A cycling vacation along the Vestfjord route is a most memorable experience - new, breathtaking sights appear around every bend. Combining ferry trips with cycling, this route serves up almost everything Norway has to offer. White sandy beaches butt up against soaring mountain scenery. Archaeological relics and historical buildings satisfy those who seek more cultural pursuits, whilst for the more active there is ample opportunity to swim, hike or fish.
Idyllic little villages of brightly painted wooden houses line the route as you travel from island to island. It is easy to see why locals describe this area as the real Norway and the archipelago features prominently in Nordic art, film and literature. To cover the full 450 lan (281 mi) would be to undertake a journey of epic proportions; however good transport links make it possible to get to almost any part of the trail quickly.
Old market centres such as Lovoy and Grotoy have been faithfully restored, whilst Steigen is a real hidden gem, teeming with innumerable historical relics. Those who seek more adventure should explore the cave system at Nordskot, whilst those looking for a more sedate outdoor experience can soak up the sun on the wonderful white sandy beaches near Misten. The Vestfjord really does have something for everyone. All you need is a bicycle, good waterproofs, a ferry timetable and a spirit of exploration, and a new adventure awaits you around every corner.
WHEN TO GO
May to September provides the best weather.
TIME IT TAKES
Around two weeks for the whole route.
Tranoy Lighthouse - a fine example and open to visitors.
Steigen Fortidspark - where the past is re-enacted.
Raftsund - a narrow strait between Hinnoya and Austvagoya.
The Stone Age settlements and ruined boathouses on Gimsoya.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Forward planning is required to make the most of this trip. Although the ferries are reliable. the faster services take you to the most crowded sections. If you wish to leave the beaten track it may require taking two or more of the less frequent services.