With Sweden, Norway and Finland ranking in the top 5 of nations with most bicycles per capita, it is fair to say that cycling is part of the Nordic lifestyle. Elaborate cycle networks, quiet roads, and bike-friendly cities support the idea of slow cycling. During summer mild temperatures, ranging between 7-17 degrees Centigrade or 44-62 degrees Fahrenheit allow for a laid-back approach to active adventures. With nature never too far away, cyclists are treated to forest shade or a refreshing coastal breeze to help them on their way.
This summer Magnetic North Travel is highlighting a few cycle tours with a refreshing sea breeze as an added bonus. Views of Scandinavia's dramatic coast can be enjoyed on a bike or ebike. Both are popular options among cycle-loving locals. So why not find out what the fuss it all about?
Take the slow boat (and bike) in the Lofoten Islands
Suits who: Easy-going cyclists, first-time cruisers
Average 9°C in June, Highs 16 °C Lows 3°C I Average 48 °F in June, Highs 60 °F Lows 37°F
This summer cyclists can take to the sea as they sail into the iconic, quaint harbor towns of the Lofoten Islands. Aboard the MV Stronstad, up to 15 cyclists can enjoy a rewarding onboard sauna session and hearty, local cuisine. On land, a guided cycling tour takes slow adventurers to iconic landmarks including Uttakleiv, Northern Norway’s most photographed white sand beach. Pedaling alongside rolling hills and winding roads, it is worth keeping an eye out for the white-headed sea eagle. A guided mountain hike and a rewarding onboard sauna round-off the experience.
Self-guided: The Turku archipelago trail
Suits who: Active families, first-time cycle tourers, off the beaten track explorers
Average 60°F in June ‘18, Highs 77 °F Lows 32° F I Average 16°C in June ‘18, Highs 25 °C Lows 0°C
Finland’s archipelago is home to 20,000 craggy islands making it the most island-rich archipelago in the world. With islands and sunshine galore, it’s time to embrace a slower pace of life and cycle the Archipelago Trail. The 150km path meanders through fishing villages alongside rugged, but calm shores. Occasionally, cyclists will hop on a small ferry. In between manageable days of cycling, there is enough time for lunch al fresco and the Finnish sauna ritual. At the end of the trip, a stay in Turku, Finland’s oldest town, offers medieval architecture and mouth-watering Nordic cuisine.
Nuuksio National Park Escape
When: Late spring-autumn
Suits who: Active families, first-time cycle tourers
2018 temperatures in Espoo:
Average 60°F in June, Highs 78 °F Lows 37° F | Average 16°C in June, Highs 26 °C Lows 3°C
In Helsinki, one of the greenest capitals in the world, nature is only ever a 15-minute walk, cycle or train journey away. Starting a Southern Finnish cycling adventure from the coastal capital is not only a practical solution, but it also offers an insight into the Finnish desire to embrace nature, even in the most populated part of the country. The cycling loop sees e-bikers swap cobbled city streets for pine-carpeted forest and coastal trails. Balmy forests, old ironwork villages and lakes glittering in the evening light transport cyclists into a world of calm.
When: Late spring-autumn
Suits who: Off the beaten track explorers
2018 temperatures in Senja:
Average 7 °C in June, Highs 15 °C Lows 1°C | Average 44°F in June, Highs 59 °F Lows 33°F
Setting off from Tromso, cyclists head south to Senja, the lesser known sister of the Lofoten Islands. The journey takes cyclists across spectacular bridges into small villages home to 300 inhabitants. Meandering alongside dramatic coastlines, picturesque villages, small islands with anecdotic names like Sommaroy (Summer Island), Kvaloya (Whale Island) travelers have the chance to chat with locals, dip their toes into the sea or perhaps go for a wild swim feeling brave.
Lagom Cycling in Stockholm’s archipelago
Suits who: Nordic lifestyle aficionados, first-time cyclists, active families
Temperatures in Stockholm: Average 16°C in June, Highs 26 °C Lows 3°C | Average 62 °F in June, Highs 84 °F Lows 37°F
Stockholm, the capital of Nordic cool, is the perfect base for cyclists looking for a culture and nature fix. Inspired by the concept of balanced living, Magnetic North Travel has designed a 7-day adventure with plenty of time for al fresco Fikas - a catch up over coffee and cake. Explore Stockholm’s charming alleys before embarking on an island-hopping tour with stunning views across the archipelago.
All Magnetic North Travel trips and include a 24/7 emergency line, concierge service and personalized travel documents via our app.
Photo credits: Header image 3,4,5: Juho Kuva, Visit Finland Image 7: Aleksi Koskinen, Visit Finland Image 8: C.H. - Visitnorway.com Image 10: Simon Paulin, Visit Sweden