Lofoten – Å and Reine

We had 3 full days to explore Lofoten but we also wanted to take it slow so we can enjoy the scenery along the journey and Hubby can take many pictures. Because we were staying in the South part of the island (I believed is the most beautiful. I hope you will nod your head in agreement when you scroll down below), we couldn’t go too further in the North unless we were flying out from Svolvaer. So if you plan to explore the whole island my suggestion is to fly to Svolvaer and fly out from Leknes or vice versa to avoid doing a detour.

As we drive thru this beautiful island, there is 2 distinctive features of Lofoten; the salty fish odor in the air and the sound of seagulls chirping. Along the road you will come to see many wooden construction with fish dangling everywhere. These are the drying method used since the old days to preserve the fish.

The world’s richest cod-fishing takes place every winter in Lofoten. For nearly 1000 years, dried fish has been exported to Europe from here. In order to preserve the fish, it is dried on large drying racks. It doesn’t need to be salted or smoked, as the temperature in Lofoten in the winter is just below freezing. The fish does not freeze into pieces, but it doesn’t rot either. The fish simply dries in the sun and wind from late winter until spring. Then, it is bone dry and easy to transport but still retains its key nutrients.

This stockfish is also made as a tasty snack

We started our trip by going to Å, Reine and Sakrisøy

Å is the southernmost village in Lofoten and falls under Moskenes Municipality. It is located about two kilometres southwest of the village of Sørvågen on the island of Moskenesøya, towards the southern end of the Lofoten archipelago. It is connected to the rest of the archipelago thru E10 highway, which ends here.

Å is also Northern Norway’s best-preserved traditional fishing village with roots dating back to the early 1800s. We can walk among these old houses and fishermen’s cabins (called Rorbuer) to get a sense of the life and hardship of the generations of fishermen that lived and worked here.

Map of Å

Å is often overlooked because of its location but if you are staying near Reine, then do visit Å. Å village is almost entirely built on rocks so to go to the center we will have to go on foot after we park our car at the fairly large car park across dozens rows of dried stockfish. Å has a bakery (only open in summer), one restaurant (only open for dinner), one campground, one HI hostel, one museum (The Torrfisk museum/ stockfish museum), a souvenir shop and Fishermen Cabin (Rorbuer) accommodation.

Rorbuer in Å

From Å we drove back to Reine.

Reine

Reine Village from the bridge

The breathtaking village of Reine is located on the island of Moskenesøya on northern Norway’s Lofoten archipelago. Tucked in between fjords and surrounded by mountain peak of Reinefjorden, and shoreline dotted with red and yellow fishermen’s cabins, Reine has earned a reputation as “the most beautiful village in Lofoten”.

Some of the best traditional fishermen’s cabins converted into accommodations for travelers (Rorbuer) on the Lofoten Islands are in or near Reine. There are several Rorbuer in and outside Reine Village. The biggest one inside the village is Reine Rorbuer , managed by Classic Norway Hotel and has Gammelbua Restaurant

Additional bonus in Reine has Coop Supermarket located in the center of the village, great for stocking up on supplies and having the option of cooking your own meals and also 2 restaurants (only open for dinner in winter). There is a large parking space for visitor coming to Reine, close to the entry to Reinerbringen hike.

View from the parking lot

Reinerbringen hike only open in summer. Its steep scramble leads to one the biggest viewpoints on all the Islands: an epic panorama of Reinefjorden and the Lofoten Wall.  The trail can be found west of town just past the tunnel. Reinebringen is only about 450 meters high but the hike is steep and slippery. Make sure to leave plenty of time to enjoy the views at the top.

Sakrisøy

Sakrisøy Rorbuer

Sakrisøy is a tiny fishing village compared to other villages but I wanted to mention this because the view of Sakrisoy Rorbuer seen from the E10 road is so breathtakingly pretty. It situated at the foot of Olstind, one of Lofoten’s most iconic mountains between Reine and Hamnoy. The owner, Gylseth-family has harvested and prepared high-quality seafood, and accommodated travellers for almost 130 years. Sakrisøy is also the perfect place to explore the raw nature of the Lofoten archipelago. They have two restaurants (Underhuset, temporarily closed and Anita’s Seafood where we had our lunch) and a Museum of toys and dolls.

Anitas Seafood. What a view right!

It was not easy finding a restaurant open for lunch on Sunday and Monday in Lofoten, and probably other remote places in Norway. Most Restaurants closed on Sunday and only open on Monday for dinner. After visit to Å and Reine we were glad that Anitas Seafood was open for lunch. They also sell fresh seafood and other delicacy of Lofoten.

Here’s a recap of how the day has been

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