Norway’s beautiful Lofoten Islands are often referred to as one of the most stunning spots on the planet and you are about to find out why. There’s so much culture, history and a whole range of otherworldly landscapes here that will simply leave you speechless, and the best way to truly take it all in is by bike, of course! Check out our latest customer story from Randall Brophy and Pippa Bradbrook, who visited Norway with us, and prepare for immediate wanderlust…
‘Thinking back on our many years of cycling trips, I remember plenty of over-loved destinations. Not so with Norway. We waited until my wife was about to turn a major milestone birthday before going there. Fears of arctic isolation, $20 drinks, icy-cold weather and frequent rain turned out to be based in truth but greatly overdone. Surely we needed more clothing, and there was rain, but we were prepared for that. Plus, there is the Norway of Oslo and Bergen, then there are the Lofotens, a completely different world.
I’d read the Lofotens have the warmest weather for their latitude in the world, but what we got was far better than that superlative. Five consecutive days of full blue-sky sunshine with tee-and-shorts temperatures began our trip. Our energetic, knowledgeable and boundlessly likeable Norwegian guide, Sandro, met us at the ferry arrival around 9:30 PM and took us to our accommodation where he gave us a briefing and our bikes, despite still having to drive two hours back to his home afterward. The sun had risen in early June and wouldn’t set until late July.
This wouldn’t be a typical bike tour with turn-by-turn instructions and looking at the maps as much as looking at the road. There’d be no crowded tourist sites to try to book ahead, and no disappointments from waiting in any queues to see anything. Most of the time, we felt like the only people out there seeing these beautiful fjords for the first time, along with a scattering of staunch locals who enjoyed the midnight sun but also endured the arctic winters too. Every day we were treated to towering snow-patched mountains, deep blue clear waterways, clean air, and the most pleasant accommodations we’d ever experienced on a bike trip. The overnights featured an ideal mix of self-catering and restaurant options. Any hill climbs were quite tame. Many of the routes had cycleways, including some very scenic bypasses around tunnels. Where we were on the main road, we found drivers to be respectful and careful of cyclists.
One of the highlights was a round of golf in the middle of the night at Lofoten Links. That was also our last clear day, with a light rain moving in the following morning. Still plenty of atmospheric low-cloud formations on mountains to see, and while the weather wasn’t the best, the sky would clear at odd times (like 11 PM), making for stunning late-night excursions up hills, above fjords, and through fishing villages with postcard views of the golden sunshine on the mountains and shoreline. It was a time to liberate oneself from the daily schedule and go with a different flow for a while.
Unlike some other cycling trips, the Lofoten Islands tour in June featured a very different environment to stay each day. From Svolvaer’s variety, practicality and beautiful inland lakes, Henningsvaer’s quaint but tidy strips of shops and homes along canals with a cool edge to it, Gymsoy’s remote and stark beauty, Balstad’s utilitarian aspect, to Sakrisoy’s beautiful and rustic simplicity, we experienced a Norway as yet unspoiled by a mass influx of tourists, yet enough visitors to share the awe. And there was plenty of that. Every day.’
Check out our HQ team’s top travel trends of the year…
1. Team Leisure Cycling: Thumbs up for Norway Trip recommendation:Lofoten Islands We say: A whopping 3 times as many of you are choosing to venture to this extraordinary destination this year. Norway’s features include dramatic fjords and unspoilt islands, all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your saddle.
2. Team Mountain Biking: Summer of the staycation Trip recommendation:Highlands C2C
Holidays at home in the UK are proving popular this summer. With simpler travel arrangements and plenty of underrated gems, we can see why! For a true escape head to Scotland – an outdoor enthusiasts paradise.
3. Team Adventure Cycling: Long Haul travel on the rise Trip recommendation: Volcanes y Playas We say: Direct flights are making distant lands more accessible than ever before! With direct flights to Costa Rica the latest far-flung offering, it’s time to join us for a jungle adventure on two wheels.
With six glorious weeks to keep the kids entertained, it’s time to think about planning a holiday the little ones will never forget. Never fear, our summer cycling holidays have got your family needs covered. From easy-paced cycling journeys for beginners to holidays with an added extra sparkle; whether hoping to hit the beach or looking for places to take a post-ride dip, your choices are endless!
Perfect for beginners
We know it can be a somewhat daunting task to swap your leisurely poolside holiday for a more active form of travel, but there’s really no need to worry! For those taking to two wheels for their first cycling holiday, we’ve some great options both in the UK and Europe that provide fantastic gentle cycling and aim to inspire a new generation of cyclists whilst they’re at it…
Trip: Lake District Where: UK Duration: 3 days Looking for a cycling holiday with the kids but need a helping hand? Our guided tour in the Lake District is a fantastic introduction to cycling, and with our guides on hand to help, you’ll be in very safe hands!
Aimed specifically at families looking to boost their cycling skills, this is a great opportunity to get some expert advice from our lovely team. With fun in mind, you’ll enjoy two great days in the saddle, helping improve your confidence on the bike.
The tour exceeded our expectations in every way. It was the best two days of the entire summer for our family. I wish we could go back and do the two days again – our two young sons loved it and we will definitely be booking again soon. Thank you for such a great trip. Big smiles and happy, happy memories of the cycling in the Lakes. Nick, Switzerland
For full details about our holiday in the Lake District click here
Trip: Lake Constance Where: Germany, Austria & Switzerland Duration: 7 days This lovely holiday explores Europe’s picturesque 3rd largest lake and is a real treat for those who love to explore the great outdoors!
Following a mixture of flat, traffic-free cycle paths, this route is perfect for little ones looking for a gentle introduction to a two-wheeled holiday. Alongside stunning views of the mountains from your routes along the lakeshore, there’s also plenty of opportunity for a mid-ride dip, as well as lots of idyllic spots to enjoy a picnic and re-fuel!
This was a great family holiday, the children both really enjoyed themselves, especially the swimming in the lake! The hotel in Lindau was amazing, and the lady that looked after us was particularly helpful. Thank you for a fantastic holiday that we can’t recommend enough. Becky, Bristol
For full details about our holiday at Lake Constance click here.
Best days at the beach
A holiday beside the sea is a classic choice for many looking for sun, sand and splashing on their summer break! We’ve selected our favourite destinations where the cycling is just as good as the beaches themselves. Time to get your bucket and spade ready…
Voted number 1 on Mumsnet in 2015 as their top family destination, the ‘secret kingdom’ Northumberland is blessed with some of the best beaches the UK has to offer.
Imagine miles upon miles of un-spoilt empty beaches combined with striking historical castles that have fascinating tales to tell from times gone by. Now, add your bike and you’ve got what we like to think is the perfect summer holiday for the whole family to enjoy. We recommend taking time to explore the lovely beaches of Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh, both of which make the ideal place for a post-ride picnic.
What better way to find out more about this holiday than checking out our fantastic video:
For more information about our family cycling holiday in Northumberland click here.
The ‘Costa del’ resorts of Spain have been popular holiday destinations for years but we bet you haven’t heard of the stunning North West region of the Asturias, and the little-visited dramatic beaches that are located here. This is the ideal destination for those looking for beautiful, sunny, sandy stretches, far removed from the hoarding tourist masses…
Your itinerary for the week is packed full of memorable beach stops and some of the more notable options include the Playa de Toro, where you’ll be greeted by fun rock formations, the large beach of Playa de Poo (yes, this will certainly get the kids laughing) and the Playa de Cuevas del Mar, also known as the ‘beach of sea caves’.
We enjoyed all the days but the last day kayaking was probably the most memorable. Seeing the start of the Sella race was amazing and then kayaking down with crowds of celebrating Spaniards through lovely scenery was fantastic fun. We also very much enjoyed the cycling too. Sarah, Chesire
For more information about our cycling holiday in northern Spain click here.
Great for… awesome extra activities
Although our holidays are all about getting the little ones out on two wheels, we know that a holiday wouldn’t be complete without some fun, extra activities to motivate you to cover those miles! So, we’ve selected our favourite options to keep the kids smiling away from the bikes too.
Budding historians will love our fantastic tour along the historic Hadrian’s Wall, where you can get really hand on with the history on offer.
Alongside fantastic views to aid your daily rides, this route is dotted with fantastic museums that help bring the story of this iconic Roman frontier back to life. From interactive events, including the fun Roman Soldier School held at various locations along the way, to the fascinating forts themselves, there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained…
We had a good laugh with our guide, Les, he is very likeable. More importantly though his group leadership skills were excellent. He managed the two families who cycled at different paces very well. Very impressed. The children really liked him too and we all had good banter. Angela, Leeds
For more information about our family cycling holiday in the UK click here
There may be few sandy beaches on this stunning mid-Atlantic island, but what it lacks in traditional holiday features, it certainly makes up for in fun action-packed activities!
If you have adventurous children at heart, you can’t go wrong with our cycling holiday in the Azores, exploring the lush island of Sao Miguel. Amongst the highlights you’ll discover will be lots of wild dolphins and whales, lush waterfalls to bathe in and a jeep safari giving you a great insight into the awesome nature on offer.
A holiday which included so many highlights: cycling round the rim of a volcano, swimming in a hot waterfall, whale watching and many more. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and very friendly, and the team at Skedaddle were really helpful in planning our trip. Thank you! Stuart, Derbyshire
Want to find out more about our family adventure in the Azores? Click here.
Picturesque villages and chateau-studded countryside are key features of this classic valley in France. But alongside these quintessential French goodies is also a secret beneath the ground, where history abounds in famous caves, or ‘grottes.’
For children interested in nature, this will be a welcome few hours off the bike, exploring impressive stalagmite formations deep underground. A fantastic, unique attraction that will inspire the little ones…
Cycling was an excellent family holiday choice and it was even better than we expected. The Dordogne was absolutely stunning. The kids did really well, just needed some encouragement and our 8 year old had a few boosts up the hill when cycling to Rocamadour, but they cycled the whole way and they were really proud of their achievement. Digby, Shropshire
Find out more about our family cycling holiday in France by clicking here.
The Lofoten islands are widely revered for their outstanding natural beauty and combined with spectacularly remote and unspoilt beaches, this destination provides a unique adventure the kids will have few other trips to compare to.
Also located on the Lofoten islands, and visited during our cycling holiday here, is the largest reconstructed Viking longhouse in the world. This impressive building is also an immersive museum, where you can enjoy a day stepping back in time, from heading out in a Viking ship, to archery and even sampling delicious Viking food.
Trips with lots of splashing
Looking for a holiday with plenty of post-ride splashing? We’ve picked the best holidays where you’ll have lots of time scheduled in to swim, float and splash…
Set in the foothills of some of Austria’s most beautiful mountains, this easy paced cycling holiday is a great option for those looking for a centre-based holiday, as you’ll be spending 7 nights at the lovely Garden hotel, complete with outdoor and indoor pools!
The Tyrol is also famed for its thermal baths and water worlds, which have plenty of fun slides and features to keep the kids hearts leaping for joy.
We enjoyed every day of cycling and the days we had free. Real sense of achievement cycling to Innsbruck and the trip to Kufstein was good. The girls also loved the swimming pool and the play room. Steven, Perth
For more information about our family cycling holiday in Austria click here.
Thrill-seeking families will love our tour in tropical Costa Rica. Alongside a beautiful coastline and fantastic array of wildlife, you’ll have the opportunity to swap your pedals for some paddles and try some whitewater rafting.
Located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean slope, the Pacuare river is where you’ll take to by boat. With warm water, cascading waterfalls and lush rainforest surrounding you, your journey is a magical experience that will indulge both senses and soul!
Find out how you can get involved in our central American adventure by clicking here.
The official blog of Saddle Skedaddle cycling holidays. Featuring everything from destination highlights to top picks from the team….