If you start and end in Mo i Rana, you will see a range of wonderful sights from your saddle. In less than a week, you'll encounter a cross-section of all the natural attractions of this kingdom. The cycling package suggested below starts on a Sunday. If you take this trip, you need to be prepared to spend some nights in a sleeping bag under canvas, since accommodation is not available at every headland or express boat quay.
Mo to Melfjordbotn
Starting on Sunday morning at the tourist information office in Mo town centre, the trip heads north along the E6 towards Røssvoll, where you take the turning towards Melfjordbotn and today's campsite. En route you can visit the Grønligrotta or Setergrotta caves, but remember to add at least two extra hours onto the day's journey time if you choose this option. After a 40 km (25 mile) cycle ride, you can park your bike and hike to the Marble Castle, a fairytale geological landscape carved out by meltwater carried by the Glomåga River from the Svartisen glacier. This excursion also takes about two hours.
The last stage of the day is over Melfjellet mountain. Here, you cycle up over a mountain pass before winding your way down on the other side, through the road's many hairpin bends. The road down towards Melfjordbotn is Helgeland's answer to the Trollstigen road in Møre og Romsdal county. Once you have reached Melfjordbotn, there are many excellent walks, you can fish from the quayside, and there are plenty of lovely spots in which to pitch your tent.
Melfjordbotn to Rødøy Island
Day Two on Monday starts gently, allowing you to enjoy the morning in Melfjordbotn. All you have to remember is to be ready on the express boat quay at 12:40, in order to take the boat across the fjord to Kilboghamn. This is a fantastic hour-long boat trip, giving you a fantastic view of the Nattmorsåga River hurling itself 300 metres (1,000 feet) down into the fjord – a spectacular sight. You also cross the Arctic Circle and have excellent views of the Arctic Circle Monument.
From Kilboghamn, you will cycle 21 kilometres to Tonnes, where you can hike up to the Tonnesgrotta cave. It's also worth taking the time to enjoy a delicious meal at the Oscarbrygga restaurant on the express boat quay, savouring the view of the Hestmannen (Horseman) mountain across the sea.
At 19:45, the express boat heads north over to Rødøy. En route you will cross the Arctic Circle for the second time, and see the Arctic Circle symbol on the island of Vikingen. Once you have reached Rødøy island, you can camp overnight, or stay in the elegant Klokkergården guesthouse. If you choose the latter, it's worth booking a room in advance. If the weather is fine, we recommend an evening walk up to the summit of Rødøyløva, a beautiful place from which to see the midnight sun.
Rødøy to Aldersund
You can start Tuesday off with another walk to the top of Rødøyløva, if you want to enjoy the view while the sun is high in the sky. You can also hire a kayak, and canoe amongst the many beautiful tiny islands. The fine white beaches here are perfect for sunbathing and swimming.
Your onward journey is by express boat to Tonnes at 16:00. We recommend stopping at Oscarbrygga for dinner, before cycling on to Aldersundet. Once there, you can choose between accommodation in your tent or a cabin on the Aldersund Motel & Camping campsite.
Aldersund to Træna
To give yourself plenty of time to see the inland sights of Lurøy, we recommend an early start for your ride to Stokkvågen. The trip will take you past the viewpoint at Kleivhalsen, just after which you will reach Grønsvik Coastal Battery, a German coastal fortification from the Second World War. There is also a new museum which has exhibitions about the war and human rights issues – an extremely interesting place to stop.
In order to reach Wednesday's destination, you'll need to be ready at the express boat quay at Stokkvågen at 12:00 noon. From here, you will board the Helgeland express boat out to Træna, Norway's oldest fishing village.
We recommend a detour over to the island of Sanna, where there are many ancient monuments to visit. These include Kirkhelleren, a huge cavern that extends 45 metres (150 feet) back into the rock. This is known as 'nature's cathedral', and traces have been found here of one of Norway's oldest settlements. Kirkhelleren also has fantastic acoustics and is used as a concert venue.
You can also hike up Gompen mountain, which has a military installation at its summit. The route to the top is via a tarmacked road with a tunnel, but remember to take a torch, as there are no lights in the tunnel. The view from the top is phenomenal, extending out along the entire Helgeland coast. You can camp overnight on Sanna, or head over to Husøya, Træna municipality's main island, where you can choose between accommodation in Træna Gjestegård guesthouse, or a Træna Rorbuferie fisherman's cabin.
Træna to Flostrand
On Day Five, you can spend the morning cycling around Træna, where there are plenty of lovely small roads that are ideal for cycling. Make sure that you visit the picturesque Petter Dass Chapel, built in 1997, a perfect place for reflection and meditation.
Your return to the mainland is by ferry at 15:00, and after almost three hours, you will reach Stokkvågen. From here, you will cycle towards Mo i Rana. You will eventually reach the Hellåga picnic area, which is particularly well designed, since this part of the road is a National Tourist Route. From here, you can walk down to the sea and fish from the fishing points provided. There are also plenty of lovely spots close to the picnic area where you can pitch your tent.
Flostrand to Mo i Rana
The tour ends on Friday with a beautiful stage inland from Flostrand towards Mo i Rana. This is along quite a busy road, so please cycle carefully. A good place to stop is at Anne Gundersen's gallery in Utskarpen, or you can buy refreshments at Åsta's café in the same village. Continuing inland towards Mo i Rana, you will pass Straumbotn Dairy Farm, which sells home-produced farm cheese. Once you have reached Mo i Rana, you can stay in one of the town's hotels or on the campsite at Revelen. The town also has plenty of good shops and excellent restaurants to choose from.
This cycling tour can easily be extended with a number of options. The tourist information office at Mo i Rana can help you to design a tailor-made package if you would like some other alternatives.