scandinavia - norway or sweden?



I'm toying with the idea of a couple of weeks in scandinavia next year (towards the summer, no suprises there :) ). I'm in the South East of England, so either i run up to Newcastle and spend a day on a ferry to Norway, or i spend a couple of hours on a ferry to Holland and drive up through Denmark. My initial thoughts are I'd prefer to spend 12 hours riding than 25 on a ferry...

I'd like to reach the Artic circle (nice target to aim for) and I'm happy have a couple of days of 500 miles on major roads to make distance, and then the rest of the time on B roads for fun & scenary.

So, questions: does the denmark run make sense, or is the ferry from newcastle the way to go. Norway vs. Sweden, any comments there? Any other stuff i should think about?


The ferry is very good more like a baby cruise ship but the trip on the bike sounds better. I personally would plump for Norway the pace is fantastic I did 2 weeks up there over mid summer
Denmark is mostly flat and boring and the run up the west coast of Sweden is`nt brilliant when compared to any of Norway.
I`d take the ferry from Newcastle to Bergen or cant fail to enjoy yourself from mile one.

Look here to wet your appetite.
Hi! Norway here!! :)

Me and my boyfriend are dreaming about a holiday in UK.
And we have no doubts ; we are riding from Oslo to Stavanger, and then the ferry to Newcastle. (But we don't know what year!)

Denmark is a little & boring place, and you are not close to Norway: Ferry or the road?
The roads through Denmark, Sweden and south-east of Norway are boring.

Normally when I'm going to Germany for the holiday, I take the ferry from Oslo to Kiel. Or ferry from Oslo to the north of Denmark. But again; it's boring to ride in Denmark.

So: Newcastle-Stavanger!

And if this is your first holiday in Norway/Sweden:
Forget Sweden.
Use the ferry to Stavanger:
If the weather is OK in the west part of south-Norway; go north in the west! It's raining wery often in that area, so if it's OK weather; go north close to the coast!

If the weather in the west (Stavanger) is bad, and it's sun in the east:
Go over the mountains to the east, and go north in the east part of south-Norway.

Choose the raods you like up to a place north of Trondheim; Grong. But Grong-Bodø: The Rv.17 is the best.
But if it's rainig, take the E6 up north, and save the Rv.17 for the return.

Don't expect to go 400km
The main roads are boring, and the smaller roads are funny, but you can't ride in 90km/h and see the nature at the same time!
You don't need a list of bikerfriendly places to sleep in Norway.
But if you wanna stay at a hotel in the weekend in July, you better call the hotel some days before you arrive and make an reservation.

..and if you see a blue Scarver close to Oslo: You have to stop! It's me!

Any questions?

:) Liv.
(I didn't look up in my dictionary, so you just have to try to understand my english. :) ):beerjug:
thanks all

So i'm looking at two days spent sitting on a boat, as its probably better than the route through denmark & south sweden.

Norway/Arctic circle etc

[complete newbie to this site here!]
i did a run from Dublin to Finland about 18 months ago.
went oop north, crossed to Stranraer, across to Newcastle.
Ferry to Stavanger and East until i got to Stockholm - where we got another ferry to Finland.

So we "did" Norway / Sweden and then Finland.
imho; as suggested - take the ferry from Newcastle to Stavanger, these ferries are GOOD compared to what *I* am used to anyhow. Norway is just bliss on a bike - we went in May and the weather was SO good my wife got sunburn! Advised by a local cop in Stavanger - the good roads are further north in the country and if i understand your intention - just head up there - you wont be disappointed!
Based on the 19 days I spent on holiday in Norway last year, this is what I'd suggest.

Newcastle would be simplest and best.

Forget the Arctic circle, there's too much good stuff you'll by-pass on your way to a 1 minute photo opportunity. For a 2 week trip stay in the west of the country and forget any ideas of 500 mile days. There's just about one main road in the whole country, that's the E6 from Oslo all the way up to the top. It is not a fast road. The speed limit for the most part will be 80KPH, reducing to 50KPH at EVERY opportunity. All Norwegians obey the speed limits without exception. The police are red hot on speeding and will work a massive fine up you at slightest provocation. 60mph in a 50mph [10mph over] cost me exactly £200 [if you do get nicked pay it in Norway - much easier].

Whilst the E6 may be relatively slow it's a virtual autobahn compared to the west [fjord region] but this is OK as you are now passing through what must be the most impressive scenery on the planet. It really is not an exaggeration to say that there isn't a straight section of road in the west - hence the speed limits. I went in July and the roads were unbelievably empty. They really are a joy to drive and - given the winters - are in perfect condition. Whilst the speed limits are a major bummer it really is a small price to pay.

May I suggest that instead of a dash to the AC you book 3/4 nights and explore that particular area. Try for accommodation.

Here's a couple of high points of my trip that may be you'd like to try, but the truth is whatever you plan, whatever road you take, you can't go wrong. Michelin map 711 National is good for planning.

I went via Newcastle/Kristiansand and traveled up E39 to Stavanger, jumped the ferry to Tau and stayed in Hjelmeland.
From here you can do Prekestolen. Needs one day [I didn't because of time/ poor planning]. Also, the ferry from Forsand up the Lysefjorden to Lysebotn [passing under Prekestolen] is utterly breathtaking as is the ride out of Lysebotn. Return to Hjelmeland clockwise on 45 taking ferry from Lauvvik to Oanes.
It's a long day, but one you will not forget - promise. You may also be worrying that the best of you holiday is now over and it surely must decline from here on in, but no. As hard as it may be to believe it's just going to carry on and on like this for the next 2 weeks.

We stayed for 4 nights in Loen, about 50 miles south of Alesmund.
Based here we did 3 glaciers needing 2 days. These glaciers are every close to Loen and are good for giving you a break from riding.
From Loen the following route is possible and is unreservedly recommended.
Loen to Geiranger via the gravel road Gamle Strynefjellsveg [15?], before reaching Geiranger detour along a gravel road to Dalsnibba. From here Geiranger is visible 1500M down and 5miles distant. Leave Geiranger and catch the ferry at Eiddal and head towards Andalsnes over the Trollstigveien.

The upper pic is of the Gamle Strynefjellsveg and the lower of the Kjenndal glacier with me doing what I now realise is a Buzz Lightyear impression.

Nice pics, Boxer!
Did you meet the troll at Trollstigen?

I hope we'll meet the next time!

And to all of you:
I really wanna meet you if you are some place near Oslo. So let me know you are here!

And something I want you to know:
There's a cafè close to Oslo, and every wednesday evening in the summer there are 100-200 bikes there! Sometimes even more!
The place is close to Gjersjøen, between the amusement park Tusenfryd and the camp site FjordCamp, south east of Oslo.
And the name: Tyrigrava Kro.
If you meet a bike in oslo at a wednesday; ask if he/she are heading for Tyrigrava!

Last summer I was at the campsite FjordCamp because I spotted a bike there:
It was Joseph from Austria, and I persuaded him to follow me to Tyrigrava.
When we get there his eyes got big, and he said:
''A lot of bikes!'' And he got back to his tent for the camera!
He really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it too!

if you are at FjordCamp, and see many bikes passing: Follow the bikes!!!!!!

:) Liv.
I think a lot of regular visitors were already wondering when my reaction would come... :D

Sweden or Norway?

For me? Norway... I've travelled through Sweden some times, and although I like
the country and its people, I prefer Norway. Sweden is less expensive, the mainroads
allow much faster travel and thus higher daily mileage, the campings are good,
the vast uninhabited landscape is impressive, but all in all I think Norway has
more to offer. The fjords, the glaciers, the mountains, the mostly untarmacced
mountainroads ect. ect.
As others already said, if you are a firsttime visitor in Norway, stay South
of Trondheim; there enough to see/do and ride for more then one holliday.
Going up further north, to the Arctic circle, the Lofoten or the NorthCape, means
you have to make longer daytrips, without many non-riding days, and doesn't leave
you enough time to really explore the country...

As Boxer already mentioned, the Loen-region is a good place to spent a few days,
but if you like small campingplaces, I can recommend a camping 9km in the sideroad
to the Kjendalsbreen (glacier). Situated at the border of the glacier lake,
the camping ground is to steep for big caravans...


If you want to go up the Preikestolen, there's a campingplace just at the start of the
2-hour climb up... I took a camping a few miles further to the north, because this one
was quite crowded as we arrived... And the other one had free-to-use boats to go out fishing
in the fjord :)

The Strynveijen is road no 258.


The past years I've posted some Norway-info on this forum, but if you want or need
more, just ask! For more pictures, take a look at my online photo albums...
I was thinking of a trip to Norway myself next year.

A couple of questions.

Is May too early in the year weatherwise ?.

Coming from Scotland obviously rain is not a problem, but I am a bit of a cissy when it comes to the white stuff!.

And at the risk of sounding shallow is alchohol really that expensive over there?.

Here s a photo I took in early May. The sun was so warm I could`nt believe I was 200 miles north of the Orkneys.
It felt cool in the shade though.

This is a photo from the same trip same time but there was no snow on any of the roads.

Yes alcohol is very expensive especially if consumed in hotels or restaurants (£4.50 a pint!).
Its cheaper in supermarkets but 3% is the most you can hope for unless you go to the systemblogerts (I think I spelled that right) which is the grog shop where you can get stronger beer + wine + spirits but it aint cheap.
If you`re a doch n doris type buy it on the ferry and stow it carefully in a pannier. Myself....I went TT for the holiday and got shitfaced on the ferry home.

Norway?...go you`ll love it.
Please, let me help:
Systembolaget = the name of the beer/wine/spirits-store in Sweden.
Vinmonopolet = the name of the same type store in Norway. We call it ''polet''.

And we have 4,7 % beer in the store, but beware that you some places have to buy it a few hours before the store is closing for the night.
And ''polet'' is closed the day before a ''red day'' on the calender, but it's open for a few hours on Saturdays.

:( Sorry!

:) Liv.
Scooter Boy.

It's only a guess on my part but I think that it May be a great time to go. When all the snow starts to melt the rivers and waterfall must be great sight. They were plentiful enough in summer, but in spring and in full flow............

We rode beside a totally dry river bed with boulders the size of houses high and dry. the amount of water flowing when the snow melts must be immense.

Even if it does rain it can sometime enhance a scene.



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Thanks for the info all!

From the pictures that have been posted Norway looks well worth a visit and May would suit me fine.

I guess I'll just have to curb my desire to get shit faced every night and go stoating round the pubs wearing my kilt and singing flower of Scotland !, hmmm might be a bit difficult for my mate though!!.

Scooter Boy said:
I guess I'll just have to curb my desire to get shit faced every night

I took a good book to get me by....I too get shitfaced to pass the time in between riding the bike.
Scooter Boy said:
Thanks for the info all!
I guess I'll just have to curb my desire to get shit faced every night...


Try to visit a mc-rally during your holliday... they'll love your kilt!


Bring a fishing rod; every fish you catch, saves you money for an
expensive pint...

Never drink their Moonshine!

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