Lofoten Journey_ Exploring Vermilion Stilted Homes


 Day 01: 300 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, a sense of anticipation fills you as the plane prepares for takeoff. A smile graces your face – the dream of a northern Norway adventure is finally unfolding, complete with the enchanting Lofoten Islands. With just a few hours left before landing in Tromsø, you immerse yourself in the travel guide: “Velkommen til Norge!” Retrieving your rental car at the airport, your trusty companion for the week, a brief 10-minute drive takes you from the airport to the city center. The sight of colorful wooden houses instantly captivates you, revealing Tromsø’s charm, often likened to the “Paris of the North.” After checking into your hotel, the evening offers time for exploration before you retire to your cozy bed, dreaming of the adventures ahead.

Day 02: Explore the intriguing Arctic surroundings today at the Polar Museum and Polaria! Gain insights into expeditions, history, and culture, making the Nordic world even more fascinating. What’s next? Choose between relaxation or adventure: a stroll along Telegrafbukta beach, a brief hike, or a boat trip towards the midnight sun. For a breathtaking view, head to Mount Storsteinen using the optional cable car (payable on-site). From the summit, gaze over the city from a height of over 400 meters, with the Tromsø Bridge standing out. Conclude your evening with an upside-down drink after descending!

Day 03: Embrace the dawn and set out on an exciting road trip! With the keyword “road trip,” enthusiasm surges as you grab the car keys and hit the gas pedal. Feel the crisp northern breeze as you absorb the initial scenic views passing by your window – a mere glimpse of what lies ahead! Today’s journey includes a stopover in Narvik, nestled between the arms of the Ofotenfjord, halfway to the Lofoten Islands. Check into your hotel, then venture out for exploration. Capture the city’s beauty, the blue fjord, and the surroundings from the local mountain accessible by cable car (optional, payment on-site). Interested in Norwegian history? Explore the vivid portrayal of Narvik’s fate at Krigsminnemuseet (optional, payment on-site). Prefer immersing yourself in Norwegian culture? Stroll through the city’s streets. Anticipate tomorrow’s arrival in the enchanting Lofoten dreamland! Route: Tromsø – Narvik approx. 232 km (via E8 and E6)

Day 04: Mmm, this breakfast is delightful! As you savor it, anticipation builds for the approaching destination of Lofoten. Adjusting your rear-view mirror, you embark on the journey to relish the stunning Nordic landscapes until you arrive at the archipelago. A soft “wow” escapes your lips as you enter another realm: charming red houses on stilts against rugged rocks and steep cliffs, with expansive views of deep fjords to the horizon. It’s almost surreal that you’ll be spending the night right here! Svolvaer on Austvågøya, the largest island in the chain, fulfills all your dreams with its picturesque Lofoten scenery. Rest well! Travel route: Narvik – Svolvaer approximately 262 km (via E10).

Day 05: Wake up to a surreal scene: the fjord sparkles in the early sun, and the first fishermen are already setting out. Ready to dive into the Lofoten world? Opt for an undiscovered route, park your rental, and continue on foot. Only on foot, surrounded by nature, can you truly grasp the unspoiled beauty of the Lofoten Islands! After a brief hike, return to the road and head to Henningsvaer, a charming fishing settlement scattered across eight interconnected islands. Stroll among red stilt houses and savor a drink in a cozy café. Energized? Move on to Trollfjord to experience Norway’s fjords up close! At just 2.5 km, it’s not the size but the unmatched beauty that captivates you! Seeking an extraordinary adventure? Grab a canoe for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, paddling across the lake with stunning views of Lofoten’s untouched nature! Don’t wait – immerse yourself in the golden evening light, paddle through the fjords, and capture the majestic mountains in unforgettable photos. Svolvær – Henningsvær – Trollfjord – Svolvær, approximately 190 km via E10.

Day 06: Explore the diverse wonders of Lofoten – from rugged cliffs to charming stilt houses and awe-inspiring mountain views. Fancy a change of scenery today? Embrace the sandy bliss of Haukland Beach and Uttakleiv Beach, easily accessible by 4 wheels. If you seek seclusion, embark on a short hike to discover the hidden gem of Kvalvika Beach. Picture yourself standing barefoot in the soft sand, gazing at the sea, questioning if you’ve somehow wandered into the Caribbean. It’s hard to believe you’re kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. Lose track of time as the midnight sun graces Lofoten from mid-May to mid-July, providing ample daylight for exploration. Drive freely across the island, absorbing the indescribable landscapes. Ever witnessed a sea eagle in the wild? Seize the opportunity to join other nature enthusiasts on a rubber dinghy adventure. As you look up, a majestic eagle circles just meters above, creating breathtaking moments and capturing unforgettable photos. Your route: Svolvær – Haukland Beach – Uttakleiv Beach – Svolvær, covering approximately 144 km via E10.

Day 07: Not willing to bid farewell to the crimson stilt dwellings just yet? No need for goodbyes; it’s merely a shift in locale promising a fresh dawn of delight. Head to Hamnøy in the southwest of Lofoten. Though petite, the allure lies in its wooden abodes, fisher huts, and breathtaking nature. The camera is a must-have, as Hamnøy offers unparalleled photo prospects nestled between Reinefjord and imposing mountain vistas. Seeking diversity? In the nearby Sakrisøy, lemon-yellow stilt houses beckon – fortunate that your camera has boundless capabilities! Route: Svolvær to Hamnøy, around 115 km via E10.

Day 08: Embark on a Western journey today! Head towards the charming fishing village of Å, boasting the world’s shortest name, nestled at the tip of the Lofoten Islands. Leave your car at the E10’s end and explore on foot. Don’t ignore your growling stomach; treat yourself to freshly baked cinnamon buns from the 100-year-old museum oven in Å. Continue to Reine, renowned for Reinebringen, its local mountain. If you’re fearless, climb the 1700 steps for a breathtaking view. The route: Hamnøy – Å i Lofoten – Reine – Hamnøy, approximately 71 km via E10.

Day 09: Embark on an eastern journey today, trading Lofoten for Vesterålen. Don’t forget Nusfjord or a hike – there’s still time to check off your to-do list. After enchanting Lofoten moments, glance back at the iconic red stilt houses against rugged cliffs. Now, head to Harstad on Hinnøya Island, capturing photos and savoring the road trip. Approaching Harstad, catch sight of the towering Møysalen mountain in the small national park. Experience lively June festivities and hike Gangsåstoppen for a panoramic view of Harstad. Check into your hotel, be satisfied, and plan the evening. Route: Hamnøy to Harstad, approximately 283 km via E10.

Day 10: Good morning, Harstad! After yesterday’s overview, let’s dive into the day’s agenda. Harstad holds a significant place in Viking history, inviting you to explore its streets for historical traces. A notable gem is Trondenes Church, reflected in Vågsfjord for over 750 years. It’s fascinating that this small church once served as a defensive structure. Consider enjoying a coffee and a freshly baked cinnamon bun by the fjord – the view is heavenly. Locals fondly call the western shore the pearl. Alternatively, embrace the day with active pursuits like conquering Musvannet, Sætertinden, and Hinnstein!

Day 11: Farewell, Harstad! Hello, Tromsø! Embark on your journey today and savor the familiar Nordic scenery as you drive. “Heading home?” No worries, you’ve got the entire day to discover Tromsø – its charming wooden houses, cobblestone alleys, welcoming bars, and the Norwegians’ warm hospitality. Tromsø boasts numerous northernmost wonders – a botanical garden, brewery, cathedral… Don’t miss the distinctive Arctic Ocean Cathedral. Feeling hungry? Try something unique like grilled cod or reindeer fillet. Cherish your final day in northern Norway, and as night falls, relax in bed, content with newfound impressions of this small Norwegian town. Route: Harstad to Tromsø, approximately 300 km via E6.

Day 12: As time swiftly passes, your adventure concludes today, bidding farewell to the enchanting northern landscapes of Norway. Returning your rental car at Tromsø airport, you board a plane, journeying kilometers southward. Even with closed eyes, vivid memories of fjords, peaks, and quaint red wooden houses linger. One certainty emerges from this journey – it won’t be your final venture beyond the Arctic Circle! Until next time, dear Nordic Nature.

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