Round trip from Stavanger

Travelling in the fjord landscape east and north of Stavanger is really exciting, with a fascinating contrast between sea, green pastures and high mountains. Cycling combined with express ferries makes it easy to travel and to enjoy the beautiful nature. The ferry schedules need to be known (Skyss or Kolumbus) and meals should be planned (café visits or self-catering). Accomodations need to be reserved well in advance, using Airbnb or where suitable hotels are not found.

The roundtrip starts on the quay in Stavanger taking the express ferry to Nedstrand, and returns to the same place from Sandeid. Start and end on Friday or Sunday may be most convenient; other weekdays the journey to Nedstand and from Sandeid may partly go by bus.

Bicycles can be hired in Stavanger, for example from Paahjul bicycle workshop, Jernbaneveien 3. The route can only be recommended from Mid April to October, to avoid the risk of ice on the roads.

Day 1. Stavanger-Nedstrand-Skjoldastraumen (25 km, map link)

After taking the express ferry from Stavanger to Nedstrand, follow the road Fv515 northwest along the seaside through a beautiful hilly landscape. At Skjoldastraumen, the old salt-water locks may be visited. Airbnb may be the best solution for finding accomodations (no hotels).

Dalbygda near Skjoldastraumen

Day 2. Skjoldastraumen to Bjoa (41 km, map link)

The suggested route goes north along Fv513 past farms and through forest towards Skjold, where the main road (E134) is crossed on a bike path, leading to smaller roads (Solheimsvegen and Skjoldaviksvegen) to Isvik where Frøken Fryd café is conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

Fjord view from Skjold

Continue north along Vikavegen (Fv4736) to Vikebygd. Here the last grocery store is located along the road towards Bjoa, where self-catering may be the only option for dinner and breakfast. Nice accomodations in Bjoa are found on Airbnb.

Waterfall at Vikebygd

Staying more than one night in Bjoa is recommended, giving an opportunity to bike to Ølen, with a wonderful view towards the fjord and the glacier Folgefonni. Another very nice option is to take the ferry from Utbjoa to the islands Halsnøy, Fjeldbergøy and Borgundøy in the morning and back to Utbjoa in the afternoon.

Magnificent route from Bjoa to Ølen

Day 3. Bjoa to Fitjar (48 km, map link)

Beautiful morning at Utbjoa quay

Take the ferry from Utbjoa to Sydnes on Halsnøy. Bike through a scenic landscape along Strondavegen (Fv5052) from Sydnes towards Sæbøvik, continue on Halsnøyvegen (Fv5048) through Sæbøvik, and turn left along Sæbøvikvegen (Fv500) towards Ranavik. From Ranavik, take the express ferry to Leirvik on Stord island. If the timing is good, one may reach Leirvik in time for an early lunch stop (for example at Bakeriet Frugård in Borggata, just north of the ferry quay).

Sea view from Leirvik

From Leirvik, bike west along Borggata past the Town Hall to Fv544 (Vikabrekko), and turn left (southwest) to find a nice bike path along the right side of Fv544. In the crossing with the main road (E39), the bike path goes through a tunnel to the left side of E39, bending left away from E39 along Langelandsvegen in the next crossing. Continue along Langelandsveien until it bends back towards E39 at Heiane, to find a bike bridge crossing over to the right side of E39.

(Alternatively, the ferry can be taken from Ranavik to Skjærsholmane on Stord. Bike northwest on the bike path along Fv544 and cross under E39 to Heiane, where McDonalds may be the best lunch option.)

From Heiane, go to the crossing between E39 and Fv545 to find a bike path west along Fv545, which is followed to the beautiful seaside village Sagvåg.

Take a detour to Sagvåg

From here, Fv454 continues north to Fitjar through a nice and hilly landscape. Fitjar Fjordhotel can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

View along the road

Staying more than one day can be recommended, allowing a boat trip to visit a fish farm or local bike trips (for example to Kråko Hytteområde and PS Bryggekafe, where you can buy locally made soap).

Storavatnet near Fitjar

Day 4. Fitjar to Bekkjarvik (14 km, map link)

Bike north along Fv545 towards Sandviksvåg through a nice hilly landscape. The suggested route turns left near the highest point on the road to a narrow unpaved road going downhill directly to the ferry quay. Take the ferry from Sandviksvåg to Husavik on the island Huftarøy.

Fjord view at Husavik

From the ferry, go north to the main road (Fv546), which is followed west towards Bekkjarvik through a hilly landscape with a spectacular sea view.  Cross the bridge over to the Selbjørn island, and turn left along road Bekkjarvik (still Fv546) to Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri, which can be recommended for lunch, dinner and overnight stay.

Harbour at Bekkjarvik

Since the biking distance on the suggested route is only 14 km, some time is available for sightseeing, either on Stord before taking the ferry, or on Selbjørn island after arriving at Bekkjarvik. Staying two nights at Bekkjarvik may be recommended, allowing an exciting bike trip over the bridges to the other islands in the municipality (Huftarøy, Austevoll, Stora Kalsøy). Casa Mia Austevoll may then be conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

Day 5. Bekkjarvik to Leirvik (42 km, map link)

Fjord at Vestre Vinnesvåg

From Bekkjarvik, bike to Husavik and take the ferry back to Sandviksvåg. The suggested route back towards Leirvik goes along Fv5070 for 9 km on the west side of Storavatnet south from Fitjar, but is otherwise the same as for days 3 and 4.  Fitjar Fjordhotel or Stord café may be conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

Lake near Sagvåg

Arriving on the bike path along Fv544 in Leirvik, turn right to Bjellandsvegen in the first roundabout, and left along Vikahaugen in the next roundabout.  Then turn right through Stord Sports Park towards Stord Hotell, which may be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Staying more than one day in Leirvik is recommended, giving time for local bike trips, for example north to  Hystadmarkjo and west to Eventyrskogen.

Protected forest at Hystadmarkjo
Fairytale illustration in Eventyrskogen

Day 6. Leirvik to Etne (28 km, map link 1, map link 2)

Bike to the ferry quay in Leirvik (map link 1), and take the express ferry to Skånevik. Some time should be used to explore Skånevik, possibly including a café stop (for example at Larsen Bakery).

From Skånevik (map link 2), the suggested route goes west along Fv5014 (Strondavegen), through a charming rural landscape along the sea. Detours down to the fjord can be made at many different places.

At the end of the fjord near Etne, turn right to cross the Etne river, and continue south on the bike path along the main road (E134) to the centre of Etne.

Bridge over the Etne river

Here Fugl Fønix Hotel might be chosen for dinner and overnight stay, in spite of variable reviews. Other options are a nice camping site (Etne Camping), cabin rental with a fantastic sea view (Etne Hytter), or rental through Airbnb.

To stay more than one day in Etne may be a good idea, to make local bike trips in the beautiful surroundings. One could, for example, bike around Litledalsvatnet.

Day 7. Etne-Sandeid-Stavanger (23 km, map link)

From Etne, the suggested route goes south along the main road (E134), and continues on Gamlevegen and Hellevadvegen more or less parallel to E134 for 9 km towards Ølen. This route is an ancient post road, varying between being a gravel road and a narrow path for cyclists and walkers, and at places going steeply uphill and downhill.

Old post road from Etne to Ølen

Near Ølen, turn left in the crossing between Hellevadvegen and Øvrehagen, and turn right to Heggjavegen after a few hundred metres along Øvrehagen. From Heggjavegen, continue on Osen and turn left along Dreganesvegen into the centre of Ølen. Turn right along Sjoargata, where Christiansen Bakeri is conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

Sea view from Ølen

Out of Ølen, the suggested route continues along Sjoargata across E134 and uphill towards Fv514 (Sandeidvegen), going southeast to the ferry quay at Sandeid. The route ends taking the express ferry back to Stavanger.

A nice road to Sandeid