From Austvågøy to Gimsøy
Svolvær – Kabelvåg – Henningsvær - Gimsøy
Start the day with an amble out to the breakwater, before wandering around Svolvær’s diverse shops, or spend a few hours on a boat trip to the mighty Trollfjord. Follow the E10 to the medieval town of Kabelvåg, where you can see Lofoten Cathedral, one of Norway’s biggest wooden churches, and the village used by fishermen during the Lofoten fishery.
Kabelvåg was an important market town in the Middle Ages, and much of its historic architecture has been preserved. Look up at the statue of King Øystein on the hill, then learn about Lofoten’s history in the museums and galleries at Storvågan. See what lives under the waves in the aquarium, before continuing to the famous fishing village of Henningsvær, with its ’rorbu’ fishermen’s cabins, drying racks, lovely harbour, galleries and arts and crafts. Carry on to Hov on Gimsøy, turning left after the bridge to go horse riding or golfing.
Start: Svolvær. End: Hov. Distance: about 60 km / 1.5 hour drive. Route planner: E10, FV816, FV861, FV862
From Austvågøy to Vestvågøy
Svolvær – Lyngvær – Grunnstad – Eggum – Borg – Stamsund
Browse the galleries and museums of Svolvær with their modern and traditional oil paintings, watercolours, ice sculptures and jewellery, all inspired by the landscape around us. Take the E10 to Lyngvær, stopping off to consider Vågan’s contribution to Artscape Nordland. Carry on along the E10 to Grunnstad, and use the bird observation tower and its information boards to view the many bird species found in this rich wetland area. There are three of these towers along the National TouristRoute in Lofoten.
When you get to Vestvågøy, an agricultural county, visit one of the many farms producing cheeses, herbs and spices. Take a detour to tiny Eggum village and see another of Nordland Artscape’s sculptures. This is a beautiful hiking area, and a popular place to see the midnight sun. Visit the Viking Museum at Borg, and see Europe’s biggest chieftain’s house. Follow the E10 to Leknes, and take the Stamsund turn-off, via idyllic Steine, before ending your day with a visit to a gallery and a stroll round the fishing village that is the base of Lofoten’s trawler fleet.
Start: Svolvær. End: Stamsund. Distance: about 100 km / 2 hours’ drive. Route planner: E10, FV831, FV829, RV815, RV817
From Flakstadøy to Røst
Flakstad - Moskenes – Værøy – Røst
Wake yourself up with a morning dip on Ramberg beach, then drive westalong the E10. Admire the views from the Akkarvikodden viewpoint on theNational Tourist Route, before heading down to Hamnøy, Sakrisøy, Reine and Å. Take your time, and enjoy the kittiwake cliffs, landscape, culture and many exciting museums in this area – not forgetting Å’s cinnamon swirls. Take the ferry from Moskenesvågen to Værøy, steeped in culture and a perfect area for hiking. Add a boat trip to your hike, and smile at the comical little puffins. If you take the ferry to Røst, you’ll soon notice that the sports hall and pub are both called Querini. Learn the dramatic story of Røst’s connection with Italy, and stare in wonder at the sheer volume of dried fish that hang on the racks each year before export to the Italian market. Walk to Skomvær Lighthouse, and stay overnight in Røst Bryggehotell.
Start: Ramberg. End: Røst. Distance: about 35 km by car / about 30 min drive + 2 ferries / total about 3.5 hours. Route planner: E10
From Vestvågøy to Flakstadøy
Leknes – Napp – Vikten – Nusfjord – Sund
The dozens of inviting and exciting shops at Leknes shopping centre are enough to make shopaholics of us all. Drive along the E10 through the Napp tunnel, then stop at Nappskaret and take in the view from the top. Turn right in Vareid and head for Vikten, a village at the foot of Marbakken, where you can buy locally produced ceramics and glassware. Drive on to the famous old fishing and trading village of Nusfjord, with a well-preserved history and unique character, where you can still pop down to the general store.
Go fishing here from a big boat, or hire a small one. Carry on to Flakstad and its church built from Russian timber, where regular summer concerts are held under the distinctive onion dome. Further on is Ramberg, whose beach attracts people from all over the world. Turn off the E6 towardsSund, and feel the heat from the blacksmith’s forge. The smithy here is famous for its iron cormorants, and the chug of the boat museum’s engines will bring back memories of your childhood seaside holidays.