Island hopping by bike
If you go island hopping, you need to visit at least two islands to keep your word. We have selected a bunch of islands that you can visit by combining express boat and bike. While none of these islands have very long stretches, your bike will come in handy when you want to explore the islands.
Here are the islands that you must visit!
See the map and scroll down for our route description and all the places we recommend stopping along this cycling route
The islands we recommend are all situated along the southern part of the coast in Salten – in the municipalities of Gildeskål, Meløy and Rødøy. As the public transport is often designed for those who live out on the islands, we recommend planning well and including an overnight stay or two on each island. This way you won’t miss anything.
The starting point for the tour is the center terminal in the center of Bodø. Either take the express boat to the nearest island and travel further south, or take the boat all the way to Selsøyvik and travel north towards Bodø again.
Arnøy is two islands in Gildeskål municipality – Søarnøy and Nordarnøy. The islands are connected by a small bridge.
The Arnøy islands are a viable community out on the high seas, with approx. 250 inhabitants. Most of the population lives on South Arnøy. Here you will also find the store, school, church, gathering hall, fish reception and quay for both ferry and express boat. Read more HERE.
The idyllic island of Støtt is in the northern Meløy. It is part of the Støttvær archipelago, which lies in the middle of the ship berth on the islands of Innerstøtt and Svenningen. Read more HERE.
At the far end of Meløy is Bolga. The island is known by the characteristic 339-metre-high Bolgfjellet, which has been a sailing landmark for sailors who have traveled along the ship’s berth throughout the ages. Read more HERE.
Rødøya is an island in Rødøy municipality. The island lies outside of Tjongsfjord, and has an area of 8.2 km². Here you will find the majestic Rødøyløva at 443 meters above sea level, which is a popular hiking destination.
Gjerøy is a small island in Rødøy municipality. Here live approx. 60 permanent residents, as well as some cottagers in the summer season. At Gjerøy it is a good idea to bring a tent, because there are not many accommodation options here.
A popular distillery, unique accommodation and two excellent places to eat during the summer season have made Myken a popular and exotic place. The island is the furthest out to sea of all the islands along our coast.
A beautiful place with only 9 inhabitants in winter. In the summer, however, the number of cottagers and visitors increases considerably. Here there is a shop, a summer café and the option of overnight accommodation with a historical flair or more modern variants.
The Arnøy islands (Sørarnøy and Nordarnøy)
You get two islands in one here!
The islands of Søarnøy (South Arnøy) and Nordarnøy (North Arnøy) are connected by a bridge. The express boat docks at Gildeskål on Søarnøy. You can ride from here to the far end of Nordarnøy.
Going ashore on The Arnøy islands is like jumping straight into an advertisement for the popular Norwegian chocolate Freia Melkesjokolade. You can bike along gravel roads and green pastures overflowing with yellow dandelions. You will pass traditional, white-painted Nordland houses, red barns, cows grazing and friendly “Arnøyværinger” (locals of the Arnøy islands) who greet everyone they meet along the road. Wherever you are, you have a constant view of the sparkling sea and the iconic mountain Sandhornet, which rises 993 m straight from the sea.
If you follow the main road through Søarnøy for a few minutes, you will reach the bridge across the Arnøysundet strait to Nordarnøy. You can enjoy the view from the costal fort built here during the Second World War.
Arnøy brygge on Nordarnøy offers accommodation, meals (straight from the sea) and activities such as fishing, boat rental, canoeing, diving, water skiing and hiking. You can also go on a guided bike tour to learn about the island’s history.
The idyllic island of Støtt in Meløy municipality is a traditional fishing village and in days gone by the small island community was also an important trading post.
Her ventet fiskerne på godt vær før overfarten til Lofoten. I The fishermen waited here for good weather before crossing the sea to the Lofoten islands. Today, the old trading post has been converted into accommodation and a restaurant, which is a popular place during summer for visitors from Norway and abroad.
You can bike to “Verdens ende” (World’s End), rent a kayak, go on a fishing trip or RIB safari, mountain hiking or just wander around looking for crabs on the foreshore. The island is renowned for its beautiful white sandy beaches. We recommend packing your lunch and swimwear and setting off to explore the island – on foot, by bike or by kayak.
What you choose to do is up to you, but here is one tip: Støtt – Top of Helgeland serves wonderful fish soup. They serve history here – literally. You can enjoy a journey back in time by spending the night at the old trading post.
If you want a nice walk, we recommend Innerstøtt rundt (55FF).
Bolga is also located in Meløy municipality and is a sugarloaf jutting out of the sea.
The island is characterised by the distinctive 339 m high mountain Bolgfjellet, which has been a navigational landmark for sailors who have travelled along the coast throughout history. If you hike up to Bolgbørra, a natural hole running right through the mountain, you can walk across to the other side of the island, which is an exciting experience.
On the outer coast of the island, you can test your strength with Ruggesteinen (the rocking rock) or savour the view of the myriad of islets and skerries, which you can reach by kayak or boat if you wish.
At Bolga Brygge you can have dinner, go fishing, rent a boat or dangle your legs off the pier. Bolga Brygge offers accommodation in rorbu (fishermen’s cottages), apartments or the historic Fiskebrygge on the pier. The restaurant here serves quality food with local traditions made with tender love and care.
The majesty of the islands in Rødøy municipality is Rødøyløva (55FF).
The kneeling lion that guards our coast can be climbed via a partially paved path. It’s up to you whether the wonderful beaches, the island’s teddy bear museum, Rødøy Church or the fairy tale forest tempt you more. If you want to stay somewhere with a made-up bed and good food, this is possible at Klokkargården. Read more about Rødøya here.
Gjerøya is a place of peace and tranquillity.
In the far south of the island, you will discover a café serving local seafood throughout the summer. You can travel by boat from here over to a wonderful viewing garden and the historic Lensmannsgården. (The name stems from the days when the sheriff lived on the farm.) If you want to go on a hike, there is a well-marked path up the mountain Gjerdøyfjellet (55FF). If you wish to relax, we recommend heading to one of the many beautiful coves and beaches.
No island along our coast is farther out than Myken.
Although there are few roads on the island out at the sea, it has a lot to offer. You will make friends with birds like the cormorant, black-legged kittiwake and guillemot, while the surrounding sea can be both shining and powerful.
Myken has a distillery that produces whisky and gin. When it comes to accommodation, the options are varied and unique, ranging from a lighthouse to an indoor campsite with painted and special caravans. You can also get good food, not to mention beautiful light!
If you want to go for a walk, the trip to Sørlykta fin (55 FF).
Selsøyvik is the last stop north of the Arctic Circle.
When the express boat docks, you will be greeted by the old trading post dating from the 18th century. You will find a shop, a café (open during the summer months) and accommodation with a choice of historical or more modern options. If you want to hike up a mountain, the route up Breiviktinden (55FF) is well marked.
Our best tips when you are going island hopping
Travel by express boat
Plan and book space for you and your bik eon the stretches you choose on the express boats. You can do this online at reisnordland.no.
Tips: If you buy the “Reis Nordland” Travel Pass, you have unlimited travel on express boats and buses throughout Nordland for one week. This pass costs NOK 990, which is well worth it if you are planning to take many journeys by express boat.
Bonus tips: When you board, ask the crew if you will disembark the express boat via the upper or lower deck. This way you will avoid last-minute stress and needing to go up or down with your bike and baggage just before disembarking.
Tips for your bike ride:
- 55 Forførende friluftsmål (enticing outdoor destinations) – often 55FF – are specially selected, attractive hiking destinations in Salten ranging from easy walks to more demanding hikes. Read more about 55FF here.
- Change your cycling direction and time of day to suit the weather and other wishes. Remember it’s light 24/7 here during the summer. You can always turn back or replace stages by express boat (if possible).
- Bring a bike pump, tyre lever, extra bike tube and multi-tool suitable for your bike. There are few bicycle operators in the district.
- Bring a water bottle. The water from mountain streams is mostly drinkable.
- Check the opening hours of the grocery stores you plan to use before you set off.
- Leave as few physical traces as possible and always dispose of your rubbish responsibly.
- Remember you are not permitted to camp closer than 150 m from an inhabited house or cabin.
- Special rules may apply for camping in nature reserves.
- Be considerate to other traffic (even though there is not much).
- Greet people you meet and stop for a chat.
You can rent bikes in Bodø at the following places:
Opplev Nord AS
Konrad Klausens vei 4A
+47 901 92 636
Sport 1 Sentrum
+47 995 08 001
(250 m from Sentrumsterminalen)
SeE And do
See and do
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