The Lofoten archipelago is something you have to visit if you’re planning on travelling to Norway. Peoples’ first associations with the country are either the capital city of Oslo or the other larger cities such as Bergen and Trondheim. Now, don’t get me wrong, as the cities are well worth seeing, but if you really want to experience the beauty of Norwegian nature I would recommend travelling to the Western Coast or up to the North. Lofoten, in the North, is the perfect area for a roadtrip, and the fantastic scenery will keep you occupied for the entire journey. Mountains, fiords, beaches, boats and sunsets are key words for this area of Norway. There are plenty of places to explore from start to finish and I’m going to mention a few of them.
Svolvær is a little town situated at the beginning of the Lofoten Islands. It has a little shopping centre, a couple of streets with cafés and independent shops and a waterfront. Down by the waterfront there are plenty of nice restaurants with a sea-view and it’s also possible to engage in activities such as kayaking, a sea eagle safari or a ride on a high speed motorboat (RIB). From the town you have a view of the mountains, with the most famous one being “Svolværgeita”. Translated, that means the Svolvær Goat, and this is because the top of the mountain looks like a goats head.
(You can see the Svolvær Goat on the right-hand side)
The Lofoten archipelago boasts of an array of mountains to hike in, such as Ryten (543m), Yttersandheia (281m), Mannen (400m), Reinebringen (448m) and so on. All of these give you a fantastic fiord view, but there is a hike that stands out from the rest and it’s called Djevelporten. Directly translated, this means the Devil’s Gate. The hike starts from the parking-lot at Svolvær Barnehage and you follow the marked path up towards the top of the mountain called Fløya and Djevelporten is on the way to the top. It has become a popular stop for photos as it’s possible to climb on to the elevated rock. If you enjoy hiking, then this is definitely a trip for you.
Lofoten also has miles of beaches to explore. It may not be the warmest place to go to the beach, but the views are breathtaking. The beaches below from the top are: Flakstad, Flakstad, Unstad and the bottom two are from Haukeland. Unstad is a popular place to go surfing and there’s always plenty of options for watersports.
About a 30 minute drive from Svolvær, and further into your Lofoten journey, you’ll find Henningsvær. It’s an old fishing village that stretches over several smaller islands. This picturesque little village has kept a lot of the old Norwegian architecture and offers plenty of cute little shops and cafés to look around. There are colourful houses dotted all around the harbour, masses of drying fish (which is basically fish jerky and enjoyed by many Norwegians – if you enjoy the strong flavour of salty fish, it’s worth trying), a football pitch (that recently gained a lot of fame online, after the British newspaper, The Mirror, named it one of the most beautiful pitches in the world), and a small lighthouse. There are also plenty of hiking and water activities to do here. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions on the islands.
All that’s left to say is grab a tent and go and explore Lofoten!