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.

Recommended islands

cycling and sea spray

Island hopping by bike

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 Sørarnøy 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 Sandhornøy is the biggest island in the municipality, Gildeskål. Sandhornøy is a natural idyll, and one of the region’s most beautiful mountain hikes and beaches is located her.

Explore Sandhornøy


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.

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

Tips: If you buy the “Reis Nordland” Travel Pass, you have unlimited travel on express boats and buses throughout Nordland for one week. For prices and information check out Travel Pass Nordland.

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.

Bike rental

You can rent bikes in Bodø at the following places:

Opplev Nord AS

Konrad Klausens vei 4A
+47 901 92 636

Sport 1 Sentrum

Sjøgata 17
+47 995 08 001
(250 m from Sentrumsterminalen)

Thaihuset Gildaskal

SeE And do

Explore Gildeskål

See and do

Explore Meløy

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