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Aihe: Cycling from the Netherlands to the North Cape through Finland

  1. #1
    arctic-cycler Guest

    Cycling from the Netherlands to the North Cape through Finland

    Hi,
    Firstly, sorry, but I am not that good in Finnish.. :-)

    In summer 2013 I am planning to cycle from the Netherlands to the North Cape via the Baltic countries and Finland. In the past, I have found that if you don't plan an approximate route, it is easy to end up on main roads, and miss the nicest parts. I am putting together a planned route for the trip. The Finnish part is here: http://lambchopeindhoven.wordpress.c.../finland-2013/

    I am keen to hear your ideas on this route, and any suggestions that you might have! :-)

    Thanks for your help!!

    Matthew

  2. #2
    If you want to see real Finland it is lakes and there are many lakes in easter Finland. Thats not like anywhere else in the world
    Saimaa

  3. #3
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti HallinenK Katso viesti
    If you want to see real Finland it is lakes and there are many lakes in easter Finland. Thats not like anywhere else in the world
    Saimaa
    Hi HallinenK. Thanks for your comment! Indeed, the east of Finland is beautiful. I went there 2 years ago (with my father by car), passing through Savollina, Ruka and then further north to Lappland. When I was there, I heard that the coast near Turku is also beautiful and quite different. That's why I chose this route.

    You are lucky living is such a beautiful country!

    Matthew

  4. #4
    Liittynyt
    11/2012
    Paikkakunta
    Tuusula
    Viestit
    23
    Yes, The Archipelago of Turku is worth to see by bike! Check Turku tourists information, ferries, roads etc.

  5. #5
    Liittynyt
    07/2010
    Paikkakunta
    Uleaborg
    Viestit
    2.146
    Hello Matthew

    It sometimes need to have a contact with somebody like you telling our country is beautiful. Just now, in the end of November it's hard to remember.

    I wouldn't choose a western coastal route you have selected. To exaggerate a bit I'll sum up your first 600-700km of etape Finland.

    From Helsinki to Turku - forest, field mustard fields, small villages and town

    Turku - maybe to most beautiful and definitely the oldest city. Most beautiful castle, a worth of seeing what comes to Finnish castles

    Turku-Vaasa -flat terrain, finnish-swedish-people, tomatoes, cucumbers, a bit of mink urine, tomatoes, another breath of mink urine.

    Vaasa- next country north of.... 300 km of another flat terrain, a small river at every 80km, potato fields, potato fields, small villages

    OK, maybe I was a bit of pessimistic The most important is going! And cycling! However I'd choose a different route. Openstreetmap/opencyclemap could be helpful. Eastern Finland is more variable. Lakes, small hills, more lakes, more small hills, lakes and crees.

    You have a lot of time to plan. I don't know what are you personal interests. Most of our cities are small. Only Helsinki region is a "metropole". Other cities are small enough to be easily visited by bicycle.
    This could be another route, a very rough plan:
    Helsinki-Porvoo-Lappeenranta-Parikkala-Punkaharju-Kontiolahti-(Lieksa) Koli-Kajaani-Muhos-Oulu

    Not a short route, but easily visible by openstreetmap/opencyclemap. Oulu is a natural waypoint on the way to North Cape. And If you want a shower with bed, don't hesitate to contact. I'm situated in Oulu. Contacting via warmshowers is possible as well as here with private message. If my personal calendar allows it's even possible to put my panniers to the rack and cycle together for some days.

    By the way, this discussion could be moved to the subdivision "pyörämatkailu" (bicycle travelling). If you don't find it anymore, look for there.

    edit: I didn't notice you were goint to ship from Vaasa to Umeå/Uumaja. If that's your plan Helsinki-Turku-Vaasa is most logical route!

  6. #6
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti Pikuski Katso viesti
    Yes, The Archipelago of Turku is worth to see by bike! Check Turku tourists information, ferries, roads etc.
    Hi Pikuski. Are there lots of ferries in that area that I need to watch out for? On my trip in Norway this year, there were quite a few and you had to plan the timing quite well.. I like ferries. A good place to meet cyclists and have a rest.. :-)

  7. #7
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti rjrm Katso viesti
    Hello Matthew

    It sometimes need to have a contact with somebody like you telling our country is beautiful. Just now, in the end of November it's hard to remember.

    I wouldn't choose a western coastal route you have selected. To exaggerate a bit I'll sum up your first 600-700km of etape Finland.

    From Helsinki to Turku - forest, field mustard fields, small villages and town

    Turku - maybe to most beautiful and definitely the oldest city. Most beautiful castle, a worth of seeing what comes to Finnish castles

    Turku-Vaasa -flat terrain, finnish-swedish-people, tomatoes, cucumbers, a bit of mink urine, tomatoes, another breath of mink urine.

    Vaasa- next country north of.... 300 km of another flat terrain, a small river at every 80km, potato fields, potato fields, small villages

    OK, maybe I was a bit of pessimistic The most important is going! And cycling! However I'd choose a different route. Openstreetmap/opencyclemap could be helpful. Eastern Finland is more variable. Lakes, small hills, more lakes, more small hills, lakes and crees.

    You have a lot of time to plan. I don't know what are you personal interests. Most of our cities are small. Only Helsinki region is a "metropole". Other cities are small enough to be easily visited by bicycle.
    This could be another route, a very rough plan:
    Helsinki-Porvoo-Lappeenranta-Parikkala-Punkaharju-Kontiolahti-(Lieksa) Koli-Kajaani-Muhos-Oulu

    Not a short route, but easily visible by openstreetmap/opencyclemap. Oulu is a natural waypoint on the way to North Cape. And If you want a shower with bed, don't hesitate to contact. I'm situated in Oulu. Contacting via warmshowers is possible as well as here with private message. If my personal calendar allows it's even possible to put my panniers to the rack and cycle together for some days.

    By the way, this discussion could be moved to the subdivision "pyörämatkailu" (bicycle travelling). If you don't find it anymore, look for there.

    edit: I didn't notice you were goint to ship from Vaasa to Umeå/Uumaja. If that's your plan Helsinki-Turku-Vaasa is most logical route!
    Hi Pikavastaus.
    Goodness, it has been dark for too long already this winter in Finland, I see.. :-) You'll have to come to visit me in the Netherlands. We still have enough light to cycle a bit..

    Thanks for the tips, though. I understand now that my planned coast route is not that exciting. I had thought it was a nice route as it was part of the EuroVelo network. Given the fractal nature of the coastline, I thought it might be interesting with lots of little beaches - even nice places to swim. On a different note, are there any naturist beaches there? I guess it might be a bit cold for that.. :-)

    The route you suggested is close to what I did with my father 2 years ago when we went through Savollina, Koli, Ruka and then north to Lappland. It was indeed very pretty but taking that route would be a big detour.

    Two thinks spring to mind with your suggestion.
    - The first one is that maybe it would be nice to cycle through St Petersburg and then up the Russian, Finnish border. This would be quite similar to the route from 2 years ago, but, I have not been to St Petersburg, and not all the places you suggested. It is also not critical that I end up at the North Cape. I would be just as happy ending up at Kirkenes, which means I could continue up the border right to the northern coastline.
    - The second option would be to make my way across to Sweden straight from Turku. Would that be more interesting? I imagine the Swedish side of the gulf is similar to the Finnish side..

    What do you think of my idea of catching the boat at Vaasa? Which side of the gulf is nicer? Would be be better to stay on the Finnish side all the way to Oulu?

    Thanks for your help, and I wish you all the best surviving the winter!! :-)

    Matthew

  8. #8
    Liittynyt
    11/2012
    Paikkakunta
    Tuusula
    Viestit
    23
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti lambchop Katso viesti
    Hi Pikuski. Are there lots of ferries in that area that I need to watch out for? On my trip in Norway this year, there were quite a few and you had to plan the timing quite well.. I like ferries. A good place to meet cyclists and have a rest.. :-)
    Hello Matthew,
    I made a trip by bike about 15 years ago in Archipelago and they stopped transportation quite early in the evenings, but the situation might be different nowadays. Anyway check the link here: http://www.saaristo.org/index.php?page=113&lang=2

  9. #9
    Liittynyt
    07/2010
    Paikkakunta
    Uleaborg
    Viestit
    2.146
    Hi Matthew, of course you can choose western route as well. Flat countryside is easy to cycle especially in tailwind! However, there is a possibility of constant headwind of several hundreds kilometeres What comes to ferry to Sweden. I haven't been to that side of gulf much. What I know is important.

    Try to avoid E4 highway in eastern Sweden. http://goo.gl/maps/Xf1IM
    You see reason in pictures. Swedish E4 is made for cars with all those fences and lanes.

  10. #10
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti rjrm Katso viesti
    Hi Matthew, of course you can choose western route as well. Flat countryside is easy to cycle especially in tailwind! However, there is a possibility of constant headwind of several hundreds kilometeres What comes to ferry to Sweden. I haven't been to that side of gulf much. What I know is important.

    Try to avoid E4 highway in eastern Sweden. http://goo.gl/maps/Xf1IM
    You see reason in pictures. Swedish E4 is made for cars with all those fences and lanes.
    Ouch! That road in Sweden looks horrible. I will definitely avoid that!! :-) Thanks for the tip!

    Matthew

  11. #11
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti Pikuski Katso viesti
    Hello Matthew,
    I made a trip by bike about 15 years ago in Archipelago and they stopped transportation quite early in the evenings, but the situation might be different nowadays. Anyway check the link here: http://www.saaristo.org/index.php?page=113&lang=2
    Ah. I see what you mean now with the Archapeligo. The road I have chosen doesn't go through the archipeligo, but, I think your suggestion looks really cool. Thanks for the tip!

    Matthew

  12. #12
    Liittynyt
    07/2010
    Paikkakunta
    Uleaborg
    Viestit
    2.146
    Matt, Turku is a worth of seeing. It's former capital of Finland. We surely have sometimes difficulties understanding each other what we and others would like to see.

    A hiking tourist from Netherlands liked very much flat Lappland with no buildings, no churches, no cars. Only trees, small mountains and rivers. He said "In my home town I see 17 churches from my balcony". However, we often travel to those odd cities with so many churches

    Turku-Stockholm-ferry is a good place to rest between countries. Beware E4 (=E75) is Sweden and in Finland as well. However I believe in Finland is mainlly boring, not so dangerous

  13. #13
    Liittynyt
    09/2007
    Paikkakunta
    Pori
    Viestit
    998
    If you deside to cycle the westcoast route read this:http://www.rantatie.com/?lang=en
    Under the municipalities link you can find information about the towns and places to visit on the westcoastroad.

  14. #14
    Liittynyt
    09/2011
    Viestit
    1.844

    Cycling from the Netherlands to the North Cape through Finland

    I think you wound see the sea in seaside roads. Its offen behind forrest 1 km or more away. Stay on roads numbers 4 digit or 3 digit ( like road n 3213)
    I would go fast from a to b and then go and see places there more diteled. If citys are not what you dont want to see. There are nice old historycal places in weastcoast. Casles and staf
    http://yle.fi/elavaarkisto/artikkelit/polkupyorailysta_pitaisi_muodostua_suomalainen_urh eilulaji_102121.html#media=102119

  15. #15

    Cycling from the Netherlands to the North Cape through Finland

    You should publish a schedule of your whereabouts at a given time, as you could benefit from locals riding with you.
    Shut your mouth, pussicat. E fammi un macchiato! PRONTO!

  16. #16
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti rjrm Katso viesti
    Matt, Turku is a worth of seeing. It's former capital of Finland. We surely have sometimes difficulties understanding each other what we and others would like to see.

    A hiking tourist from Netherlands liked very much flat Lappland with no buildings, no churches, no cars. Only trees, small mountains and rivers. He said "In my home town I see 17 churches from my balcony". However, we often travel to those odd cities with so many churches

    Turku-Stockholm-ferry is a good place to rest between countries. Beware E4 (=E75) is Sweden and in Finland as well. However I believe in Finland is mainlly boring, not so dangerous
    Hi Rjrm.
    Yes. Turku is certainly on my list. I think the idea of the Turku archipelago also sounds cool. I will see how time is coming along when I am there to decide whether or not to go there.. I very much agree with you that the main roads should be avoided at all costs! It is not pleasant cycling along a kind of freeway.

    I was not planning on taking the ferry from Turku to Stockholm. It would add a lot of distance to my trip, and I have been in Stockholm several times before. (It is one of my favourite cities, though.) I want to cycle up the Finnish coast to Vaasa, and then catch the boat to Sweden, or, alternatively, cycle up to Oulu and further, staying on the Finnish side. Any opinions on which of these options is better is welcome.

    Thanks!

    Matthew

  17. #17
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti lai Katso viesti
    If you deside to cycle the westcoast route read this:http://www.rantatie.com/?lang=en
    Under the municipalities link you can find information about the towns and places to visit on the westcoastroad.
    Thanks Lai. I will use this to decide on which side of the Gulf to cycle and what to see.. :-)

  18. #18
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti Jake_Kona Katso viesti
    I think you wound see the sea in seaside roads. Its offen behind forrest 1 km or more away. Stay on roads numbers 4 digit or 3 digit ( like road n 3213)
    I would go fast from a to b and then go and see places there more diteled. If citys are not what you dont want to see. There are nice old historycal places in weastcoast. Casles and staf
    Hi Jake. I hope to see some sea and nice forests following the EuroVelo route (http://www.eurovelo.org/routes/overview-route-database/) which keeps off the main roads where possible, I believe. Castles sound good!

  19. #19
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti Giusto Katso viesti
    You should publish a schedule of your whereabouts at a given time, as you could benefit from locals riding with you.
    Hi Giusto. That would be great cycling with locals.. This year I cycled from Bodø in Norway to the North Cape and kept a daily blog which people were able to follow (http://lambchopeindhoven.wordpress.c...p-norway-2012/). I intend to do the same this year. I also intend to tweet from time to time.
    I don't know exactly when I will be where, but, as people can follow my trip on my blog, I hope to be able to meet up with people that are interested in cycling a bit with me.. :-)

    Matthew

  20. #20
    Liittynyt
    07/2010
    Paikkakunta
    Uleaborg
    Viestit
    2.146

    Re: Cycling from the Netherlands to the North Cape through Finland

    Couple of castles, couple of ruins to be realistic.

  21. #21
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Thanks for all your tips. I have received some documentation from the Turku Archipelago tourist office (in paper form!), and have added a detour through the archipelago as an option. I am planning several optional detours on the way, which I can choose or not depending on the time, weather etc. It certainly looks like a pleasant detour. And: I like islands.. :-)

    I intend to blog on my trip. If I pass by anyone, let me know, and maybe we can cycle together for a bit.
    Here is my latest finnish route:
    http://lambchopeindhoven.wordpress.c.../finland-2013/

  22. #22
    Liittynyt
    07/2012
    Paikkakunta
    Helsinki
    Viestit
    22
    Because you like the islands and ferries should run this through:
    http://www.saaristonrengastie.fi/index.php?page=8

  23. #23
    Liittynyt
    01/2006
    Paikkakunta
    Laru, HKI
    Viestit
    19.158
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti lambchop Katso viesti
    In Vaasa you could visit Kvarken Arhipelago, the UNESCO world heritage site, (Kvarkenguide.org).

    Unfortunately it is like there-and-back -route, but nice extra trip if only you have time.


  24. #24
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Thanks for the tips on the Turku and Vaasa archipelagos. I didn't realise there was a UNESCO site there.. Looks nice!

  25. #25
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Hi all.
    It is now a month until I leave the Netherlands for the North Cape via the Baltic countries and Finland. It would be good to meet up with some of you if I am passing nearby. I will be keeping a blog (http://arctic-cycler.com) and tweeting on @arcticcycler.
    Here is my route through Finland: http://arctic-cycler.com/biking-2013/finland-2013/

    See ya!

    Matthew

  26. #26
    As it was mentioned above by JackOja, while you are at Vaasa region, reserve some time to visit Raippaluoto!
    You can find more information from here: http://www.korsholmsskargard.fi/index.php?sprak=eng

    Views from the Raippaluoto bridge (the longest bridge in Finland) are quite awesome and it's only about 20km from centre of Vaasa.

  27. #27
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti NikoL Katso viesti
    As it was mentioned above by JackOja, while you are at Vaasa region, reserve some time to visit Raippaluoto!
    You can find more information from here: http://www.korsholmsskargard.fi/index.php?sprak=eng

    Views from the Raippaluoto bridge (the longest bridge in Finland) are quite awesome and it's only about 20km from centre of Vaasa.
    Hi NikoL,
    I looked at the bridge on google maps. Looks good! Thanks for the tip!

    Matthew

  28. #28
    Liittynyt
    01/2006
    Paikkakunta
    Laru, HKI
    Viestit
    19.158
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti arctic-cycler Katso viesti
    ...Here is my route through Finland: http://arctic-cycler.com/biking-2013/finland-2013/
    Just in case you are camping or otherwise spend time on the grass ... I don't know if you have them in the Netherlands (or Down Under) also, but we have one nasty insect here in Finland, in the coastal areas particularly: The wood tick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick)

    If you happen to meet them you should remove them off your skin. I recommend to check out yourself thoroughly in the evenings.

    It is not a real danger or threat to be afraid of. But it is good to be aware of.

    Have a nice trip! Blog went into the bookmarks.
    JackOja muokkasi tätä : 08.05.2013 at 11.22


  29. #29
    Liittynyt
    07/2007
    Paikkakunta
    Helsinki
    Viestit
    577
    If you're planning to follow the EuroVelo route, please be prepared to do your own navigation. The routes are in principle signposted as national cycle tourism routes (brown and white signs with bicycles) but the signage isn't consistent or actively maintained in most municipalities. Also, some of the routes make some pretty weird road choices, but the ones you have picked are certainly among the sane ones. Some of the strange loops around Helsinki make sense from a sightseeing point of view (like the southern harbour and the Otaniemi Alvar Aalto campus) but feel free to optimize away some of the others. (And please use Koukkuniementie rather than the official route, unless you want to climb a flight of stairs...)
    Pöysti! Sinä et tiedä, minkälaista porukkaa suomalaisissa lajiliitoissa on. Ju-ma-lau-ta! Ne on valmiit mihin vaan.

  30. #30
    arctic-cycler Guest
    Lainaus Alkujaan tämän lähetti JackOja Katso viesti
    Just in case you are camping or otherwise spend time on the grass ... I don't know if you have them in the Netherlands (or Down Under) also, but we have one nasty insect here in Finland, in the coastal areas particularly: The wood tick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick)

    If you happen to meet them you should remove them off your skin. I recommend to check out yourself thoroughly in the evenings.

    It is not a real danger or threat to be afraid of. But it is good to be aware of.

    Have a nice trip! Blog went into the bookmarks.
    Ouch. The tick looks nasty! We have ticks here in the Netherlands, and, indeed, I have been bitten by them before. Had to have one removed once at the doctor's.

    Thanks for the tip!!

    Matthew

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