Sweden/Norway/Baltics?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by youngan, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. youngan

    youngan -------

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    I am going to be in Sweden (Goteborg area) for a motorcycle meeting this July, and am planning to take a few extra weeks to travel about. Any hot suggestions for places to ride/itineraries? I prefer twisty roads, and tend to get impatient if they are straight for very long, unless (maybe) there are other things that make it SO interesting that I forget I'm not turning. On that note, anything interesting to see in Latvia/Lithuania/Estonia, or should I just skip that idea? I do need to end up back in Heidelberg about two weeks after I leave the Goteborg area...

    Thanks.
    Andy
    #1
  2. Joachims

    Joachims n00b

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    Try this: nasjonaleturistveger.no
    It's a list of scenic routes in Norway.
    You can switch between Norwegian (default), German and English.
    If you choose the west-coast and/or the mountains you simply cannot go wrong.
    Trollstigen and Tyinfjellet are both nice.
    Four-lane highways are only around Oslo and a few other cities. Do not expect to go faster than about 65 km/h in average in Norway.
    Wish you a nice tour.
    Joachims

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
    #2
  3. Oldbear

    Oldbear Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

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    If you're looking for great roads to ride the only option is to head straight to Norway and spend two weeks on the coastal roads, you can't go wrong with that if you haven't been there before. Just go as north as you can in your timeframe and then head down south, amazing twisties and beautiful scenery.

    Riding-wise Latvia/Lithuania/Estonia is…well, mainly boring since it's mostly flat everywhere.

    There's still plenty to see, though. You could easily spend a week riding around the Gulf of Riga, first visiting the Estonian islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa and then following the coast down to Jürmala and then through Kolka, Ventspils and Liepaja to the Curonian Spit.

    Nice people, lots of variable scenery and plenty of history.

    Then you could ride through Kaliningrad and Poland to Germany – and maybe check out Czech Republic on the way. You need to get a Russian visa to ride through Kaliningrad, though. Not really worth the effort if you're only passing through.

    Or maybe combine both? Ride as far as Trollstigen, then head back and take a ferry from Karlshamn to Klaipeda and then make your way overland to Heidelberg.
    #3
  4. youngan

    youngan -------

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    Thanks guys!
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  5. Simon L

    Simon L Adventurer

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    I'm going from 29 june till 21 july. Sweden, Finland and up to the north cape. Then all the way back to Belgium thru Norway.
    Looking for some nice routes too and maybe some places where we can find a good bed to sleep as we will be camping for 3 maybe 4 weeks...


    Simon
    #5
  6. nordicbiker

    nordicbiker Been here awhile

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    I would offer both you youngan and Simon L a madress in Stockholm for a night or two, but unfortunately I am not home when you are up here - will be riding through Canada this summer. I am sure you will enjoy the north, just bring good raingear!
    #6
  7. youngan

    youngan -------

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    Thanks for the thought, Nordicbiker,

    Have a great time in Canada!

    Andy
    #7
  8. ubaath

    ubaath Adventurer

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    Do you have any outline of a route in mind?

    There are parts of Sweden and Finland which are pretty boring; generally the farther west you go, the better the scenery, and the farther east, the flatter the landscape.

    Unless, of course, you want to run as much gravel as possible - in that case, the closer you get to the Russian border, the better the gravel travel tends to be.
    #8
  9. youngan

    youngan -------

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    No specific route in mind. I'm open to going wherever it's fun, and looking for exactly the kind of advice you just gave; thanks!
    Much more interested in turns and good scenery than in dirt, since I'll be two-up.
    #9
  10. nordicbiker

    nordicbiker Been here awhile

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    If you are looking for twisted roads in the mountains, than you will be disappointed by Sweden and should go to Norway. But be prepared for

    -small road with sometimes bad surface
    -on the larger roads lots of tourist traffic (buses are the worst!)
    -horrible prices
    -if you are unlucky lots of rain.
    -much longer driving times in the the saddle than you expected
    -traffic fines that REALLY hurt and will bleed out your travel purse, in case you are caught speeding!

    The rewards will be unbelieable sceneries and probably the best motorcycle touring area in all of Europe!
    #10
  11. youngan

    youngan -------

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    Sounds like Norway is the way go, after my meeting in Sweden.
    Small roads with rough surface is perfect, actually (I'll be on an Elefant). I'll be sure to not speed, though that will take some of the fun out of it.
    I'll bed camping, that that'll take some of the sting out of prices.
    Rain...Well, what can you do? Just hope, I suppose, and bring some raingear.
    #11
  12. ubaath

    ubaath Adventurer

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    In Norway, try avoiding the E routes (eg. E6) and stick to the smaller roads; the E routes tend to be heavily overpopulated with heavy haulers which can be difficult to pass.

    Also be aware that map distances in Norway are *very* deceiving, since your mean speed will probably be around 40-50 km/h due to speed limits, the curviness of the roads, and the scenery. Unless you're hardcore, don't expect do do more than 300-400km in a day if you want to stop to eg. take pictures (and you certainly do, especially in fjord country).

    A pretty good alternative to camping is renting a "hytte" - a small cabin/hut, usually equipped with beds etc. They're as common as sheep along most roads.

    The best roads in Norway are on the western side, pretty close to the Atlantic coast. Look for places like Lysebotn, Lom, Övre Årdal, Aurlandsvangen, Hardangervidda, Jotunheimen, Voss, Flåm, and - if the weather is nice - don't miss the Trollstigen road between Valldal and Åndalsnes. The Atlantic highway, while often photographed, is in my opinion not pretty much besides a couple of winding bridges. The roads that lead to Geiranger (from both sides) are very good, but Geiranger itself is a major tourist trap. Central and western Norway (=fjord country) is where the best scenery is; when you get about north of Trondheim, the mountains start to become a bit more rounded and the twisties a bit less twisty.

    Having said that, the Lofoten isles are *very* nice, visit them if you have a chance. Also, if you happen to go by Trondheim, stop at Gods Expedition in Hell. There's also the 666 road (which doesn't lead to Hell) south of Kristiansund, close to the Atlantic highway if you're so inclined.

    When you get up north, the roads along the Tana / Teno river are pretty good, as is the road from Kilpisjärvi (Finland) north towards Tromsö. The Norwegian coastal road between Alta and Kirkenes is also very nice. Northern Finland is flat and straight, unfortunately - all the twisty stuff seems to end on the Norwegian side of the border.

    If you find the time, and are in the vicinity, go to Grense Jakobselv, where the border zone between Norway and Russia is so narrow that (or so legend has it), you can shake the hands of the Russian border guards over the border river in the dry season.
    #12
  13. youngan

    youngan -------

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    Thanks; great info. It all sounds quite good to me, except the speeding ticket part. Unless the limits are higher than in the U.S., I'm not sure I can manage to stay below the limits. Well, I guess I'll try it, and if it's driving me nuts, I'll change the plan and head to Italy, where they don't care about such things...
    #13
  14. ubaath

    ubaath Adventurer

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    In fjord country, I've found that I'm seldom bothered by the speed limits - the scenery just isn't conducive to excessive speeding :)
    #14
  15. Simon L

    Simon L Adventurer

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    Still following this thread (subscribed), thanks for the info! Really looking forward to Norway!
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  16. Simon L

    Simon L Adventurer

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    By the way youngan, it would be really nice to catch up with you somewhere in Norway, we will be bringing some Belgian beers :clap if you are not choosing for Italy...
    #16
  17. Rauven

    Rauven I like the cold...

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    ubaat, great summary :) Couldn't agree more. I also think the Atlantic highway is overrated. It's 4 km of interesting road, two pretty but not stunning brigdes whitch look nice from one angle. I think the only time it's actually worth the bother of going there is during a major storm when You can actually see waves going over the bridges. Not sure though if I wanted to drive a bike then there ;)

    I also heard (haven't tested yet) that the island north of Lofoten (Senja) is also worth a look. But that's second hand news.

    On other usefull tips. I just got a callendar from NMCU (norwegian motorcycle union) and it contains a very good list of people and motorcycle clubs willing to help with accomodation, repairs and rescue. Something like emergency friendly people contact list in Norway. If somebody wants it I guess I could scan it and send through PM :) It's a public info but rules about posting scans on this forum are a bit vague.
    #17
  18. Simon L

    Simon L Adventurer

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    I'm very interested ! :y0!
    #18
  19. V Saarela

    V Saarela Been here awhile

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    Jess, good summary from ubaat. Couple of things I have noticed. Yes, the bridge is fun, but not worth to visit(short and expencive, if you dont come from south and ride then back) I like the ride on E roads. It´s nice and beautiful from Trondheim and up to North Cape, especially the northern part.
    Also the finnish part is nice. We in northern countries forgett sometimes that people in south of europe lives near on eatch other. I often stop and lissen to the silence.

    Also, I found the isle Senja much better than Lofoten. Ride around and you also have to vist all the return(english word) roads(maybe skip the road 860)
    Good thing is, ferry Bodö-Åå and then ferry from Andenes(Lofoten) to Senja?
    #19
  20. Stijn_M

    Stijn_M Adventurer

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    Do these hytte need to be reservated up front? Or is it possible to check in at late - unholy hours- and pay cash or visa? I got a motel-kinda-thingy id about this now... Correct me if wrong? Be it a wooden shed with bunks in it, is equally fine :D
    #20