6 great cycling routes on Bornholm with Magnus Cort

Cyclist Magnus Cort has won several stages of the Tour de France. Magnus is Bornholm born and bred, which is actually one of the reasons for his stage wins.

Magnus Cort

Cycling for everyone - Bornholm has excellent cycling terrain for all types of cyclists. And if you want to experience a bit of a Tour de France feel, there’s an excellent network of cycle paths for family cycling holidays. There are a number of exceptionally good places for mountain biking around the island, Bornholm has the best off-road cycling in Denmark, in my opinion.

Road training with Magnus Cort

I’ve met a lot of people who thought I did all my road training on Bornholm by riding back and forth along the same small road, on the same small island, which basically only has one tarmac road. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are 105 kilometres of country roads along the coast, and in the interior of the island there are countless roads, both large and small.

Despite the many hours I’ve spent on the roads on Bornholm, I can still say that there are many I don’t know completely, but of course I wouldn’t have to ride too far on an unfamiliar road before coming across something familiar again.

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One of the great advantages of Bornholm is that all the roads are suitable for cycling. There are no roads that are too big or too busy to ride on, and no towns that are large, difficult or annoying to ride through. So, in that sense, it’s a great place to ride (and to get a taste of the struggles that await you on the Tour de France).

For tourists and others who don’t know the island, it’s extremely easy to get a good ride on some great roads. The island’s size also means that it’s fairly easy to get around and you’ll rarely go further than an hour’s ride from ‘home’.

Tips for 6 great cycling routes on Bornholm with Magnus Cort

Here are some suggestions for routes you could ride. All of the above hills are included on one of the routes. Some of the routes have good hills other than the ones I’ve already described. I try to have something for everyone, covering different distances and at different locations on the island. But what all the routes have in common is that they are relatively hilly and I like to ride them all.

1. Bornholm Rundt, 104 km, approx. 625 vertical metres

On the Bornholm Rundt fun ride (held regularly in mid-August), you ride anti-clockwise around the coast, starting in Rønne. But of course, it’s up to you where you start or which direction you ride in. If you take part in this fun ride, the first 50 kilometres or so to Svaneke are relatively flat. After Svaneke, the hills begin and continue all the way to Hasle.

On the stretch between Svaneke and Gudhjem, you’ll encounter the Ypnasted Hill, which is probably the toughest hill on this route, but the stretch past the ruins of Hammershus Castle, where you ride up through Slotslyngen, is also pretty tough.

See exact route details here.

2. Mountain championship route, 8 km, approx. 175 vertical metres

The mountain championship is organised every year as a single start race by Bornholms Cycle Club, a tradition that started long before I was born. It’s a legendary route for Bornholm cyclists, with results dating back many decades, so you can really measure your performance and see what kind of form you’ve hit. The last time I was home on race day was in 2011, when I set an all-time record of 13:21. I was a junior at the time, so my record subsequently came under pressure, but I managed to hold on to it until 2015.

The route starts in Vang harbour, where you get to start directly on the first climb, arguably Denmark’s toughest hill. At the main road, there are a few ups and downs before turning in after a long hill and winding your way through Slotslyngen. After Slotslyngen, you pass Hammershus at high speed and continue down into Sandvig, where you turn sharply onto Fyrvej, where after a few hundred flat metres at Hammersø, you head straight up to the finish at the Hammer Lighthouse at the top. A unique route by Danish standards.

See the exact route details here.

3. Around Hasle, 39 km, approx. 350 vertical metres

A very hilly route around Hasle. You start by riding up round the serpentine bend from Hasle Harbour and further on towards Rutsker. Then you head back towards the coast with a nice ride close to the water’s edge on Teglkåsvej. Once you’re heading back inland, you’re free to choose between the hill up from Helligpeder (Holy Peter) or the hill from Teglkås. I prefer to ride up from Teglkås to get a few extra kilometres along the coast.

Back on the main road, you ride a short stretch north before heading back up to Rutsker and past Ruts Church. This time, you choose a way down that meets the road between Rønne and Hasle. Here you head towards Rønne for just 400 metres before taking a left turn onto Simplegårdsvej, which you follow to Klemensker.

Simplegårdsvej goes both up and down but mostly up over a distance of 100 metres. This road is often included in the licence races held on the island. From Klemensker, the route goes down through Nyker and on to Hasle Lystskov, and then back to Hasle on the cycle path through the forest.

See the exact route details here.

4. Around Gudhjem 57 km, approx. 570 vertical metres

Starting at the bottom of Døndalen (Døn Valley), where there are car parks, you start off straight away covering over 100 vertical metres up to Rø before hitting some flat road where you can get some speed back on the bike. And this actually describes the rest of the route very well, many vertical metres in fairly quick succession. Once in Rø, you turn left onto Røbrovej, where you come across ‘Bobbebrøddan’: Two hollows in the countryside, with the second one being the toughest at 30 vertical metres over a distance of just 300 metres, giving an average gradient of 10%.

Despite the steep gradient, it’s not very hard as you start by going straight down and straight ahead, so you can easily work up plenty of speed and be almost at the top again before the bike comes to a standstill. ‘Bobbabrøddan’ is a classic on Bornholm and the BCC organises a race with the same name every year. From there, you head down to Gudhjem and down to the harbour via the steep main street called Brøddegade.

From here, it’s up to you to choose which climb you want to take to go back up. There are three roads leading up from the harbour in Gudhjem: Bokulvej is the smallest but also the steepest. Brøddegade is less steep, more even and slightly longer. The last option is Nørresand, which is the largest road, winding up just west of Gudhjem with serpentine bends. Nørresand is the longest with the most manageable gradients. Once on the country road, you head east along Helligdomsvej, where around four kilometres out of Gudhjem you make two detours inland before heading down the coast again.

Next in line are Kobbevej and then Kjeldsbyvej. In fact, the whole of the north coast offers climbs such as Kobbevej and Kjeldsbyvej, where you ride up from the main road along the water and then inland, where it’s usually about 100 metres to the top. Once you reach the top at Kjeldsbyvej, the vast majority of vertical metres are behind you and the rest of the route takes you through the interior of the island. Keep right on Nybrovej, drive through Østerlars and around Rø Plantation and continue along a really cool road between Rø and Olsker. Just before Olsker, you head down to Tejn along the coast and back to the bottom of Døndalen.

See the exact route details here.

5. Around Nexø 22 km, approx. 180 vertical metres

The shortest of the routes, which, despite not including any of the 10 hills mentioned, still has plenty of vertical metres. The route starts in Nexø where it heads north before going up through Paradis Bakkerne (the Paradise Hills) on Oksemyrevej. It’s a great climb up to the Paradise Hills and the effort is well worth it, as it’s a fantastic road with beautiful scenery that winds its way through the Paradise Hills.

Then you ride on small roads down to Rønnevej and head up Slamrebjerg, one of the toughest climbs on southern Bornholm. Slamrebjerg is also a classic on Bornholm’s fun ride and has a regular annual BCC race named after it. From the top of Slamrebjerg, it’s all downhill towards Nexø again.

See the exact route details here.

6. Inland around the island, 85 km, approx. 570 vertical metres

A route that I could very well do as one of my training rides. You can get almost all the way around the island, but not along the coast. The majority of the route takes you on small roads. Even if you don’t attempt any of the big hills, the vertical metres still add up. The route starts in Rønne and the first 10 kilometres are along Søndre Landevej, which has a great cycle path alongside it.

When you leave Søndre Landevej taking a country road, it’s around 30 km before you hit a dual carriageway again, this time in Østermarie. And shortly afterwards, you wind your way around the small roads of northern Bornholm again and another 30 kilometres or so go by before you’re back on the Simplegårdsvej dual carriageway. At the bottom of Simplegårdsvej, you ride along a short stretch of road before heading down to Hasle Lystskov and then the rest of the route to Rønne takes you through or along by the forest.

See the exact route details here.


Magnus Cort suggests 10 great Bornholm climbs
Tour de France Bornholm style
Read about cycling holidays on Bornholm
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