Useful information - Biking

Here you will find useful information related to our tours, and about traveling in Norway in general.

You will find additional information connected for each tour. Most tours are self-guided for individuals.
See Terms and Conditions regarding booking, payment, cancellation etc.

Self-guided tours 
Our favourite concept is self-guided tours, including luggage transfer, accommodation and meals. This means going on your own and determining your own speed. You can take a break, shortcut or detour whenever you want. After an adventurous day outdoors, you will arrive for a good dinner and a good night's sleep before moving on the next day.
Before you start a self-guided tour, you will get an e-mail with electronic maps (bikemap) and a tour description with an equipment list (suggestions).
You won’t meet any from our company during the tour, and we are not located in the area. There is no support vehicle. You must be prepared to handle a puncture and/or other incidents to your own- or a rented bike.
You can always reach us on phone no. +47 91725200.
Although the tours run on set dates, and there are others who have booked the same tour/dates, you may not see them during the day. You will meet at the accommodation sites. Sometimes people agree to bike together as a group.

Price and what’s included in the price
See details listed in the websites for each tour. 
Usually, you get:
- Accommodations
- Most meals
- Some transfer (train or boat)
- Luggage transfer
- Maps
- Tour description

Prices are based on double rooms or apartments (min. 2 persons).

Bike rental
Bike rental is not included in the basic price but can be arranged through our office.
See ‘Departures and prices’ for each tour. Touring/Trekking bikes are the most common. Most destinations also offer E-bikes. 
The rental bike usually comes with extra tube (must be paid for if used), pump, lock, and repair kit.
When you rent bikes, you are responsible for checking the bike (especially breaks and gears) before leaving the rental shop.
During the tour, you are responsible for the bike and other equipment like panniers etc. There is no support vehicle on the trip. You must be prepared to handle a puncture and/or other incidents to the bike.

In general, you stay in hotels with good facilities, but there will be a variation in standard of rooms/cabins/apartments. 
In Northern Norway some of the accommodations are Rorbu Cabins / fisherman’s huts. You most likely have to share the cabin with other cyclists from Discover Norway.
(You always have your own bedroom.)

Most tours include breakfast, self-packed lunch from the breakfast-buffet and, filling your own thermos with tea or coffee. Most destimations also include dinner. Some of the hotels have Norwegian buffet. See each tour for details.

See details listed in the websites for each tour whether transfers are included or not. 

Luggage transfer
Your main luggage (one item per person) will be transfered from hotel to hotel while you are out bicycling. You only carry a small pannier/backpack with lunch, extra clothes valuables and anything else you need on today’s tour. All our tours include luggage transfer.

If nothing else is mentioned in the day program, your luggage must be placed in a designated place at the hotel (ask at reception) no later than 09:30. Should you fail to leave your luggage within this time or the time mentioned in the day program, transfer cannot be guaranteed and you might be charged extra. 
Normally, the luggage will arrive at your next destination at about 15:00.

Make sure your luggage has a name tag with your name and phone number. Please use the luggage tag which is included in the information pack that you receive from Discover Norway.
Please keep the size and weight of luggage to a respectable limit of about 15 kg, and only one item per person. No small additional items. 

Your luggage is transferred at your own risk, and you must have insurance covering damage or loss. Valuables with low weight and great value, such as money, jewelry, cameras, computers, passports, credit cards etc. should always be kept with you.
Please pack in a waterproof suitcase or bag if possible. The luggage can sometimes be exposed to rain during transfer.

You must bring your own luggage to and from your room. On some bicycle tours, you must bring your own luggage on and off the ferries/boats. The reason for this is that the geography and infrastructure make it impossible or very expensive to have a car that follows the group all the way. A car must drive long detours around the fjords to follow the biking route. Luggage is transported by the individual accommodation sites or by local taxis and transport companies. On some routes, there are different carriers at each end of a ferry route. The hotels are situated more or less on the quay.

Level of difficulty
The bicycle-tours vary in level of difficulty. Some tours involve long day-trips, while others have schedules more suitable for families and less experienced cyclists.
In general, you should be used to biking on gravel roads as well as asphalt, and to sit on the bike for many hours a day. 
Each trip is marked with level of difficulty. The indication is based on the physical condition of an average cyclist. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. Heavy rain and/or wind will make the tour more strenuous.

EASY: Families and people of most ages who are in generally good condition, and have some  basic  cycling experience. Daily stages approx. 15-30 km
MODERATE: People who are in generally good condition, and have previous cycling experience. Must be prepared for all kinds of weather. Daily stages approx. 20 - 50 km. 
DEMANDING: People who are in very good condition, and have previous experience in cycling long distances and many days in a row. Daily stages approx. 30 - 70 km.

In bad weather with rain and/or wind, the trips become more strenuous.
For safety reasons, we recommend that at least two people ride together on the self-guided tours.

Period - Weather conditions
The best time for biking in Norway is from mid-June to mid-September. 
Spring is particularly nice in Hardanger. You’ll experience snow-covered mountains, blooming orchards and rumbling water falls. 
June offers Midnight Sun up north. In Autumn the colours are at their peak and traffic is minimal.
In the summer (June, July and August) the temperatures in Norway are usually very nice for biking, around +10 - + 25ºC. 
However, the weather can be very unstable, and change rapidly from warm, wonderful summer weather to cold wind and rain.

About the midnight sun
When you travel above the Arctic Circle you’ll experience the Midnight Sun. The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon which means that the sun does not set during the summer months. In other words, given fair weather, you can see the sun for a continuous 24 hours.
The further north you travel, the longer the midnight sun is visible. In the Southern parts of Norway, you won’t experience any Midnight Sun at all. Nevertheless, you have daylight long after bedtime in June and July.

Approximate dates when you can see the midnight sun:
The Arctic Circle:    12 June - 1 July     
Bodø                         4 June - 8 July     
Svolvær                  28 May - 14 July     
Andendes               22 May - 21 July     
Tromsø                   20 May - 22 July     

Road Conditions
We try to find good roads with little traffic for our tours, but on some stretches, there will be traffic, especially in July. In Lofoten we cannot avoid going on the main road, E10. 
Some roads are quite narrow. We suggest that you cooperate with the traffic. You can give them a signal, like waving them past you, when you are sure that the road ahead of you is clear. Ride in a predictable way and indicate clearly when turning or changing direction. Stay visible – use a high visibility vest, or bright coloured jacket. 
The majority of drivers are careful. They are also tourists and like to look at the surroundings. Look out for locals. They tend to go much faster. 

Bike paths
In general, there are bike paths close to towns where they lead to elementary schools and are not particularly meant for through-travellers. You share the paths with pedestrians.

There are tunnels on most of our tours. We recommend bringing a headlight.

Norwegian Scenic Routes
Eighteen carefully selected roads in Norway have been designated Norwegian Scenic Routes. Norwegian Scenic Routes are roads that take you through the most beautiful scenery Norway has to offer. Half of the routes are in Fjord Norway.
They will be further developed and improved until 2023 to become high-quality national tourist attractions. Picnic areas with exciting architecture have been built along the routes to enable road users to enjoy the views, experience the weather, take photos, have a bite to eat and explore the unique Norwegian scenery. 
You’ll find that some of our tours follows parts of the Norwegian Scenic Routes in Lofoten, Helgeland, Senja, Andøya and Hardanger

The Norwegian Nature Diversity Act 
The act has the purpose of protecting biological, geological and landscape diversity and ecological processes through conservation and sustainable use, and in such a way that the environment provides a basis for human activity, culture, health and well-being, now and in the future.
The act allows you to walk wherever you want, as long as nothing else is announced. This gives numerous possibilities for exciting excursions! Private ground and cultivated land however, should not be trafficked, and…
- Nature must not be damaged!
- Always bring back your litter, never throw rubbish outdoors
- There might be stricter access to protected areas
- Show respect for people and animals
- Open fire is forbidden between the 15th of April until the 15th of September.

Banks and credit cards in Norway
You find banks only in cities. Opening hours are usually Monday to Friday 9AM – 3PM, Thursdays 9AM – 5 PM, Saturdays and Sundays closed. There are a lot of cash points which all take Visa and MasterCard. They are usually open around the clock. You can pay with a credit card almost in any shop and restaurant.

Mobile phone - Signal & reception
Having your mobile phone with you might be helpful in emergency situations. But please note that the landscape inflects on the reception. There is not always a signal. In emergency situations you can seek reception by climbing a hill. 
Do not make any appointments about when to call your family and friends, you might be in areas without signal at the agreed time.
Bring necessary charging equipment.
Keep your phone warm – it makes the batteries last longer.
Please do not rely on your mobile phone as your most important emergency equipment.

For almost all medicines, you need a prescription. Foreign prescriptions are not valid in Norway, so be sure to bring the medicines you need. Norwegian cities have relatively few pharmacies. In cites with about 30 000 inhabitants, you will find 2-3 pharmacies. At the countryside there are often prescription free medicaments at the grocery store.
Every village have a doctor’s office. 
Norway is an EEA member. If you bring an official European Health Insurance Card you are entitled to the same medically healthcare as any Norwegian inhabitant.

Mosquitoes are not a big issue in the areas where our tours run, but you never know. Mosquito repellent is sold in every grocery shop.

Public transport
Norway has a good developed and corresponding network of interregional-, regional- and local buses, going all over the country. It is no problem to connect to our trips in different parts of Norway. We are happy to help you with the planning.
The Norwegian railway network is not so good developed. The main routs run north from Oslo to Trondheim and from Trondheim to Bodø, and west from Oslo to Bergen. The trains are modern, with air-condition and comfortable seats. Additionally, the train trip offers you great view over valleys, mountains, lakes and fjords.

We welcome you to Norway and an unforgettable summer vacation!

Discover Norway AS is not responsible for typographical errors in the program.