High 10 issues to see and do in Northern Norway: Vesteralen and Lofoten

Nowhere epitomises the nice open air fairly like Northern Norway, with its jagged mountains, gleaming fjords and huge swathes of lush woodlands. The air is so crisp and clear you are feeling as if you happen to’ve been transported to a different time. It nearly makes you imagine that Center Earth was actual.

Our journey by means of Northern Norway took us to the mountainous area of Vesteralen and the archipelago of Lofoten, recognized primarily for its scenic islands.

So what’s there to do on this stunning a part of Norway? Listed below are our high 10 suggestions.

Vesteralen

Observe sperm whales within the wild in Andenes

Characterstic whale flukes of a sperm whale

Characterstic whale flukes of a sperm whale (c) Lucy Woods

If in case you have watched the mesmerising Blue Planet II on the BBC, you could already bear in mind that Northern Norway is dwelling to a number of species of whale. Some, akin to killer whales and humpback whales, solely spend sure components of the 12 months on the coast of Norway. Nonetheless sperm whales could be noticed in Andenes all year long because of deep sea ranges (over 1000m) solely a brief distance from the shoreline.

We advocate reserving the Hvalsafari (from 975 NOK per grownup) as they’re so assured of their monitoring abilities they boast a 97-98% likelihood of seeing a sperm whale – we noticed them on eight separate events. Witnessing these colossal creatures within the wild, significantly once they exhibit their attribute tail flukes as they dive into the deep sea, is a magical expertise.

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Attempt your hand as an astronaut at Spaceship Aurora

Virtual space mission at at Spaceship Aurora

Digital house mission at at Spaceship Aurora (c) Lucy Woods

Andoya Area Heart in Vesteralen has launched over 1,000 scientific rockets into house. Additionally it is the positioning of Spaceship Aurora, a unbelievable instructional centre the place you’ll be able to be taught all concerning the Northern Lights. Scientists primarily based on the centre will share a wealth of data on the science behind the Aurora (often known as “house climate”) and the way the Northern Lights have influenced Norwegian historical past and tradition.

Youngsters and adults can participate in an enormous vary of actions together with conducting a scientific mission to house. Teams are cut up into completely different roles, kitted up and strapped right into a mock spaceship for a digital house mission, the place they’ll should work collectively to conduct analysis and land the spaceship safely again on earth. It truly is nice enjoyable!

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Discover the gorgeous village of Nyksund

The village of Nyksund

The village of Nyksund (c) Lucy Woods

Nyksund is a small coastal village on the northern a part of the island of Langoya. Multi-coloured homes on stilts present a formidable backdrop to the huge Norwegian Sea. The 27 residents have remodeled this as soon as deserted ghost city right into a close-knit group. There’s a captivating café full with eccentric décor (together with a chair made from whale bone) and a few spectacular artworks. There’s additionally a church, antiques store and the Holmvik Brygge restaurant that serves scrumptious bowls of bacalhau – salted cod in a tomato-based stew.

Whereas very fashionable in the summertime months (there’s a spot on the bridge that gives a near-perfect view of the midnight solar), few individuals go to Nyksund come October. That is the very best time to satisfy the pleasant locals and expertise all of the village has to supply.

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Go to Hurtigruten Museum at Stokmarknes

Hurtigruten Museum at Stokmarknes

Hurtigruten Museum at Stokmarknes (c) Lucy Woods

Hurtigruten Museum takes you on a century-long journey of cruise voyages alongside the Norwegian shoreline. The museum encompasses a wealthy show of images, work, mannequin ships, historic movies, movies and extra. The museum has additionally rescued, preserved and restored the unique MS Finmarken cruise ship, which was inbuilt 1956 and held as much as 425 passengers. Guests can step on board MS Finmarken and discover the ship at their leisure, transporting themselves to the 1950s the place a 1st class smoker’s saloon was nonetheless a factor.

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Watch a live performance on the “Royal Neptune Corridor” in Hadsel

The Norwegian Fishing Trade Museum holds a secret, one which have to be seen (or heard) to be believed. An enormous fish oil tank, left empty and derelict for a few years, has been transformed right into a music corridor that’s jokingly referred to by the locals because the “Royal Neptune Corridor”. Annually, the group hosts the Summer season Melbu pageant showcasing a variety of music from classical to folks songs and hymns. Further live shows are hosted all year long (except for the coldest months, because the devices have a behavior of freezing). The acoustics are unimaginable, and on sure days an echo can last as long as 23 seconds.

One of the simplest ways to search out out live performance dates (or request using the house) is to contact Museum Nord immediately.

Lofoten

Go on a Northern Lights Hunt

Northern lights over the mountain "Vagakallen" in Lofoten

Northern lights over the mountain “Vagakallen” in Lofoten (c) Stockshots – Visitnorway.com

The Northern Lights carry out their merry dance by means of the sky on a pleasingly recurrently foundation in Lofoten. They’re at their most spectacular when the sky is darkish and completely clear, however don’t fret if it’s trying distinctly cloudy. The climate may be very changeable right here so you could be pleasantly shocked.

Probably the most satisfying and satisfying methods to expertise this phenomenon is to go on a Northern Lights hunt. Lofoten Aktiv provide a Three-hour climbing tour by means of the wilds of Vagan, an space nearly fully devoid of sunshine air pollution. Earlier than the tour begins, your information will share some info on the Northern Lights and also will enable you to change the settings in your digicam so you’ll be able to take some actually spectacular images.

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Take a rib boat safari and watch majestic sea eagles in flight

Sea Eagle spotted on the RIB boat safari

Sea Eagle noticed on the RIB boat safari (c) Lucy Woods

I had by no means heard of sea eagles earlier than my journey to Norway. Also referred to as white-tailed eagles, these imposing creatures have a wingspan of as much as eight ft and possess a formidable set of talons. The most important inhabitants of sea eagles in Europe could be discovered alongside the coast of Norway, and Lofoten is the right place to observe them in flight.

E book an area on the Lofoten Exlporer RIB boat safari (800 NOK per grownup) and discover the breathtaking Trollfjord looking for sea eagles and different fascinating wildlife. It’s possible you’ll even see an eagle catch its prey proper by the boat.

Check your mettle on a mountain hike

Tjellbergtind hiking trail

Tjellbergtind climbing path (c) Lucy Woods

Lofoten presents unbelievable climbing alternatives for all ages and talents. Should you’re feeling daring, take a hike as much as the Svolvaer goat, a set of two rock formations formed like horns of (you guessed it) a goat.

Adrenaline junkies journey right here to try the daring feat of leaping 1.5m from one horn to the opposite. If this sounds a bit of excessive, you’ll be able to e book a half-day guided hike with Lofoten Aktiv (from 495 NOK) to one of many many mountains in Lofoten.

From the highest of Tjellbergtind there are unimaginable panoramic views of the area, whereas Tua encompasses a steep winding path by means of a birch forest. Be sure you deliver climbing boots because the terrain could be fairly tough.

Expertise fashionable artwork in certainly one of Europe’s most picturesque galleries

Caviar Factory modern art gallery

Caviar Manufacturing facility fashionable artwork gallery (c) Lucy Woods

The Kaviar Manufacturing facility in Henningsvær isn’t fairly what it appears. As soon as the manufacturing web site for caviar and different seafood merchandise, the constructing has now been transformed into a classy gallery and incorporates a stirring assortment of contemporary artwork. The present exhibition options works by worldwide artists from the UK, USA, German and past.

The gallery’s most unusual draw (aside from the artwork) is its dramatic ocean views. Even when (like me) you’re not a contemporary artwork aficionado, it’s price a go to purely for the panoramas.

Trip Icelandic horses throughout Gimsoy’s gorgeous panorama

Icelandic horse riding in Norway

Icelandic horse driving in Norway (c) Lucy Woods

What higher method to discover Lofoten than on horseback? Icelandic horses are pleasant, docile and really robust, so even if you happen to’re a driving novice you’ll really feel protected as homes. Hov Hestegard provide Three-hour driving excursions alongside white sandy seashores, previous rocky mountains and thru flower-strewn nature reserves. Teams cater to all experiences, so if you happen to’re a reliable rider it is possible for you to to journey at a faster tempo.

If you’re with a gaggle, however reluctant to journey, there’s additionally a Hyperlinks golf course close by which is broadly thought-about to be probably the most scenic programs on the earth.

Reality File

WHEN TO VISIT: learn When is the very best time to go to Northern Norway

GET THERE: The best method to attain Northern Norway is to fly to Oslo and take a connecting flight to Bodo. From right here, you’ll be able to both lease a automotive or take one other quick flight to certainly one of a number of locations together with Svolvær, Andenes and Stokmarknes. Keep in mind, public transport in Northern Norway is pretty non-existent, so we advocate you rent a automotive from the airport.

EAT: There are a lot of unbelievable fish eating places in Northern Norway. If you’re with a gaggle, be sure you e book a desk at Full Steam in Henningsvær, the place you’ll be able to pattern handmade caviar and fried cod tongue (a neighborhood delicacy). A visit to Norway wouldn’t be full with out attempting the enduring Brunost, a mushy brown cheese which tastes a bit like caramel.

BUY: The price of food and drinks is a bit of intimidating (a beer will set you again £10/€11.30), however it’s a small worth to pay for such pure and unbridled escapism. The foreign money right here is Norwegian Krone (NOK) and 10kr equals round £zero.93/$1.23/€1.

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