3 December: Top 3 craft beers 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!

3 December: Top 3 craft beers of Norway

These tips are only to be followed when you have parked your bike for the day. Remember: Norwegian highway police enforce (for all practical purposes) a zero tolerance in DUI. Whatever you do in your home country: Do NOT drink and ride while in Norway.

Apart from that, you are always more than welcome to enjoy proper Norwegian beer. Whereas Norwegian cuisine – you know, lutefish, smoked sheep head and the lot – may sound questionable at best (even if it tastes wonderful, at least to Norwegians), the beers we have to offer are top notch! For many, many decades, Norwegians and everybody else thought Norway had no beer brewing tradition, and that beer was best brewed in the UK, Germany and Belgium with the traditional lager, ale or wild yeast. A few years back, the prominent beer conoisseur Lars Marius Garshol started to investigate Norwegian farmhouse ales. Lo and behold: An all Norwegian, fourth class of yeast was discovered – the Kveik. Kveik is very special, as it is fermented at really high temperatures (up to +42C), making the beer ready to drink in just a couple of days. Each kveik has its own characteristics, depending on where in the country it is from. Some have really citric flavours, others more earthy, others again more floral or fruity. But we can assure you that the beer is top stuff, and the yeast itself has become an export article to the beer brewers of the world.

You simply must sample this beer when in Norway, even if you thought you didn’t like beer. Assuming you’re not seeking out local brewers of traditional farmhouse ales, you have to buy it. Here’s RideNorway’s top 3 list:

1) Voss bryggeri – Jolabrygg

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Voss Bryggeri – Jolabrygg. Image: Vossbryggeri.com

This is a brew for celebration of the Winter Solstice, or “Jul / Jol”. But it is so good that it deserves to be drank all year. It is not like the traditional dark ales served at this time of year. Rather, it is a golden, slightly sweeter, but oh so fruity beer. If you cannot find it, look up “Vossaøl” or “Kveika Rugøl” from the same brewery. They are almost as good, and are usually easier to source in the summer.

2) Haandbryggeriet – Earthkveik

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Haandbryggeriet – Earth Kveik. Image: haandbryggeriet.com

A slightly lighter kveik beer with more earthy flavours, and more hops. It is perfect accompanied by something to nibble after a long day’s ride. It is sold in 0.33cl flasks, so a bit more awkward to transport in your pannier – but it is wort(h) it. Perhaps the best beer to get you introduced to kveik beers.

3) Ego Brygghus – Helt Rått

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Ego Brygghus – Helt Rått raw pale ale. Image: ego-brygghus.com

The wort in this pale ale has not been boiled, as is customary with beer elsewhere, which is why it is called a raw beer, or “rå”, hence its name “Helt Rått”. It is double dry hopped, instilling slightly more bitterness to the usually fruity kveik brews. It has the full body of a raw beer, while retaining the juicy flavours. A good thirst quencher after a day in the saddle!

You might have to seek out the Vinmonopolet which is a state owned and run monopoly for sales of alcoholic beverage above 4.7% vol to find these (except Helt Rått, which may be found in well assorted groceries or at Gulating). The Vinmonopolet outlets are found everywhere. If you have trouble finding one, ask any local. They know where to find one.

Oh, and if you are into beer brewing and want to learn more about kveik and how to brew with it, seek out kveiktraining.com. Maybe you’d like to make a stop-over out West to learn the trade while you’re in Norway anyway?

Do you have other favourite beers? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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1 December: Norway’s Top 3 motorcycle roads

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

1 December: Top 3 Roads of Norway

We all have our favourite riding roads. Some like the gravel road kind, others like the scenic ones. Norway is full of wonderful motorcycle roads, so choosing the best is almost impossible. However, this is RideNorway’s current top pick:

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The Varanger Route is right on top of our (current) Top 3 Roads of Norway. (Photo: RideNorway.com)

1) The Varanger Route. 160 km’s of very special road from Varangerbotn to Hamningberg way up North in Norway. It’s one of our favourite routes because it’s not overfilled with tourists in slow camper vans, the scenerys different from anything else, and this writer is from the area. Ok, very biased, but the fact remains: If you can, do the Varanger road. You will not regret it.

 

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The Suleskar Mountain Road seems like it was made for motorcycles. It’s just great! (Photo: Suleskarvegen.no)

2) The Suleskar Mountain Road. It is true: This road was practically made for motorcycles. It is narrow, twisty and great fun. It takes you over a magnificent mountain range, and leads you even to Lysebotn. The hairpins taking you there are legendary. The only downside is that you will encounter some camper vans along the route. They may be hard to pass due to the at times narrow road, but most of the drivers are polite and will pull over to let you pass. Don’t let this minor annoyance put you off: Explore Suleskar!

 

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You must not miss the Coastal Route – Road 17 – when you visit Norway. Ride along it and feel the heartbeat rate slow to a leisurly pace. (Photo: RideNorway.com)

3) The Coastal Route of Northern Norway. No list is complete without it. 650 kms, plenty of ferries – this is the road you choose to lower your heartbeat. Make sure you plan somewhat ahead to see all the juicy parts, which may require a deviation from the Road 17 itself. You should plan for at least 5 days, although it is doable in 3 if you hasten through. But you do not want to do that. It needs to be savoured slowly.

If you have been riding Norway – do you agree with these picks? Or do you have other favourites? Leave your comment 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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The Hamningberg Road

Norwegian rider Halvard Kolsing rode to Hamningberg in the summer of 2019. Check out his video!

Halvard and his friends aimed for Hamningberg in Finnmark this summer. Knowing that Hamningberg sits at 70N30E, the weather is always a hit-and-miss affair. Usually miss. But Halvard and his crew rode there in the evening (24 hrs sunlight in the summer, remember?), temps hovering around +24C.

The most spectacular thing about Hamningberg is not necessarily the small abandoned fishing village itself, but rather the road that takes you there. It is narrow, bendy, and surrounded with an almost surreal geology. A must for riders! Check out Halvard’s video, and be inspired!

 

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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!

Categories: Images of Norway, Northern Norway, norway, Routes, Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Michael McCormick

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

Your images of Norway

Remember to check out the Images of Norway page for (hopefully) inspirational images of the country you are about to visit. After your trip, send us your images to be displayed here!

 

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The lighthouse at The World’s End – “Verdens Ende” – is a replica built in 1934. The area is breathtaking!

 

 

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Gone touring!

If postings appears to be rare, it’s because I’m out there enjoying Norway in the most fantastic summer we’ve had since 1947.

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Let me correct that: The most fantastic summer since 1947 in the South of Norway. In the North, the weather is record-breaking miserable, although at time of writing this, it seems to clear up a bit.

Anyway: In the South, we’ve had a steady state of sun and warmth – real warmth – for some two consecutive months. Oslo has been the warmes capital in Europe for a while, and it’s so dry that there is a total ban on open fire everywhere. In the South, I mean. Up North, you can still light your barbeque, if you find that comforting.

This, of course, calls for adventures! There are plenty of bikes roaming the roads everywhere, and I hope some of you had the chance to experience this. I am, so if you find postings rare, it’s because I’m out there. In Hardanger, Fjorda, Stryn, Hornindal, Fiskevollen – boy, this is a summer to remember.

I hope to see you on the road somewhere! Have a great summer!

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