Travellers' Tales: Spring cycling in northern Norway | Cycling UK

Travellers' Tales: Spring cycling in northern Norway

Sandy D Franklin at Norway's Nordkapp

Travellers' Tales: Spring cycling in northern Norway

Sandy D Franklin overtook spring on her cycle tour to Norway’s Nordkapp

Spring comes late to northern Norway, but when it arrives there’s no better place to be. We arrived in Tromso in late May to cycle to Nordkapp, the northernmost point 
of mainland Europe, and then on to Kirkenes on the Norway/Russian border.

With tulips and daffodils in bloom, the sea sparkling under a blue sky, and street cafés packed with people soaking up the sun, it felt Mediterranean. Marine smells filled the air, sunlight bounced off snow-covered mountains, rafts of eiders bobbed by the shore, and waterfalls were in full spate from the spring melt.

From Tromso, we cycled over the Lyngen Alps with their saw-toothed peaks, crossed fjords by ferry, and drank in the glaciated features of this Arctic landscape. The next four days we cycled under cloudless skies in temperatures touching 18 degrees, with ascents leading us onto snow-covered Arctic plateaux.

We stayed on charming campsites, enjoyed the midnight sun, and passed herds of reindeer and roads lined with lupins. We saw goosanders, mergansers, red-throated divers, and once a sea eagle perched so close we could almost touch it.

Sandy D Franklin

Cycling towards Havoysund, the temperature plummeted. We took the ferry to Honningsvag, avoiding the 7km tunnel to the island where Nordkapp is located. A notice warned of weather changes from Siberian heat to Arctic cold in minutes – and didn’t we know it! Riding onwards to Nordkapp was a wild, tough ride, but standing on the cliffs on the edge of Europe, it was another dream realised. We were as far north as we could go.

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