/ Touring in Scandinavia

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andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
I'm planning on doing a bike tour through Scandinavia from southern Sweden to northern Norway and then back down through Norway. Has anyone got any tips or advice particularly on what sort of temperatures to expect as I'm planning on starting on leaving at the start of May and getting back for the start of the TdF.

I've heard food is expensive but roughly how much would it cost per day I'm planning on cooking for myself and not drinking any alcohol.

Thanks for any advice

Andy
In reply to andrew549:

This woman is pretty amazing http://christine-on-big-trip.blogspot.fi/ she cycled 5500 kms around Scandinavia last year http://christine-on-big-trip.blogspot.de/search/label/Cycling%20Scandinavia and her blog posts are full of practical information about how it worked out for her.

Basically you can camp almost where you want in Scandinavia, so unless you want 'facilities' once in a while you don't need to spend anything on accommodation. I guess food is more expensive than the UK but go to big supermarkets and its not stupidly so. Here in Finland there is Lidl for example, and prices aren't so different from the UK. I've not cycled in Sweden or Norway, but I don't imagine it is so different from here - which is really rather good for cyclists. Lots of cycle paths in cities and following bigger roads, then miles of virtually empty roads which are a pleasure to ride on. I've only done some weekend tours in Finland, bikepacking style, but if that's of some interest see http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/search/label/bikepacking
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Thanks for the advice glad to hear that food isn't too expensive and especially about being able to camp any where which should save quite a lot particularly in the north.

This is my planned route if anyone is interested or has anywhere they would recommend avoiding or visiting.
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zg4fhRD38HRo.kszSJlxub4js
IPPurewater on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

This might help you with the weather.

http://www.yr.no/place/Sweden/Dalarna/Mora/statistics.html
In reply to andrew549:
Looks interesting. I know some of those roads up in the north - they aren't exactly busy, but the main 'E' routes do take what ever traffic is going - big trucks etc. You might want to consider some of the smaller roads across the top of Sweden and into Finland, they will be very quiet. Some aren't paved though - but I guess any touring bike would be fine on them even though not paved they tend to be well graded compacted gravel.

Your bit through Denmark and up the west coast of Sweden is a 4 or 6 lane motorway - do you know if there is a cycle path next to it, or are you only putting the line in to show roughly where you think you'll go? Those countries have amazing bike infrastructure including long distance routes I believe - so I'm sure you can find info on the best way to go that isn't a motorway!

Oh yeah - the distance between villages or petrol stations with shops in the North can be pretty huge so you'll have to be happy to carry supplies with you. Driving through northern Sweden this summer we found loads of cafes etc. seemed to have limited opening hours. In Finland you can coffee and donut or a burger meal at most times up to late night at petrol stations, but this didn't seem so true in Arctic Sweden.

I've read cycle touring blogs that said North Cape is an expensive tourist trap and not worth visiting btw! Not been myself - but if you turn west when you hit the Arctic sea the scenery is bloody impressive as you get down towards Lyngen and Tromsø.
Post edited at 11:13
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:
The bit through Denmark and up to Gothenburg is wrong as I'm planning on getting a ferry from northern Denmark to Gothenburg, but I can't seem to correct that bit at the moment.
Post edited at 11:18
steev on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

Have done a bit of cycle touring around Lofoten and Versteralen in Norway and can echo what Toby has said. The main E roads are OK for short stretches, but worth avoiding for safety and pleasantness. Be prepared to carry a couple of days worth of food as access can get a bit sparse in places. We were given fresh water everywhere we asked for it, and sometimes even food and accomodation.

We only stayed in a couple of campsites, and we found that the cabins were a decent option if there are a few of you.

Weather-wise, just treat it as if you're riding around Northern Scotland and you should be fine.

I am very jealous of your trip!
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to steev:

The E roads looked like the main roads so going to try to remap to avoid them as much as possible.

How available where screw on gas canisters or is it worth getting a petrol stove.
Mikkel - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

If planning on doing bits in Denmark, are you taking the ferry over to Esbjerg?
If so you should take the North sea cyclerout North.
I can help you with location of shelters where you can stay for free if interested. And also the whole westcoast is plastered in campsites.
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Mikkel:
I was planning on taking the ferry to Esbjerg as it seems the cheapest and easiest way to get there especially with a full touring bike.

I was planning on following EV12 and EV1 south from Alta down to Southern Norway then back to Denmark. Any free shelters would be greatly appreciated.
Post edited at 14:32
In reply to andrew549:

> How available where screw on gas canisters or is it worth getting a petrol stove.

Pretty easily from either DIY stores (look for the massive Biltema stores on the edges of larger towns), sports shops that sell outdoor gear (most branches of Stadium or Intersport for instance) and in shops attached to petrol stations up in the north (lots of hikers, campers and fishermen about).

I often take my pocket rocket and little pot rather than my Jetboil because many camping areas (free, but have lean to shelters and often a compost loo etc) have fireplaces and you can cook on them as well if you have a suitable pot. Not so sure about Swe and Nor, but most of the ones like that in Finland also have a free wood supply for campers to use.
steev on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

Never had any issues getting gas cannisters in Norway - most sports/outdoors shops will have them.
Mikkel - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

Will try dig out the website (all in danish) with the location of the shelters along the westcoast.

We stayed in one of them some years ago when we did the trip from Esbjerg and up to Skagen.
Right on the coast, with a toilet and a shower right next door.
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Mikkel:

Would this happen to be the website as it looks good with lots of options.

http://udinaturen.naturstyrelsen.dk/udinaturen/#
Mikkel - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

If not exactly the map i had in mind, its the same data used.
If you filter by Overnatning - Primitiv Overnatning and you will get the spots where you can camp for free, some of them will have this sort of shelter, but not all http://www.flickr.com/photos/83246699@N00/3912130443/in/set-72157622347428986

If any specific questions about the Danish part, feel free to email me, i grew up just south of Esbjerg and know the West coast quite well :)

PS and you have made me want to get on with plans for doing more of the North Sea cycle route.
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Mikkel:

How easy is it to find the free camping spots as some of them seem to be fairly hidden.
Mikkel - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

If you can read a map not hard :)
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Mikkel:

Good to know some of them look fairly hidden away.
Mikkel - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

How far you planning on biking each day?
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Mikkel:

I'm planning on averaging 100km per day
andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I see that you tend to use a bivy bag and tarp how does this cope in wet weather as I've got a 2 man mountain tent that would work but is rather heavy and bulky.
hillman - on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

> I was planning on following EV12 and EV1 south from Alta down to Southern Norway then back to Denmark.

If you plan to bike through Norway on the way south, the road numbers you are using is incorrect, but that is something you will discover yourself.

The main road south through Norway is the E6, which you can follow all the way to Oslo and further to Sweden. It is open for bikes all the way, but can be a bit crowded at certain hours and stretches. The road is paved all the way but other than that standard of the road is not good for a cyclist regarding the trucks and trailers that drives on these narrow roads.

Be aware that in northern Norway there is lots of long, narrow tunnels, up till 5 km long. This is specially in the area between Narvik and Bodø.
The E6 will include only one necessary ferry (south of Narvik).

A better option is to follow the E10 out through Lofoten and take the ferry Hurtigruta from Stamsund to Bodø (at 380 NOK). From Bodø follow the Kystriksvei 17 (coastal road 17) south, nearly to Trondheim. This is by far the most scenic route, but also involves several ferries. For a cyclist it not too expensive, and I believe you can buy a one pass for all the ferries here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_County_Road_17
http://www.kystriksveien.no/?lng=en

Around Trondheim the roads are quite crowded, by Norwegian standards, so you should avoid the main road E6 here, if possible.
From Trondheim and south you will head more inlands, and there are a few options I could elaborate if you are interested.
More south, closer to Oslo, it gets more crowded, but there is also alternative roads to choose.

andrew549 on 04 Mar 2014
In reply to hillman:

Thanks for the advice, EV12 and EV1 are two long distance bike routes that follow the coast of Norway all the way from the far north to near Oslo. I was planning on avoiding the E6 as much as possible as it doesn't look like a nice road to ride on and the coast road looks much nicer.

Any advice for south of Trondheim to Kristainsand would be greatly appreciated
In reply to andrew549:

Actually I tend to just use a tarp - no bivvy bag. In summer I take a light mosquito net too as they can really get bad. The tarp is great for overnight trips and it has held off rain fine, but for a longer trip I think I'd want a light tent - just the privacy issue as much as anything when camping on campsites and the like.
Oo on 05 Mar 2014
I'm with TobyA on the tarp. I turned the bike upside down and rigged it off that. It stood up to some torrential downpours. Completely forgot about mozzies though, which led to one very uncomfortable night. I found it fairly private (for a tarp) as you're so low to the ground. Packing the panniers around the windy edge kept anything else out.

I'm in Norway at the moment for a few months, if you buy cheap in supermarkets then it's only a bit pricier than the uk. Screw on gas is available just like it is in the UK.

A good website for maps (equivalent of OS): http://norgeskart.no/#5/353555/7147676

This is an organisation a bit like the BMC, they manage all the cabins, if you want to stay in a few then it's worth being a member: http://english.turistforeningen.no/

If you want to know anything else feel free to send me a message, I don't promise to know the answer though!
andrew549 on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to Oo:

Thanks for those links, staying in a hut could be worth it once in a while. I was thinking of a tarp just thinking that it could be a bit grim in prolonged wet weather.

Good to know that food won't be too expensive and that gas is easily available.
ebygomm - on 05 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

Not cycle touring but we once had this to ourselves in norway http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebygomm/4960260653/
hillman - on 08 Mar 2014
In reply to andrew549:

South of Trondheim there are several options for routes. The decision should be done based on preferences on speed, distance, scenery, traffic, need for campsites etc. This may be clear first when you have come this far in your trip, as things may change during such a long trip.

I will e-mail you the details in the options I put forward here.

South of Trondheim I would advise a more eastern route than the standard E6. This will give less traffic, better scenery and more options for wild camping (legal in Norway), but fewer shops and campsites.

Closer to Oslo my advise is to make a detour east around Oslo, and instead cross the Oslofjord by the Moss - Horten Ferry. It is possible to bike through Oslo, but it is more difficult to explain and find the bike path before, through and after Oslo.

Once you are in Horten (after the ferry) you can follow the "outer road" instead of the motorway E18 that connects Oslo to Kristiansand.
This outer road will follow the nice coastline south. This road meanders south, but is absolutely worth it. In this part of the country you will fins many campsites, but also possibilities for wild camping.
ads.ukclimbing.com
andrew549 on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to hillman:

Thanks for all the information as well as the email I will have a proper read through to help plan the route through Norway.

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