Norway - spoilt for choice^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
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poun
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Norway - spoilt for choice^

Post by poun » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:21 pm

Hi all,

Two of us are heading to Norway mid-july. We arrive in Stavenger and need to be in Otta 6 days after. It seems that the quickest way between the two is along the coast as far as North as Bergen before heading inland. That means we've got plenty of choice as to where to stop for a 5-day self-supported sea trip.

Any suggestions? Looking at maps, it all seems great and I wish we had two months off.
We're looking at starting from a kayak friendly campsite were we could leave the car with possibly a WW boat on top while we're on the sea.

Also has anyone used the coastal road? It involves numerous ferry crossings and we haven't yet succeeded in finding how regular nor expensive these crossings are.

Any info welcome,
Many thanks,
Alice

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:40 pm

Hi Alice!
You have several options for getting from Stavanger to Otta by car. One alternative is as you mention, up to Bergen (almost) and following E16 through Voss, through Sogndal and over the mountain to Otta. A total of 660 km. Personally, if getting to Otta quickly was the main object, I would have followed E134 through Odda and RV7 over Hardangervidda mountain, through Gol etc. up to Otta. A total of 640 km so not that much shorter, but one less ferry.

Having said that, by sticking to the coastline between Stavanger and Bergen you will literally be wading in great areas for sea kayaking. For choosing one, it all depends on what you want - offshore paddling, inshore paddling, zig-zagging in between islands etc. (One hint though: Look at the north-east end of Bømlo!) There are several campsites where you can leave a car, and I have never been turned down when asking farmers etc. to accept me parking near their houses.

There are two ferries between Bergen and Stavanger: Mortavika - Arsvågen and Halhjem - Sandvikvåg. Mortavika - Arsvågen is 143 NOK for car and driver, 31 NOK per passenger. Halhjem - Sandvikvåg is 177 NOK/48 NOK. As they both serve the main road, the frequency is quite good. Here's the timetables in English:
http://www.fjord1.no/fylkesbaatane_en/d ... ?menu=3436
Then there's a toll bridge, I believe it is 80 NOK per car.

Regards,
Erling, Stavanger.
The older I get, the better I used to be.

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poun
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Post by poun » Thu May 01, 2008 1:44 pm

Thanks for the help Erling,

I've gathered from searching this site that you are the authority on sea kayaking in Norway, so we'll probably ask more silly questions soon!

All the best,
Alice

rhubarb
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Sea conditions near Stord / Bomlo

Post by rhubarb » Sun May 25, 2008 5:07 pm

North-East of Bomlo looks brilliant - thanks Erling. I was thinking of the Bomlo / Stord / Halsnoya / Tysnesoya area having looked at the map and you've confirmed that.

Any idea what the sea conditions may be like in July? I'm guessing it could be relatively sheltered from the wind (COULD being the operative word) but that there would be some pretty fierce tides between the islands.

My other recent thought has been about landing... Are there plenty of beaches or do a lot of the islands just stick up out of the water and require full climbing kit to land?

Thanks.

Ruth

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Post by Owen » Sun May 25, 2008 6:41 pm

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Ruth,

These were taken in the area your looking at. Tidal range around 1m very little tidal movement and no tide races that I know about. Beaches tended to be rocky. It's a great area for kayaking.

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Post by Owen » Sun May 25, 2008 6:56 pm

A few more just to wet your appetite.
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Hope you enjoyed them. Don't all rush off across the North Sea at once.

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Erling
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Re: Sea conditions near Stord / Bomlo

Post by Erling » Sun May 25, 2008 9:46 pm

Great photos, Owen - thanks for sharing!
rhubarb wrote:Any idea what the sea conditions may be like in July? I'm guessing it could be relatively sheltered from the wind (COULD being the operative word) but that there would be some pretty fierce tides between the islands.
As Owen indicated, tidal differences are small. In mid-July it's max 70 cm in Bergen, 40 cm in Stavanger. There could be currents in very narrow sounds but nothing worth losing any sleep over. In the summer months we often tend to see northernly winds. A good weather resource for Norway is www.yr.no (English text choice).
rhubarb wrote:My other recent thought has been about landing... Are there plenty of beaches or do a lot of the islands just stick up out of the water and require full climbing kit to land?
This will be your main challenge in the Bømlo area. The islands generally have pretty steep sides and you may have to search for good landing spots. I recommend that you have a look at the aerial photos at www.norgeibilder.no and transfer the coordinates for the nice sandy beaches you spot to your map/GPS.

If you're not all geared up for the Bømlo area, a nice alternative could be island hopping north of Stavanger.
The older I get, the better I used to be.

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soundoftheseagull
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Post by soundoftheseagull » Mon May 26, 2008 12:03 am

Stavanger I love it what a fantastic place to paddle.
I cannot wait for next year.
Norway is a great place.
Dave

Rockpool GT

Owen
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Post by Owen » Mon May 26, 2008 9:56 am

Something else I've just remembered is that we found, on the Bergan to Bomlo section mainly but all along our route, there were no sheep. You wouldn't think this would matter but sheep eat the vegitation and make clearings of nice short grass to camp on. Further south there were goats on many of the islands.
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These amussed and annoyed us in almost equal measures.

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Ringperm
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Post by Ringperm » Tue May 27, 2008 1:56 pm

Not the best message for a first post. But according to local news, the ferry from DFDS sailing from Newcastle to Stavanger and Bergen will be discontinued after september 1st 2008.

I do not know if this is the only ferry, but I think so

rhubarb
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ferries to Norway

Post by rhubarb » Tue May 27, 2008 9:53 pm

Thanks for the info Ringperm. We were thinking that Norway is an ideal destination as we can get there without flying and without too much driving!

Hopefully there will still be ferries from Aberdeen and Harwich.

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lg18
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Post by lg18 » Wed May 28, 2008 10:10 am

I don't think there's a ferry to Norway from Aberdeen (or from Shetland?).

The situation is terrible!

Lucy

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Post by Owen » Wed May 28, 2008 11:19 am

As far as I know Harwich serves Holland and Denmark. The only ferry going to Norway is the one from Newcastle. I did hear some talk of a Rosyth to Bodo (or some such place) link; but I think it was just talk. If we have to drive all the way from Esbjerg it will put the Lofoten Isles and all points further north well out of range of your average holiday.

ian johnston
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Post by ian johnston » Wed May 28, 2008 11:29 am

Northlink ferries from Aberdeen serve Orkney and Shetland; as Owen said, there is a persistent rumour of a service from Scotland to Norway, but so far it's not come to anything. There's some options to northern Germany, driving from there, but it's all road miles!

Hope it all works out; I've worked on ships passing up the Inner Leads all the way up the coast from Alesund past Mo I Rana, Narvik and Bodo to Nordkapp. Just utterly jaw dropping; there's even a mountain en route which has a hole clean through it, which makes a fearsome noise in strong winds!

Cheers

Ian

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Wed May 28, 2008 3:03 pm

ian johnston wrote:Just utterly jaw dropping; there's even a mountain en route which has a hole clean through it, which makes a fearsome noise in strong winds!
That's Torghatten in the Helgeland area - possibly Norway's best areas for sea kayaking.

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The older I get, the better I used to be.

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poun
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Post by poun » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:49 pm

What a great kayaking place!

Thanks again everyone for the advice on this thread, especially to Erling for providing us with invaluable information and help.

We spent five days island hoping North of Stavanger through varied scenery.
Sea and weather conditions were fine most times, no tides to worry about, the main challenge was to find camping spots on the shore of surprisingly populated islands!

Here are few pictures

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cheers
Alice

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