Now the situation is that I have three days of work left and then we’re heading on a motorbike road trip to Northern Norway. We have only been on short trips and now there is 13 days of driving ahead of us. In addition to this the weather this year has been abysmal, so not a lot of driving practice. I got my motorcycle driving licence last year with the driving test being in August, so I didn’t manage to get a lot of driving done last year and even less this year, but there is no way back. I can practice on the road. 🙂
First we thought that we would take a train to the Northern Finland and continue on bikes from there, but it turns out that getting two people from Southern Finland to the north with two bikes costs approx. 450€ and with that kind of money we could get quite a lot of gas and a couple of hotel nights, so we decided that we end up driving the entire way. A lot of people say that driving in the Northern Finland is boring as hell, but now it’s time to find out for ourselves. 🙂
So this is the plan:
On Monday we will drive from Helsinki to Kalajoki. The distance is approx. 575km and of course we will have to stop several times and have lunch somewhere. We ended up spending the night in Kalajoki because I have a friend spending her vacation there and I haven’t seen her in a long long while, so it’s a good opportunity to catch up.
As Kalajoki is a popular summer destination, the accommodation choices were rather limited. We ended up reserving one cabin without amenities as there were no other reasonably priced options. We figured that at the beginning of the trip we’ll still have some adventurous spirit left and with saving on this accommodation we can stay in hotels in Norway prices for which by the way are close to absurd.
On Tuesday we’ll drive from Kalajoki to Ivalo. That’s a very easy 683km or driving… or rather not. We’ll stay in a cabin in Ivalo as well, but this time we’re supposed to have private bathroom. I’m not sure if we have chance to see Ivalo at all or will the trip take the entire day.
On Wednesday we’re finally crossing from Finland to Norway and we’re driving from Ivalo to Nordkapp. First we were supposed to stay overnight in Nordkapp, but it turned out that there is only camping grounds in Nordkapp, so we had to book accommodation in close-by Gjesvaer.
The trip from Ivalo to Nordkapp is 422km, so it’ll take approx. seven hours and then there’s another 40km from Nordkapp to Gjesvaer, which will take 45 min according to Google maps, so I guess that the speed limit is pretty low or the road is very winding. In Gjesvaer we’re staying in a supposedly authentic rorbu or fisherman’s cabin, which I hope is some sort of luxury cabin because the price was very high, but not like that village had a plethora of options.
On Thursday we mean to drive to Hammerfest and walk around a bit. Finally we want to drive from Hammerfest to Alta. The “cities” are not that big, so I assume that there is not a lot of sights. In kilometers we have quite reasonable 348km, but that should take a bit over five hours and we wanted to stop in interesting places and have lunch somewhere as well. In Alta we have finally a real hotel room waiting for us.
On Friday we want to drive from Alta to Tromsø and Tromsø is hopefully a bigger place, where we could do some sightseeing as well. So plan for the day is to drive 397km and the relax, do some sightseeing and see what we have time to do. Tromsø had some decent hotel options, so we didn’t have to choose a super expensive hotel. In a lot of places in Norway it seems that there are two options: an expensive one and a very expensive one.
On Saturday we are driving Tromsø – Senja – Hamn – Gryllefjord and on top of that we’re taking a ferry to Andenes. The trip is only 225km, so hopefully we don’t have to wake up really early or see something in Tromsø if we feel like it. The last ferry from Gryllefjord to Andenes leaves at 19, so that’s the final ferry we need to take to get to Lofoten. The ferry trip lasts approx. 1h 40min, so we’re not talking about a very long ferry trip, but enough to watch the scenery. We have booked an overnight accommodation in Andenes.
On Sunday we’d like to go on a whale safari in Andenes and after that drive to Bleik, which supposedly has nice sand beaches and continue after that to Svolvær and stay there overnight. There is only 224km to drive, but the whale safari takes some hours and while we are in the supposedly incredibly beautiful Lofoten, we’d like to have time to stop and take some pictures.
On Monday we’d like to see the WWII museum in Svolvær and take a trip to Trollfjorden. After that we’d like to drive to Henningvaer, then to Vestvågoy, which supposedly has an interesting viking museum and continue from there to a small village of Nusfjord and finally via Ramberg to Å i Lofoten. We’ve reserved a cabin in Å.
The driving is ridiculous 159km, but we’re expecting to stop a lot, so we want to have enough time.
On Tuesday we only have plans to drive to Moskenes and taking a ferry from Moskenes to Bodø. The ferry trip takes 3-4 hours. There are several ferries a day, but we’d like to take the one at 10:30, so that we’d have enough time to see Bodø. No other activities are planned for that day just in case we miss the 10:30 ferry and will have to take the next one. Also after many days of having quite a tight schedule, we need to balance with a bit of free time.
On Wednesday we’d like to drive 30km from Bodø to Saltstraumen and see the maelstrom and then continue to Foroy.
After Saltstraumen there is 143km to Foroy.
At Foroy we’d take 13:30 ferry to Ågskardet. The trip lasts amazing 10 min.
From Ågskardet the trip continues to Jektvik.
From Jektvik we’d take the second ferry at 16:35 to Kilboghamn. This ferry trip lasts approx. 1h.
And the last drive of the day would be from Kilboghamn to Mo i Rana.
Tursday will be the only day without any planned driving. During this day we’d like to get to know Mo i Rana, to visit Gronligrotta and Setergrotta and also see the Svartisen glacier. We’ll spend the second night in Mo i Rana.
On Friday it’s time to head home, so we’re heading to Umeå from where we need to take the ferry to Vaasa at 18:00. The ferry should be in Vaasa at 23:00, so we’re spending the night in Vaasa.
On Saturday we’d like to visit the Kvarken Archipelago and then drive home to Helsinki.
This is the general idea for the trip. We’d like the trip to be more than just driving, but we’ll see. We’ll be on the road for 13 days, so we’ll have one day to sleep and do laundry before going back to work on Monday.