So – you want to ride your motorcycle to Norway?

You have seen all the classic images of Norway. Of the Geiranger fjord, the Atlantic Road, the Lofoten Islands and the North Cape with its midnight sun. And you wonder: “What if I took my bike there?”

Keep calm and go to Norway

Photo: Dean Marshall

Then you start worrying about everything from weather to costs, and in the end you dismiss the whole idea, even though you know you will regret that you didn’t follow your dreams.

Fortunately, you have stumbled upon this blog, which is here to tell you that it is far easier to experience Norway by bike than you perhaps imagined. Here you will find everything you need to know about how to ride Norway – even in the coldest depths of winter, if you are of the really adventurous type.

Come on over, and be amazed. Norway is truly motorcycle heaven!

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13 December: 10 best places to visit in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

13 December: 10 best places to visit in Norway – according to others

 

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Usually not on the “must see” list of Norway, but a pretty funny sight nevertheless. The houses stand under a cliff in Jøssingfjord. (Image: RideNorway.com)

As a rider planning to go to Norway you have of course read RideNorway.com from page to page, getting tips on where to go and where to stay. But there are also others that may have a different view on what to see and where to go. Travel site Touropia has listed these 10 places as the best to visit in Norway.

Do you agree? Are these also on top of your list? Let us know in the comments below!

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12 December: Top 3 reasons to choose a motorcycle when visiting Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

12 December: The top 3 reasons why you should choose a motorcycle for visiting Norway.

Of course you, as the die-hard rider that you are, know that there are only one way to visit Norway – or indeed any country on the planet – which is by motorcycle. Nothing beats the feeling of fresh air, control of you bike, a nice curve or chewing flies that somehow managed to get between your mouth and the visor. But did you know that Norway is particularly catering for motorcyclists? Here are the top 3 reasons why a bike is the way to go when visiting this country:

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Bikes park for free, and are excempt from road, bridge and tunnel tolls. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. No road tolls

Yep, it’s true. You do not pay road tolls, bridge crossing fees or any other fees for using the roads. You are free to roam. Most places you don’t even pay for parking. There is only one tunnel where you need to pay – the undersea tunnel from Averøy to Kristiansund – but that is also so cheap for bikes that you really won’t mind.

 

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They do not recognize us – but refrain from speeding nevertheless. Safety first – then wallet. (Image: wikipedia.org)

2. Speed cameras don’t recognize bikes

Do not take this as an invitation to speed. It isn’t, and you may get caught by a highway patrol – and getting caught for speeding is expensive. But in the event that you in a moment of inspiration or plain joy pass a speed camera in a somewhat higher speed than what is indicated on the signs – do not despair. Norway is governed by rule of law, and nobody can be charged or penalized if you are not properly identified. Behind a helmet, your face is obscured and proper identification is impossible. Therefore, the lawmakers have stated that speed cameras will not and cannot detect motorcycles and its rider.

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Norway takes care of you as a rider. You can even use the bus lanes. (Image: NMCU.org)

3. You can use bus lanes

Our lawmakers have recognized that riders are more vulnerable than other road users (bar pedestrians and bicyclists), which is why the allow for riders to use the bus lanes. It is in other words a safety measure just for us. This is particularly handy when nearing the bigger towns and cities of Norway. When nearing a traffic jam, just swoop over to the bus lane, and off you go. You can also filter between the cars in a jam situation, if there are no bus lanes. Handy, right?

We told you that Norway is made for riding. Agree?

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11 December: Top 3 oddest Norway destinations

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

11 December: Top 3 oddest destinations in Norway

There are plenty of pretty sceneries to be seen in Norway. But if you want to experience something else – something on the odder side – then plot in these Top 3 odd destinations in Norway:

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Steep. And funny. (Image: Municipality of Årdal)

1. The Offerdal Tunnel

This is the world’s steepest road tunnel. Due to poor map data, half of the tunnel was blasted with a wrong climb. Hence, the other half had to be corrected to end at the right spot in the village Indre Ofredal. This meant to allow for 15.5% climb in the the tunnel. Enjoy!

 

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Fancy some legwork while in Norway? Try these stairs! (Image: visitrjukan.com)

2. The World’s Longest indoor wooden staircase

Visit Mår hydro power plant. Along the tubed water fall powering the plant, there is also built a separate wooden staircase encased in its own tube. The 3875 steps will have you going for a while, and the staircase is recognized as the world’s longest indoor wooden staircase.

 

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Out in the fjord he lies, Keiko from “Free Willy”. (Image: AtlasObscura)

3. Keiko’s Memorial Cairn

The star of the movie “Free Willy”, Keiko the Orca, became an overnight sensation. Scores of fans followed in his wake wherever he went. He ended up living in Taknes Bay – which is also where he one day caught pneumonia which led to his demise. He is buried (in lack of a better word) just a few meters from where he died, and you can even pay your respect to Keiko by adding your stone to the cairn nearby.

Do you know of other odd places in Norway? Let us know below! Or find even more odd destinations right here!

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10 December: 3 essential bring-alongs for your Norway trip

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

10 December: 3 essentials to bring for your Norway trip

Not counting your camping and riding equipment, there are some things you should specifically bring for your Norway trip. Of course you can buy these things in Norway, but make sure that you bring them one way or another for an even better experience.

 

 

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Fishing in the sea is for free, in lakes you pay a very small fee. River fishing for salmon is another matter. Do not try, unless you are really certain what you are doing and have paid the fees. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. Fishing rod

Do not leave home without it! Fishing in the sea is for free, and fishing in lakes is available for a meager fee – you can buy a license at the nearest petrol station or kiosk. The catch is good, especially in the sea, and the quality of the fish is top notch.

 

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Bring your mosquito repellant. Just in case. (Image: RideNorway.com)

2. Mosquito repellant

Especially if you are venturing north, you should bring a good mosquito repellant. Preferably a repellant that also scares off midges and ticks. We do not have any really dangerous insects or spiders roaming around in this country – it’s not like Australia – but the aforementioned critters may be a significant annoyance unless you have your quality repellant at hand.

 

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You will be in one of the most scenic countries in the world. Don’t regret you didn’t bring your binoculars. (Image: RideNorway.com)

3. Binoculars

You are probably bringing your camera with you, but a pair of quality binoculars is very good to have. When at the coast, you might spot some mammals swimming around in the sea, perhaps even an Orca. Or for bird watching, even if you are not the typical bird watching type. Remember that long sunny evenings, in the north 24 hrs sunlight, gives you ample time to sit outside your tent, savouring a wee dram while looking at the surroundings.

Any other essentials you would bring for your Norway trip? Let us know in the comments below!

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9 December: Top 3 Viking destinations

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

3 December: Top 3 Viking destinations of Norway

Norway is also about vikings, of course. If you are into viking lore, you need to visit at least these three to get a flavour of our heritage.

1) The Viking Planet

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An impressive digital Viking installation! (Image: TheVikingPlanet.com)

This is the world’s first digital Viking museum. It opened in 2019 in Oslo, right next to the City Hall, and is the first in a series of digital viking museums that are planned in Norway and abroad. Check it out to satisfy your viking cravings!

 

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The Oseberg, Tune and Gokstad viking ships at display. (Image: UiO Museum of Cultural History)

2) The Viking Ship Museum

Also in Oslo, this museum displays the spectacular Oseberg, Tune and Gokstad viking ships. They used to be sea-going vessels until the were used in burials back in the days. They were discovered in the early 20th century, and you can now see them in flesh – or wood, if you will – at the Viking Ship Museum in Bygdøy, Oslo. Go there!

 

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The Chieftain’s House. (Image: The Lofotr Viking Museum)

3) The Lofotr Viking Museum

This is in Lofoten, and if you are there anyway – which any rider visiting Norway should – you may as well ride to this museum to check out how the Vikings built their longhouses and lived back in the days. You can also sail in a viking ship – replica, of course – in the sea nearby.

Have you other Viking places in Norway to recommend? Let us know in the comments below! Or read on here.

Categories: Northern Norway | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

8 December: Top 3 Winter Rallies of Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

8 December: Top 3 Winter Rallies

Norwegian riders rides in the winter too. Where there are riders, there are rallies. These are RideNorway’s Top 3 Winter Rallies:

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The Primus Rally. Sometimes snowy, sometimes just downright cold. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. The Primus Rally

Probably the most know of them all on these shores. This quintessential winter rally has been going on for some 50 years. No-one seems to know exactly when it was organized – or rather: Not organized – for the first time, but it was sometime in the very early 1970s. It is the Norwegian winter rally that attracts the most foreign riders too. It’s always in the last full weekend of February – book your ferry tickets now! Check out YouTube for videos from the rally, or have a look at this one, from 1980. The funny thing is that it looks more or less the same today as it did 40 years ago.

 

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The Woodgatherer Rally is always in the 1st full weekend after the 1st winter day, which is 14 October. (Image: RideNorway.com)

2. The Woodgatherer Rally

Even though this rally is held in October, and not nearly as cold as the Primus, it is technically still a winter rally. It is always held at the 1st full weekend after the 1st winter day, which is 14 October. It is also held at the same place as the Primus Rally, at Fjorda in Bjoneroa. A wonderful rally!

 

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The New Year’s Rally is a fantastic blend of bikes and fireworks. And snow.  (Image: RideNorway.com)

3. The New Year’s Rally

In the first full weekend of January – sometimes the second full weekend – the ladies and gentlemen of Sandefjord MCC throws a New Year’s Rally at Trollsvann in Vestfold. People show up with their bikes, tents, cooking gear and – above all – fireworks at a parking in the deep forest, celebrating the New Year as only winter riders can. Highly recommended!

For more information on winter rallies, visit this page. For tips on winter riding, read here. And if you disagree with this list, let us hear in the comments below!

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7 December: Top 5 Fjords of Norway

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

7 December: Top 5 Fjords of Norway

 

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The Geiranger fjord is one of many fantastic fjordscapes in Norway. Be prepared for a busy viewing point at The Eagle’s Bend coming down towards Geiranger. (Image: RideNorway)

Norway has it fair share of wonderful fjordscapes. Some of them are included in the Unesco World Heritage Sites list, and at least one of them should be on the list of any first-time rider to Norway.

This time, you don’t have to take it from RideNorway. Travel and Leisure India has already put together the Top 5 Fjords of Norway list. Whether the ranking is fair doesn’t really matter, as they are all worthy their place on the list.

So visit Travel and Leisure, and start planning!

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6 December: Top 3 food festivals in Norway

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

6 December: Top 3 food festivals in Norway

Going to food festivals is a great way of getting a great chew for a small price. So also in Norway. The foodies are having more choices than ever in this country, and some regions have really got their act together and are producing high quality foodstuff which you can sample in abundance. RideNorway has been to several throughout the years, and these are our top 3 picks:

 

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Trøndersk Food Festival in Trondheim. If you are a foodie: Go there. If you are not: Go there anyway. Image: RideNorway

1) Trøndersk Matfestival – Trondheim

The Mid-Norway region – the county of Trøndelag – is getting a firm grip on becoming the most important local food region of Norway. In late July/early August, the Trønders are celebrating their fantastic food and beer culture by throwing “Trøndersk Matfestival” in the middle of the town of Trondheim. Whole streets are full of food samples, outlets, local fast food and drinks – a spectacle that we can wholeheartedly recommend. Everything is under tent roofs, so even in poor weather you can enjoy this festival. Park your bike for a day or two, and indulge in flavours that could only come from Norway!

 

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Happy food, happy people in Stavanger. Image: RideNorway

2) Gladmatfestivalen – Stavanger

Literally “The Happy Food Festival” is an annual event taking place in July in the oil capital of Norway, Stavanger in the South West of the country. It is not far from the entry port of Kristiansand, in case you take the ferry from Denmark. The festival takes place downtown Stavanger, covering the whole harbour area. Even if this is not strictly a Norwegian flavour’s festival, you can find high quality edibles for a meager price during the days the festival lasts. As in Trondheim, they usually have a beer festival tent close by, if you need to quench your thirst. The only major downside of this festival, is the constant influx of cruise ship tourists clogging the festival area.

 

3) Bergen Food Festival – Bergen

This is still one for RideNorway to visit, but it is definitely on the shortlist of great food festivals in Norway – if we take hear-say into account. It is held in Bergen – a pretty town on the west coast of Norway, worth a visit in any case. The festival, usually held in end-August/early September, includes the Cider Festival. Believe it or not, but cider from the Hardanger region is truly delicious! It must have something to do with traditions going back to the 13th century, great craftmanship and nice surroundings for the fruit trees.

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5 December: 17 things Norwegians love about Norway

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

5 December: 17 things Norwegians love about Norway

The 17 May celebration of our 1814 Constitution is in itself a spectacle like few others: Norwegians – young and old – dress up in their finest costumes and dresses, goes out in the streets, wave their flags, views the marching bands parading, greet the King (if in Oslo), and generally indulge in – to outsiders – a strange show of patriotism. Some adults dilute their patriotism with generous amounts of Champagne for breakfast, but each to their own.

In 2014, at our 200th Constitution Day Celebration, the national newspaper VG did a poll amongst Norwegians, having them voting over the 17 things they love about Norway. Very national-centric, of course, but still: These facts may help you in your efforts to interact with the locals.

 

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“Winter” ended up on the 17th place on the list of things that Norwegians love about Norway. Riders, of course, cope whatever the weather or whichever season. Image: RideNorway

1) Freedom of expression
2) A varied nature
3) That Norwegians go for long hikes
4) Gender equality
5) That people live all over the country
6) That most people are economically well off
7) Norway’s wealth
8) Egalitarianism
9) Winter sports
10) High taxes and well-funded public services
11) The big differences in the seasons
12) The Royal Family
13) The egalitarian public school system
14) Policies on intoxicating substances
15) Multiculturalism
16) High level of subsidies to the agriculture
17) The winter

Some of these one can clearly understand. Others are quite… odd? What do you think? Leave your comment below!

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4 December: Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

4 December: Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks

If you are a seasoned Norway traveller, or just want to go to places that are not necessarily the postcard picture perfect place, this post is for you. You really don’t care too much for the crowded (all in relative terms, of course – this is not Venice…) tourist attractions in Norway, but are instead looking for places which give you solitude, quietness and additional bragging rights when back home in the local pub with your friends. You are willing to ride that extra mile just to get to this place, and don’t mind staying the night in your tent – so here it is, RideNorway’s Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks:

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Hessdalen is peaceful, quiet and a great place to walk the dog. But in a leash. Because of the sheep. Image: RideNorway

1) Hessdalen

Hessdalen is a somewhat secluded valley not far from Røros, in the middle of Norway. Or middle of nowhere, depending on your take. Hessdalen is one of RideNorway’s favourite spots to find peace and quiet in this part of the country, but despite its quietness it still has some suspense to offer: Hessdalen’s claim to fame is the odd light phenomenons that may – or may not – occur at any given time. There are apparently studies of these phenomenons taking place. But for us, it’s a place of tranquility. Follow the road beyond where it goes gravel, and find your spot to put up your tent whenever you like. Bring everything you need – it is a bit to ride to the nearest grocery store if you forgot your bacon to your breakfast eggs.

 

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Finnskogen is a favourite rideout for many gravel enthusiasts. Image: RideNorway

2) Finnskogen

Finnskogen – or “The Forest of the Finns” – is an area in the South-East of Norway, bordering Sweden. Its name origins from the Finns that migrated here in the 17th century. But to you, it is an area of forested secludedness. An area where you can hone your gravel riding skills, while finding those sweet spots near a lake to put up your tent and try you fishing luck. Even though it is pretty accessible by vehicles, not many venture into these forests, which makes it a sweet playground for you and your bike. The silence is breathtaking, which makes it the perfect hideout for a couple of days to lower your puls rate.

 

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Fiskevollen has its 10th century charm somewhat intact. Image: RideNorway

3) Fiskevollen

Fiskevollen is Norway’s largest inland fishing village, dating back to the 10th century. It is situated in Rendalen in the South-East of Norway, and sits at some 700 meters above the sea level. Today, it is holiday homes for the locals, but it has retained its picturesque quality. The Sølensjøen lake is a nice place to try your fishing luck, and you can put up your tent out of ear’s reach of the few people that occupy the cottages during the summer months. It can be chilly at this height even in the summer, so to experience a night or two at Fiskevollen: Make sure your sleeping gear can take it. Oh, and the road there is a wonderful gravel road!

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