Oppdal – Sunndalsøra – Aursjøhytta – Eresfjord – Åndalsnes
Are you up for a challenging mountain bike trip through the Aursjøvegen in Norway? Then take this five-day organised cycling tour from Oppdal to Åndalsnes.
An exciting and adventurous tour by (e)mountain bike through the Norwegian highlands across Aursjøvegen to Andalsnes on the fjord. You will be cycling a total of 220 kilometres through this unspoilt mountainous landscape with quite the altitudes! Despite the relatively short distance, the scenery is actually varied. The weather down in the valley can change rapidly which makes it very important that you are well prepared (read: being fit and having suitable clothing). The coastal climate makes for pleasant temperatures due to its northern location, but can also have winds from the west causing enormous clouds to be brought in from the sea and collide with the mountains, resulting in heavy rain showers. So it’ll be good to know that your accommodations have been arranged in comfortable self-catering cabins and authentic hotels.
Dovrefjell-Sundallsfjella National Park
The park was founded in 1974 and is characterised by the mountain range of Dovrefjell. The mountain Snøhetta (2.286 metre) is one of the tallest in Norway. The highlands around Oppdal gives you winding rivers, waterfalls and hills that slowly change into rugged mountain tops and wide fjords that reach the ocean. The mountains resurrecting from the wide fjords is a truly magnificent sight to behold. Experience the silence of the Norwegian highlands and the soft Scandinavian sunlight hitting the fjord. The Aursjøvegen is located along the coast and enters the Eikesdalen from the mountains. The steep route is great forthe MTBer with parts of the route having a 15% gradient!
Between Sunndalsøra and Eikesdalen the route takes you across the famous Aursjøvegen. This 70 kilometre stretch is not paved and starts at the fjord, then through hairpin turns goes through the mountains to a beautiful lake at the altitude of 862 metres. The views over the valley, waterfalls and steep mountains are absolutely breath-taking. The cycling is challenging, but definitely doable with a mountain bike. On day 2 you will be cycling 44 km from the Aursjøvegen from Sunndalsora into the mountains to a hut on a dam at the altitude of 856 metres. The rest of the route will be covered the day after. The climb has a maximum gradient of 10%, and the steepest declining part is 15%.
Deer, moose and reindeer habitat
National Park Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella is a nature reserve of over 4,367 km2 which houses various types of landscapes. Treeless rolling highlands, split mountain tops, pine tree forests in the valleys all the way up to the wide fjords. The unspoilt nature reserve is unique to Norway because of its diversity in flora and fauna. Many protected species live here in the wild, such as reindeer, wolves, bears, arctic foxes, ospreys, moose and musk oxen.
The final stop on the route is Åndalsnes, a village wedged between the fjords and steep mountains. It is highly recommended to spend an extra day here to take a 10 km walk through the Romsdaleggen which will take you along the ridge of the mountain to an altitude of 970 metres. On a clear day this will deliver views over the mountain ranges of Romsdalhorn, Trollveggen, Trollstigen and of the Norwegian Sea.
You will be arriving in the morning by train to the mountain village of Oppdal. The bike rental company will be waiting for you there to deliver your bike you’ll be riding for the next few days. Today’s route is easily navigable by means of a map. Most of today’s route is paved and follows the main road to Sunndalsøra. Then a rolling landscape will have you cycling along the river. The differences in altitude are limited today to only a few hundred metres. Along the way there will be a stop at Åmotan, where seven different rivers from surrounding mountain ranges meet in three impressive waterfalls. You will be taking up lodgings in an old hotel in Sunndalsøra at the outskirts of the town, giving you views of the fjord and surrounding mountains.
Today you will be cycling the Aursjøvegen. This route takes you into the Litldalen valley and starts climbing after 10 kilometres. You will be treated along the way with vistas of the steep mountains and waterfalls. This stretch of the route will go up by around 1,000 metres. Once you have reached the top, you will be riding along a reservoir and eventually reach Aursjohytta, a true traveller’s cabin up high, run by staff from the national mountaineer club (DNT). Please keep in mind that you will be sleeping at high altitude and that it might be windy and cold.
You will be continuing along the Aursjøvegen and follow the river Aura towards Eikesdalen. After about 10 kilometres you will reach an Aursstaupet, which to many is the highlight of their stay. The view over the valley with good weather is simply stunning. From here on, the route will take you from an altitude of 1,000 metres down (up to 15%!) through hairpin turns to Finnset at around 200 metres altitude. The route to Eresfjord will take you through a mountainous landscape and along the tallest waterfall of Northern Europe, the Mardalsfossen.
The route takes you over paved roads today. After about 8 kilometres you will be served with a steep climb with an increase of 500 altitude metres to Vistalsheia. The increase will go up to a maximum of 10%. After this stretch, there will be a few hairpin turns down taking you down tothe Lang fjords. The mountains flanking the water will turn steeper and craggy. The buildings are limited to a single village and a few wooden holiday homes and small farmhouses. Enjoy a stay in the luxurious grand hotel Bellevue in the centre of Åndalsnes.
There is some free time in the morning for a walk to enjoy the fjords and mountainous area before boarding the train back to Trondheim. You could also opt for an extra night to do the Romsdaleggen hike; a challenging walk that will take you to the mountain top via its ridges. The view onto the fjords that cross paths, surrounded by the mountains and ocean in front of you, is breath-taking.
The hotel is located three kilometres outside of Sunndalsøra and offers magnificent views over the Sunndals fjords and the Litldalen Mountains. The wooden main building was built in 1896 and was built on an elevated platform right in the middle of a stunning landscape without many other buildings. There are different types of cabins and apartments that all offer more than comfortable sleeping arrangements. You will be spending the night in an apartment of 35m2 with own bathroom and kitchen.
The national mountaineer club cabin is situated at an altitude of 862 metres at a lake with views onto the gorgeous mountain tops in the surroundings. The wooden main building offers sleeping arrangements in rooms and there are cabins outside with rooms for 2 to 4 people. The cabin will have a staff member present and food and drinks can be bought on the spot. There is also hot water and blankets are available.
Self catering cabin near Eresfjord.
This impressive hotel built in the 19th century is located at the foot of the mountains and within walking distance from the Romsdal fjords. Its authentic look combined with its unique location make this hotel the absolute perfect spot to spend the night in Åndalsnes after a long tour. The room is luxuriously furnished and has its own bathroom. The hotel features many facilities, among which a restaurant and sauna.