The bicycle seat is a one of the best ways to experience the landscapes of Norway. The sport is becoming increasingly popular in Norway, especially since the success of Norwegian cyclists like Thor Hushovd. As a result, Norwegians generally have a very positive attitude to bicycle tourists, so you'll have a lot of small talk. Norwegians themselves prefer to ride on nice or even expensive bicycles: in most cities good bicycle shops can be found.
You'll find quite a number of travel diaries online. Only few specific cycle tracks exist, mostly in the big cities, and they are not fully interconnected. Except for densely populated areas, they can mostly be ignored. You can safely use almost every road, as speeds are relatively low and the vast majority of drivers are responsible and patient. At places where a highway is built, the old road is often redesigned as a cycle route.
In most of Norway, cycling can be physically challenging, due to steep climbs and strong winds. Your equipment should be lightweight and aerodynamic. You will need a wide range of gears: a ratio of 39-27 for a strong cyclist without luggage or even 22-32 for a normal cyclist with luggage is necessary on many slopes. Your brakes should be of high quality and you'll need spare brake pads when doing a trip of more than a few days. Lights are necessary because of the many tunnels. Because of the winds, it is advisable to avoid wide panniers and loose fitting clothes. A lightweight recumbent should be considered as a serious option for those experienced with this type of bicycle, especially when cycling south to north.
The roads are generally paved well, although gravel roads are sometimes unavoidable. As long as you don't go off-road, you will not need suspension or grooved tyres.
Because of the long distances and numerous hills, bicycle tourists are advised to plan well and be prepared to use public transport for the less interesting stretches. Special attention should be given to tunnels, as some of them are forbidden for cyclists, as are a few roads. An online map of tunnels can be found (http://www.cycletourer.co...). The tourist information also has a map of those forbidden routes. When hiring a bike, you can consult the person that lends you the bike concerning the track you want to take. In many cases, signposts indicate the route for cyclists and pedestrians around forbidden roads or tunnels. Some of the high speed tunnels have bus stops a short distance from the entrance where you can board special buses equipped with bike racks to transport you through the tunnel. Buses usually run hourly and the departure times are posted.
Ferries take bikes for free or minimal charge, on trains you've to pay a fee and in buses, bikes are sometimes forbidden and in all other cases only transported if there's enough space no fee or same like a child. The Norwegian Cyclist Association (http://www.syklistene.no/) offers information.
Hitchhiking in Norway is best on the the routes from Oslo-Trondheim E6, Oslo-Kristiansand E18 and Kristiansand-Stavanger E39. However, near the cities these are now motorways and it is not possible to stand at the road itself. Hitchhiking is not that common in Norway. If hitchhiking is ever safe, it's pretty safe in Norway, however it's difficult to get a lift and it may be very slow.
When waiting make sure to stand in a place where the vehicles can see you and have a safe opportunity to stop. Ferry ports and main fuel stations are good places to try. Stretches with low speed limit 50-60 is generally better than high speed as drivers find it more cumbersome to make a halt. Drivers of heavy trucks in particular prefer to keep a steady speed. Roadside cafeterias where truckers have a break can be good place to ask for a lift.
Good hitchhiking spots from major cities are:Oslo to:Bergen and the mountains- if you're daring, try OksenÃ¸yveien see Kristiansand, but be aware that most cars continue southwards to Drammen. Rather catch the Timekspressen bus, direction HÃ¸nefoss, to SollihÃ¸gda.Trondheim and the north- is getting more difficult as motorway development continues. The best bet inside Oslo is bus stop Ulvenkrysset. Get the metro to Helsfyr, then bus 76, 401 or 411 for one stop. Further outside, to avoid the local traffic, you are best off at the Shell gas station at Skedsmovollen, bus 845 and 848 from LillestrÃ¸m train station.Kristiansand and the south: Few spots beat the bus stop OksenÃ¸yveien, connected by bus 151, 251 and 252. You may be dropped in Sandvika by cars heading towards HÃ¸nefoss and the mountains/Bergen. Carry a sign.Sweden along E6: Highway all the way, except close to the centre. Try the bus stop Nedre Bekkelaget, bus 81 and 83.Sweden along E18: You may try Nedre Bekkelaget, but as most traffic continue towards StrÃ¶mstad and Gothenburg, you should rather catck the Timekspressen bus 9 to ÃstensjÃ¸ stop, just after the Holstad roundabout.
Bergen to:Oslo - Get local train to Arna and try near the entrance to Arnanipa tunnel.Northwards - Go by bus to VÃ¥gsbotn in Arna, and try hithing a ride close to the Hjelle bakery.Southwards - Get the light rail to Nesttun, then nearly any bus for three stops to Skjoldskiftet. Hitch southwards along E39.
Trondheim to:Oslo - Get bus 46 to the shopping centre City Syd, then go under the E6 and try your luck at City Syd E6 stop. Soon, the city tax on buses will be extended past the Klett roundabout, if this is in effect you should go to the bus stop just after the roundabout at any Melhus-bound bus and try your luck there.Molde/Ã lesund - Get any Orkanger bus to the stop just after Klett roundabout. Soon, Trondheim city tax will extend to BÃ¸rsa, after which you should stay on the bus for as long as you can, and hitch a ride from there.Northwards - Get city bus 7 or 66 to Travbanen stop.Sweden - To be sure to hitch only on cars going towards Sweden, get a train or bus to StjÃ¸rdal and hitch on the E14.
In general, looking polite and friendly is a good trick. Asking cars in line at a ferry quay if travelling along the coast is a very good idea, and may bring you very far. Hitching rides from Molde all the way to Bergen are not unheard of, but don't bet on it.
In general though, you can really get to anywhere from anywhere by thumb, just in some places it might take a while.
Norway's craggy coastline makes roads and trains slow, so domestic flights are very popular. The largest operators are SAS (http://www.sas.no), Norwegian (http://www.norwegian.no) and WiderÃ¸e (http://www.wideroe.no).
It is especially in northern Norway, where towns and cities are fewer and further between, that air travel is clearly the most convenient method to get from town to town. Planes between the small airports are small, and they generally have several intermediate stops along the route to embark and disembark passengers. Unfortunately, it is also in these areas where ticket prices can be most expensive.
Flights in southern Norway are cheaper than in northern Norway, and even though this area has better roads and rail, planes are generally faster than taking the train or bus. There are however no air routes between the cities within 200 km from Oslo, use the train or bus for this kind of travel.
If you plan to fly to the many smaller towns in Northern or Western Norway you should consider WiderÃ¸e's Explore Norway Ticket (http://www.wideroe.no/mod...) unlimited air travel for 14 days in summer for less than a full price return ticket..
Norway has right hand traffic, as the rest of mainland Europe. Driving is generally easy as traffic is calm, and most drivers are disciplined and law abiding, although moderate speeding is common on highways. However, some city centers such as Bergen and Oslo may be confusing to navigate for the first time visitor due to many one-way streets. Traffic is generally light except for city centers and a handful of stretches on main roads notably E18.
Gas is expensive, starting at around kr. 14.50 per litre approx. USD 9.30 per gallon. In some parts of Norway, the next gas station might be more than 100 km away; a small village doesn't always have a gas station even if it is remotely located. Bring a full jerry can and fill up the tank in time. Manual transmission is regarded as standard in Norway and is found in most private cars. If you prefer to rent a car with automatic transmission, make sure to order one. Renting a car is very expensive, but can be essential for easy access to some of the more rural areas, although most areas have a good reliable bus service. If you live in Europe, consider bringing your own, but if you arrive during winter November - April, be aware that winter tires are necessary, do not under any circumstance try to drive without, even if you don't expect snow or ice. Winter tires must have a minimum of 3 mm deep grooves. Cars heavier than 3500 kg are required to bring snow chains during winter and whenever snow or ice can be expected, a minimum of 5 mm tread pattern depth is recommended for trucks and heavy cars.