Plan two days for this cycle trip over the peninsula Nes to the island Helgøya in the middle of lake Mjøsa. Make sure you travel clockwise. This way you get to see the best views! The route is diverse and takes you through a sloping and live countryside. There are numerous things to see and only a handful is described in the guide. Make sure to have a look on the site Midt i Mjøsa for a complete overview.
It takes you along the Mjøsa for the most part. Don't forget to stop for a quick swim. It is allowed everywhere! You cycle past a farm shop, a historical garden, various café's and meanwhile you get to see wonderful views.
If you plan two days, you might stay at a wonderful manor farm Hoel Gård, or pitch you tent at Skurven, a recreation area on Helgøya where you can stay for the night. The lake is great to swim and at both places there are multiple options for a evening walk. In Hoel Gård it feels like going back in time. The surroundings radiates a peaceful atmosphere and you can feel the past in the walls.
Helgøya is the largest island in the inland of Norway. It played a large roll in the history of the area. The way the area is situated made it desirable for both kings as the bishop of Hamar. The people in control of Helgøya had control over the whole of Mjøsa after all. This was because Mjøsa was part of a trade route at the time.
- Distance: 79 kilometer;
- Start/finish: Brumunddal torg (square with a fountain) on the Brugata in Brumunddal;
- The route is not signposted
- The GPS-track is downloadable here;
- Road surface: 3/4 asphalt and 1/4 gravel
- Difficulty: reasonably easy
- Best time period: half of may to the end of september
- Suitable bicycles: all types except racing bicycles
- Traffic volume: the route goes over roads with very little traffic.
A farm shop and café with a countryside charm. Kvarstad is a large farm in the middle of farmland. The shop and café are completely self-service and open every day. The is also a pilgrims hostel.
A cosy little farm which is big in berries. Brambles, red and black berries and aronia (apple berry) are here in large rows behind the barn. Visitors can pick the berries themselves for a fee or buy home made jam made from the berries of the farm.
Limestone quarry in Bergevika
Industrial heritage from the beginning of the twentieth century. Helgøya is rich in lime stone which comes above ground on the west coast. Limes stone has been quarried since medieval times and is used for the construction of churches among other things.
This church is on a site which was previously a Viking Hov. A place where vikings honoured their gods (Norrøne gods). The first part of the church was built in 1250 and was expanded ever since. In contrast to other parts of Norway, the churches around Mjøsa are built with sand stone. This can be contributed to the sedimentation in the area. The church is open to visitors during the months of summer.
Hovelsrud historisk hage
Hovelsrud Gård is a wonderful example of a manor farm that can be found in this region. The farm was restored in accordance to traditional principles. The main building has almost the same colour as in 1840. The garden is reconstructed in the same way with help from drawings from that time. The garden is open to paying visitors and on Sundays there are guided tours. The farm also has a shop with products made from produce from their own garden.
On the southern tip of Helgøyayou can find a cosy summer café Skafferiet. You can take a break here and enjoy a freshly made pastry in the shade of apple trees. A walk to the splendid farm Hovinsholm is recommended.
This is one of the largest farms on Nes. The farm has a rich history and now a hotel with a distinctive character. It's is also a pilgrims hostel.
Picture: Renée Dekker of Visit Øst-Norge (© Visit Øst-Norge/Hans Haug)