Route by car through the Lofoten Islands (between utopian places)


I have to rub my eyes again and again to make sure what I am seeing. Since yesterday we crossed the imaginary line that entered us in Lofoten Islands we have not stopped seeing subrrealist landscapes, taken from stories or impossible fantasies, by a sea-level road (called King's route) As soon as you can see wonderful fjords like snowy mountains that fall at our feet in precipices that challenge the laws of balance. Today we are from route by car through the Lofoten Islands among the most utopian places we could have imagined... and I am still at this time without knowing if I am seeing a reality or a painting drawn by some fantasy artist.

Svolvaer, Kabelvag, Henningsvaer, Nusfjord, Flakstad, Kvalvika, Reine or A (pronounced O) are dream populations that by their own name say nothing but to which we put image today.

Route by car through the Lofoten Islands

We have already 5 travel days and we have enjoyed a , of a magical night, of walking with or also on and even knowing the. Yesterday, finally, we arrived at Lofoten Islands among the reflections of the mountains with the fjords and, after sleeping in Hammerstad Camping We have set off very early. With everything lived, could the experience be even better? We lacked the icing on the cake! Lofoten Islands is what one dreams and what one cannot believe when you reach it…

The route by car through the Lofoten Islands by day takes us from Svolvaer to Reine, possibly the most idyllic among both unreal landscape, on an itinerary similar to the following ...

As I explained in, this archipelago consists of around 2,000 islands connected to each other by the prodigious Norwegian road, called the King's route or E10, responsible for giving continuity between deep fjords, impressive cliffs and an anomalous current that creates an unusual microclimate in these latitudes and images like these ...

Leaving the Vesteralen archipelago behind, already imposing, we now cross the Islands of Austvagøy, Gimsøy, Vestvagøy, Flakstadøy, Moskenesøy, Værøy and Røst, the main inhabited of Lofoten

What can not be missing in a route by car through the Lofoten Islands? Any itinerary that you consider of several days between these landscapes should include (as the new one already does updated Polar Lands program since 2016) the following:

- Svolvaer, the heart of Lofoten Islands, where more life, bars, hotels and restaurants can be enjoyed in addition to theTroll fjord
Kabelvag, with its wooden church known as the cathedral
Lofotr Vikingmuseum, a huge boat turned around that brings us closer to the Vikings
Henningsvaer, an authentic and picturesque town "dotted" between several islands, bridges and beaches
Leknes, where the Vestvågøy Museum is located with the history of fishermen in the area
Nusfjord, the charming fishing village full of rorbuer on Flakstadøya Island
- The Flakstad wooden church, red and with white doors and windows, dated 1780
- He hiking to Kvalvika, the beach of the whales, one of the most beautiful and scenic
Sakrisoy, very close to Reine, a small picturesque little yellow village
Reine, the idyllic town on the banks of a prettier fjord we've ever seen
-Other possible stops of fishing villages that can be seen in a short time: Ramberg, Sund, Tind, Moskenes, A
- Enjoy pure nature stopping at any location along the road leaving tricked by deep fjords, dizzying cliffs, snowy mountains and islands and islets bathed in deep blue waters
- Do activities how to visit a reindeer farm, organic farm, kayak, a boat on the fjords, hiking, climbing, diving, snowshoeing ...
- Experience the dance of the northern lights over our heads in one of the best places in the world to see them
- Stay in the typical Scandinavian cabins and / or rorbuer, the same ones that allowed to lodge fishermen in time of the cod

Are we missing any stops, experiences or attractions that you think should be on this list?

If nature in its purest form is almost total, the fact that only 24,000 people live in small villages and many of them collect what would become their largest city, Svolvaer, still on the island of Austvågøy, makes the perception of unadulterated landscapes is almost total

This population is precisely the first stop on our route by car through the Lofoten Islands, very close to where we have slept.

Beyond Svolvaer, crossing deep fjords and snowy mountains

Solvaer, despite being the nerve center of the entire region of the archipelago, It is a quiet village Where we wouldn't mind living Cycling routes, boat trips or hiking are the main attractions as well as a good number of hotels and restaurants, although Mount Svolvaergeita (Svolvaer Goat), in its vicinity is the true icon of the city

Perhaps it is, a few kilometers later, where the first town with real historical interest is located. It is currently called Kabelvåg although it was really founded as "Vågan" at the beginning of the 12th century by King Øystein Magnusson

The story tells that he could be the first known town in northern Norway and where a church and a fisherman's lodge were built

But the Polar Lands expedition has reached our travel objective and what we were really looking for. Yes for something Lofoten Islands stands out because of its spectacular landscapes They look like subrealist paintings by some painter in one of those most creative stages of his artistic life.

! Stop! !For! !For! I think Marc must have finished up to the "cap" of us today with so much stop. Each curve opened a more incredible location than the previous one

Henningsvær and the cod dryers

Today is one of those days that I feel a little sorry to have a broken drone engine. It would have been a perfect place to get an aerial perspective of these picturesque fishing villages.

Henningsvær is a fishing village on the island of Heimøya, facing the south coast of Austvågøya, which is reached by crossing one of those engineering bridges (which Marc lets us walk) so spectacular in this area of ​​the planet

Here we begin to discover one of the main characteristics that Lofoten Islands gives to travelers, the fields full of fish dryers, both herring and cod, which then export by half the world.

The question is inevitable ... We are in Norway! How can there be cod dryers in a place where it rains so much and there is so much green around us? Lofoten Islands are one of the most wonderful natural places on our planet but not by chance, but as a whole it forms a mountainous barrier between the Scandinavian peninsula and the Norwegian Sea creating an immense great wall

In addition, despite being in latitudes at the height of Alaska, Greenland and above the Arctic Circle ...! temperature is 5 degrees higher than expected! (and of that we attest to the day we had).

This is due to the so-called Gulf Stream, a mass of warm water that is born in the tropics, reaches these shores of Norway and has created for years, beyond recent tourism, cod fishing as the main source of wealth of the archipelago.

If hours later we were not to meet Reine, as we walked through the streets that took us to the fishing port of Henningsvær, I would put my hand in the fire because this little town would be the prettiest that I would enjoy the whole adventure.

We are facing one of the traditional villages of Norway that has the best preserved architecture in the whole country, with colorful buildings that line the harbor and the rugged mountains of Austvågøya as a backdrop. However it is also called "The Venice of the North"for its multiple bridges and islands

In fact, walking through the port between those historic relics of wooden buildings is one of the moments we would keep in the retina. I have already promised Paula that sometime in our life we ​​will spend 1 month retreat in one of these Lofoten cabins.

The distances of the route by car through the Lofoten Islands really are very bearable. If it weren't because we want to stop every bit, I would say it could really be done even on a single day. Another thing is that it is one of those locations in the world where you could be up to 1 month with the face of permanent amazement. It is the case of our next stops ... fjords, valleys, cliffs, snowy mountains and even a beautiful frozen lake next to the road that combines all the above.

We are at the beginning of April and it shows that the harsh winter has been left behind. What will this place be like in summer? In addition to whale safari and hiking activities, these scenic roads invite you to cycle through them and these fjords to practice kayaking in the shallows.

Nusfjord, a town of rorbuer where to stay

Nusfjord more than people perhaps should be considered as congregation of warm colored houses that live together next to what was once one of the main ports of Lofoten Islands.

At present it is still one of the most beautiful towns with one of Norway's oldest and best preserved fishing ports but that has abandoned its main source of wealth towards its transformation as a holiday resort. Here you can stay in a conditioned rorbuer (with walls waterproofed with cod liver oil paint) and live in an authentic fishing village!

Nusfjord receives thousands of people every year, possibly the core that more, arrive under the incentive of fishing tourism and good gastronomy with bacalo recipes very similar to the Spanish and Portuguese

History tells us that in the 19th century the town was owned by the Dahl family and it must be recognized that they had great pleasure in creating this small set of cabins in such a special place

Run Sele! !Run! A ship loaded with cod has just arrived and begin to cut it. What a good look!

Dozens of cod are dried right now in front of the cabins as self-consumption fishing tourism of the travelers themselves.

Why is this cod so tasty?

This cod, the same that is exported to Spain or Portugal for our exquisite recipes, is a guy called skrei that comes from the Barents Sea to spawn here between the months of January and April and for that reason he is known as "the nomad". It is precisely that long journey that makes your flesh have stronger muscles and know much more tasty. !We give faith!

Seeing how they tear them apart and they throw their heads into the sea, we realize that dryers do preserve them. Why?

We get the answer in globalization. The Norwegians never gave courage to the heads and other parts of the cod but now, once dried, they are crushed and sold as a protein supplement to African countries. !Amazing! Something that had no value is now sold to the third world. Why not make an effort and contribute to its development? No, that utopian world would never exist, even among the richest.

We abandon the also called cathedrals of Lofoten, the rows of cod dryers that occupy immense extensions as we go, and we go to another one of those privileged locations that leaves any itinerary by car through Lofoten Islands. We'll talk about that in the next chapter ...

(Continue on DAY 5 (II) - In search of the beach of the whales (and its magical views))