National Geographic has put The Coastal Route – “Kystriksveien” – on the list of the most scenic roads in the world. When you get there, you will know why.
The Coastal Route, or Fv 17 as it will show up in maps, is some 700 kms long from its start at Asp in Trøndelag county to Bodø in Nordland county. It is NOT a route you want to rush through. It has 6 ferry crossings – although relatively short ones, with frequent departures from either side – and calls for a slow pace. Especially since you need to take your time to savour the sights. Seasoned travellers recommends 5 days end to end, although it’s doable in 3 if you skip some of the sights.
The Coastal Road takes you through the breathtaking scenery of the Helgeland coast, and is perfectly situated if you’re riding towards Bodø to catch the ferry to the Lofoten Islands.
You will see sights like the Torghatten, a peculiar mountain with a 160 m long, 35 m high and 25 m wide hole right through it. Local folklore tells us that this is actually a troll’s hat which was shot through by an arrow, which explains the hole. You can walk throught it, if you’re in the hiking mode after many hours on the bike.
Or you can hike in the Seven Sisters mountain range (which is also a part of the said folklore story about the Torghatten) – although I prefer just to look at them from a distance.
The road itself is very motorcycle-friendly, especially in the tourist season, as camper vans are easily overtaken by bike. There are plenty of options to camp or rent a cabin. Gas stations are within easy reach, as are grocery stores. If you want to add some variations to your meals, bring your fishing rod and catch your dinner in the clean coastal waters along the route. And take your time. In these parts of the world, there are no reasons to rush.