Ernst Furuhatt

Cycle from Bodø to the island world of Knut Hamsun

Norway’s third finest cycle tour is the route from Bodø to Kjerringøy, from where you can continue on from Steigen to Hamarøy. Here you will find the landscape made famous in the novels of Knut Hamsun. Coastal villages, sandy beaches and idyllic country roads.

On 27 October 2010 viewers of NRK’s early evening magazine programme “Førkveld” and visitors to the website voted the cycle tour between Bodø and Kjerringøy the country’s third finest cycle tour!

“You wish you could give a medal to the person who invented the bicycle. This is a real holiday! You pedal a bit harder up the slight gradient and feel your muscles pushing the bike to go faster. You have just had a rest stop at a secluded beach, lying in the grass listening to the sounds of the w it’s good to be back in the saddle. You take a deep breath and store up the memories of summer: the sharp tang of the sea air mixed with the gentle fragrance of wild flowers. ”

The area is a cycle friendly destination

The stretch is one of the “National Cycle Routes”, and is on the list of the country’s most cycle-friendly destinations. The tour between Bodø and Kjerringøy is also rated as Norway`s 3. finest cycleroutes! If you choose to duck off from the main road you will find peaceful fishing stands, idyllic farmsteads and a diversity of island landscapes. If you want to travel from Kjerringøy to Steigen, you have to board a local boat route, in which do not go every day. Good planning will make sure that this boat tour will be memorable.

Practical information about the journey

Bodø is accessible by plane, boat and road. The Visit Bode webpage can give you more information on where the trails starts and ends and more information about the area to make the most of your time there.

We would recommend the summer months because the roads are free of ice and most attractions are open. You also get to see the midnight sun and sometimes make the most of the warm/ hot weather that drifts over from Russia. However if you are intent on taking a bike ride under the aurora then autumn is also a great time to visit. Snow is not often laying during September in this region and we get enough darkness to see good aurora displays. But remember to have reflective clothing on at all times if cycling in the dark.

Discover Norway has some great organised cycle tours for all abilities not just in this region but all across Norway. For short trips around Kjerringøy Sirilund Handel offer bike rental meanwhile you can find more information about that area and enquire at Kjerringoy -ekte eventyr. Within Bodø itself there are various companies that offer bike rental, it’s best to shop around. Some companies will even deliver the bicycle to you at the airport.

The route will take you from white sandy beaches to mountain terrain

The journey from Bodø to Kjerringøy passes through a lovely coastal landscape, then along white sandy beaches in a varied mountain terrain. What about a round of golf under the midnight sun at Myklebostad on the road between Bodø and Kjerringøy?

In the late 19th century Kjerringøy Handelssted was one of the richest trading houses in the whole of Northern Norway. It has been used as a location for several films, including Benoni and Rosa, Pan, The Telegraphist and I am Dina.

Bicycles are an environmentally friendly way of getting around

Bicycles are an environment-friendly means of transport. Along this route you will find many things to see and do that fall under the heading “eco-tourism”. One of these is “The Growth of the Soil” (Markens Grøde) at the farm, Kjerringøy Gård. Here you can see how cheese is made. Bread is also baked in a wood-burning stone oven, and meat from the farm’s own organic herds is turned into a variety of cured delicacies. You can have a taste at the pleasant farm cafe, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and buy some of the local delicacies to keep you going on your journey.

Visit ancient sites and Hamsun’s childhood home

Steigen is an undiscovered jewel of a place, with countless recorded sites of historic interest. Traditional trading posts like Løvøy and Grøtøy have been fully restored. At Engeløya you will find a village green (Bygdetun) along with the rectory garden (Prestegårdshagen), a medieval church (Middelalderkirke), historic park (Fortidspark) and Batterie Dietl, one of Europe’s largest coastal fortifications. At Hamarøy you can also visit Knut Hamsun’s childhood home.

The Vestfjord Route takes you away from the masses

If you are looking for peace and quiet, without too many tourists or heavy traffic, the country’s third most beautiful cycle tour is just the thing. A few fjords to cross by car or fast passenger ferry, giving you time to stretch your legs, breathe in the fresh sea breeze and enjoy the spectacular landscape from another angle. The stretch is part of the Vestfjord Route, which continues on to Lofoten.

Facts about the journey

  • Start and stop: Bodø.
  • Distance: Approx. 195 km one way. Approx. 450 km including the cycle route around Lofoten and back to Bodø.
  • Height difference: Approx. 100 m.
  • Family friendly: The routes on Kjerringøy and in Steigen are well suited for children cycling their own bikes.
  • Signposting: Normal road signs.
  • Cycling conditions: The routes mostly follow the coastline with few hills. Some stretches are gravelled. Little traffic on Kjerringøy and in Steigen. A mountain bike is not necessary.
  • By boat: Fast passenger ferry from Tårnvik on Kjerringøy to Nordfold in Steigen. Fast passenger ferry from Bodø to Helnessund, Nordskot or Bogøy in Steigen. Fast passenger ferry from Bogøy in Steigen to Skutvik on Hamarøy. Car or fast passenger ferry from Skutvik on Hamarøy to Svolvær in Lofoten.