Is Oslo the Perfect Bikepacking Weekend Destination? We Think So!

    Oslo, with its close access to the gravel cycling paradise of Nord Marka and its vibrant cafe and culinary scene, has quickly become our favourite bikepacking weekend destination. While traveling with bikes can be challenging, choosing the right mode of transport can turn even this into a pleasurable part of the journey. Therefore, we chose to travel to Oslo by ferry from Copenhagen for the perfect bikepacking weekend getaway.

    Urban cycling in Oslo
    Fuglen has the best coffee in Oslo
    Skoleboller, cappuccino and a cookie

    The best way to travel to Oslo with a bike

    Ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo with bicycle

    Our latest journey to Oslo started with a ferry ride from Copenhagen. After a short 5-minute bike ride from the Pas Normal Studios HQ, where Robin works, we boarded the ferry. The process was simple: roll up to the car entrance, receive a lane number, and once onboard secure the bikes with provided bungees. The ferry offered stunning views of Copenhagen and Malmö, and the 19-hour journey felt like a comfortable ride.

    Traveling by ferry offers ease, especially for cyclists. Additionally, the opportunity to enjoy the scenic journey is a definite pro. However, it’s worth noting that ferry travel is slower compared to other modes of transport. Last-minute tickets can get expensive, so early booking for cost-effectiveness may be required.

    Ferry Terminal Copenhagen Oslo Bring Bicycles Gravel Norway Farawayistan
    Terminal Copenhagen Oslo Bring Bicycles Bikes Gravel Cycling Norway Farawayistan

    Flying to Oslo with a bike

    For those seeking speed, flying to Oslo is the way to go. With good train connections from the airport to the city center, it’s an easy option for those traveling from mainland Europe and beyond. But packing bikes in cardboard boxes or bike bags can be cumbersome and may incur additional costs.

    Norwegian has affordable ticket options and you can bring a bicycle for a reasonable price. However, e-bikes are not allowed.

    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Norway Farawayistan

    Taking the Bike on the Bus

    While budget-friendly, traveling by bus comes with its own set of challenges. Not all bus companies allow bikes, and those that do (FlixBus for example) may have limited space. Furthermore, if you are very careful with your bike, keep in mind that the driver might not be as gentle when mounting and dismounting your beloved bicycle on the back of the bus. Yes, we’re speaking from personal experience.

    Routes from our bikepacking weekend in Oslo

    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Gravel Fara Cycling All/Road Bicycle Farawayistan

    Exploring Nord Marka Trails

    It was the month of May, and we couldn’t believe that we could still encounter snow on some trails, even with temperatures of +20 degrees Celsius and wearing short-shorts. A stop at Ullevålseter for coffee and waffles provided a delightful break. After plodding some more through the snow, we made it back to the Fara Cycling clubhouse. It’s cool to see that Fara HQ isn’t solely a place to see their latest models; it is also a starting point for group rides and meeting fellow cycling enthusiasts.

    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Fara Cycling Farawayistan
    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Fara Cycling Farawayistan
    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Fara Cycling Farawayistan

    Oslo’s Classic Gravel Route – Ring 4

    Just like on our previous trip to Oslo, we followed the classic gravel route – called Ring 4 – with a scenic coffee stop at Kikutstua. Instead of returning to Oslo, we opted for a memorable stay at Kleivstua, indulging in locally sourced cuisine and capturing breathtaking sunset views over Steinsfjorden.

    Ferry Oslo Copenhagen Farawayistan Fara Cycling All/Road Gravel Bicycle Nature Fjord
    Ferry Oslo Copenhagen Farawayistan Fara Cycling All/Road Gravel Bicycle Fjord Nature
    Ferry Oslo Copenhagen Farawayistan Fara Cycling All/Road Gravel Bikepacking Nature Fjord

    Staying at Kleivstua Hotel

    Kleivstua Hotel is a forest hotel situated on a hill with a magnificent location. From the hotel, you can overlook a lush forest landscape and the sparkling Steinsfjorden far below. It was an amazing ride getting there on a long, quiet gravel road through Krokskogen. It might be one of the prettiest gravel roads we’ve seen!

    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Fara Cycling Bikepacking Kleivstua Hotel
    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Fara Cycling Bikepacking Hotel Kleivstua
    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Fara Cycling Bikepacking Hotel Kleivstua Food
    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Bikepacking Fara Cycling Hotel Kleivstua Food

    Down the hill to Oslo

    The benefit of staying up on a hill is that the way back is downhill! With the last views over Tyrifjorden behind us, we flew over rolling gravel roads with gentle turns. As we passed Lommedalen and approached the outskirts of Oslo, it was just an easy spin left alongside Bunnefjorden.

    After a quick coffee at one of our personal favorites, Fuglen, before we returned to the ferry terminal for the homeward-bound trip. Our latest Oslo adventure had nearly come to an end. However, we had another 19-hour ferry ride ahead giving us plenty of time to relax and have a good night’s sleep dream-filled with gravel crunching under tires.

    Ferry Copenhagen Oslo Bicycles Gravel Fara Cycling All/Road Farawayistan
    Ferry Oslo Copenhagen Fara Cycling All/Road Gravel Bicycle Farawayistan

    About Fara Cycling and the F/All-Road

    Our journey was made possible by our collaboration with Fara Cycling, maker of the F/All-Road. This fast bike is designed for both smooth pavement and gravel trails and has a clever integrated system for bikepacking bags. The bags snap on and off easily in seconds when not in use. Fara’s philosophy of crafting bikes specifically for long-distance bikepacking trips on diverse terrains resonates perfectly with how we explore. Fara/wayistan: a perfect match!

    Ferry Oslo Copenhagen Farawayistan Fara Cycling All/Road Gravel Bicycle

    With more Norway trips on the horizon, we would love to hear about your favorite Norwegian cycling destinations in the comments.


    Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

    Bjørn Blomstrandreply
    8 June 2024 at 23:26

    Hi there and thanks for all inspiring reports.
    Living just outside Oslo as a Swede/Norwegian, of course my grow up place in Kalmar län in Sweden is an absolut faboulus gravel paradise. Roaming around in Småland is what I love to do in Sweden.
    In Norway I go as much as possible north west: I had a fantastic ride over Aurland mountain from Lærdal, and Rallarvegen from Haugastøl to Flåm is a classice. Last year I did a round about from Hellesylt, boat to Geiranger and riding to Grotli Hotel for an over night stay. The day after Gamle Stryn vegen and down/around a lake back to Hellesylt.
    If you like to try just long hill clinbs, I think going on asfalt up to Juvasshytta is something of the hardest I have done.
    I do both asfalt/race bike, mtb and gravel, so I have a lot of different type of rides.

    Robin Patijnreply
    9 June 2024 at 14:11
    – In reply to: Bjørn Blomstrand

    Hi Bjorn,

    Wow, thank you for your kind words and for sharing your amazing experiences!
    Your rides sound absolutely fantastic and very inspiring. We’re living in Skåne and did quite a bit of exploring in Southern Sweden. But it sounds like we should add Kalmar area to the to-visit list! And we’ll be back later this summer in Norway for some bikepacking/gravel riding. So, thanks a lot for sharing your tips and recommendations Best, Robin & Sabina

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