The Classic Fjord Tour is a road biking route starting on the northwestern coast of Fjord Norway, venturing into a mountain region where the road leads to the famous Trollstigen and Geiranger and hidden gems in the Hjørundfjord.
The Classic Fjord Tour is a road biking route starting on the northwestern coast of Fjord Norway, venturing into a mountain region where the road leads to the famous Trollstigen and Geiranger and hidden gems in the Hjørundfjord. The Classic Fjord Tour is filled with contrasts, from the sea breeze nipping at you while crossing windblown islands by bridge, to the warm sun of lush green fjord valleys and crisp air of heather-clad mountains. Stay overnight in authentic fisherman´s cabins, old trading posts and luxurious traditional hotels, and keep your energy up with traditional farmer and fisherman´s dishes using fresh ingredients from fjord and field.
This tour is well suited for active people who have biking experience and want to test their skills on hairpin bends climbing up steep mountain roads, and for the experienced biker who is looking for a new and unique adventure. This tour description shows the route entirely by bike from Molde, and you can also reverse the route and start in Kristiansund or Ålesund. Public transport connects towns and remote villages and lets you customize the route to your level if you wish to do parts of the route. Local activity and guide companies can customize your tour and add luggage transport and shuttle services to make the tour more comfortable.
Molde – Bud – Atlantic Road, 98 km
For those ready to start pedaling as soon as possible, the perfect starting point for the Classic Fjord Tour is the coastal town of Molde. Molde Fjordstuer Hotel is an excellent choice if you wish to explore the little town and try sea kayaking, hike the Moldemarka trails or visit the folk museum. Take your bike for a test ride on the path up to Varden viewpoint, where a panorama view of 222 snow-clad mountain peaks awaits. If you choose Ålesund or Kristiansund as your starting point, you can explore the town centers in the afternoon before embarking on the bike adventure the next day. The 82 km bike ride from Ålesund to Molde can easily be replaced by a two-hour bus ride, or a four-hour ride to Kristiansund. Whichever you choose as your base, do treat yourself to a meal at one of the seafood restaurants in town, this close to the sea the ingredients are as fresh as it gets, and the chefs have perfected old traditional recipes.
From Molde to the Atlantic Road, do make a pit stop in the fishing village of Bud. This tiny coastal community is well-known for the Coastal Museum and fortress and a gorgeous view to boost. From Bud or Kristiansund, the famed Atlantic Road awaits. This architectural masterpiece has eight bridges connecting the many islands with the mainland. In the vast horizon of blue, green and grey, the Atlantic Road twists and bends like the giant sea serpent of old Norse tales. After a long day of riding, a hearty meal of local delicacies and the gentle sound of waves and ocean breezes at Håholmen Havstuer will soon have you drifting off to sleep. If you extend your stay on the idyllic islet you can rent a rowing boat or kayak, or join a sea eagle safari to see the majestic animals up close.
Atlantic Road – Angvika, 95 km
Day two of the adventure follows the Atlantic Road on to Vevang, where the infamously named but famously beautiful route 666 leads you along Kvernesfjorden to Angvika. As you venture further from the coast and into the inland roads, you will notice subtle changes in the landscape. The salty tinge of sea air transforms into a rich scent of birch and pine, and grey rocks shaped by wind and waves become hills covered in grass and heather. At the old trading post Angvika Gamle Handelsted, a homey atmosphere blends with exclusivity and sore muscles can get some much-needed care at the old granary turned spa before turning in for the night.
Angvika – Eresfjord – Åndalsnes – Valldal, 167 km
After a good night´s rest, make sure to get an early start and plan according to daylight hours, which can change a lot from the summer months to spring and early fall. This is the longest leg of the tour, and it is possible to split up and do in two days. From Angvika, route 666 continues to Eresfjord and over the Vistdalsheia plateau at 555 masl, before reaching Åndalsnes. This village between mountain and fjord is a base for mountaineers and cyclists alike, coming from all over the world to explore the wild and untamed nature. If you prefer to continue the next morning, the little town has several accommodation options from charming guesthouses to stylish hotels. From Åndalsnes you will complete a 51 km ride to reach Valldal on the other side of the mountain. One of the toughest climbs in the region awaits - but we promise the view at the top is worth it! The highest point of the Trollstigen road lies at 705 masl, and from the viewpoint you can see directly down on the masterfully structured hairpin bends making it possible to climb the steep mountainsides. After completing the challenging climb, you can look forward to a mostly flat and downhill leg to Valldal Fjord Hotel. The tiny village is a base for nature experiences, and you can go for guided hikes, rafting or canyoning, or just relax and enjoy some downtime at the hotel where every single room has a private terrace with fjord and mountain view.
Valldal – Geiranger – Dalsnibba, 70 km, 1 ferry
Leaving behind tranquil Valldal, next up is a ferry crossing to Eidsdal and ride to Geiranger. On you way down the hairpin bends, do stop at the Ørnesvingen viewpoint to get that perfect photo of the UNESCO World Heritage fjord landscape. After getting some rest down in the village and checking in at Hotel Utsikten with an impeccable location with fjord view, try one of the many activities like fjordsightseeing by boat, fjord kayaking and hiking the beautiful trails from Westerås Farm. After settling in, the viewpoint Dalsnibba is your next challenge. The glass viewing platform rests at 1500 masl and the view is breathtaking, but so is the climb! Tasty treats after completing the climb can be found at Geiranger Sjokolade, and our advice to stock up for the rest of the trip – you will soon miss the variety of flavors with local ingredients when the last piece is gone.
Geiranger – Ålesund, 119 km, 3 ferries
As you embark on the last leg of this epic journey, 119 km of pure beauty awaits. The ferry takes you on the Geirangerfjord through some of the most breathtaking natural and cultural landscape Norway has to offer. Look for old farm hamlets clinging on to little patches of green high up in the mountainsides around you, and waterfalls cascading down into the deep fjord. When the ferry reaches Hellesylt, next up is a landscape beautiful enough to impress a queen. Norangsdalen is known as the Queen´s Route, and the narrow valley is full of cultural memories that are yours to discover if you look closely. The Hjørundfjord has never truly been tamed by man, and several of the small communities that rest by the banks of the fjord are still only reachable by ferry. The jagged peaks of the Sunmøre Alps and the narrow valleys make this a retreat for adventure seekers and leisure travelers alike.
Your adventure does not end in Ålesund after completing the cycle route - this town has a lot to keep you busy! A walk in the Art Noveau-inspired center, visiting the locals in Seal Bay at Ålesund Aquarium, a kayaking tour in the city´s sound, a RIB boat trip to the puffin bird island of Runde are just a few of the options awaiting in the adventure capital of the fjords.