If there is one place on Earth where it doesn’t matter if it rains, if it snows, or if the sun shines, because it’s beautiful nevertheless, it must be Lofoten Islands in Norway.
A rugged mountain chain is rising from the Gulf Stream, forming a rare and unique world. It’s wild and beautiful, with azure blue water, white beaches, green mountainsides, beautiful fjords, old fishing towns, and maybe some of the most spectacular roads in the world. Hello, Lofoten Islands.
This is our first meters of riding and I’m so excited because I really always wanted to come here and have read so much about Lofoten, and it already looks stunning. The Lofoten Islands are some of the oldest rocks in the world.
Its mountains rise abruptly from the Gulf Stream. This mountain range forms a 100-kilometer-long and 1,000-meter-high wall when seen from afar, the so-called Lofoten Wall. But there are not only mountains.
There are, as well, valleys, flatlands, and a lot of fishing villages, right on the feet of all the harshly-rising mountains. We are here on the most southern tip of Lofoten, and there is a little town that actually has the shortest name I ever saw, the town A. (gentle music) A is literally the end.
The road doesn’t go any further than this most southern fishing village on Lofoten Islands. The town is mainly a museum and consists of 23 traditional red buildings that are 150 years old and are still in their old place.
The name A, by the way, means creek. So we decided to stop at the lake Agvatnet, which shores reach A, and which is connected with the ocean by a little creek. (birds chirping) (charming flute music) The best way to lodge at Lofoten is finding yourself a typical Rorbuer, the traditional seasonal used fishing huts.
Some of them have been restored and converted to small cottages on the water. They are super popular amongst tourists, and even though corona restricted traveling a lot, Lofoten was the only place where we really struggled to find accommodation.
So better book way in advance in a normal year. (wistful piano music) This is my bed for this night, and this is the amazing view out of the window. (mystical music) I have a surprise for my travel partner.
He has a birthday tomorrow, and this part of Lofoten has the nicest restaurant, so I will take him out for dinner to celebrate. (charming music) The restaurant of Holmen is called Kitchen at the Edge of the World.
You can watch the chef prepare the dishes, and indeed, he even collected many of the herbs himself on a hike over the island the same day. And he gave us some tips for some great places to hike close by.
I cheated a bit though and used the drone instead to reach the places he talked about. (majestic music) The island Moskenesoy is the most southern island of Lofoten, and one of the biggest and most famous islands.
Here is Lofoten like you probably know it from the photographs you have seen. Scenic fishing villages like Reine, with its famous Reinefjord, Hamnoy, or Sorvagen, are all connected with bridges and the road E10 that leads from one side of Lofoten to the other. (birds chirping) Good morning from Lofoten.
It’s raining again, so it was only a very short time that the weather was good, and now we’re back to the everyday rain. (melancholy music) When visiting Lofoten yourself, keep in mind that tourism has just recently exploded in the last years, mainly because of Instagram.
Lofoten is now on many people’s bucket lists, but that doesn’t mean that it has a big tourist capacity. Remember that the locals have not signed up for a photoshoot. You can indeed wild camp for free in Norway, but Lofoten is not the ideal place for that either. The islands are too small to handle lots of campers.
To preserve the unique nature, better stay at accommodations or at least pitch your tent at a campground. (gentle music) Before heading north, we went around the fishing village Reine one more time.
It’s famous for its traditional red and white fishermen’s huts and the surrounding peaks of granite shooting out of the Reinefjorden. Reine’s beauty earned the village a reputation as the most beautiful place in the world.
There’s one rule in Norway and Lofoten: If the weather looks bad, 10 minutes later, it might have changed completely! But I guess the bad news is, as well, that if it’s sunny, and the weather gets better now, it doesn’t mean that it will last forever.
One thing you have to be prepared for when visiting Lofoten: Its surroundings are so pretty that you really want to stop for a picture every two minutes. (contemplative music continues) So at one point, I had to force myself to not stop anymore and just drive to the next destination we wanted to go.
To Fredvang, where you can literally drive over water. (dramatic upbeat music) The Fredvang Bridges connect the fishing village of Fredvang with the neighboring island of Flakstadoya.
The road leads over four little islands, and the spectacular mountain background makes the drive one of the top things to do on Lofoten. (exciting music) (motors roaring) After Fredvang, it took me literally five minutes until I needed to stop again because of the breathtaking views.
My travel partner, meanwhile, is turning his back on me because I’m stopping way too often for his taste. There are so many places to visit on Lofoten, and I feel like I could easily spend two weeks here.
But we don’t have too much time, so we have to go to our next destination now and that’s Nusfjord. (gentle guitar music) When entering the dead-end road to Nusfjord, I already got a feeling of entering a very special place.
The steep mountains fall roughly into the fjord, but at the same time, makes you feel like the world is still okay. At least at this little left paradise, that is still like 50 years ago.
We are at Nusfjord now. Behind me, you can see the fjord, and this place is actually a village of so-called Rorbuers, which are small fishing cabins. And you can as well stay there these days because this one is a hotel and very well preserved.
Nusfjord is one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fishing villages. The road to the village was only completed 50 years ago. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Nusfjord was home to more than 1,500 fishermen.
Many of the old buildings related to the fishing industry have been renovated and taken care of. And today, the fish oil factory, old smokery, the blacksmith, boathouses, and many other buildings give you a glimpse of the old Lofoten life, while visitors can stay in modern renovated huts.
Unfortunately, we’re not staying here because this, Nusfjord, is actually stunning. Even if you’re not interested in these old fishing cabins, it’s just an amazing ride. We’re having a very nice lunch today at the restaurant of Nusfjord hotel.
It’s super beautiful in here, and we’re spoiling ourselves because someone has a birthday today. And it’s not me. Karoline Restaurant offers some amazing fish burgers with maybe one of the best views of the Lofoten Islands.
(people chattering) And then, like always, I forgot to take a picture of the nice birthday dinner, and only this is left of the fish burgers. We actually still don’t know where we will sleep tonight, and we were hoping to find something at our next destination, which is Henningsvaer.
But we already checked online and it looks like everything is booked out, but we will still try our luck. (cheerful orchestral music) Henningsvaer is a small island group with 400 inhabitants situated between the impressive Mount Vagakallen and the Lofoten Wall.
The town is famous for its handicraft boutiques, restaurants, and galleries, and a favorite place to visit for many tourists. The village stretches across several islands, with one single island just for a soccer field. (inspiring music) Did I already mention that the weather on the Lofoten Islands can change quite quickly? My drone can now tell you a story about that.
So we didn’t find a place to stay in Henningsvaer, and it as well doesn’t look good with availability close to here, somewhere in nature. So I guess we will probably have to go to the next bigger town, which is Svolvaer. It’s about 25 kilometers from here.
And yeah, but at least it looks as if we will get out of the rain soon again. (gentle music) After a beautiful day of riding with only a little bit of rain, we arrived in a Svolvaer, which is actually much, much bigger than the other towns that we have been to before. And now we’re finding some food.
Indeed, Svolvaer is the biggest town in Lofoten, which doesn’t mean that it’s overcrowded. There are still only 5,000 people living. The nearby village Vagar, just a few miles west, was, by the way, the first real settlement in northern Norway, dating to 880 A.D. Hello sun, long time no see.
Thanks for joining the journey to the gems of Lofoten. But we are not done with traveling islands yet. The next episode will take us from Lofoten to the more remote, but no less scenic Vesteralen Islands. Give me a thumbs-up if you liked this episode, and say hello to my travel partner in the comments, so he gets some belated birthday wishes.