There you go! The first step consists in reaching Norway and Oslo is the cheapest option or, if you are flying with Ryanair from Alicante, Brema, London or Malaga, you can get straight to Haugesund. Otherwise Oslo is connected from all over the world, then you can take a train from there and reach Stavanger. You have two options: rent your bike in Oslo (cheaper) e take it with you for the whole trip, or trying to make a deal in Stavanger, where prices are a bit higher (you can ask the visitor centre in Stavanger), like 250 per day or a discounted rate for a week or more. Make sure to get a fully equipped bicycle, as we didn’t and we ended up like this; we made it anyway, was just a bit more uncomfortable and adventurous.
You cannot get to Haugesund from Oslo by train, but you can from Stavanger (Mekjarvik) by ferry and stop over at the beautiful Kivtsoy archipelago, then reach Karmoy, stroll around in the typical fishing village of Skudeneshavn and finally make your way to Haugesund.
If you prefer to skip Haugesund for time purposes, at least do not miss Skudeneshavn, which is about one hour and a half away from Mekjarvik and you can visit it within a day. The ferry will cost you 59 Krowns each way and you can take your bike on board for free.
Stavanger is a nice fairly ‘big’ town (compared to Norwegian standard) and has a lot to offer to visitors, both in its centre and surroundings.
Accommodation in Stavanger is not cheap, as in the whole country, but you can stay at the Mosvangen camping, just a couple of kms from the town centre. The location is very nice, by the Mosvangen lake, and its fares are quite affordable: 150 Kr for a two person tent with bikes or from 450 to 600 Kr for a comfortable cabin. You also have many other options in Stavanger, such as B&B, hotels and hostels, but you are here for your ecotourism trip, aren’t you? Moreover, the most important cycle routes start form this camping.
What to see
When visiting Stavanger you can’t miss the Gamle Stavanger, the old centre, with wooden colorful houses from the XVII centuries and the Dormkirke, the Cathedral built around 1125, right in the centre.
Around Stavanger you can find a number of beaches, particularly in Jaeren, a stretch of sand a few kms south of the city. They are very popular both for relaxing and sea activities, such as surfing, kite surfing and many more.
5 Kms from Stavanger lies a little town, Sola, which doesn’t own any particular attraction but a very scenic romanic church, placed on a hill that offers a spectacular view over the valley and the sea. You can easily reach Sola through a cycling path, but ask locals often as sometimes indications can miss!
On the way back to Stavanger stop in the tranquil Madla (you have to divert on the Madla Cycling Route, which is very well indicated on the way) to rest and enjoy the beautiful coastline sights.
The Pulpit Rock
The Pulpit Rock, Norwegian name Preikestolen, is not something you can see, is a Must See. A 604 breathtaking meters cliff that drops into the amazing Lysenfjorden. It’s just 25kms from Stavanger and to get there the best option is to combine bus and ferry (buy the ticket at the camping or at the visitor centre) for an all-inclusive price of 72 Kr. It is not suggested to bike there unless you are particularly fit and well equipped.
Anyway, the last 4 kms to get to the top of the Rock are to be made on foot, along a medium difficult (and in part slippery) 2 hours track.
It always takes more, as you want to stop to shoot photos and have a break by the picturesque waterholes and lakes along the way. Bear in mind to bring sunscreen, plenty of water, hat and sturdy shoes.
The walk is not the easiest one, but you will be rewarded by the spectacular view from the top.