The next two days, we ride 30 to 40 miles, around two to three hours, along undulating roads, taking in cow-dotted pastures, stone bridges, and mirror-like fjords that reflect the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Elderflowers perfume the air, and the sound of cowbells and bleating lambs give way to the rumble of rivers and waterfalls. We don’t see another cyclist and rarely a car on the roads. Lunch is always a local stop, often reached by a James Bond-worthy vessel, like the Raven RIB that whisks us to Christian Gaard, a no-frills, family-run spot known for its venison burgers, Viking-inspired décor, and sparkling fjord views.
In the late afternoons, we returned to Union Øye, where options include hopping back on our bikes to log more miles, hiking one of the half-dozen or so local trails, taking an electric Porsche for a spin, or swimming. With summer’s never-ending sunshine, I’m able to go for a drive and take an evening polar plunge into the invigorating glacial waters of Norangsfjord just across from the hotel.
Mother Nature’s version of an ice bath was exactly what my saddle-sore muscles craved. Post-swim, I dashed straight back to my room, the Queen’s Suite, and filled my oversized tub with steamy water and bubbles. While soaking, I notice the ingenious Champagne button, which I’m now firmly convinced every hotel bathtub should have. Except this isn’t merely a button. It’s a golden lion’s head. After pressing down on the tongue, Kim, the barman, appeared moments later at my suite’s door with a bucket of ice and a bottle of Champagne in hand. Brilliant.
If you’re lucky enough to have found a favorite brewery—where you get excited about every new beer release—you should…