Going to Lofoten again! Part 1

Stamsund Hostel, Lofoten islands

Stamsund Hostel, Lofoten islands

We all have places we had visited once and since then they have made us want to come back often times. Lofoten islands seem to have this influence on me, always on my mind when thinking about my next trip destination (even if my always cold feet are begging me to go somewhere hot). I first heard about the islands or I should say saw them, on the photos taken by a photographer enchanted by Lofoten. Especially one of the photos made me fall in love with the islands and filled with the urge to go and see by myself. I have visited the islands twice since, once in Autumn and once in winter. And in two weeks I am going there for the third time and it makes me so excited that I need to share with you some of my thoughts.

My first visit in Autumn 2011 didn’t disappoint me at all, quite the opposite. I am not sure what it is I love the most about Lofoten, probably the combination of mountains, ocean, bright painted houses and the far-away location. As my work requires an intense contact with people, often displaying challenging behaviour, I am somehow drawn to places where it takes at least two flights or ferry rides to get to. It makes me feel that I am really far away from everything else, I leave all the troubles and pettiness of the world behind me when stepping on the beautiful islands.

Boat ride around Stamsund, Lofoten islands

Trying not to look seasick, near Stamsund Lofoten islands

A good weather on the first day of arrival contributed to my first impression of the islands. Early sun was lighting the mountains and ocean as we drove on the bus towards Stamsund and it felt blissful. Stamsund is a small town (to be honest even bigger places on Lofoten are small in comparison with mainland cities) but what makes it a great destination for a budget traveller, or someone who likes meeting interesting people, is the hostel. It’s run by Roar who is my favourite hostel owner (position previously held by a positively crazy Irish guy Kevin). The hostel consists of a big building with two kitchens/living rooms and dorms. There is also an extra building with private and family rooms and a few rorbus scattered around. There are always some “regulars” there, people who come and visit every year and it makes it a really great place to stay. One can meet a French chef who prepares delicious food using freshly caught fish… Or one can be offered a great boat ride and then try the hardest not to be seasick… The hostel is affordable (even for our standards as the prices in Norway are soooo high) and a must-stay place in my opinion. I remember my first day when tired after the journey I was lying on the wooden decking in the Sun with water gently moving underneath… The hostel is not open all year round so check before you come.

Fish dish cooked by a French chef in the hostel in Stamsund

Fish dish cooked by a French chef in the hostel in Stamsund

Reine is another one of my must-see places. The iconic view of the town from the bridge is excellent but if you are fit enough to hike Reinebringen, the views are even better. Hiking up presents with a bit of a challenge, especially when it is muddy and slippery (most of the time), there is a steep section with a rope one can (or in my case have to) use to make the ascent and descent easier. I went up there with two mountain goats (one American and one French) and my usually slow pace seemed even slower, especially on the way down when trying to avoid slipping and falling down into the trees below. Well, it was fun and the views and my sense of achievement when I got to the top were far greater than I could imagine.

Reine, February 2013

Reine, February 2013

Reinebringen, September 2011

Finally on top of Reinebringen, September 2011

Another lovely place to see is Å (the shortest village name I have ever heard). Very small and probably much busier in the summer season, but I love just walking around the cliffs and looking at the ocean when one photographer takes his time to shoot the scenery. It was even more interesting in winter when I visited islands for the second time in 2013, it was all covered in snow and mysteriously quiet except of the waves. But be aware, if you visit Å in winter you need to be able to walk on ice, and I don’t mean walking on the lake, Norwegians just don’t seem to be de-icing roads, pavements or walkways on Lofoten…

Walking around Å, Lofoten islands

Walking around Å, Lofoten islands

Å, Lofoten islands, February 2013

Icy “pavement”, Å, Lofoten islands, February 2013

I will write some more about Lofoten within next few days, but if you need detailed information about the islands or just want to see beautiful photos of Lofoten, click here.

2 replies
    • Justyna
      Justyna says:

      Looks like it is going to rain on my arrival. Hopefully the winds will not be too strong for me to take a ferry on Tuesday.


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