Links and Tips
Information mainly of use for anyone contemplating a similar
I planned this trip almost entirely via the net. All the information
you need is out there somewhere!
I flew from London to Oslo, took the train to Trondheim and the Hurtigrute
to the Lofoten islands. Returning was the same in reverse, except that
I took a car ferry from the Lofoten islands before picking up the Hurtigrute
There wasn't a lot of useful info about the islands themselves on the web,
but the Lofoten Info pages were
both helpful and interesting with some good photos of the islands.
The Midnight Sun
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I spent a long time looking for an alternative to flying, as I thought
that this would pose problems with a bike. In fact it was very straightforward,
and British Midland didn't
even charge me extra for it. It was simply necessary to remove the pedals
and front wheel, turn the handlebars parallel with the frame and deflate
By contrast, the train gave me many more headaches when it came to transporting
my bike. It seems the accepted practice in Norway when transporting a bike
is to deliver it to the station of departure 24 hours in advance. It is
transported independently of you and collected at the destination station.
This was clearly impossible - I never had longer than 6 hours between arriving
somewhere and leaving on the train. Going, I fell back to plan B - special
pleading with the conductor persuaded him to put the bike in the luggage
van as it would have been in Britain. Coming back, however, there was no
luggage van! I was reduced to plan C, which consisted of dismantling the
bike to the degree that it fitted in the ski rack in the main carriage
- this meant removing both wheels and handlebars, and it only just fitted.
Plan D would have left the bike behind, so I was getting desperate! However,
this worked, and I don't really see what alternative I had, short of building
in an arbitrary 24 hour pause to the schedule each time I wanted to catch
a train! Nonetheless, be warned that your bike is not altogether welcome
on a Norwegian train.
The Hurtigrute steamer is quite reticent about taking advance bookings.
You can't (on board) buy anything other than a single ticket for the journey
you are currently making - even when the return, as in my case, happened
to be on physically the same ship. I think you can book in advance through
their "agents", but I didn't come across any - enquiry at a tourist office
brought the response "You buy your ticket on the boat". Thus in theory
you could presumably be stranded due to a full boat. In practice, it almost
never seemed anywhere near full (the exception being the Bodø to
Stamsund leg of the trip, when it filled dramatically - presumably fulfilling
the role of a local ferry here).
You don't need a cabin on the Hurtigrute, although they are available.
Sleeping in the lounge, as I mention in my account, was almost actively
encouraged and certainly not in any way frowned upon.
The return train trip cost about £100, while the Hurtigrute journey
was about £100 each way.