Long Scandanavia Trip

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by MarcDanz, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. MarcDanz

    MarcDanz Adventurer

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    My wife and I do long trips every few years (Los Angeles - Jasper) etc. A friend did a car trip around Scandanavia - starting in Denmark, drove up to Tromso via Sweden, and then down the Norwegian coast, using the ferry/staterooms for a lot of evenings. He raved about the trip, and I'm working to map it out on motorcycles - assume 3 weeks starting August 1.

    We'l need to rent bikes there (she's constrained b/c 157cm), so looking for rentals - have found some in Hamburg, but looking further north.

    I'd love to ride through Talinnin and across and up through Finland, but the mileage is getting long (we can always cheat and stay on the coastal ferries more in Norway).

    1st ask is for known rental agencies in N Germany. Thoughts from locals on riding up through Finland v. through Sweden would be great.

    We're assuming rain, no camping - cabins and hotels.

    Wide open to route suggestions, comments on sanity, etc. But I'm turning 67 and am thinking this is the summer to do it...
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  2. neppi

    neppi Long timer

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    Staying home watching TV or scrolling down Facebook is a lot more fun, believe me.

    If you don’t believe me, then a few bullet points in random order:

    - Hurtigruten (the Norwegian ferry) is awesome!
    - Baltia is awesome! Food is good, prices are low and there’s soooo much to see!
    - Superslab is boring wherever you go and Sweden and Finland are the most boring countries in the world if you stay on the main, single digit roads. It’s all forest industry, so all you see is Spruce day after day.
    - There are ~190 000 lakes in Finland and they are all beautiful! You can see glimpses of three of them from the Highway, so might wanna stay off the Highway... Ü
    - Camping is allowed pretty much everywhere, except someone’s front porch and the other guys corn field (luckily corn doesn’t grow up there) in Scandinavia, and you can find cheap or free huts all over the place (might involve a bit of hiking to get to those thou).
    - espesh Finland has soooooo much gravel, if you’re into that kind of stuff
    - Estonia is awesome! Tallin is awesome! Find the old Soviet stuff and climb on the old (Soviet) City Hall next to the ferries.
    - Poland is awesome, but if (like advised here) you stay off the main highways, it’s super slow! I’ve done some days averaging 40km/h in POL just because of their infra. Beautiful country, sweet people!
    - Latvia has the worst drivers in Europe. If you decide to take the eastern route (highly recommended!), prepare to die in Latvia.
    - awesome place: http://grutoparkas.lt/en_US/

    If I was you, I’d take it to the right from Germany. Blast through Germany and Poland, taking a few side tracks in both thou, cruise through the Baltia checking out some of the sights, like the https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_of_Crosses and maybe Saaremaa and Hiiumaa islands in EE. Ferry up to FIN and take the small roads either following the west coast or the Russian border up to the very top of Norway and ferry down the coast of NO. Skip Sweden, nothing there (I might’ve sounded a bit too Finnish there...).
    - THIS: http://www.saaristonrengastie.fi/en/content/route

    on the other hand, who am I to say anything...

    U sure three weeks is enough? Ü
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  3. MarcDanz

    MarcDanz Adventurer

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    Just did the ,math on that route - about 4k miles - hmmm.
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  4. neppi

    neppi Long timer

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    That’s only four days! Ü

    Leaves you plenty of time to hang out on those lakes...
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  5. MarcDanz

    MarcDanz Adventurer

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    Ha!!

    When you say "cruise down the coast" do you mean just grab the ferry the whole way down??
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  6. neppi

    neppi Long timer

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    ”Ferry down the coast”, why not? I mean it might give you a bit of rest after doing 4000ml in four days! Ü

    Riding through Jotunheimen would be sweet! Haven’t been there on a bike, but the area is amazing.
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  7. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

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    Taking Hurtigruten ( coastal express ) down the coast, it goes from Kirkenes to Bergen with multiple stops btw, would be a good way to skip some of the best riding in the world so one could consentrate on the flat boring eastern parts, I'm speaking of riding here, not culture.

    If you like to actually se Norway, you should first of all skip Nordkapp if that's on your list, the northern-most part of interest in such short time frame would be the Lofoten/Vesterålen peninsula. Then Road FV 17 from Bodø down to Steinkjær is incredible scenic but slow and full of ferries.

    South of Trondheim starts the road E39 wich will thake you south west to the real good stuff, the whole western Norway south of Trondheim all the way down is one continious bikers heaven.
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  8. neppi

    neppi Long timer

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    You are absolutely right! But you have to admit the Hurtigruten is something very special thou, and I would defenetely include parts of it to this kind of trip. Not that it actually matters what I think... Ü

    Still doing the east on the way up, but skipping Nordkapp, I would choose a route from Finnish Lapland through Abisko and Riksgränsen to Narvik. That part of Sweden is like being on the moon.
    There was a decent war museum in Narvik back in the day. Is it still there?
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  9. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

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    War museum: https://warmuseum.no/

    Hurtigruten is scenic, personaly I've only used it in winter and gale force winds but the Lofoten wall and Trollfjorden is scenic.
    Mind you the crew would maybe want the bike on a pallet so they can move it around the cargo dekk, this is not a ferry, they move a lot of cargo on and of at every harbour.
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  10. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    I'd love to do that in winter some day! You never have to worry about the cold, there is always a warm shower at hand, crushing through icy harbours, the Northern Lights ...

    Anyway, Google finds these rental places in northern Germany:
    • BvZ in Hahnsuehn, a large dealership in the countryside. Zitzewitz is well known in the Motocross/Rallye world, the shop is full of trophies. His brother has been a regular participant on the Dakar since 1997, winning the car class in 2007: http://www.bvz.de
    Nevertheless, it would be much less hazzle to rent closer to the airport in Hamburg. Plenty of ferries avaliable to cut down on riding:
    Travemuende - Malmo
    Kiel - Oslo or Goeteborg
    You'll need a cabin/berth, so these overnight ferries should maybe be booked in advance, but they always found space for me, even though I booked them typically the night before.

    As said above: Reserve plenty of time for the Vesteralen/Lofoten islands and the fjords south of them. If you go counter-clockwise, it'll get more breathtaking every day. Otherwise you'll be blown away at the beginning, and get bored by thousands of trees, lakes and midges towards the end.
    At the tip of the Lofoten you can take the ferry from Å to Rost, where they offer boat rides to the bird islands and the Skomver lighthouse which - if my memory serves me well - has a lense manufactured by Fresnel himself.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    That light is several feet in diameter.
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  11. GvG

    GvG Been here awhile

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    Do you have a certain budget in mind?
    I ask because the Hurtigruten is pretty expensive.

    And I'd expect Germany to be cheaper to rent a motorcycle than the Scandinavian countries. The Baltic states (and Poland) are most likely cheaper than Germany.

    And how long would you plan on going? 3 weeks? 3 months?
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  12. neppi

    neppi Long timer

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    I’ve done Rostock - Trelleborg ferry a few times.

    Another option, if you want to see Tallin, is to take a ferry from there to Sweden (skipping Finland), ride across Sweden to Norway and then to the top of the world.

    Or a ferry to Helsinki, do the archipelago track and end up either in Åland, or back to Turku / Naantali and take an overnight ferry to Stockholm. Wing it from there...

    A lot of Finns, Swedes and Norwegians on this forum so might be easy-ish to find a couch to crash onto around that neck of the Woods.
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  13. MarcDanz

    MarcDanz Adventurer

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    What about riding north on the coast?

    When we run out of time, we could take a boat back south...
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  14. Dirt2007

    Dirt2007 Long timer Supporter

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    The big loop thru Fin/Swe looks pretty ambitious to me to do in 3 weeks. Unless you were to stay on the big roads, and where's the fun in that. Also I know Norway doesn't have much tolerance for speeding. The limits are low and the fines are high.

    Here is one thing to consider if you decide to skip Fin/Swe and just go up and down the Norwegian coast. It is cheaper to take the ferry up (south to north) the coast and ride back down than to ride up and ferry down. Lots of people drive up and decide they don't want to drive back and hop on the ferries so the rates are higher.
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  15. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Doing a loop around the Baltic sea is absolutely doable in 3 weeks - even if you stay off the highway and include the ride down the west coast of Norway - but with only 3 weeks available I would skip North Cape and hit the Norwegian coast at Lofoten and follow the route suggested earlier by norseXL (road fv17).
    I would recommend doing the ride counter clockwise. This way you save the best to last - not that Poland, the Baltic countries, Finland and Sweden don't have a lot to offer!
    Germany is most likely the best place to rent a bike for the trip - this place could be an option.
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  16. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

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    The thing is, the only "ferry" to go down the coast from the north is Hurtigruten and it goes only as far south as Bergen,
    it is also slower than riding down on the roads...
    Taking it from Svolvær in Lofoten to Trondheim could be a nice plan though, it does most of that leg over the night arriving Trondheim in the morning.
    It will be daylight allmost the whole night anyway so no missing out on the scenery.
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  17. MarcDanz

    MarcDanz Adventurer

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    What a bunch of great advice!! Thank you all and keep it coming...
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  18. Gearlord

    Gearlord Adventurer

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    Another norwegian would like share his opinion:
    if approx three weeks is the time limit, I would skip Finland, and everything north of Narvik. (mosquitos, boring roads, woods woods and woods....
    Ride north through Sweden, and cross the border to Norway at Riksgränsen, onwards to Narvik, and spend some time in Lofoten.
    It is well worth it.

    Here is a link to a blog, a scottish lad and his father riding throug Norway, to Nordkapp, and into Russia, and back through Finland, Sweden and Denmark. I found it entertaining and informative

    https://yodagoat.blogspot.com/2017/...1QrPJAR4nqCCq9zqNPOdmtwHAUpbtbK7eMN3EEEWWsWiM

    Ferry from Moskenes, west in Lofoten to Bodø.

    Then southwards on the scenic Fv17, there is a lot of ferries, but most tourists love that ride.

    Maybe spend a day in Trondheim (the third largest city of Norway), or go southeast to Røros, an ancient town with a lot of history, from the time they had coppermines in the area. (My great grandfather came from this area, and I love
    The westcoast, and the fjords from around Kristiansund and southwards are fantastic, even for us who happens to live here.

    You can google these places and see for yourself:

    Røros
    Femundshytten
    Atlanterhavsvegen
    Trollstigen
    Geiranger
    Sognefjellsvegen
    Valdresflya
    Tindevegen
    Gaularfjellet
    Bergen (The second largest city)
    Hardanger
    Trolltunga
    Rosendal (where I live)
    Ryfylke
    Rv 44 Nordsjovegen

    Just the first things that came to my mind.
    I would be more than happy to assist you with a route along the west coast.

    Happy new year :)
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  19. MarcDanz

    MarcDanz Adventurer

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    We'd love some advice!! This all sounds excellent...

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  20. MarcDanz

    MarcDanz Adventurer

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