Tour of Norway – The Arctic Race

29 July – 12 August 2019, 16 days / 15 nights

RIDE Holidays ventures to the Arctic for the first time. Breath-taking scenery combined with Norwegian hospitality. Fantastic wildlife and jaw dropping cycling. Even though it’s a new destination, the RIDE Holidays culture will remain the same as on all our trips. We’ll find the right balance between cycling, eating, drinking, resting as well as checking out all of Norway’s must do’s. The staff will be a mixture of familiar faces, combined with local Norwegians.

July 2019 is a long way away. The Arctic Race won’t be finalised until late 2018. Even though the actual race is only a small part of the overall itinerary we are happy to take fully refundable bookings up until the final itinerary is presented.


Day 1 – Monday 29 July

Welcome to Tromso, Arctic Capital and your home for the next four nights. We will meet you at the airport. Today is all about putting the bikes together and popping out for a short city ride. If renting then the team will make sure that you feel comfortable. There’s no rush to get on the bike as it doesn’t get dark at all in this part of the world in July & August. Happy hour isn’t until 10pm. Tonight we dine at Emmas Drømmekjøkken. (how’s your Norwegian? Drømmekjøkken in english translates to Dream Kitchen) Over dinner (with Arctic bubbles) we’ll discuss the plan for the next few days and introduce the team. It’s great to have you here.

Accommodation – Quality Hotel Saga Tromsø
Meals included – Dinner

Day 2 – Tuesday 30 July

There’s no need to get up at 6am on this trip. After a leisurely breakfast we’ll hit the road. Today is all about exploring Tromsø. Via bike as well as cable car. We spend a lot of time riding along the coast towards Oldervik. A tint (but beautiful) fishing village 40km northeast of the capital. You’ll know when you get to Oldervik because the road simply stops. Norway is not short on wildlife opportunities and today’s a pretty good day to keep an eye open. Both on land and sea. If it’s white big and kind of fluffy then – bike faster. Like all our rides over the next two weeks we’ll have a support vehicle hand if you don’t want to ride back.

Accommodation – Quality Hotel Saga Tromsø
Meals included – Breakfast and Dinner


Day 3 – Wednesday 31 July

Ever biked under the sea? Norway loves tunnels. They also love cyclists which is why they’ve developed a safe system for cyclists sharing with motorists. Our target today is Malangen – a very up market resort with an average night cost of almost NZD600.00. (just to clarify – we won’t be staying… ) Our rides today are 80km and 149km. Nothing in between unless you feel like a swim. Tonight we dine at Fiskekompaniet and on the menu is Reindeer steak. (don’t tell Flynn) Some of you may then like to go home for a nap before we experience the absolute must - Midnight Sun concert at the Arctic Cathedral (11pm) A big day, a great day.

Accommodation – Quality Hotel Saga Tromsø
Meals included – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 – Thursday 01 August

Today’s ride heads out to Lyngen and I must admit almost choking on my cornflakes when I first start researching today’s ride. The stats from Tromso were 191km, 6220m climbing. Hmmm, what you talking about Willis!! I questioned the 6000m and thankfully it’s wrong. In fact, most of the cycling follows the coast. We’ll also shorten the 191km to more manageable distance. If you want to look impressive then keep your garmin on while we’re on the ferry crossings. Lyngen is very famous for it’s skiing in the winter and biking in the summer. It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to educate you on Norway’s indigenous - Sami people. Tonight we pack as tomorrow we start our 6 day island to island bike ride. Boom.

Accommodation – Quality Hotel Saga Tromsø
Meals included – Breakfast


Day 5 – Friday 02 August

The next 5 days are more about quality than quantity. Put simply – they aren’t long days in the saddle however you won’t be complaining as the scenery is breath-taking. There are also numerous ferries (up to 2hrs long) that we need to factor in. So, 55km could in fact take us the whole day. Especially when one stops for fresh crayfish for lunch. Anyway, day 1 takes us to Sommarøy. Door to door is about 60km. The actual cycling is reasonably flat (false flat) except for one 200m climb. It’s the 1000m peaks that spring up out of the sea which are much more impressive – we won’t make you bike up those. Tonight we dine on Summer Island. Afterwards we’d recommend a stroll around Hillesøytoppen (top of the hill?) which gives you stunning views of Senja island.

Accommodation – Sommarøy
Meals included – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 – Saturday 03 August

Today’s bike ride is challenging… Espresso riders will cover 100km. Latte and cappuccino 60km. We ride from Sommarøy to Brensholmen, only 7 km, and then board a ferry(45 min) to the small village of Botnhamn in Senja island. We then bike to Senjahopen / Mefjord Brygge for lunch – a very remote scenic fishing village with a population of 191. We should be a big hit in town. This afternoon we ride to Hamn via the Geitskards-tunnel. You may actually need some climbing legs as some of the climbs approach 10%. Let’s call that undulating. We also visit the Senja Troll. The largest troll statue in the world. The troll has been given a wife. So, let’s visit them and then roll on. This evening we pop out for some dinner. As in catching our dinner. Fishing and biking go hand in hand. Like coffee. We don’t have a plan B. Given that it’s the main industry in these parts we should be pretty safe.

Accommodation – Hamn
Meals included – Breakfast and Dinner (fish)

Day 7 – Sunday 04 August

It’s important that at this stage of this trip we offer a three figure ride. Some of you will be feeling frisky. So, before breakfast we head out for a quick 40km loop. It’s then back to the hotel to catch up with the latte group before we set out for the planned 65km ride to Andenes.

Today’s ride is anything but flat so 100km plus is a pretty good test. Many will see the 2hr ferry ride to Andoya Island as being the highlight. Make sure you keep an eye open for whales. In fact, this afternoon there’s the opportunity of doing a whale watching tour if you like. Andenes has it's own Northern Lights Centre which is well worth a visit. Although unlikely we will see the real thing in August. This region is also well known for it’s sandy beaches. Anyone brave enough for a swim? Oh, did I mention that tonight we head to the natural hot pools. In fact, one of the largest in Scandinavia.

Accommodation – Bo
Meals included – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 – Monday 05 August

Sort land is our destination today. Known as the blue town. I’ve got a good idea – how about we all wear blue. (and pink) The locals will appreciate the effort. The ride is only 70km. We’ll experience Typical Arctic scenery - almost Fiordland like. We like the idea of getting to Sortland early as it’s fairly big town (10000 people) with all the facilities. By now you will have cycled 9 days in a row so the legs will be weary. We’ve set up massage and will take bookings in advance.Some of you will all need some down time. Catch up on washing, send a few emails, phone home… You’re free for dinner however our recommendation is the Northern Lights Pizza. It isn’t far away from where we are staying.

Accommodation – Sortland
Meals included – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 – Tuesday 6 August

Another day in paradise. All you have to do today is eat, drink and ride your bike. That’s all. Total distance is 75km as we ride from Sortland to Stokmarknes and on to Melbu where we hop on a ferry which takes us to Svolvaer, our destination for this evening. We ride on the outer side of Hadseløya. Keep an eye open today for Muskox, a massive creature that looks a bit like a love child from a yak and a buffalo. Unwise to pat. And some usless information – it’s name derives from the strong musky odor emitted (by the males of course) during the rutting season. Rumour has it they quite like lycra.

Tonight we are in for a bit of fun as we head down to the local ice bar. Claiming to be the largest ice bar in the world. Entry includes all warm clothing to cover you from head to ankle, included gloves. Oh, and a shot of their signature drink served in an ice glass. That’s sure to warm us up…

Accommodation – Svolvaer
Meals included – Breakfast

Day 10 – Wednesday 7 August

We start with coffee. By the way, did you know that - consumption per capita rates among the highest in the world. Top three in fact. That’s got to be a good thing. Today is the last day of our island hopping adventure as we ride from Svolvær to Moskenes. The highlight being one of Norways prettiest towns – Nusfjord which is also famous for it’s fish soup. This afternoon we take our last of many ferries (129km) to Bodø. The next three days are all about the Arctic Race.

Meals included – Breakfast and Dinner

Arctic Race : Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 August 2019

We won’t be in a position to confirm this part of the tour until late 2018 which is when race organisers confirm the route. Best case scario it will be held in the Bodø area. Worse case it will be held in Kirkenes which will involve a flight or two. One thing that we can guarantee is the inclusion of the Sportive which is held on this Saturday. On the same day as the finish of the third stage of the professional Arctic Race of Norway in Tromsø, Tromsø CK organizes this year's Arctic Race of Norway Challenge. The race is 120 km long, with the last 30 km on the same course as the professionals. This will enable participants to compare themselves to the world's best cyclists.

Monday 12 August

After breakfast we all go our separate ways. Thank you once again for joining RIDE Holidays. Sae travels home.

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Tour Highlights and inclusions

  • Four days spent in and around Tromso. We explore three local rides while here.
  • Midnight Sun concert at the Arctic Cathedral.
  • 6 day island to island bike// ferry excursion. Featuring Senja Island
  • 3 days of the 2019 Arctic Race including possible V.I.P viewing opportunities
  • Third stage of the Arctic race offers a 120km Sportive. (shorter distances are available)
  • Ride at your pace. No pressure. Multiple ride options daily
  • 3 - 4 star hotels where possible
  • All breakfasts and 10 dinners
  • Cold drinks from the van, bananas etc
  • 5 to 6 staff depending on final numbers
  • Souvenir booklet, itinerary included
  • RIDE Holidays cycling jersey
  • GPS assistance & physical maps
  • 10 week training program – designed for the hills

The Price Excludes

  • Airfares and extra accommodation
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory!
  • Meals, alcohol not indicated in itinerary

Approximate Tour Cost (per person - New Zealand Dollars)

$8900.00 NZD per person
$1500.00 NZD - Single room supplement
$750.00 NZD - Bike hire

The initial deposit of $750.00 is 100% refundable. We will release the final itinerary, cost in November or December 2018 once we finalise the Arctic Race itinerary. At that stage you can cancel and have your money back if you don’t want to proceed. Or pay a 2nd deposit of $1750.00. You are then 100% committed. Full payment will be 90 days prior to departure.

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