Where your soul rests

Know Norway!

Visiting Lofoten islands.

August 2021

Everyone who likes traveling must visit the Lofoten Islands in Norway at least once in lifetime.

We, my cat Mitya, my dad and I, started our five-day journey in early September, back in 2010 by car from the central Finland, where I was living. The best way to travel in Norway is certainly by car. Norway is when you every 10 minutes say: “Let’s stop and make photos! Look how beautiful it is!”

We went on a trip in off-season time, so we were probably the only tourists in the area. Traveling in these times has its pros and cons. Staying at hotels is much cheaper and there is always availability in the hotels. And we simply could not miss the autumn colors of Norway! Unfortunately, it’s not the season for fishing either (but I was lucky). Water activities have already ended, but we had an outstanding opportunity to admire a desert white beach. You decide when you want to travel to Norway, but if you want to spend a more active holiday, then, of course, you have to go in summer time. The weather in Norway in September was changing every ten minutes, whether it was sunny or cloudy, however, we were lucky, and it never rained during our trip.

Our first stop in Finland at the Arctic Circle point
In Sweden we stayed for a night in a guesthouse, which also accepted animals, in a picturesque place on the Lake Torneträsk.
Traditional decoration of a house in Sweden

After crossing the border of Norway we were greeted by a giant troll with a beautiful waterfall on the background.

Google Maps was not popular in these times, thus, spectacular places of interest were just found occasionally. While driving through the mountainous islands, it was impossible to relax while driving, but a low speed of ride allowed us to stop at any moment and take wonderful photos.

Norway is when even an imperfect photo is beautiful, and the atmosphere of surroundings can be fully reflected in it.

A curious sight for a tourist is a house with grass on the roof and a sheep grazing on it.

Since old times, that type of roof had excellent thermal insulation and waterproofing properties, and also served as protection from enemies. It was economical to build such roof and it did not require much maintenance. These roofs are still in demand among Norwegians today. There is no need to cut the grass, they just put this cute animal on it. Everyone is happy.

The next obligatory stop should be on the white beach in the village of Ramberg. The sand is really white! There are simply no words to describe this place, you just have to be there and enjoy the surroundings. There is a camping and an agency that can arrange any type of activities for you from hiking to surfing and even whale watching. In our case, we just took beautiful photos and continued our trip.

Our final stop was the edge of the islands – a traditional fisherman village with an odd name Å, meaning “a stream” in Norwegian. We rented a whole house for a couple of nights. The most important places of interest here are the Stockfish Museum and the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum. We could not enter to the museum, but we made photos of some exhibits outside. The village of Å is famous for producing stockfish, which has been Norway’s most important export product since old times. We tried to fish in the village, but without any success.

Stockfish museum exhibits

On the way back we took a ferry from Svolvær to Skutvik. Before taking the ferry, we had lunch at a local restaurant for € 20 per person for the buffet, the food was extremely tasteless. In general, during the whole trip, we cooked our food, which we brought with us. Prices are very high in Norway, for example, a frozen pizza in one local supermarket costed about 8 euros in these times. During the ferry crossing, the weather changed about twenty times, we saw so many rainbows we haven´t seen in our entire lives.

The last two nights we spent at the Hamaroy Fishcamping, where we rented a cozy hut with a kitchen. In the morning we rented a motor boat and went to try our luck in fishing, but again, unsuccessfully. After arrival to the camping, while my dad was cooking a soup, I took a spinning rod and went to try to catch something from the shore just close to the hut. And yes, I was lucky, I caught a favorite fish of the Norwegians, a saithe (Atlantic Pollock)! Norway could just not let us go without a fish! By the way, the fish soup of saithe was excellent!

Overall impression from the trip.

This trip was a rest for my soul, an escape from routine and connecting with nature. During the whole trip we met 10 people at most, again, it was September.

As for gastronomy, I cannot say that we had an opportunity to appreciate it. As for us, it was a fish soup made from a fresh just caught fish, and it was very tasty. If I had an opportunity to return to the Lofoten Islands, I would definitely go in the summer to fully enjoy summer activities and, of course, fishing.

Historical facts about the Lofoten Islands

The history of the Lofoten Islands revolves around fishing. The population has always been fishing all year round, usually combining fishing with farming. There have been found evidences on the Lofoten Islands that people lived by fishing for centuries 6,000 years ago. The findings demonstrated that they used fishing weights and fish hooks made from bone and horn. The natural resources of the area contributed to the foundation of the residence of one of the most powerful leaders of Northern Norway during the Viking Age. The world’s largest Viking house, at least 83 meters long, is situated in Born.

Museums of the Lofoten Islands

For the museum lovers, I made a selection of museums on the Lofoten Islands:

Do you want to dive into the Viking era and feel like a Viking? Eat like a real Viking, shoot a bow or go for a boat trip on a Viking ship!

Discover an authentic fishing village: boathouse, fish oil factory, manor house, forge, post office, fisherman’s house and 19th century bakery. Here you can experience the daily life of the itinerant fisherman, local villagers and the squire who controlled the fishing village from 1840 to 1960.

The museum has an interesting collection of objects from the Second World War.

The museum has an unusual collection of old dolls and toys.

A blacksmith workshop with old tools. Here you can enjoy the creation of a “skarv”.

Interesting place to visit. Here you will get to know about the history and development of telegraph and radiotelegraph communication on the Lofoten Islands.