The Lofoten Islands

So the Norwegians are really amazing at hiking. I have done my fair share of hiking growing up in Utah, but the trails labeled "easy" in the Lofoten Islands totally kicked our butts (read: my butt, mostly). The mountains are SO steep, with trails going straight up them that are not very well maintained. There was a lot of slipping. And a lot of hiking in the middle of the night while Julian slept because I wouldn't dare take him on some of these trails (thank you grandparents and the midnight sun!!).

Here is a list of things to do in Lofoten for normal people--meaning you totally CAN do them in Nike Frees and two months after you have a baby (but you'd be smart to bring a better pair of shoes).

 

Reine

Isn't it dreamy? Reine is the most beautiful little town sitting below dramatic mountains and filled with cozy red cabins (we stayed HERE and loved it). You can get the best view just right off the main road, but you could walk around the whole place in ten minutes. If you want to see it from above...

 

Reinebringen

This hike is SO sketchy. Everyone in town told us not to do it, and there are two signs at the trail head that warn you not to. It is super steep and over the years of increasing popularity, the trail has just kind of fallen apart. We wondered what in the world we were doing as we climbed and slipped and climbed and slipped, but that view from the top is really something else. I would say I will never do it again, but I just read that a team of Sherpas from Nepal is currently repairing the trail! Time to start planning a trip back when there are less clouds.

 

Haukland Beach

I couldn't believe the beach activity in Lofoten! I was in leggings and a sweater, but these Norwegians were working the beach like they were on the French Riviera. This setting for a beach can't be beat, even if the temperature could.

 

Å

Since I want a sweet anywhere I can find one, we went down to Å to visit an old bakery that serves up fresh cinnamon buns (yum, but I still think Fabrique is better). There is also a fishing museum, which I skipped to walk around town a bit, and isn't it cute!?

 

Hamnoy

We didn't do anything here other than pull over twice, because I saw two of the most stunning views of the whole trip! Put me on the waiting list for one of those red cabins!

 

Ramberg Beach

Another beach, but this one gets bonus points because you can drive right up to it! No hiking required! That's my kind of beach, and that is my kind of beach house.

 

Svolværgeita

DEF a trip highlight. Wow. I can't believe people do this. We were lucky enough to see two people jump, even if we had to wait almost two hours, and even though it was after midnight! I think the brave girl who did it first was kind of scared. The fog started rolling in during her preparation, so when her friend finally went, the city below was all covered in fog.

 

Kvalvika Beach

Kvalvika Beach is an easy hike that is actually easy! Easy, but swampy. There were a whole bunch of wood planks intending to help on that front, but since you often had to trudge through mud to get to them, I just committed to wet and muddy shoes. For the best view of this beach, hike up to Ryten. We didn't make it because we brought Julian, but at least we got a good family pic (Julian looks unimpressed but I'm pretty sure he was)!

 

Trollfjord Safari

The best way to see a fjord is in a humongous windproof outfit from a rib boat ON the fjord (we also did this in Flam). There are several companies that run safaris to Trollfjord from Svolvaer. We used Sea Eagle Safaris and just walked right up and booked it.

 

Unstad Beach

Unstad Beach is famous for arctic surfing (YIKES!), which we didn't participate in. We enjoyed the pretty surrounding farmland, and did a really easy hike just off the beach for a view back of it. Also, this was the least crowded of all the beaches we went to. Win!!

 

Djevelporten/Fløya

Okay I am still scared. Cheers to Chad for getting up there and standing up. I tried a couple of times but couldn't. This rock stuck between two cliffs reminds me of Kjeragbolten, but a bit less terrifying, so I let Chad go. How are all of these rocks in Norway getting stuck? And with all of the people hopping on them for a photo, when is one going to fall? We also witnessed the most gorgeous sunrise at 3:00am after climbing the whole mountain (Fløya) on accident rather than just going straight to Djevelporten. I was mad when we got to the top and realized we missed Djevelporten way back there, but now I am not.