offer piece of mind on the road. Whether you go tube or tubeless is too big of a question here. Ask in our member’s forum for advice on this.
Planning, researching, and riding routes is a long and difficult process. Cycle Norway prides itself on having some of the most experienced and knowledgeable adventure cyclists in the country. Together this team has cycled hundreds of thousands of kilometers in Norway and experienced every type of weather and road condition.
We can never guarantee that every route will be 100% accurate as small mistakes can happen and things can change without prior notice. However, quality control is an essential part of our company and thus we are building a network of trusted stewards to keep routes updated and good to ride. If you’d like to be part of this community fill in the form below.
Have you cycled or are planning on cycling one of our routes? Perhaps you have a route of your own and would like it featured on Cycle Norway? Fill in the form and we’ll get in touch with how you can help.
If the form is not working please email us: email@example.com