Tour of Norway - The Arctic Race

05-20 August 2019, 16 days / 15 nights | SOLD OUT

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 RH culture will remain the same as on all our trips. We'llfind 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.



OUR CYCLE TOUR Of NORWAY ITINERARY

Day 1 - Monday 05 August 

Welcome to Tromso, Arctic Capital and your home for the next two 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 06 August

There's no need to get up at 6am on this rip. 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 ridingalong 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 (Dinner own arrangements)


Photo-Kjetil-Hanssen-Tromsø-Fotostudio

Day 3 - Wednesday 07 August

The next 7 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 65km. The actual cycling is reasonably flat (false flat) except for one 200m climb. It's the 1000m peaks thatspring 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 4 - Thursday 08 August

Today is logistically challenging. Total ride distance is 70km however it will take us all day to do this. Please keep in mind that we’ll have support vehicles around us at all times. Today starts with a 7km ride from Sommarøy to Brensholmen where we board a ferry (1 hour) to the small village of Botnhamn on Senja island. It’s then a 70km ride to Gryllefjord before catching yet another ferry to our destination for the next two nights on the island of Andøya.  The beautiful village of Andenes, with its rich fishing history, is northern Norway's main base for whale-watching. The town has a lonely, end-of-the-road feel. Stand on the windswept harbour side quay and stare out into the North Atlantic and you'll see what we mean.

Accommodation - Andenes
Meals included - Breakfast and Dinner

Photo-Kjetil-Hanssen-Tromsø-Fotostudio

Day 5 - Friday 09 August

When we looked at the original itinerary we decided that there were simply too many one night stays. It’s no fun packing and unpacking every day. So, we added an extra night in Andenes. The cabins have full facilities so you may feel like a day off… maybe even a spot of laundry. Dean will be on hand to help. There are two coasts on Andoya. Weride the eastern side today saving he western side for tomorrow. It’s an out and back. Basically, turn around when you’ve had enough – there’s only one road. Maximum distance is a shade over 90km. It would be pretty easy topping up for those wanting the Strava triple digits.  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 fora swim?

Accommodation - Andenes
Meals included - Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 - Saturday 10 August

At all times we will have two vans around us. There will be 3 guides on the road. Generally speaking - we see the group naturally splitting up in to two groups. We won’t put a km/hr number on it. Let’s just call it espresso followed by cappuccino. Please keep in mind that we when we aren’t catching ferries then we don’t have a time schedule. If you want to stop then please do so. Take as many photos as you like. Rule number one – you are on holiday.  

Accommodation - Boarea  
Meals included - Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 - Sunday 11 August

Sortland is our destination. 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 80km. 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 7 days in a row so the legs will be weary. We'll set up massage and will take bookings in advance. Sortland is actually the epicentre of our trip. We’re back here on Friday for two nights as it’s the main town for the 2019 Artic race.

Accommodation - Sortland 
Meals included - Breakfast and Dinner


Day 8 - Monday 12 August

Another day in paradise. All you have to do today is eat, drink and ride your bike. That's all. The longest ride on offer for today is 115km as we ride from Sortland to Svolvaer. 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 us less 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 (Dinner own arrangements)

Day 9 - Tuesday 13 August

Tomorrow is complicated. Today is easy. Hop on your bike and ride 70km. That’s all you need to do. Leknes has a population of 3000 although at this time of the year there are often cruise ships in. Leknes is one of the few towns in Lofoten that does not depend on fishing and does not have its town centre by the sea. It’s natural surroundings are among the most stunning in Norway, with mountains,peaks, cliffs, and white sandy beaches. Our sim is to have you there by early afternoon.  

Accommodation - Leknes 
Meals included - Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

Day 10 - Wednesday 14 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’s plan will be determined by the ferry timetable – once released. At a shade over 3hrs the ferry to Bodo is the longest we will experience. Early indications are that it’s either a 7am or 7pm departure. Neither are particularly friendly a sour hotel is 60km away from where the boat leaves. We’ll make a call on that closer to the time. If we catch the early then we’ll ride late. And reverse the scenario for the late ferry if need be.

Accommodation - Bodo  
Meals included - Breakfast and Dinner  

Day 11 - Thursday 15 August

Something a bit different today. 30km away from our hotel is Saltstraumen Maelstrom. Let’s all say that quickly 10 times…  In all seriousness - Saltstraumen is a must see.  Up to 400 million cubic metres of seawater forces its way through a 3-kilometre long and 150-metre wide strait every six hours.Creating the strongest tidal current on the planet. The current is created when the tide tries to fill Skjerstad Fjord. The height difference between the sea level and the fjordinside can be up to 1 metre (3 ft 3 in). No swimming please. From Saltstraumen you can choose to ride as far as you want. It’s an out and back course. So, 60, 80 or 120km. Totally up to you.    

Accommodation - Bodo  
Meals included - Breakfast and Dinner  

Day 12 - Friday 16 August

Today is a day off the bike as we have about a 4 hour drive back up to Sortland. It would be good to give your legs a rest with Sundays Sportive looming. The next two days are all about the Arctic Race.The secret to watching a bike race is not to see it too many times which is why we missed today's stage. The drive would have been too long. You will see the race 5 times over the next two days. So, it’s all about relaxing and is officially the only non-riding day on tour. (weather depending of course) Tomorrows race start is actually in Sortland so the professionals will arrive tonight. We are working with race organisers for a special v.i.p experience.  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 (Dinner own arrangements)


Day 13 – Saturday 17 August

Race day. We have the perfect day planned. The aim is to see the race start in downtown Sortland. The course then heads north to Myre so we’ll ride 20km in the opposite direction to the finish line at Melbu. Our ride will only be 40km. If you don’t feel like riding then we’ll take the vans. There will also a few formalities to deal with for tomorrow's big event. Tonight we carbo load. Tomorrow is a big day. 

Accommodation - Sortland
Meals included - Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 – Sunday 18 August

Your chance to test yourself against the pros. Also your chance to see how fit you are after two weeks on the bike.We won’t know the exact fondo (sportive) distance for a while yet. Indications are that the longest ride will be 130km. Shorter options will of course be available. The actual start is about a 60km transfer from our Sortland hotel. The route is from Lødingen to Narvik viaTjeldsundbrua, Grovfjord and Bjerkvik. After we’ve finished we can sit back and watch the race. The exciting part being that you will get to see the race three times as they ride a circuit of Narvik. Tonight we sit back and celebrate over dinner.  

Accommodation Narvik
Meals included - Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 – Monday 19 August

We’re in the vehicles today as it’s a 3hr drive back to Tromso. The idea is to pop out for a short coffee ride prior to leaving.Once we’re back in the big city we’ll help dismantle the bikes and then head out for our final meal together.  

Day 16 – Tuesday 20 August

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

Accommodation - Quality Hotel Saga Tromsø 
Meals included - Dinner


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Click map for a larger view



Tour Highlights and inclusions

  • Three days spent in and around Tromso.
  • 6 day island to island bike// ferry excursion. Featuring Senja Island
  • 2 stages (5 viewings) of the 2019 Arctic Race including possible V.I.P viewing opportunities
  • 4th 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
  • 4-5 staff depending on final numbers
  • Souvenir booklet, itinerary included
  • RIDE Holidays cycling jersey
  • GPS assistance & physical maps
  • 10 week training program

The Price Excludes

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

Approximate Tour Cost (per person - New Zealand Dollars)

$9500.00 NZD per person 
$1800.00 NZD - Single room supplement 
$750.00 NZD - Bike hire

The non-refundable deposit is $2,500.00 per person. The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.


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