Norway’s most beautiful bike route
- Destination: Finse
- Season: July–September
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 52.4 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
- Elevation Gain: 560 meters
- Duration: 6–7 hours
Rallarvegen brings you from the rocky and bare mountains in Finse, to lush landscapes at sea level of Flåm in just under 6 hours. This route is not only a spectacular bike ride but also a journey through history. The trail starting point is actually at Haugastøl, but the most popular route is from Finse to Flåm.
Always pay attention to the weather report, as you will be traveling from the high mountains to sea level. It may be well below 8°C in Finse, but by the time you reach Flåm the temperature can be about 22°C. The biking season of this route varies every year and is dependent on the snow.
Rallarvegen is a transport road designed to support the construction of “Bergensbanen” railway. In 1894, the Norwegian Parliament decided that a railway connection between Bergen and Oslo (at the time known as Christiania) was needed, and ended up choosing the mountain range that split southern Norway in two, as the crossing point.
See How to Cycle the Rallarvegen Bike Route for a complete guide to this adventure.
Finse is located on the Bergensbanen railway, which can be taken from Oslo or Bergen. If coming from Flåm, you can take the historic Flåm Railway to Myrdal, and start your adventure there or transfer to the Bergensbanen railway and begin from Finse.
Driving (It’s a bit trickier than public transportation)
The drive to Flåm is a 4.5-hour journey heading northwest via Rv7 and Rv52. You will drive through Hemsedal via Gol and also experience the magnificent 24.5 km Lærdalstunell, the longest road tunnel in the world. Then take the Flåm Railway to Myrdal, and then the Bergensbanen railway to Finse. Or drive to Geilo from Rv 7, then take the Bergensbanen train from Geilo to Finse.
Only taking 2.5 hours, driving from Bergen is easily achievable for jumping on the 08:35 train from Flåm, if you are an early bird. Head east via E16, pass through Voss and you will end up in Flåm right after passing Gudvangen. The train journey from Flåm is the same as above.
The trip begins at the Finse train station, but other access points include Hallingskeid and Myrdal. At first, the trail is flat with some variations. On your way to Hallingskeid, you will pass Fagernut, the highest peak on the route at 1,343 m.a.s.l. It is a great place to take a break, then continue to Lake Klevavatnet. The trail begins to get rocky and a bit steep here, so be extra aware.
From Lake Klevavatnet, you can cruise downhill for a while as you pass scenic waterfalls and valleys. The trail can be very narrow here, so be prepared to get off your bike and walk along the road. Continuing on your way to the Vatnahalsen Hotel, you will pass by Seltuft, another good rest stop.
From Vatnahalsen Hotel is where the real fun begins, you will start descending from over 800 m.a.s.l. There are 21 sharp bends down to Kårdal, which is the highest farm in Flåmsdalen. Make sure you keep your hands on your breaks. From here you will follow Flåmselvi all the way down to Flåm while passing lot of beautiful waterfalls, caves, and landscape. Once you reach the asphalt, all you need to do is cruise down to Flåm.
- Water is available from larger streams along the route or at stores
- Food can be brought along the route, but make sure to pack a little extra just in case. Make sure to get a snack at Navvie’s Café or Seltuft Café.
- Toilets are available in the open dwellings
- Camping is allowed along the route
- Mobile phone coverage is unreliable and poor with an occasional signal through the Telenor network
Where to stay
Spend the night after a long day of bike riding at “Flåmsbrygga”, the Flåm Pier Hotel. It offers an unforgettable stay with plenty of food, drinks, and activities. Breakfast is included. Another option is to stay at an Airbnb in Flåm or the less touristy, yet charming neighboring town Aurland. Due to the limited number of listings in the area, it’s a good idea to book well in advance.
Flåm Camping offers campground, hostel rooms, and cabins. If camping is your game, you can also pitch a tent along the bike route. Just make sure you are following the regulations set by Right to Roam.