norway

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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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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2 December: Top 3 roadside snacks 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!

2 December: Top 3 Roadside snacks of Norway

Norwegian chefs are actually very competent. They win Bocuse d’Or, and the Nordic’s only 3 star Michelin Restaurant is in Oslo. But as the smart biker that you are, you will not burn your hard earned money there, as you have motorcycle gas tanks to fill and places to go. As you are curious by default, you of course wonder what this country has to offer when it comes to local specialities – in particular roadside snacks. You have heard of lutefisk, smoked sheep’s head, and other delicacies. These are not the roadside snacks you are looking for, and besides they are hardly available in the summer. You want local specialities that you can savour en route, and these are our Top 3 Roadside Snacks of Norway:

 

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Dried reindeer heart. What’s not to like? (Image: www.rorosrein.no)

Dried reindeer heart. It might sound pretty hefty, but rest assured, it is probably some of the most tasty cured meat you’ll ever have. It is hard to come by in the Southern parts of Norway, as there are no reindeer herds there (apart from in the Røros area), but you can get some in the North (and Røros). Also perfect with a wee dram and beer after a day’s ride! A good substitute for this delicacy will be dried, plain reindeer meat.

 

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Valldal strawberries. Buckets of taste bombs! (Image: www.jordbaerivalldal.no)

Strawberries from Valldal, Toten and Biri. Every other country claims to have the best strawberries. They are all wrong. The very, very best strawberries are found in Valldal, Toten and Biri. We kid you not. When you are in the Geiranger area, you will find numerous outlets selling Valldal berries. Just North of Oslo you will find Toten and Biri, where they grow berries that are only matched by those from Valldal. You will find roadside strawberry sellers who will provide you with these savoury taste bombs. Make sure you ask for Toten and Biri strawberries!

 

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Dried cod. A snack for special occasions. (Image: lofoten.no)

 

Dried cod. When you go to Lofoten, this is what you need to get. They sell small bags of dried cod in practically any store (also in the South of Norway). If you want to be like the locals, you buy a whole dried fish. It may smell a bit after a while when resting in your pannier, though, so the bagged version may be preferred. It is high on protein, and very tasty – at least when you learn to appreciate the taste. Also a winner in combination with a beer.

So what do you think? Will you try all these when you come to Norway? Or do you have other favourites that you have sampled when visiting us? Let us know in the comments below!

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Julian’s Journey to Nordkapp

Britton Julian Davies undertook a month-long trip to Nordkapp and beyond to raise money for the battle against cancer.

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Julian Davies is a Brit restaurant owner and – above all – a motorcycle enthusiast. Here with his trusty Suzuki V-strom which he rode on his epic journey.

Julian visited Nordkapp in May. While this may be a good month to ride in other parts of Europe, you may encounter snow and even blizzards when passing the Arctic Circle. Which is what Julian experienced. He also outran Hells Angels in Denmark, was invited to a meal and a bed by some Norwegian farmers, found Troll droppings outside his camp cabin, had coffee in a hotel manager’s office – and a lot more. Read about his amazing journey, chronicheled by Steve Evans, and see the images: Julian’s Blog – By Steve Evans

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Go North!

If you want to experience something totally different, go North. You can even stay away from the North Cape, which may be pretty crowded (all in relative terms) in the summer. Instead, aim for other parts of Finnmark.

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Midnight Sun over the sandy beach at Ekkerøy. You can camp here if you wish. (All images: HP/ridenorway.com)

Finnmark county in the far, arctic north is particularly suited for riders not settled with only visiting the standard tourist attractions of Norway. Finnmark is for the advanced rider who really wants to broaden his or her horizon. The are is not as spectacular as – say – the Lofoten Islands nor the magnificent fjords of the West. But it definitely has plenty of charm. Especially if you put in some effort to get to know the locals over a beer or two and don’t mind the mosquitos or the fact that the weather changes every 15 minutes or so.

Hamningberg

A small abandoned fishing village at the very end of the road. And the road leading there is spectacular on its own. The houses in Hamningberg are used as summer retreats for locals – in winter nobody lives there, and the place is abandoned until spring. A very special place. It easily serves as a substitute for – or addition to – the North Cape when it comes to bragging rights. On your way there, drop by Vardø to see the Steilneset Memorial for those who were burnt at the stake in the which hunt processes in this area in the 17th century.

Ekkerøy

Now this is a special place. A small peninsula some 15 kilometres east of the town Vadsø. Into WW2 history? This place has a few stories to tell. Love bird watching? You’re in the right place. You can stroll along the beach, have a swim in the arctic waters, or rent the sauna for a couple of hours. You can pitch your tent at the beach or rent a cabin. What you will get, is peace of mind. Bring everything you need – there are no shops nor stores here. But they have a quite nice restaurant. Oh, and actress Renee Zellweger’s mum is from Ekkerøy.

The Varanger Scenic Road

The Varanger Scenic Road is one of the 18 designated scenic roads in Norway. It takes you off the E6 at Varangerbotn and leads you all the way to Hamningberg. It is PERFECT for motorcycles!

Berlevåg

The road to Berlevåg is worth a trip on its own. It is magnificent, much like the road to Hamningberg. Kongsfjord and Veines are particulary nice areas. The town of Berlevåg itself is like most small fishing towns in Finnmark – not very scenic. But go there to check out the great people living there!

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From Beabeg to Bodø and back

“The midnight sun was a majestic experience for me. Looking out onto the Lofoten Islands is going to be a cherised memory”, writes Irishman Michael McCormick in his blog after his trip from Beabeg to Bodø and back in the summer of 2019.

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Michael McCormick rode from Beabeg in Ireland to Bodø and back in the summer of 2019. Photo used with permission of http://www.therunofthecountrycharitymotorbiketour.com

Michael maintains the blog for the charity ride The Run of the Country Charity Motorbike Tour. “A thrilling one day, with an overnight, 200 mile, charity motorcycle tour. It’s the best little charity motorcycling event in Ireland. The proceeds of the event are used to help adults with intellectual disabilities who use Malta Services Drogheda reach their personal development goals”, he writes.

In July 2019, Michael saddled his 750 Africa Twin and headed for Norway. “There were good bits and not so good bits. There were things I could do better and there was stuff that I just brought with me and never used”, he continues.

“It was a marvellous experience. The blog and feedback kept me company. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again though”, he admits. However, we are confident that we will see Michael on these shores again any year soon 🙂

Read his impressions and thoughts, and have a look at the pics he recorded along his trip.

Categories: bikes, Images of Norway, norway, Trips | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

To Hell with Dean

Dean Marshall, a UK based Honda 750 Africa Twin rider, rode his trusty steed from London to Hell, Trøndelag County. Below are the images from his trip.

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Dean Marshall.

Here’s what Dean wrote:

Hi! Some pics of my solo trip London to Hell and back August 2017. I didn’t get to the Artic circle as planned because of the torrential rain in Norway that summer. I was delayed by about 8 days so had no time to go further north. I’m leaving London on the 15th of July (2019) to try to get to Nordkapp as I feel I have unfinished business. Having read your blog I have decided to go to Asp and follow the route 17 to Bodo then on to the Lofoten Islands.

Tusen takk.

Dean Marshall

You’re welcome, Dean – we’re looking forward to seeing your images from your trip to Nordkapp as well. And welcome back!

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Categories: bikes, Images of Norway, norway, Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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