Norway’s Lofoten Islands is as out-of-this-world as any place in this world can be. It took us three flights and a terrible night’s sleep at an airport to get there, but the reward was immense.
Having done a few city escapes in Europe, we were after a different type of holiday. Lofoten Islands provided exactly that; an opportunity to slow down, inhale the fresh air and take in some of the most stunning scenery that Europe has to offer.
We visited Lofoten Islands at the beginning of April (perfect time of year to go – the days are getting longer, but there’s still snow around). There were so many different things we loved about this trip, but we’re going to show you just a few below.
So, here’s what we loved about Lofoten Islands.
We loved our little village…
I look at this photo and still can’t believe that this is where we lived for a week.
Hanningsvær is a small fishing village of about 500 people. We stayed at an AirBnb for the week here and needless to say it was unbelievable.
One thing to keep in mind is Hanningsvær is unapologetically a fishing village. As a tourist, this town is not built for you, so there’s not a lot of creature comforts like restaurants and cafes around.
Also, the whole town smells a little bit like fish. Our AirBnb bedroom overlooked crates of recently decapitated fish heads.
When your surroundings are this beautiful… what’s a little fishy smell anyway?
Our AirBnb hosts, Patrik and Lena, purchased a fish warehouse, and were in the process of renovating, room-by-room. It was as light-filled, quirky and quaint as you could possibly hope for with accommodation. Also, they get full points for having an absolute chamption dog; Egore.
We loved the road tripping…
Lofoten Islands consists of five separate islands, all joined together by a single road (the E-10). We drove along in our tiny yet efficient rental car, accompanied by Norwegian radio, which varied from Scandinavian folk music to dated pop hits such as Sweat. Good times.
We drove all the way to a town called Å at the Southern-most point of Lofoten Islands.
The scenery was insane. It’s the kind of scenery that makes you want to get out of the car every five minutes for a photo.
So we did. Here’s the snaps.
We made friends with some of the locals…
We checked out the beach…It’s such a bizarre thing to see snow-capped mountains descend down onto the sand. This beach had snow on the beach. There were also some eager surfers out there in the Arctic Ocean, because why not?
Then, there was that frozen lake…
We also loved the houses. All of them.
Driving around also gives you a pretty bad case of house-envy. There’s so many remote homes nestled between fjords and lakes, and you can’t help but imagine what it would be like to live there.
We also loved the Sea Eagle Safari…
That’s right, a Sea Eagle Safari.
Nearby in Svolvær there was a boat tour that went around some islands and fjords, and we stopped for a spot of fishing. After this, we were able to see some wild sea eagles up close.
It was epic.
Here’s the pics!
Something else we loved was the Hiking…
Let me start this section by saying we are not hikers. This is the first time we have ever ‘gone hiking’, and we absolutely loved it!
The easiest hike was a summit called Høven. The tourism guide called it an “easy afternoon walk for the whole family”. Despite this, it still made us sweat and realise how unfit we were.
The second hike we did was Svarttinden. We were unable to make the summit here, as we found ourselves underprepared, particularly when it came to equipment. The last thing we wanted was a headline that read Travel Bloggers Cause an Avalanche and Die, so we turned back around halfway up.
Even though we didn’t reach the top, the views were still spectacular.
The largest and most rewarding hike we did was to Kvalvika Beach, then up to a nearby summit, Ryten.
It was one of the ‘easy’ hikes.
Only it wasn’t.
It was, however, unbelievable.
The view from the summit of Ryten that overlooks Kvalvika beach was the highlight of the trip.
You’ll see what I mean in the pictures below.
So, that’s it!
We cannot recommend Lofoten Islands highly enough. Never have we gone away and come back so recharged and renewed in such a short period of time. It’s purely and simple an amazing place to get out and explore.
C + P