Lofoten Islands Norway: 8 things to do with a dog
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The Lofoten were definitely the highlight of our trip to Scandinavia with a dog. It is all the more difficult to process all the impressions in a blog post. Because perfect photo motifs and adventures await you on practically every corner. Nevertheless, I have summarized my personal favorite destinations on Lofoten for you here.
- Haukland beach with Mannen
- Surfer paradise Unstad and the best cinnamon rolls in the world
- The most beautiful five kilometers in Lofoten: Hamnøy to Reine
- Hike on the Reinebringen
- The fishing villages: Henningsvær and Å
- Best kept secret: Offersøykammen
- Beach hopping in Lofoten: beach tips
- Overnight at Kvalvika Beach
Haukland Beach with hike on Mannen
Crystal clear water, mighty mountains, white sand - Haukland Beach is the Lofoten dream come true. However, due to its good accessibility and the large (chargeable) parking spaces, it is also one of the popular destinations for excursions. By the way, one bay away is the somewhat quieter Vik Beach, on the other side of Mount Mannen is Uttakleiv Beach, which is well connected with a tunnel.
Haukland Beach is not only suitable for the perfect day at the beach, but also for hiking. The hiking trail to the summit of the Mannen starts directly at the bay. The view over the bays and the mountains is incomparable. I found the hike to be moderate. There are around 400 vertical meters to be overcome over 4 kilometers (there and back), the paths are almost always easy to walk on, there are also rocky or somewhat muddy passages.
Surfer paradise Unstad and the best cinnamon rolls in the world
Unstad is known for one thing in particular: the best surf spot in Lofoten. Hardly anywhere else do the waves roll as perfectly as here. So it's no wonder that there are two surf camps here, the surfer base camp Unstad Arctic Surf and the Lofoten Surf Center. The city's cool vibe is really palpable (and with just 15 residents!)
Even though we don't surf ourselves, it was really cool to hit the beach and watch the pros.
By the way: On the east side of the bay, a marked hiking trail runs to Eggum along the striking coastline. You can also hike up the mountain flanks and thus have the opportunity to search Unstad from above.
You also have to try the best cinnamon rolls in the world, which you can buy at the Arctic Surf Camp cafe at the local shop. Honestly, these were by far the best cinnamon rolls of our trip to Scandinavia.
By the way: On the east side of the bay, a marked hiking trail runs to Eggum along the striking coastline. You can also hike up the mountain flanks and have the opportunity to admire Unstad from above.You also have to try the best cinnamon rolls in the world, which you can buy at the Arctic Surf Camp cafe at the local shop. Honestly, these were by far the best cinnamon rolls of our trip to Scandinavia.
The most beautiful five kilometers in Lofoten: Hamnøy to Reine
The small fishing villages of Hamnøy, Sakrisøy and Reine are lined up on a group of islands just five kilometers away. Here you will find the most famous photo motifs in Lofoten. Hardly anywhere else are the rorbuer, the small fishermen's cottages, so dramatic in the fjords. No matter what the weather you visit the places, it will be worth it. Better come early though, it gets crowded.
A little tip: the famous Hamnøy photo is taken from a bridge. You drive out of the tunnel and it is best to park directly in front of the bridge on the right-hand side. Or you simply walk the whole 5 kilometers on foot, there are non-stop motifs.
Hiking on the Reinebringen with a dog?
If you want to admire the places from above, this is best done from the Reinebringen Viewpoint. A steep staircase (about 1000 steps!) leads up to the summit, you have to overcome 422 meters. So it is more of a sporting challenge than a classic hike. By the way, the last section is unpaved and almost always muddy, so be really careful here.
You can park in a hiking car park on the E10 in front of the bridge that leads to Reine in the town centre. However, there is only enough space for a few cars. There are more parking options in the center of Reine or if you follow the E10 a little further. Attention, the hike is one of the most popular and is well attended almost around the clock.
We decided against this hike, although it is in principle feasible for sporty dogs. Nevertheless, the risk was too high for us, especially since there is usually a lot going on on the stairs and the path is not consistently paved.
The fishing villages: Henningsvær and Å
Even if the places around Reine are particularly well-known and popular, I would like to recommend two other fishing places: Henningsvær and Å.
If you would like to do a hike that is not yet on the list of too many people, but offers a great view over Lofoten, then I recommend the hike on the Offersøykammen. By the way, it's not far from Hauklandstrand.
You can start at the hiking car park on the E10, which is located directly in front of (or behind) the Nappstraum tunnel. There are three route options for the first leg: two very steep and one fairly flat. Especially for the way back I recommend the flat one. To do this, you walk from the hiking car park via the tunnel portal, do not follow the first turn to the right, but go straight ahead for a while (see Komoot way back).
Hike in Lofoten - insider tip: Offersøykammen
If you would like to do a hike that is not yet on the list of too many people, but offers a great view over Lofoten, then I recommend the hike on the Offersøykammen. By the way, it's not far from Hauklandstrand.You can start at the hiking car park on the E10, which is located directly in front of (or behind) the Nappstraum tunnel. There are three route options for the first leg: two very steep and one fairly flat. Especially for the way back I recommend the flat one. To do this, you walk from the hiking car park via the tunnel portal, do not follow the first turn to the right, but go straight ahead for a while (see Komoot way back).
Overall, this is a hike that is short but quite steep and strenuous. Nevertheless, at 420 meters in altitude, it is still one of the easier Lofoten hikes. Already on the way to the summit you will have breathtaking fjord views in all directions and you will often be amazed. Well, with the last 200 meters, which have to be covered in one go, you will probably snort rather than be amazed. And the actual view is really only at the very end. So it's worth persevering. By the way, once you have reached the top, you can continue to follow the ridge and extend the hike a little.
Beach please: The most beautiful beaches in Lofoten
I have already mentioned some beaches in Lofoten. Here I would like to go into some other beaches worth seeing. Because beach hopping is part of every Lofoten trip. With Haukland Beach, Vik Beach and Uttakleiv Beach, three of the most beautiful beaches are practically next to each other.
A much smaller, but really worth seeing beach is Rørvika Beach. You can't miss this if you go to Henningsvær. By the way, for me this beach is very special, it was the first Lofoten beach that we set foot on. And with white sand and mountains all around, it really is everything you dream it to be. Attention: At high tide the water almost reaches the rocks and makes the bright white sand disappear.
Particularly extensive beaches await you in Flakstad. Sunbathers, surfers and photographers all get their money's worth at Skagsanden Beach. The beach is perfectly aligned to the midnight sun, and you can also see the northern lights particularly well here. In addition to surf camps, there is also a campsite here. The Rambergstranda is very close by, and by the way, this is also where the lonely red beach hut is, which you have probably already discovered in one or the other photo.
I am not (yet) listing my absolute favorite beach on Lofoten, Kvalvika Beach, because I would like to introduce it to you in more detail in a moment.
Overnight stay at Kvalvika Beach (optional with Ryten climb)
Now we come to my personal Lofoten highlight: the overnight stay at Kvalvika Beach. This beach is one of the few that can only be reached on foot or by boat. Since there is also a dead zone here, you will feel like you are at the end of the world. The beach is really indescribably beautiful, the rock walls tower up spectacularly and frame the beach perfectly. It goes without saying that green-blue water meets white sand here. Incidentally, the hike can also be easily combined with climbing the Ryten. Then you can first admire the most beautiful beach in Lofoten from above before it goes steeply down again.
There are different routes to Kvalvika Beach and Ryten Peak. Our starting point for the hike was the large parking lot at the Indre Sand farm, for which we paid 10 euros (overnight). First of all: this is not the easiest route, the descent to the beach is really steep, but the view is spectacular. You can find a slightly easier route if you park on the FV 808 road, but there are significantly fewer spaces here.
The typical wooden plank paths await you on the hike, but you should expect to walk over muddy paths from time to time. Spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and fjords open up again and again. Most of the hike was rather easy, but the descent to the beach is all the more challenging: the descent over rock and scree is steep at most. So it's better to enjoy what is probably the most beautiful view of the beach for a moment.
By the way, we did the hike in the time of the midnight sun. Kvalvika Beach is really a great place to admire them, even if the sun eventually disappears behind the rocks. Then it gets really cold. So be sure to take warm clothes with you. Our tip: The sun pushes behind the rock on the right side, so you have the longest sunshine and warmth on the left side of the beach. For this you can take fresh spring water from the waterfall on the right side, which meets the bay here.
The best place to pitch your tent is on the meadow behind the beach, where sheep also graze. Pretty much in the middle of the mountain slope you will find the well-known dropout hut, which is reminiscent of the hobbit houses in the Shire.