RALLARVEGEN FROM MOUNTAINS TO FJORD
A historic bike journey from Northern Europe´s highest mountain plateau to the lush Flåm Valley.
Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik / www.fjordnorway.com
All cycling at Vatnahalsen takes place along Rallarvegen, whether you want to pick up a bike at Haugastøl or Finse and cycle over the mountain, or just want to ride from Vatnahalsen down to Flåm.
Few bicycle trips compete with Rallarvegen, also known as the "navvy road". This classic trip is 80 km long and runs from Haugastøl through Finse and Hallingskeid to Vatnahalsen and Flåm. The road was constructed around 1900, and was used for the transportation of equipment and materials for the construction of the Bergen Railway. Nowadays, the road is used by cyclists and has lately been named the finest bicycle road in Norway.
Vatnahalsen Hotel is the perfect base when exploring the Rallarveg. You can take the train from Myrdal by Vatnahalsen to Haugastøl or Finse, and for those who want a short trip, Hallingskeid is a nice place to start. Whether you start from Hallingskeid or Finse you will have an unforgettable trip. You go through magnificent scenery, among other things is the unique flora – several plants only grow in this area. The trip starts high up in the bare mountainside, and descending towards the fjord, the flora grows richer. In several places you can see impressing stone bridges and walls, built more than 100 years ago by hand. Along the road there are also several homes, back in time occupied by the railroad-workers. They lived here with their families all year round. You may have a stop by the Fagernut residence, 1300 metres above sea level. Here you will find a cafè and an exhibiton about the life in the residence back in time.
The part between Hallingskeid and Vatnahalsen is probably the best. The surroundings are green and fertile, and the Kleven gorge is spectacular and wild. Back at Vatnahalsen you can enjoy an "after-bike"-refreshment in the sun with a view of the mountain area you just cycled through.
Everyone who feels moderately safe on a bike can ride Rallarvegen. From Finse to Vatnahalsen it is 38 kilometres, and from Hallingskeid to the hotel it is 17 kilometres.
– Packed lunch
You need to bring:
– A helmet
– Solid shoes
– Waterproof and windproof clothes
– Backpack that keeps your clothes dry
– Patch kit in case of a flat tyre