We got a new name
Visit Flåm has become Norway’s best.
Visit Flåm has become Norway’s best.
Cycle from the mountain to the fjord in summer. Rallarvegen, "the Navvies Road" has been named the most beautiful cycling trip in Norway on a number of occasions, and it’s popular among Norwegians as well as foreign tourists. On this trail, you can enjoy everything from magnificent mountain landscape to impressive engineering and the beautiful Flåmsdalen Valley. You can cycle the route from Finse to Flåm in a day. The route is mainly on gravel road and is relatively easy, so anybody with a little cycling experience can cycle here.
Rallarvegen has been named the most beautiful cycling route in Norway on a number of occasions. And with good reason. Over the course of a day, you’ll get to see everything from fantastic mountains landscapes to the dramatic Flåmsdalen Valley and the Aurlandsfjord at Flåm.
Your trip starts with a railway journey to Finse, the highest station in Norway, before cycling back along the Bergen Railway towards Myrdal and onwards along the Flåm Railway down to Flåm. At 1340 metres above sea level, between Finse and Hallingskeid, Fagernut is the highest point on this route. There may be a little snow on the ground here until late in the summer, but the road is normally possible from early/mid-July. You can cycle earlier in the summer from Hallingskeid and Myrdal / Vatnahalsen.
This is the longest part of the 21 km route, and also the only part where there’s an uphill gradient. Here, you can touch and feel the nature and the cultural history, with magnificent mountains, wild flowers along the road and walls and tunnels that were built by hand. The section between Finse and Hallingskeid goes up to Fagernut first – at 1343 metres above sea level, this is the highest point on the route. There’s an old guard dwelling at Fagernut that was still being used as late as 1964. If the café there is open, you can enjoy some waffles and a nice cup of coffee here.
Enjoy the view over the Hardangerjøkul glacier from the back of your bike, and take a moment to think about the people who’ve kept the railway open here all year round for more than a century.
The Bergen Railway opened in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1974 that Rallarvegen – the Navvy Road – opened up to cyclists. Nowadays, thousands of Norwegians and international tourists cycle the old works road between Haugastøl, Finse, Voss and Flåm every year.
The construction of the Bergen Railway between Oslo and Bergen in around 1900 is thought to have been one of the most challenging railway projects ever in Europe. Before they were able to start building the railway itself, they had to establish a works road for transporting materials into the mountains from Voss, Flåm and Geilo. This road, covering 120 kilometres in total, is the route we can cycle now. “Rallar” is an old Norwegian term for a travelling construction worker, usually Swedish or Norwegian – these were the people who built the road that ended up being named after them.
So cycling this route isn’t just a breathtaking look at nature, it’s also a trip through cultural history. Take the time to study some of the bridges and tunnels along the way. The Kleivabrua bridge at Kleivagjelet, between Hallingskeid and Myrdal, presented one of the biggest challenges on this railway project, and this beautiful stone bridge spanning 35 metres is a beautiful example of engineering art.
Tip: Read The Bridge Builders by Jan Guillou before heading out cycling!
There are 15 kilometres for flat and downhill sections from Hallingskeid to Vatnhalsen. The highlight of this section is Kleivagjelet ravine and the views across to the beautiful Kleivabrua bridge. We recommend you take a break to have your packed lunch and enjoy the views over the river and bridge. If you’re not great at balancing on two wheels or don’t like heights, you can walk past the ravine instead of cycling.
If you’d like to finish your trip by train from Myrdal or want to cycle on to Voss, cycle up the hill from Vatnahalsen to Myrdal station. If you’re heading to Flåm, carry on down past the Vatnahalsen Hotel.
Now, all you have left to do is the easy 17-kilometre stage down to Flåm. From Vatnahalsen, there are 21 hairpin bends alongside the river and the waterfall down Myrdalsberget. At the bottom, you’ll arrive at Kårdal and Rallarrosa Cheese Farm, which is open from June to September every year. If the café is open, we recommend treating yourself to a Norwegian pancake called svele, with fresh goat cheese here.
Between Vatnahalsen and Kårdal, you also have the option of swapping your bike for the Flåm Zipline. Scandinavia’s longest zipline opened in 2018 with a span of no less than 1,381 metres long and a maximum speed up to 100 kph. If case, your bike will be transported down for you.
Your trip on towards the fjord will be on gravel road first, then an asphalt road. When you’ve cycled in peace and quiet from Finse, it’s easy to forget that this section of the Rallarvegen is shared with motorised traffic. So take your time around the corners. The lush, wild Flåmsdalen Valley is a brilliant place to cycle in itself, and can be cycled earlier in the year than the rest of Rallarvegen. When you arrive in Flåm, return your hired bike and check in at the Fretheim Hotel.
You are heading up into the mountains, and it wouldn’t be unusual for you to encounter snowdrifts - even in the middle of summer. So we recommend you carry decent clothing with you, ideally layered as you’ll find it gets warmer as you approach the fjord.
The easiest thing to do is hire a bike at Finse and return it in Flåm. You can also hire a bike in Flåm and take it with you on the train up to Finse, or take along your own bike. Remember that there’s coarse gravel on this route at times, so leave the racing bike at home.
Bring along plenty of food and drink for your journey. If you book the Rallarvegen package at Fretheim Hotel, you can make a packed lunch at breakfast.
The recommended lower age limit is 12, but younger children may also enjoy the experience if they’re experiences cyclists. Sitting in a bike trailer on this road, which is bumpy and covered in coarse gravel at times, would on the other hand not be a pleasant experience.