Halden – Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad
It is natural to start the first stage of the Pilgrim Route in Halden, where there is a train connection. European tourists who come cycling from Sweden will cross the border at old Svinesund. Halden is a nice border town with the magnificent fortress Fredriksten which is located on a hill. Here is also the Fortress Hotel. It is recommended to visit Rød Herregård before cycling on, which has a beautiful garden. There are few signs at the beginning, so the recommended route is laid on Torpumveien, which is light traffic country road.
A stop at Berg church which has a nice view is recommended. Here you can read about Borgleden – the hiking trail for pilgrims on foot. The landscape is quite flat and you cycle on a side road of the main road. Some traffic must be expected and some heavy traffic. At the Gjellestad ship you can see burial mound after excavation and read more about this historic site. It’s general agricultural landscape. After past Høysand there is a bathing place and towns, for example Skjeberg.
Before Sarpsborg, it is nice to visit Hafslund Hovedgård and the park there. You can spend the night in Sarpsborg (a total of 30 km) or follow Glommastien into Fredrikstad (total 47 km). Glommastien runs along the river Glomma and is well adapted for walkers and cyclists. Many cozy places along the way, some gravel roads and a lot of industrial history. You also pass Roald Amundsen’s birthplace along the way and Norway’s longest river, the Glomma, glides by. Today’s stage ends in The old town in Fredrikstad which is very cozy with hotels and restaurants. Alternatively, one can take the free ferry across the river to the town center where there is a larger selection of hotels and restaurants. The ferry goes often.
Public transport: You can travel by train to/from Halden, Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad and you can bring your bicycle on the train. See vy.no for more details.