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Biking in Norway: ecotourism experience

This part of the cycle path is one the most scenic along the whole North Sea Cycle Route, as you encounter the conservation area of Jaeren, whose beaches are the finest in Norway. Long stretches of white sand dunes that meet a blue and impetuous sea, where you can see surfer challenging huge waves. The area is protected and so are its fauna and flora.

This part of the track is a bit tricky, because there is a lack of camping spots from Sandnes to Brusand (44 km), except for the one in Kongeparken, near Algard, which is too far from the coast and cannot be reached by a proper cycle path.

I suggest you to visit all the area from Stavanger to Sandnes in a couple of days, while staying at the camping in Stavanger, then you can catch the train to Bryne (73 Kr), get the bike on board with you and start visiting the Jaeren coast.

But Norway in is also good to pitch a tent in the nature, if you are self sufficient.

Jaeren beaches offer a vast choice of scenic reserves and outdoor activities, particularly Orre Beach and the 11 Km long Klepp, which is also the longest sandy beach in Norway. If the weather is so kind to let you enjoy a bit of sun, don't miss this opportunity.

Orre Beach is spectacular at sunset, but if you want to attend such an event be prepared to camp under the stars..or in the rain! Or reach the Bore Strandcamping in Kleppe

You will realize that also a northern country could boast dramatic beaches. There are 13 km before getting to another attraction, the Obrestad Fyr. The lighthouse can still be accessed and visited for 25 Kr.

From Obrestad the route continues alongside the main road and that's not the most spectacular part, but the best is yet to come. At some point there is a signposted diversion that moves the cycle route to the coast, through an impressive glowing green tree wood, after which you can ride on your bike on a gravel but well maintained track. Here the soft slopes allow you to spot the sea in several occasions.

You will pass different livestock gates, which could be either open, so you just pass on, or closed; in this case don't go back, but open the gate and close it back after you.

This beautiful stretch of coastline lasts for about 7 Km, after which the path goes back to the main road and leads you to Brusand and Ogna through a couple of towns, Varhaug and Visegrad, perfect places to stop and rest. Your butt will be grateful!

From Visegrad to Brusand the scenery turns into a countryside landscape, with green hills, cows, horses and little streams. It is a very easy and pleasant journey until Brusand, where you can finally pitch your heavy tent. Actually Brusand it is not the only option, as Ogna lies 2 Km southward. Both places are not even towns, but just agglomerates of few houses. Each of them has a camping site with access to a very nice sandy beach, but Brusand can also 'boast' (in this case is the right word) a supermarket. Ogna camping is the most scenic but also the most expensive: 200 Kr for a tent (2 people) against the 180 you pay in Brusand. We stayed at Ognas and it was good, but we heard of people who enjoyed Brusand camping as well. All in all they are quite the same.

Bear in mind that you have to pay 5 Kr for a 5 minutes hot shower (cold water is for free) and there is no chance of getting an internet connection, even paying (at least in July 2011). But you don't want to waste your time using a computer or watching TV, as there is a lot to see and do that your time will fly away quickly.

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