Baltic to Arctic Coast to Coast — Stupid Idea?

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  • Baltic to Arctic Coast to Coast — Stupid Idea?
  • druidh

    I was looking at a similar trip earlier this year but flight costs made it prohibitive.

    I found London to Ivalo (northern Finland), flying in June for £250 return whilst having a browse at the weekend.


    I’d love to do something like that, but I have no confidence in my ability to complete the distance.

    Maybe one day. When I’m older and need to have a mid-life crisis.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    The river crossings could be interesting, the local wildlife and population could be properly ‘wild’.
    It *would* be a great adventure….

    River crossings wouldn’t be a problem as this would be a road tour.
    I’m assuming that polar bears don’t venture that far south, unless anyone knows otherwise?


    I am planning to ride the length of Norway next year, from Nordkapp to Lindesnes. One thing I will say is that even though you plan to do it in the summer it can be a bit fresh up there ie just a couple of degrees in the morning. One good thing is that you are allowed to camp where you like which is a bonus as there aren’t to many B&B’s up there!
    If you need any Norway info just give me a shout as i live over here.

    Slightbreeze, thanks for the offer, I hope your trip goes well. How long are you expecting to take? I’m guessing that you’ll have at least a month’s riding.

    Having thoroughly enjoyed my long weekend rolling through southern France at the end of last month, despite the torrential rain, my thoughts have turned to where I could go next year. The most ambitious idea so far is to start at the northern end of the Baltic, maybe Lulea in Sweden or Kemi in Finland and ride to Nordkapp in Norway which is apparantly the most northerly point in Europe accessible by road. Viamichelin says it is 600 miles, which I should be capable of doing in a week.

    -24 hour daylight in the summer,
    -cracking coastal scenery either end,
    -sense of achievement when I sign the cyclists guest book in Nordkapp,
    -I read in a motorcycle mag years ago that the northern Baltic can be far warmer in the summer than anywhere that close to the Arctic circle has any right to be.

    -the weather could be thoroughly miserable,
    -400 miles in the middle of trees, lakes and NOTHING ELSE might relieve me of my will to live.

    Am I missing anything obvious?
    Anyone already taken a bike there?


    Polar Bears = No

    Trolls = Yes


    It’s on the internet, therefore it is true


    Sounds great though, i’d be interested to see how you get on and how much it costs especially


    In 2007, cycled Stockholm>Trondheim>Nordkapp>Helsinki

    Try to fit in Trondheim>Nordkapp coastal route (via Lofoten islands). One of the top 10 most scenic routes in the world

    Weather – can be a hit or miss, so be prepared for freezing temp as well as +20 degrees.

    Mossies – yes – get used to it.

    Daylight – invest in an eyemask. Cycle 24/7 when weather is good, sleep when it rains!

    Costs – load up on cheap bread/beans/potato mash at supermarkets – lidl stretches more north than you would expect. Survived on about £8 a day wild camping. Lots of blueberries/wild mushrooms and foraging possible.

    Wilderness & nothing else – depends. Possible to pass through a few vilages/towns everyday, or take more “remote options”. Get used to your own company for days if you plan to wild camp.

    Wouldn’t call it “arctic” or “extreme” – Times I’ve been in Scotland have been harsher than Northern Scandinavia.

    Go do, you will never regret!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Watch some Lars for inspiration

    Just been doing a bit of investigation into flights. It looks like London to Lulea and back from Hammerfest could be had for between £350 and £400 in July next year. There’s an airport at Honningsvag, closer to Nordkapp, but coming back from there would add another £100.
    Another option would be to fly into Tromso in Norway and ride up the coast to Nordkapp which would be a bit over 300 miles. More scenery but less achievement at the end?


    If you have an option to fly with Norwegian, they are superb with bikes. I just rode to the airport on my bike. Checked in, a guy came out to the desk and took my bike away.

    Next time I saw it, it was sitting, propped against the wall in the Stockholm baggage reclaim area. No padding, no deflating tyres.

    Most folk in the Nordics are sporty in some way so the airlines and trains are quite used to it.



    Was about to type something completely different, but then realised you were talking about a road trip.

    I can’t offer any advice about Finland, but Luleå to Nordkapp by road could make a decent trip, and plenty of people do the coastal Norwegian part of this as part of various routes (see examples above – Crazybrab speaks sense). Narvik-Tromsø-Alta must be amazing if you were to ride it in good conditions. Going through the interior, Kautokeino to Alta would be totally different and amazing in its own way if you were lucky with weather. Distances between things are big (probably obvious) and the landscape can be pretty relentless (or bleak if you’re not into it). Sticking to the coast takes you through lots of towns/villages – it’s not as sparsely populated as you might imagine. Away from the coast is a different story however. Culturally speaking its a pretty interesting part of the world – which many might overlook (not surprisingly). Wildlife-wise, you’d be lucky to see anything scarier than elk and reindeer but lynx, wolf, brown bear, wolverine and so on are around. Take a small fishing rod and you won’t starve (along with berry/fungi foraging if you’re there in late summer). Bike wise, I’d take something you are comfortable riding for sustained distances and reasonably efficient, reliable and with robust wheels over an out and out road bike.

    Getting to the start points, you could easily use sleeper trains from Göteborg or Stockholm to get to Kiruna or Gällivare ( for details), or internal flights on SAS or Norwegian to any of the many local airports in the region via Stockholm, Oslo etc. Either way I certainly wouldn’t reckon on paying more than a couple of hundred quid return from the UK to get there and back. Personally I prefer the train, but if I went via Norway I’d fly.

    If it were me doing it, I’d probably start in Kiruna or Gällivare and do a loop doing both interior and coast with a small detour into the Lofotens. The prospect of riding to and from Luleå doesn’t add much to the trip for me personally, unless its the idea of joining two coasts – in which case the interior route is ‘purer’ to me. Now (at the risk of hijacking the thread) if anyone has any further off road suggestions in the region, I’d be interested to hear.

    *should add that I’m assuming you were going to camp (free, flexible, safe).

    “There were two doors in the service block on the campsite at Kukkola. On the left door was written the word ‘Kök’, and on the right it said ‘Tvätt’. This meant ‘Kitchen’and ‘Laundry’, and not, as we had concluded, ‘Gents’ and ‘Ladies.'”

    Thanks Neil, I’ll be buying that book.

    Teacake and Bajsyckel, thanks, loads there for a Googling and map searching session.


    Sounds like a great idea go for it.

    Bike wise, I’d take something you are comfortable riding for sustained distances and reasonably efficient, reliable and with robust wheels over an out and out road bike.

    This should do. It got me through 323 miles in 4 days on the French trip last month. Singlespeed, naturally.

    Premier Icon neil the wheel

    oh yeah – and take plenty of mozzie repellant!

    Premier Icon lunge

    I’m marking this for future note, I REALLY like the sound of this though it may mean a new bike…

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