I was most excited to see the Lofoten Islands on our Norway trip, and they did not disappoint. Unfortunately, our time was limited, and we only spent two nights in Svolvær. Svolvær is a town towards the eastern end of the island chain.
The first night we checked out the fishing village Henningsvær. Beautiful area, but it wasn’t the best weather. We made sure to enjoy dinner in the area, and the local fish. When dinner was over, the rain broke, and I tried to chase the light.
The best picture from the night came from stopping on the side of the road.
The next day Mike and I also learned one of our first lessons while traveling with our three-month-old. Our friends wanted to hike up to the Svolvær Goat, an extremely popular hike in the area. I read on-line it could be tricky, but it wasn’t one of the most challenging hikes in Lofoten. We asked a few people if they thought the hike would be do-able carrying a baby, everyone said it wasn’t too bad. Wanting to hike as much as we could on this trip, we decided to give it a try. Only 5 minutes into the hike we encountered this (cell phone pic taken on the way down, when I switched carrying the baby with Mike.)
Hoping that this was the worst of the “tricky” sections, I made it up the rock section. Then I saw this (another cell phone pic)
Yikes! Mike and I looked at each other, neither one of us wanting to “give up,” but knowing it was the right thing to do for our son. If we had slipped, our weight would crush our 11 lb baby. Not worth it.
We ended up walking around on the flat roads while our friends made it to the top.
That night we intended on driving to Reine, a very picturesque fishing village at the Western end of the islands. However, we got off to a late start, so I decided I would be happy even if we only reached Haukland Beach, another very scenic spot. That was also a bad night for Jackson.
On the drive we spotted what “might” be a good view, after a 20-minute walk through muddy brush. The view wasn’t so great, but we still enjoyed it.
Note to those who travel on their own to the Lofoten Islands in the hope of getting an “epic” shot:
- There are no easy “lookouts” from the road. Unlike Iceland, the best views are HARD to reach. There are some good angles you can see from the road, but there aren’t many places to pull over safely. The beaches are probably some of the easier areas to reach. If you’ve spent the money to get to the Lofoten islands, be prepared to HIKE! I was, but I didn’t realize the hikes in this area are very very tricky, even the ‘easy’ ones. I didn’t try more than just the one, but it’s the impression that I got. If you have a young child, keep your expectations simple.
- Give a lot of thought to where you stay. Svolvær is in the center of the island chain. There are many great photo opportunities close by, but you have to work for them, and constantly be on the lookout for the best angles. I didn’t reach the Western end of the islands, but I think it’s less work to find a great scene. If you’re limited with time, I would recommend staying closer to the Western end of the islands.