Tour suggestions by cycle in Vesterålen

Vesterålen has many recommended trips by cycle, few that has cycle signs, but spring/summer 2014 the National cycle route NO 1 is getting signs from Melbu to Andenes.

Round the Hadsel island, 42 km.

The outward facing side of the island is narrow, winding and an easy and GORGEOUS ride. You will be able to enjoy the view of the sea. An easy route, with few and short hills, and little traffix. There is a beautiful beach (Taen) on Hadseløya. There is also a picnic area and a love bench. Don’t miss the art installation Ræk IV. Have a break at Gallery Uvær.

Melbu - Frøskeland 76 km

Easy hilly terrain and beautiful views. The outer side of Hadseløya is a gem, with the bathing stop on the sandy beach on Taen. From Melbu you will follow FV 881 west around Hadsel Island, across the Hadsel Bridge and onto FV 885 along Eidsfjord to Frøskeland. The route is easy to cycle, with only a few, short hills. 

The first stop on your trip around Hadsel Island should be the bathing beach at Taen, where you will find a resting area and a privy – not to mention a love bench! Here you will also be able to admire the art installation Ræk IV. A few kilometres further on, you will pass Uvêrshula (The Storm Shelter) built with nature’s own building blocks and welcomes visitors under the midnight sun and thunderous storms alike. We also reccommend you to visit the small 'Gallery Uvær'.

Stokmarknes is the municipal administrative centre, and is also known as the birthplace of the coastal express. The land-mounted express ship «Finnmarken» is Vesterålen’s boldest cultural initiative. Following FV 885 after crossing Hadsel Bridge, you will now be cycling along the shores of Eidsfjord, Northern Norway’s greatest herring fjord a little over a century ago. If you have brought fishing equipment, we recommend you try your luck here. In Kjerringvik you will find the only shop within a 10-km radius. 

Sortland - Hanøy 54,3 km

Easy hilly terrain. Looking for a hiking trip, we recommend going up to Møysalen from Hennes. Our route continues across Sortland Bridge, heading south on RV 85 through Norway’s largest island, Hinnøy. At the Esso station (8 km) you will turn right onto the «old road» running through the village of Siger–fjord. Here you will find an art gallery, overnight accommodation and a gently sloping wading beach, but no shops. At the end of the fjord, after a slight ascent, you will turn right onto RV 822 leading to Kaljord. After passing through BrokløysTunnel (short and easy) and crossing the Djupfjord Bridge, you will arrive at Blokken and the first shop on this leg of the journey. 

At Hennes you can again stock up on supplies, or spend the night – and if desired, plan your guided tour to the peak of Vesterålen’s tallest mountain – Møysalen (1262 m). It’s well worth the effort – if you are equipped for a somewhat challenging hike up a mountain. 

From Kaljord there are three boat departures daily for Hanøy in the Raftsund Strait and Stokmarknes. After Hanøy you will enter European Road 10, which you will take to the left in order to cross the Raftsund Strait and cycle southwards along County Road 868 via Digermulen to Holandshamn. From here you can get a boat to Øksneshamn in Lødingen Vestbygd (route 1) or Svolvær on Fridays and Sundays.

E10 in the direction of Fiskebøl has three tunnels to negotiate: the 1910-metre-long Myrland Tunnel is easy, as is the next one –  Falkfjord Tunnel, 500 m. long. The subsea Sløverfjord Tunnel (3340 m long), however, is challenging. It is steep, but the tunnel is illuminated and visibility is good, with a good ventilation system as well. From Fiskebøl the ferry runs (25 min. crossing) to Melbu and Vesterålen (route 3). If you are going to Svolvær, you should choose the quieter FV 888, rather than the more trafficked E10. The Lofoten bicycle guide is recommended.

Sortland - Bø (Hovden) 65,6 km

Bø has a wonderful dramatic mountain scene, and panoramic views of the ocean. It comprises small communities, pleasant sandy beaches and a lot to see. Bø Tunnel (1612m) is illuminated. Immediately after exiting the tunnel, you will find a rest area with a privy. After the steep descent into Ryggedalen, the rest of the roads in Bø are a bit rolling. 

Turn right at the T-intersection at Rise. Just after passing Eidet (shop) you will see the open ocean. In Nykvåg you will be unable not to notice thousands of kittiwakes nesting on the mountain ledges just above the village. At the end of the road in Hovden, you should visit the old breakwater and the art installation Ræk III, not to mention the three lovely beaches. There is scarcely a better place to view the midnight sun! On the southern end of the beach you may pitch a tent.  

The return trip can be done via many roads. We recommend the one running through Guvåg (RV 911 from Veanova, via RV 820 and RV 913), where Vesterålen Hiking Association has their guest cabin. 

Sortland - Stø 56 km

A bit hilly over the Frøskeland mountain - otherwise less hilly. A little more than a kilometre after Myre you will turn left onto FV 938, and then travel 12 exciting kilometres to Nyksund – nine of which are on a gravel road of varying quality. You MUST see Nyksund. If transport of your bicycle can be arranged, we recommend a hiking trip along the Queen’s Route to Stø – either along the shoreline or via the marked trail across the mountain. Or you might set aside a half day to doing the entire round-trip, starting either in Nyksund or in Stø. 

For the return, you turn left onto RV 935. From here the distance is 14 kilometres of asphalt road to Stø. Stø became the new, vital fishing village on the northern tip of Langøya. Fishing and fish processing are still the economic mainstays here. But other players have joined the market in recent years, offering whale, seal and bird safaris, fishing excursions and rafting, plus boats and fishing equipment for hire. Stø, like Nyksund, is a popular vantage point for viewing the midnight sun. 

Back in Myre, you will have two road options for the return to Frøske–land/Sortland/Bø.  The most logical for a bicyclist is the 23-km-long route along RV 821.  But the most exciting route entails taking the bicycle on board the speed shuttle from Myre to Skjellfjord. Including all the stops along the way, the trip will take just under an hour and a half. «Tinden» makes this trip twice daily. And the communities you encounter from the deck of the shuttle boat are not found in many other places today. From Skjellfjord it is 11 km to Frøskeland.

NATIONAL ROUTE 1. Melbu - Andenes 143,3 km

National cycle route No. 1, follows the Norwegian coast from Svinesund to the North Cape. It is the part of the Atlantic Coast route which runs from SargeS in Portugal to The North Cape. Total length of the route is 8,186 km and is estimated to take about 100 days. In Vesterålen, the route goes from Melbu to Andenes in stunning scenery. Black route on the map.

Arctic Race of Norway