Tour de Dovre Cycling
Follow the trail of kings over the lush Dovre mountain on bike
- Season: June-October
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 129.2 kilometers (loop)
- Elevation Gain: 1,340 meters
- Duration: 96-120 hours
About Tour de Dovre
Inhale the fresh mountain air while biking through historic sights and stunning nature over the Dovrefjell plateau and through the Grimsdalen valley. Tour de Dovre offers views of both green, luxuriant valleys and majestic mountains glazed with snow, as well as shimmering lakes and rushing rivers. The weather can change pretty quickly up here, so wear several layers of clothing and be prepared in case of rain.
On your way you might come across wildlife such as reindeer and cattle as you’re riding past mountain pastures on the King’s Road. There’s been human activity in the area for thousands of years - from the first hunters roaming the plains, to the farmers bringing their cattle up to the mountains to grass in the summer and to the Danish-Norwegian kings travelling through the valley on their way to their coronation ceremony in Trondheim.
The bike ride is classified as being of medium difficulty since there are some steep ascents involved and because of the length of the tour. Undertaking the whole round in one day is only recommended for people in very good shape, who are used to biking long distances. Also bear in mind the lessening number of hours of sunlight later in the year, if you ride in September or October. If you divide your trip into several days, there are many cabins and camping spots on the way offering accommodation.
If you wish to return to Dombås on the same day, but your time and energy is scarce, you could also take the train between Dombås and Hjerkinn one way.
There are several daily train connections between Oslo and Dombås as well as between Trondheim and Dombås. If you travel by train, double check that the train allows bikes onboard. Alternatively, you can rent a bike (regular or electric) at Dombås.
If you go by car from Oslo, you can follow the road E6 north and it will take you about 4.5 hours to reach Dombås. From Trondheim it's approximately 3 hours on the road E6 heading south. While from Bergen it takes from 8 to 9 hours depending on which road you take.
Most tour descriptions of Tour de Dovre suggest following the trail clockwise, and so will this description, but you can also choose to bike anti-clockwise. Starting off from the centre of Dombås you bike up towards the ski lifts at Trolltun Gjestegård. After crossing the parking lot, you follow the gravel path up to Dombås ski arena. From here you get on the old mountain road, “Gamle fjellveg”, which is the beginning of the bike path across Dovrefjell, also known as “Nasjonalparkvegen over Dovrefjell”. These first 32 kilometers will be on a gravel bike path mostly free from motorized traffic.
After Hjerkinn you follow the road 29 along the river Folla for about 26 kilometers until you reach Folldal. In Folldal there is a supermarket where you can stop by if you need to stock up on some provisions.
When leaving Folldal you get on the road 27 in the direction of Ringebu, which you follow for around 8 kilometers until Fallet. From Fallet you follow the sign towards Grimsdalen, which is said to be one of - if not the - most beautiful mountain valleys in Norway. On both sides of the valley you’ll have national parks and should the weather be on your side, you might be able to see the mountain ranges of Rondane in the distance.
The road through Grimsdalen is open for motorized traffic from June 5. It is possible to bike there before this time as long as there’s no snow on the road. Check the weather forecast if you wish to go earlier in the summer.
Through Grimsdalen the trail is pretty flat as you’re biking along the river Grimsa. After some time there is a steep ascent up to a plateau. At the top there is a fork in the road where you continue straight ahead. You will pass by Eftansåe before the trail dives down towards Dovre as you’re descending about 620 meters within 12 kilometers.
At the bottom of the hill you pass over Tofte bru and follow the road Øverbygdsvegen about 11 kilometers to get to Dovre. From Dovre there is a pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists for the rest of the way to Dombås.
- After reaching Hjerkinn you could add a detour to Viewpoint Snøhetta for a breathtaking view of the mountain plateau where the mountain reindeer and the imported muskox grass. Viewpoint Snøhetta is about 8 kilometers away from Hjerkinn by bike.
- Another detour would be the 17 kilometers down to Haverdalseter mountain lodge after you pass Grimsdalshytta. Here they still do mountain farming like they did 100 years ago and they produce their own brown cheese and "rømme" (Norwegian sour cream).
- At Folldal you can stop by the Folldal Mining Museum.
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