Enjoy a cycling holiday by one of the world's most famous fjords

Do you thrive on two wheels in beautiful scenery? Then a cycling holiday along the spectacular Norwegian fjords is for you!


Gita Simonsen


Customize your trip to suit your wishes - whether you want to zip along at a fast pace or take it easy with your family. We joined avid rider Sverre on his first cycling holiday as he visited beautiful Stryn and the world-famous Geirangerfjord.

Figures show that the global market for bicycle tourism is set to increase by over 9% a year between now and 2030. The growth is driven by enthusiastic cyclists going on long trips, camping trips, and sports cycling. At the same time, public authorities are working systematically to develop cycling tourism in their countries. Europe is by far the biggest cycling destination today, and Norway is no exception.


Dalsnibba, Gerianger

Experience Europe's highest fjord view from the road. The Nibbevegen takes you from Djupvatnet (1030 m above sea level) and to the top of Dalsnibba (1500 m above sea level). The road is a spectacular experience in itself with 11 hairpin turns and an ascent of 10%.

Exploring western Norway with a cycling club

We climbed on our bikes and joined Sverre on a holiday to Norway's west coast together with Club Ciclistico di Woxen. The Oslo-based club was founded when a group of dads with a shared interest in cycling found each other and started riding together.

But Sverre's love for cycling actually began before he could even ride a bike.

"It was my brother who pushed me around the garden on my bike when I was a kid, and I crashed into bushes and fences before I could even reach the pedals," he says.

Since then, the Oslo native has been using bicycles as his main means of transport exercise. Although he clocks 150-200 kilometres a week, this was going to be his first ever cycling holiday, with a cycling club no less.

"It's a lot of fun to go on a trip with this group. Getting to know people as an adult through a shared interest is exciting. You get different impulses and topics of conversation than you do with your normal social circle."

The club meets once a week and organise several rides a year. This summer, they headed to Stryn and the Norwegian fjords.

We asked him what the best way is to prepare for this type of cycling holiday.

"The most important thing is that you will be spending hours on the seat. Your pain buttocks and lower back start to hurt faster than your legs after ten hours on the bike."


The old strynefjellsveg

Fylkesvei 258 or National tourist road Gamle Strynefjellsvegen runs between Grotli in Skjåk and Ospeli bridge in Stryn.

Cycling holidays in Norway – beautiful and varied nature

Norway is a vast country with something for every cycling enthusiast, whether you're into country roads, downhill, or mountain biking. With varied landscapes, on both mountains and multiple surfaces, and four distinct seasons, there is good cycling in both spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Riding also gives you the opportunity to see nature in a different way.

"What's so nice about cycling is that it's the perfect form of exercise to both train hard, but also to get those long, nice trips where you can lift your eyes and enjoy nature. For example, I have been travelling to Stryn for 20 years to ski, but I have never before seen its nature as I am seeing it now," says Sverre.


Fjord cruise on a cycling holiday

Geiranger offers wonderful nature experiences, also from a boat.

Why Western Norway and Stryn?

"If you like to climb hills, Stryn is a really cool place to cycle. It has challenging climbs and insane nature. In addition, you can take ferries to get around, so you kind of get fjord cruises and bike rides in one. Geiranger is absolutely fantastic," says Sverre.

He tells us that Stryn and western Norway offer good roads and that the asphalt there is better than that in Oslo.

"And after you've cycled 1,500- 2,000 metres up, there's usually a sweet bun that awaits at the top of the hill."  
The Stryn trip is best suited for experienced riders, especially considering all the altitude meters involved. But if you are not as driven, there are plenty of less strenuous bike rides in the area. You can rent both electric and hybrid bikes from Loen Active and explore Lodalen and other spots in the area. You can also book guided tours.   

Stryn: four days, four long trips

The trip was planned well in advance. The gang drove from the capital and brought their own bikes. They booked themselves into Visnes Hotel in Stryn, a historic hotel that first opened way back in 1850. From Stryn, they took day trips of about 100-150 km, returning to enjoy a nice dinner at the hotel in the evenings.

Tip: Check with local cycling clubs and tourist information offices in advance if you want to rent all your equipment.


Stryn gives you both mountains and fjords

For over 100 years, the old Strynefjellsveien has taken travelers over the mountain between Skjåk and Stryn.

Planning your cycling tour in Norway

Sverre says that it is important to have a good plan and have room to make changes along the way.

"When cycling in Norway, it's very important to remember that the weather can change quickly. The temperature and weather can shift abruptly."

Club Ciclistico di Woxen's trip required packing for both hot and cold days. "The terrain in Stryn is variable. It's cold at high altitudes, while it can be hot down in the valley. It's important to bring the right clothing – a windproof jacket, thin gloves, cycling cap, and neck tube. Some of the tunnels in western Norway have cycle paths that detour around them but remember to have lights both on the front and back of the bike, so you see and be seen in any dark tunnels."

Sverre goes on to say that it is important to chat with locals about the local conditions.

"They know best what the weather is like in the mountains at all times."

Otherwise, it is important to bring a pump, patching equipment, and extra inner tubes. If you choose to stay at a hotel, or have another base, you don't have to think too much about packed lunches.

"Fortunately, Norway has a number of lodges, petrol stations, small shops, etc. along the roads, so eating is easy. In any case, it can be a good idea to bring some emergency provisions to have in reserve."


Social training

"Cycling is an easy way to stay in shape. It's a liberating and pleasant community, and everyone greets each other when cycling," says Sverre.

Four days biking around Stryn

The trip was planned with a warm-up trip on the first day in order to get the legs ready for the trips to come. The hardest day of cycling awaited on day two. Days three and four were a little more open - depending on how each rider's legs felt after two days on the bike.

Day 1, Oldedalen – Briksdalsbreen – Stryn

"On the first day, we went to Oldedalen towards the Briksdalsbreen glacier past Loen through flat terrain. The first day is about riding together as a team and finding your rhythm. It's important when you're a big group of people who haven't cycled together before, so you get used to rolling. You get a chance to check that everything works on the bike, and you can attach whatever needs to be attached. It's nice to get your body and legs going for the days to come."

Day 2, Dalsnibba - Grodås - Hellesylt - Geiranger - Stryn

"The weather was sunny with shifting cloud cover. The goal of the day's trip was to taste freshly made cinnamon buns at the Geiranger Skywalk Café at the top of Dalsnibba. At 1,476 meters above sea level, it is one of Norway's longest climbs. It was a great trip over the mountains to Grodås and on to fantastic Hellesylt, followed by a fjord cruise with coffee and svele pancakes to Geiranger. You can glimpse the top of Dalsnibba from the dock. Your pulse is increasing and now a steep 21km climb awaits before you can enjoy your cinnamon bun reward. It's important to spare some energy as the last 5 km are very demanding with an average gradient of 9.3%.  Then it was full speed to Grotli in a light tailwind and replenishment with some chocolates before the last climb of the day. We crossed Strynefjellet mountain to the Stryn Summer Ski Center on a compact gravel road before we rode16 km downhill on winding roads to Folven and the centre of Stryn. Two riders had punctures on the last 7 km before the finish, not bad for such a long trip."

Day 3, Olden – Utvik – Breimsbygda – Breimsvatnet – Sandane – Stryn

"Day three was another great day. Two strenuous climbs lay ahead. We had a good start, and the group was energetic on its way past Olden to Utvik, before we glimpsed the first challenge of the day: the bends that wind their way up Fjellvegen towards the summit and Breimsbygda ski centre, 630 meters above sea level. It was then full speed downhill, and flat past Reed with fantastic views of Breimsvatnet before we stopped for a well-deserved lunch in Sandane.

Then onwards with a svele pancake on the ferry from Anda to Lote. Some great stretches before the second challenge of the day arrived. The panoramic road offers a fantastic view with steep mountainsides down towards the Innviksfjord. Some up and down, though mostly up, and a solid climb to the top, but all hills have to end sometime. From steep hills to tailwinds through a dark tunnel the last couple of hundred metres before the summit, and then full speed back to Stryn. Cold beers awaited at the bar, and we enjoyed a delicious three-course dinner."

Gamle Strynefjellsvegen – Stryn Summer Ski

"The poor weather on the fourth day made for a brutal ending to our trip. After three days of sun and nice weather, we suddenly had rain, sleet and snow at the top of Strynefjellet. Cycling in Norway is all about fantastic scenery, but nature always decides whether you get it done or not – but three out of four days were perfect, and then we're happy."


Club Ciclistico di Woxen

The club came about when a group of fathers with a common interest found each other and started cycling together.