Into the labyrinth: a unique world-first mountain bike tour Norway
Experience Norway as never before on our exclusive mountain biking expedition into the Norwegian fjords. You’ll steam deep into the labyrinth of fjords aboard your own private boat – Gåssten – which will deliver you to the wildest mountain ridges towering high above you. This mountain bike tour Norway is at its most raw, and is certainly not one for the faint-hearted! And with all meals – even wine and beer – included in the tour price, you needn’t worry about anything except getting dialled into the Norwegian trails.
When photographer Tim Winterburn joined us to shoot our new mountain bike tour Norway adventure, he got a bit more dramatic weather than even he had expected! Have a look through the image gallery to see what the fjords of Norway have in store for you… You can also read our photo story
“Every now and then something special comes along that really reinforces how great it is to be a mountain biker. The H+I adventure in The Fjords of Norway is one of those things.” Andy K., Australia
This mountain bike tour Norway Fjords is a true immersion into Norwegian outdoor culture, and here are the perfect moments you can look forward to:
- Stepping out on deck to marvel at a new view every morning
- Hiking your bike to the trail summit then gazing into the fjord below
- Being part of a team supporting each other on the boat and on the trails
- Catching fish from the deck to enjoy with wine at dinner
- Steaming through the grandeur of UNESCO-protected Geiranger fjord
- Loading your bikes and kit into small landing craft to access the trails
- Being spoiled by your own private chef cooking for you on the boat
Tour dates 2022
- 9 – 15 July
- 13 – 19 August (5 PLACES)
If you would like to travel with friends/ family you can charter the whole boat for a private tour (max 8 people). Contact us for all the details
Is this mountain bike tour Norway for you?
We want you to have the best experience in Norway, so it’s important to be sure that this is the perfect mountain bike tour, with the right level of challenge, for you.
You’re an expert mountain biker, riding most days a week through the season and comfortable on: technical climbs; technical, rugged singletrack descents; rock gardens; muddy, indistinct trails; hike-a-bike. Read more on our advanced+ skill level.
Enter the Labyrinth...
Mountain bike tour Norway Itinerary
This mountain bike tour Norway takes you into the labyrinth of the fjords, challenging your mountain biking skills, stamina and, at times, mental toughness. Because of the steep topography of the fjords you’ll be pushing and hiking your bike more than you ever have, then tackling steep, technical descents back to the boat.
- +Arrival in Molde - refresh + prepare for your adventure
We advise arriving into Norway, in the town of Molde, a day or two early to allow your body to adjust to local time and to make sure any flight or luggage delays don’t spoil your trip. We will recommend overnight accommodation in Molde for your pre-trip stay.
- +Day 1 - Welcome to Norway! Meet your crew + prep bikes
On the first day of your mountain bike tour Norway your guides will meet you at your H+I recommended hotel in Molde town.
Once everyone is together we’ll transfer to the vibrant harbour where you’ll take your first steps aboard the carefully converted minesweeper boat that is your home for the week as you explore the fjords by mountain bike. You’ll have time to settle in and meet the crew before we meet for a pre-trip briefing over lunch and bike building session on deck.
With handlebars straightened and chains lubed we’ll head out on our first ride on hidden singletrack, both natural and hand-made by locals, which weaves its way along the hillside and through the forest surrounding Molde.
When we return to the boat we’ll get showered and our captain will raise anchor from Molde harbour, heading for our first port at Veyoya Island. The adventure has most definitely begun!
Your talented chef who has been working all day in the galley, will serve dinner onboard in the boat’s comfortable dining room and you’ll savour your first, delicious three course meal of the trip. You can enjoy the last of your dinner wine on deck, before retiring to your cabin for a very good night’s sleep on this remarkably stable boat.
Distance cycled: 15km (app. 2.5 hours)
Altitude difference: 550m
Accommodation: Aboard Gåssten
Meals included: L, D
- +Day 2 - Atlantic ridge lines
You will be awoken by the smell of coffee and gentle creaking of the boat at anchor. After showering and preparing yourself for the day, you’ll climb out onto deck to breathe in the fresh, clean air of the fjords, before sitting down to a fabulous breakfast.
This morning we disembark the boat with bikes in tow, heading from Fanne fjord to the far west coast and the town of Farstad. From Farstad we set off up a rocky double track that gets steep in sections and could require some pushing. We hit a very picturesque lake vantage point, then push the bikes for 30 minutes until reaching a plateau at around 400m. From here the rest of the climb is ridable, but requires you to grit your teeth at a few sections!
As we reach the cairn at 670m we’ll pull on knee pads and descend a truly fabulous singletrack trail that changes character a few times, and leads us to a mountain hut with wood burning stove and an immense view out over the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll take a short break before recommencing our climb to a height of 760m, then point our bikes downwards into a very long, fast and, at times, technical descent back to sea level.
When we arrive back at the boat and your now familiar home, we’ll raise anchor and steam out of Fanne fjord, into Romsdals fjord and the town of Åndalsnes and our harbour for the evening.
Distance cycled: 18km (app. 5 hours)
Altitude difference: 950m
Accommodation: Aboard Gåssten
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 3 - Norwegian slick rock + the Troll's Road
When you wake this morning and head out on deck, you’ll be met with a view of the 1200m Romsdal peaks surrounding the boat. We’ll leave the harbour by van and head to the top of the world-famous Troll’s Road (or Staircase) in the Trollstigen mountains.
This is a spectacular place, almost too much for your eyes to take in, and you may even spot the occasional wing-suited adrenaline junkie flying past. We’ll peel off the road at the top of the staircase and climb 1000m to a corrie, which opens up into a view of a beautiful glacier with peaks towering above you to 1700m.
After a quick snack and many photos, we’ll start our descent on incredible, rocky singletrack, then onto super-grippy slick rock before blasting out onto the road again. But that’s not the end: we’ll ride down part of the Troll’s Staircase before pulling off onto sublime singletrack trail that will deliver us right back to town and the boat.
As you are showering and sorting kit, the team will ready the boat and steam through the night to our next stop at Stranda.
Distance cycled: 22km (app. 5 hours)
Altitude difference: 400m
Accommodation: Aboard Gåssten
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 4 - Stranda to Geiranger fjord
We have a more leisurely morning today, as through the night the crew have been moving the boat to an anchorage near Stranda and our next riding destination. Your chef will already have the breakfast and coffee on as you’re showering and getting ready for the day.
As breakfast settles, we’ll load mountain bikes and kit into the small boat to ferry everything to shore ready for a day of two halves.
You will start from the harbour on road, then a double track climb that takes you to the alluring tree line where we dismount and settle in to a one hour hike-a-bike that will take us out onto a 700m summit with breathtaking views across Stor fjord and towards to the imposing Geiranger fjord.
We’ll take this opportunity to fuel up with some lunch, then we’ll descend back down to the fjord, passing high alpine huts, entering the tree line and swooping on tight singletrack along the way.
As we reach Stranda there is a choice to make today; relax with an ice-cream and coffee at the harbour, or undertake a further ride that takes you to 800m and a refreshing mountain lake, for a second lunch and sunbathe, before embarking on a technical descent with rock rolls, natural lines and flowing forest trails, once again blasting us back out to the awaiting boat.
Once everything has been loaded up and you’re enjoying a well-earned beer the boat will steam into Geiranger fjord, a UNESCO-protected site, where taking photos will take priority over beer drinking!
We’ll anchor up here for the evening surrounded by the majesty of this remarkable landscape.
Distance cycled: 20km (app. 6 hours)
Altitude difference: 1,500m
Accommodation: Aboard Gåssten
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 5 - This is where things get real!
As you steam from Geiranger fjord this morning, you’ll experience one of the most spectacular breakfasts of your life, watching the immense fjord walls and waterfalls slowly passing you by as you sip your coffee.
Today will be the most technically challenging day of your expedition so far, so bring your big-boy pants, you’re going to need them!
Our destination is the small village of Fjorå, by the amazing and narrow Nordals fjord. From the boat we’ll transfer to 300m and then ride to 750m, where we’ll stop for a snack amongst traditional wooden cabins with grass roofs, overlooking the fjord down below and the mountains on the adjacent shore. From here to the summit of Mefjellet we push the bikes up to 1100m.
The next part of your day is true mountaineering mountain biking; technical at times, steep at times and flowing near the end. There will be some pushbike early on in the traverse, but the rest of the mountain ridge will be on magnificent singletrack. The descent back down to the fjord is through natural forest on technical singletrack.
On arriving at the fjord shore we have a short road ride to the boat where we’ll relax, do some fishing and enjoy the surroundings before our final day’s riding tomorrow.
Distance cycled: 17km (app. 5 hours)
Altitude difference: 1100m
Accommodation: Aboard Gåssten
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 6 - Dawn raid for flow in the fjords
This is your final day in the fjords and the last ride of the expedition, so you can be sure we’ve saved the best for last! To start the day you hop onto the small landing craft to take you and your bikes ashore to the small village of Fjorå.
Once on dry land you will have a gravel and tarmac road climb that will take you to the small village of Liabygda, before pushing or carrying your bike to the summit of Liahornet at 961 metres, high above the fjord.
This descent is one of the best and most diverse trails on this adventure. From the rocky mountain top and ridgeline, to technical alpine singletrack down through the tight forest lines, and out onto a flowing pump track-like forest trail that drops us straight back to the fjord floor and our boat.
As we celebrate this unforgettable adventure, the crew will steam to a tranquil anchorage en-route to your end location of Ålesund. As we steam you will have a few hours to sort and wash kit and prepare for your celebration dinner aboard the boat.
After another hard day in the galley your chef will deliver a meal that you will remember, in a location that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. All this accompanied by a few glasses of wine, laughter and stories from the week’s mountain bike expedition in the fjords of Norway.
Distance cycled: 16km (app. 5 hours)
Altitude difference: 1350m
Accommodation: Aboard Gåssten
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 7 - Departure
We steam to Ålesund early morning in time to pack bikes and depart for the airport. Sadly today we leave Norway behind, say our farewells and transfer to Ålesund airport around 10am for your onward flight.
Meals included: Breakfast
Please note: a mountain bike tour Norway is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in this part of Norway and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
- +Tour price
Mountain bike tour Norway Price
From £4,220 GBP/ $6,119 USD/ €5,275 EUR per person (based on two sharing a cabin, all ground costs included)
- Services of a professional mountain bike guide for the duration of the trip
- 6 nights accommodation onboard a converted minesweeper
- All meals and drinks aboard the boat (6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners)
- Your own crew and private chef for the duration of the trip
- Optional activities of fishing and stand up paddle boarding
- Private land transport as required by the itinerary
- All group safety equipment
- Global Rescue medical and evacuation services
- Laundry services aboard the boat
- International/ domestic flights
- Travel and activity insurance
- Tips for guides and boat crew
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Any other items not mentioned as included
Because of the nature of your accommodation on the boat, maximum group size on this adventure is eight riders, and we are unable to offer single occupancy of cabins.
H+I Adventures is bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), so you can be sure that when you book with us your money will be safe.
- +Skill + fitness levels required
Does this sound like you? Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect adventure for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.
Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.
- You were born on a bike!
- You can tackle anything the trail throws at you and have experience of riding all types of trail and obstacles (large, loose rocks, roots, drop-offs, logs, north shore…)
- You take every opportunity you can (4 -5 times per week) to get out on your bike, in all weathers, and you’re happy to ride all day long
- And the ‘+’ part of ‘Advanced+’ means that you will be up for taking on the challenge of long hike-a-bikes and long, technical descents, potentially in difficult weather conditions
- You have an excellent level of bike fitness, exercising four or five times every week throughout the year, for at least an hour at a time
- You are comfortable mountain biking up to six hours a day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for four or more consecutive days
- You can tackle several serious climbs a day, up to 600 metres each
Typical trails you’ll be riding
- The trails on our mountain bike tour norway are natural ‘rustic’ ancient walking paths of varying trail surface, that will require you to choose your own riding line and decide if it is suitable to ride. You may require to walk down certain sections and you can be sure you will be walking up trails
- The terrain rises steeply from the fjords, which will require you to carry and push your bike up climbs each day, although some of the climbs are rideable also
- Singletrack: steep up and down; you will encounter up to head-sized, fixed and loose rocks, as well as fixed bedrock style trails, roots, and ruts (some deep)
- The surface may be dry and loose, or wet and muddy depending on weather conditions
- You are likely to have wet feet!
- +Arrival + departure details
This mountain bike tour Norway commences in Molde and finishes at Ålesund airport, the main airport of the region. Ålesund and Molde airports are well catered for from Oslo, please let us know if you require any advice with flights.
You should arrive in Molde the day before your tour commences and stay in a local hotel in town, only ten minutes from Molde airport.
We have created this handy guide to spending 24 hours in Molde before the start of your Norway adventure.
On the first day of your mountain bike tour Norway adventure your guide will meet you at your hotel in Molde and transfer you by private shuttle to the harbour, where you’ll meet the boat that will be your home for the week. Once we’ve settled in we will build your bikes, have lunch and go for a teaser ride.
On the last day of your trip you will be returned to Ålesund airport by 10am to catch your onward flights.
If you wish to extend your trip to Norway please contact us and we can help you to organise this.
View our full calendar of departures for our mountain bike trips across the world.
- +Travelling to Norway
Norway has eight international airports (located in Bergen, Haugesund, Rygge, Oslo, Torp, Stavanger, Tromsø and Ålesund). The largest airport is Oslo (OSL), which offers international connections to North and South America, Europe and Oceania. 37 airlines offer regularly scheduled flights to and from Oslo airport.
Our mountain bike tour Norway starts from Molde and finishes in Ålesund, and there are connections from Oslo to both of these airports.
To enter Norway, all travellers have to show their identification documents (identity card or passport) and the stamped visa (depending on country of origin). Visitors from the Schengen countries do not need a passport or visa when entering Norway, but must show valid and sufficient ID. European Union ID-card or passport is recommended.
You should check your countries requirements here.
- +Preparing yourself + your bike for your adventure
Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your mountain bike tour Norway, so that you have everything you need! This tour is an adventurous undertaking and will require more mountaineering style clothing, not your usual thin biking outerwear.
Our mountain bike tour Norway is for advanced+ mountain bikers with level 4 fitness, (please remember, this is the Norwegian fjords, so terrain is steep, with some exposure) and to find out what this means read the explanation of our skill and fitness levels, above.
To get the most out of your mountain bike tour Norway you must plan plenty of training in advance of your tour, and it is essential that you ensure that your bike has been properly serviced before the trip.
For this adventure you must travel with your own bike, and we have some handy tips and video on how to pack your bike for travel.
- +Your mountain bike guides in Norway
Our mountain bike guides in Norway are of the highest level. They are qualified in first-aid and they have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these remote, wild and beautiful parts of the Norwegian fjords.
Our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the trails of the fjord area and will be able to enhance your trip with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna. They’re also genuinely nice people and will do their best to make sure that everyone in the group has a great time.
- +Accommodation + food
One of the things that sets our tours apart from others is the unique local accommodation we use, and this is certainly the case in Norway.
This entire adventure will be based on our Scandinavian 8-berth, wooden-hulled boat that we will use to explore the fjord region of Norway. It is family owned, and operated by a dedicated small team. We have researched these areas extensively to find the perfect way to explore the fjords of Norway, and we have created this unique floating haven that enables us to be in the right spot each day to ride the best trails available in Norway.
While onboard you will be catered for by your own private chef who will craft delicious food for you three times a day during this adventure. It will be a set menu, that will be tailored to any dietary requirements, but we encourage you to eat what the locals eat – organic traditional Norwegian food.
- +Health + safety
Vaccines: Currently, no vaccines or medical examinations are required for entering Norway.
Water: The water is generally safe for consumption. However, take care not to drink from rivers or streams near agricultural land.
Public Health System: Public hospitals and emergency services are required to attend to any person in need of emergency assistance. The country features high-quality medical centers, clinics and hospitals.
Safety and Natural Dangers: As in all parts of the world, the primary safety precautions apply to big cities.
Also, please let us know if you have any special food requirements, allergies or pre-existing conditions your guides should know about.
You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad.
Your health and safety is on tour our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.
- +Currency + foreign exchange
The official currency of Norway is the Norwegian Kroner (NOK). Most international credit cards are accepted in towns, but since all of your food and drink is included in the cost of your tour, you won’t need to bring much cash with you or use your card often.
It is not compulsory to tip your guides or crew in Norway, but if you’ve had a wonderful experience, you can tip at your discretion. As a guide, we suggest a tip of 5% of your tour cost could be given for the whole team if you feel you’ve had a great experience on this mountain bike tour Norway.
- +Holiday insurance
You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage.
We work closely with WorldNomads whose policies are specially designed for mountain bike holidays and you can arrange your insurance cover directly with them.
Please note: Our mountain bike tour Norway is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in this part of Norway and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
Mountain bike tour Norway reviews
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“Norwegians”, our guide Ole explained to me over a glass of scotch, “will always offer to help anyone to succeed in their journey— no matter how hard or crazy it might be”. We had been talking for some time and had found ourselves discussing one of Norway’s greatest explorers and humanitarians— Fridtjof Nansen. I had made the comment that Nansen, in particular, offered to help Peary plan and carry out an expedition to the north pole and Scott to achieve the south pole, even though his countryman Amundsen had the same objective. “That’s not the point”, Ole continued, with his characteristically mischievous smile. “And they declined his help anyway”.
Cat from H+I contacted me in the fall of 2016 about their inaugural Norway expedition. From my last trip with H+I to Torridon, she knew my love of adventure on the edge and that I would need little convincing. To make sure, she sent me a picture of the beautiful Gasten and carefully stressed the word “expedition”. I was in. Who wouldn’t be? It just took 3 years for me to finally arrive last August. This morning I found myself wandering through my pictures and re-living many of the individual moments that made me laugh fully, and those that moved, inspired or challenged me. As I process again the very collective experience of a remarkable group of new friends growing together through an expedition the success of which was built from equal parts adventure and solitude, laughter and open warmth, vigorous discussions and simply improbable meals, I start to understand the simple insight of Ole’s words and even the smile behind them. Indeed, this H+I trip is far more than a collection of epic rides. Now, to be clear, the rides are as epic: The riding is exceptional for the varied, demanding and exposed terrain and is made even more dramatic by the weather. It requires high-level fitness and bulletproof skills along with focus, resolve and mental endurance. However, like many H+I trips, it is not just about riding— it is a quiet invitation into a new world.
Norway’s fjords are beautiful, rugged and unforgiving. Accessing this labyrinth by sea on the Gasten, with each day’s journey more committing than the last, they grow, however, also to be alluring and arresting for their silence and visceral intensity. Those who go to this world for adventure are drawn to wild places and experiences that change them. Sven and Ole understand this power uniquely. Sven’s stunningly and elegantly refurbished Gasten reflects both his passion for enabling and sharing adventure and his attention to the smallest details that can make or break a trip like this one. Days are full. Each morning began for me with a lingering coffee on deck with sunrise and a book. Following some careful discussion and planning of the day’s objective with Ole, Sara- a self-taught magician of a cook- produced breakfast and pack lunches. Her irrepressible smile and a wave from Sven then saw us off onto whatever was on tap for the day. Several days involved amphibious landings of sorts with Sven’s polite, statuesque intern Vessa shuttling our group and kit to a remote take off. The fjords are steep— this is adventure riding with long carries every day to improbable places, followed, in turn, by descents that are uniformly engaging and sometimes absorbing beyond measure. Days finish with a swim, some kind of unbelievable baked good or appetizer, a few beers and lots of stories about the day’s adventure. Dinners and deserts were without equal. Anywhere. As the days passed and grew more intense, our deliberate immersion into this world became evident in how our stories got richer and more specific. In our laughter and banter. A group of strangers entered this labyrinth and emerged through what is a truly remarkable experience as close friends.
The only trouble with trips like this is that they end. ¡Hasta la próxima!
This is my second trip with H+I and, as with the first, it was an exceptional experience in every way. Our guide, Ole, and Captain, Sven and his superb crew, were absolutely terrific. The riding and scenery were stunning, and each day brought spectacular views, trails, and adventure.
The boat was beautiful and exceptionally comfortable, the food delicious and plentiful, and after riding activities (such as swimming and paddle boarding) were a great way to relax after a well-earned day in the mountains! Sitting on the upper deck of the boat while moored in remote fjords with mountains pushing high above was truly amazing. This is an incredible adventure and one of the best ways to experience Norway and truly take in the beauty of this amazing country. A must-do for bikers and vikings alike!!
I'll be reflecting on this trip for the rest of my life. Regardless of whether onboard the Gassten, on the bike, or hiking, the beauty of the country is staggering. Waterfalls, alpine lakes, forests, rocky peaks, and scenic port towns were the backdrop for our daily business. The athletic demands were high, as promised, and more rewarding than expected. It was always a treat to return to the boat for wonderful meals, camaraderie, and even swimming in the (surprisingly warm) Norwegian Sea.
We were in expert hands as our guide, Ole, shared his favorite trails, views, and knowledge of the area. Captain Sven and his crew were the ultimate in gracious hosts. Something tells me our paths will cross again.
Everything has been great, the people, the guide, the boat and its crew, the food, the landscapes, the weather (well, not always but we don't want things to be too easy!), and oh my god the trails. It has been epic, but not too rough because the boat is really cozy and has all the comforts you need. Train yourself not only on the bike before the trip, but also hiking! There will be a lot, and i struggled a bit because i've trained only on the bike.
It's really hard to describe how awesome this trip is. Absolutely epic hike-a-bikes and fast descents with a fantastic group of people. Straight up from sea level to breathtaking landscapes and some of the most amazing riding I have ever done down grippy slabs, rocky ridgelines, flowy dirt and crazy, rooty (and rocky of course) chutes that were never-ending (literally - I do not think I have ever kept my brakes squeezed so hard for so long on any trail ever).
We crossed alpine meadows with snow-capped mountains all around us, following narrow swaths of dirt and rock and sometimes catching a glimpse of the HMS Gassten far below in the glittering fjord.
This is REAL mountain biking. We were basically the Fellowship of the Ring with bikes. And then after a great day of riding, ridiculous grins plastered on our faces, we were treated like royalty on our very own BOAT!
The crew (Sven, Pip and Phil), the guide (Martin) and fellow riding companions on the trip were all some of the most interesting people I have met with tons of great stories and anecdotes to tell over delicious meals served outside on the deck with views of looming mountainsides and cascading waterfalls (I should also note that everyone went out of their way to supply me with a bike, clothes, hair ties and free socks after my luggage went missing for three days at the start).
Definitely a trip of a lifetime. The only downside was the severe post-trip withdrawal...
Bikes, mountains, fjords, ocean, weather, ships, great food and amazing people...what’s not to love. This trip is serious up and pretty amazing and rugged down and much of the up has your bike riding you for a change.
The scenery is incredible and at the end of the day the B&B sails off to the next amazing ride while you eat great food, swim and share life with a great crew and an eclectice and super supportive group of really solid riders ...cause who else would be on this trip.
Our guide Martin was superior and Captain Sven, Pip and Phil made us feel incredibly welcome.
H+I has set up a truly amazing trip from start to finish. Thanks to all.
Charlie, Vancouver, Canada
So I decided to take the plunge and book this trip as an early 40th birthday present to myself after having a great time the previous year on the coast-to-coast trip in Scotland.
I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The trip is a truly epic adventure on all fronts.
The riding is quite easily the toughest I have ever done with tricky hike-a-bike sections and sustained technical descents. I don’t think I have ever ridden anywhere else where you can experience granite slabs, huge boulder fields, arctic tundra, pine forest and rocky, rooty river bed single track in one single descent.
The trip is definitely expert plus and was a step up from the coast-to-coast. You will also need to be very honest with your levels of fitness if you are considering this trip (don’t neglect upper body strength too as you will be carrying your bike for long periods of time). Our guide Martin struck the perfect balance between instruction, encouragement and knowing when to just let us find our own level.
If you are up for the challenge however the reward is simply breathtaking and will leave you grinning from ear-to-ear for weeks afterwards.
But......the great thing about this trip is that the riding is only part of the adventure. Life on-board HMS Gassten adds to the whole experience in a way that even the nicest B&B would struggle to match. The service from Sven and his crew (Pip & Phil when I went) was absolutely first rate. There truly is nothing that beats waking up in the morning and sitting on the deck as you steam through the Fjord with a fresh cup of coffee on the go.
In summary, if you are honest with yourself in terms of fitness and technical ability then you really won’t be disappointed. This is the trip of a lifetime......
This is not just a bike trip, this is an Adventure. You feel and breathe Norway 24/7. You live in this charming boat where the crew takes care of you. You are moving admittedly in the one of the most beautiful sceneries in the world. Pick up your morning coffee and step outside. Norwegian mountains, fjords, rising steeply from the water are just stunning. Take a deep breath of that clean Norwegian air and enjoy the scenery while your chef is preparing your breakfast. The feeling is quite hard to beat.
At the end mountain biking is what we are all after here. After breakfast you pick up some snacks that chef has prepared for the day in the mountains. Then the crew will take you ashore with a small dinghy. This is where the real trip starts. Your local guide has selected some real mountain trails. These are true remote places so no shuttle or lifts available. You do your climbing yourself, pedalling, hiking and sometimes carrying your bike to the top. You will be rewarded with some stunning remote trails and views while heading back to the boat. Once the daily trip is done, it is time to sit down with your group on the deck, enjoy some snacks and that always tasty post-ride beer. Again, not to forget the scenery. This all while your chef is preparing you a three course dinner! You’ll just enjoy the evening and look forward to a new day in the mountains.
If you are looking for a Caribbean cruise where someone takes you and your bike to the top of the mountain, then this is not for you. It is rated advanced+ and it is for a reason. You really need to be fit and trails are technical. You also need to know how the rain jacket looks like. It is Norway and you move in the mountains. Weather can change quite quickly. We really had good weather all week though! If you are a true mountain biker, this one is really for you. One to tick off the bucket list.
Another solid delivery from H+I. My second trip with them and I love how well all is organized and done. From the beginning to the end. Just do what you love, ride the bike, everything else is taken care for you. My regards to the crew too. I really enjoyed the week with you. Marvellous! *****
Don't do this trip if you ……
Treasure strong friendships made with fellow travellers, crew, guides etc and feel lost when you part.
Are prone to develop attachments to inanimate objects such as ex minesweepers and don’t quite know what to do without them.
Do not live in one of the top 10 most stunningly beautiful places in the world because you will not adjust well when you return home.
Cant appreciate that the Norwegians have over 100 different words for the English word ‘Steep’
Do not want to ride your bike down amazing single track, that just keeps going and going.
Are partial to 3 course meals of perfection and are likely to feel short changed when you arrive home to ‘real life’.
Live by the ‘never go back to the same place twice’ rule, because you will break it for this H+I trip.
I have been on several H+I trips, all excellent, all adventures of a lifetime.
This trip is so much more and in so many ways wont easily be forgotten.
Truly a great adventure.
The stay on the Gaasten was perfectly managed by Sven, Jared and Caroline - so housing and food were great and quickly you are not just a guest but feel as a part of the crew.
Riding with our guide Martin was really a good experience. Martins proudness on the trails has its reason: the trails a great and the locals building them can be proud and happy on what they build around Molde. The natural trails we headed to are technical - especially in wet conditions so the hard work on pedaling and pushing and carrying the bike up is for sure worth the effort. The view, landscape but also the trails down keep you smiling.
The whole trip - from the first contact until leaving Norway again - was extremely well coordinated and I never felt lost or in doubts about anything. The people just took care, were open for questions, hints, comments and supported wherever there was need - or beyond.
Great fun if you are in adventures, enjoying scenery and are ready for not just biking but also the country, swimming in cristal clear water and learning about Norway.
If you like your fun to be of the “type 2” variety, then this is definitely the trip for you. Yes you will be tested at times by the weather, rocks, roots, steep descents and steep climbs - yes will carry your bike more than you could ever imagine necessary (both up & at times down) - but if you persevere and embrace the adventurous nature of this trip you will be more than handsomely rewarded with one of the most amazing weeks mountain biking you could possible imagine.
It’s hard to pick a star of the show, the charming Gassten, Norway’s amazing trails with a backdrop of fjords, lush green hillsides and snowcapped mountains, the expert guides & crew, the camaraderie and banter of your fellow riders, the list goes on.
Book it now, you won’t regret it!
"Oh I've been to Norway!", say so many I meet. I have to resist saying - but you haven't been on a H+I adventure to Norway, have you. You haven't slept on a WW2 minesweeper converted to carry you, your bikes and a crew. You haven't been swayed to sleep by the gentle waves of a low pressure swell and woken up to a new breath taking view each day.
You've not had a heroic local guide who grew up in the area who takes pride in your adventure and safety each day. Have you ever wondered what it's like to be floating in a Fjord on deck of a piece of history, whilst lying down on a soft, reindeer hide - beer in hand after a days riding on trails?
Trails which looked impassable by bike when you hiked up them three hours beforehand. Trails which surpassed your expectation set by any comparison you might have had thanks to articles and promotional videos, or other trips.
That's the charm of this trip. No matter how prepared you are, no matter how much fitness training you did - you'll not be prepared for this. The way you feel on this trip. Feel about yourself, feel about your cabin mates and crew, the love for your bike and how everyone pitches in. This isn't a "Holiday to Norway" this is an adventure with food for the eyes, food for the soul (and the belly!)
We laughed until tears came out, carried bikes until our shoulders were bruised and hurtled off mountains with snowy peaks all around. The banter immeasurable, the welcome unfathomable, the food stunning but most of all - the achievement and memories infinite.
If I could change anything about this trip, it would be that more and more people would go on it so we would have more people to share our memories with! As far as I can tell, nobody has been on a trip this impactful in the space of a week away. The way everything is planned with constant adjustment and contingency to both satisfy the group and the elements! One day the temperature soared to the likes of the South of France and on others it was like a wet Welsh day. No bother - there's a washing machine and opportunity to let the Fjord breezes dry off the kit ready for the next day.
Not a single penny of the trip was money not well spent. Thanks so much H+I team. Not sure mtb will ever feel the same.
H+I always set the bar very high by their own standards and well deserved excellent reputation - and with a trip description and stunning tour video that offered so much my expectations for this trip were sky high.
This expedition well and truly exceeded those expectations.
Norway's stunning beauty and raw trails experienced via a boat full of personality, history and character create a thoroughly memorable and mind blowing adventure. A brilliant crew, mountain biking guide and miracle working chef tick all remaining boxes.
Regardless of your prowess on a bike and appetite for adventure you'll approach or have your limits tested at some stage - but if the tour description has already got your attention you'll never not have a big smile on your dial.
Every now and then something special comes along that really reinforces how great it is to be a mountain biker. The H+I adventure in The Fjords of Norway is one of those things.
Badass. Badass riding, boat + crew, food, guide... and definitely a badass part of Norway - the fjords provide a magical setting for ripping it up.
A couple confirmations of what H+I include in the trip details. Pushing your bike. This means you too! The inaugural group were all H+I regulars and included some stellar riders. Everyone carried their bike; definitely up and even down on occasion.
The other confirm is changing conditions and the rawness of riding in Norway. Hard to think of a spot with more variable weather. Or one so new to MTB. There is not a bevy of alternate loops to choose from when conditions go bad. Even with an amazing run of weather to finish off the week (three perfect sunny days - woohoo), rain to start our trip meant some shifting of routes and one short if good-quality day of riding.
If these two Norway-facts don't give you pause, the itinerary H+I have crafted will return you a week of riding like no other. Badass!
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) mountain bike tour Norway
- Q. How many people will be in the group?
We only run small group adventures to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible. The maximum riders we can take in each group is eight. The minimum number of people we require to run our mountain bike tour Norway is six.
- Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this adventure?
Our mountain bike tour Norway is more than just an adventure, it’s an expedition, taking you through some of the most remote, inaccessible and exposed parts of Europe. It is also consistently arduous (physically, technically and mentally) for seven consecutive days, so for these reasons, along with a great deal of past experience, we have introduced an upper age limit of 65 years for this adventure. The minimum age is 18 years.
- Q. What style of mountain biking tour is it?
This European mountain bike tour Norway, is a guided mountain biking holiday, ideal for advanced+ mountain bikers. Riding here, in the fjords of Norway you’ll experience some challenging and sustained hike-a-bike sections and steep descents, as well as some lovely flowing singletrack.
- Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?
The distances we cover each day range from 10km to 25km, in accordance with the altitude and height gain/ loss on each stage, with significant hike-a-bike sections. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.
- Q. Do we have to carry all our gear with us?
No, you only need to carry a day pack with you whilst riding. Your main luggage will be left on the boat during the day. You will however be required to carry a ride bag of 20 litres. The reason for this is we are out in the fjords of Norway, in a mountainous environment, and we will be self-sufficient.
- Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?
Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills training during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour Norway. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk. You won’t be the only one to walk certain sections and it’s not a competition in biking ability; it’s a mountain biking adventure!
- Q. Who will be guiding us?
Your mountain bike guides are local to Norway and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and landscape of Norway. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of the tour. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip. Meet your mountain bike guide in Norway…
- Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
On this mountain bike tour Norway you will be staying on a wooden hulled ex-navy boat, that is best suited to the environment of the Norwegian fjords. It has 8 beds for riders, two showers and day quarters, so it is cosy and well-equipped for adventure.
- Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included every day, as well as all drinks onboard. You should budget only for souvenirs.
- Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?
A good quality full suspension mountain bike with 150mm travel front fork will be ideal for this mountain bike tour Norway. The terrain you will be riding is rough, steep and at times exposed and you will feel more comfortable on a full suspension bike for the duration of the trip. We recommend that you bring tubeless tyres and tyres with thicker side walls.
- Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?
The daytime and nighttime temperatures can vary significantly in this part of the world, so you must make sure that you have plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot. You should also bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, padded undershorts, mountaineering style waterproof jacket, down jacket, waterproof cycling trousers, flip-flops, specific shoes for cycling and that are comfortable and stable to hike, sun cream, insect spray, and Advil or Ibuprofen, knee and elbow pads. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike tour Norway.
- Q. Do we use any van transfers?
Yes, we will use a couple of van transfers during the expedition. Norway has a huge number of road tunnels connecting villages and they are not very bike friendly places. We will employ the van to ensure safety at the beginning and end of some rides, but we have kept these down to a minimum.
- Q. Why is this trip labelled an expedition? How does it differ from your other tours?
We have labelled this tour an expedition because this best describes the whole experience of riding and staying on a converted minesweeper in the fjords of Norway. You live on the boat, eating, sleeping and washing onboard, also helping when the crew require assistance to dock the boat. You then hike-a-bike, push-bike and ride to the mountain tops before descending to the fjord shores again. You are required to carry mountaineering style clothing and mountain biking knee pads and elbow pads to enable you to deal with the weather and all that the trails can throw at you.
- Q. What size of kit bag should I bring?
Space on the boat is ample, but we won’t have space for numerous huge kit bags on board. One duffel-style bag, one ride bag (20-25 litre) and one laptop-style bag is the max for each rider.
- Q. Can we get laundry done onboard?
Yes, we can do laundry onboard, but due to energy usage and drying space, we will need to keep this to a sensible level.
- Q. Can I have a single cabin?
We don’t offer single supplement as an option on this expedition, space is limited and we would love everyone to get into the team spirit onboard.
- Q. Can I rent a bike?
No, we don’t rent bikes on this tour. We want you to be comfortable and confident as possible on these trails, therefore you must bring your own bike.
- Q. Can I bring a drone with me?
Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety.