Lofoten – Visiting Viking Museum and Henningsvær Village

Today is our last full day in Lofoten and we had to check out from Eliasen Rorbuer before continuing our road trip. We had 7.20am flight to Tromso the next day so we wanted to stay close to the airport. With a heavy heart we had to say good bye to Eliasen Rorbuer and started our road trip.

We were going to Lofotr Viking Museum in Leknes and Henningsvaer village. From Henningsvaer we will have to backtrack to Leknes so it was going to be a long drive.

Lofotr Viking museum is 1 hour drive from Hamnoy and we were going thru the same route we went yesterday to the beach. As we drove thru Leknes the landscape kept changing so we did few stops along the way to admire the view

Lofotr Viking Museum

Viking Chiefstain Longhouse

In 1983 the remains of what was believed to be a large Viking settlement were discovered on Borg in Lofoten when a farmer plowing his fields found fragments of glass and ceramics. The first excavation started in 1983 and lasted about six years. What they unearthed was nothing short of remarkable! The remains of the largest Viking longhouse ever discovered in Europe, a total of 83 meters long and 9,5 meters wide.

In their homelands, the Vikings were not one nation, but rather many loosely connected small clans each ruled by a local Chieftain. What they had discovered at Borg was the home of a powerful Viking Chieftain that had ruled the Lofoten Islands. The archeologists date the settlement to as early as AD 500 and estimate that it was in use until around AD 950 when it was abandoned.

When the excavation was concluded, it was decided to build a complete reconstruction of the longhouse. And in 1995 the Lofotr Viking Museum was opened to the public.

Vikings were Scandinavian warriors and raiders from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden famous for their exploits, raids, and conquests. The age of the Vikings began around the year AD 800 and lasted for about 2-300 years. During this period they sailed further than any had before them to wage war in foreign lands and bring back great riches to their homeland.

The Vikings created settlements in Iceland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Greenland, North America, and other parts of the European mainland. Actually, the Vikings even discovered America. The Viking Leif Eriksson led an expedition to North America a full 500 years before Colombus was credited for “discovering” it.

In 1066, a Viking army lead by the Norwegian King Harald III Sigurdsson suffered a devastating defeat at the battle of Stamford bridge and historically this is usually considered the end of the Viking area.

The Vikings have inspired many movies and tv series for example one-eyed Odin (wisest of them all), Thor the God of Thunder, and Loki (the mischievous one), have all become characters in the hugely successful Marvel universe and movies. But not all the legends or movie depictions are true, and at Lofotr you can learn how the Vikings really lived.

We would start by watching the movie “The Dream of Borg” about people and events at Borg during the Viking Age. After that we go to the exhibition which consist of collection of unique archaeological finds from Borg and the surrounding areas. The exhibitions can be enjoyed with the help of our own smart phone and headset/earphones. We simply put on our headphones and choose which exhibit we want to listen to. We can also listen to the film “The Dream of Borg” on the smart phone without incurring internet/roaming charges. After we finish we went out to the garden and walked to the Viking Longhouse to to understand about the people living in Lofoten during the Viking Age. The museum hosts the largest Viking longhouse ever found and excavated in the world of the Vikings. There we can learn about how the Vikings did trading, travels, their mythology, daily life and political situation. Everything inside the long house is a replica so we can touch and try out stuff. We had fun trying out Viking costumes and taking pictures everywhere.

Opening Hour

02.01.–31.01. Wednesday and Saturday 11–16
01.02.–30.04. Tuesday–Saturday 11-16
01.05.–31.05. Every day 10–17
01.06.–31.08. Every day 10–19
01.09.–15.09. Every day 10–17
16.09.–31.10. Monday–Saturday 11–16
Wednesday and Saturday 11–16

Admission Prices

Winter and autumn: 02 January–31 May/01 September–22 December
Adult kr 180,-
Child (6–15 years) kr 140,-
Child under 6 years kr 0,-
Senior/student kr 170,-
Family Ticket (2 adults, 3 children) kr 570,-

Summer: 01 June–31 August
Adult kr 225,-
Child (6–15 years) kr 150,-
Child under 6 years kr 0,-
Senior/student kr 195,-
Family Ticket (2 adults, 3 children) kr 650,-

You need to spend at least half of the day to really enjoy the museum. In the summer they also host activities for the children such as archery and boating on the lake. And you can also book a Viking feast dinner for a group. There is a souvenir shop and a small cafe which sells soup, cakes and drinks. I have expected that lunch would be a challenge again so we already prepared food for lunch picnic.

Us having a great time at the museum

We spent longer time than planned at the museum and Henningsvaer is another 50 minutes drive

Henningsvær Village

Beautiful Henningsvær Harbor

On the drive to Henningsvær we drove past several nice spots, like Rørvikstranda beach and the fjord Djupfjorden.

We arrived late afternoon and we wanted to go straight to see the epic football field before it got dark as weather forecast said it was going to rain. Google map directed us to football field passing thru a little harbor and residences. And at that stage Hubbie thought we should parked our car and continued on foot. The problem started when we saw that we need to register thru an app called Easy Park to be able to pay for the parking. And the apps refused to be downloaded and opened in my mobile phone. So we had to drive back to the entrance of the village where we saw a spacious parking space which had a ticket machine and parked our car there.

The football stadium was 1.2km or 14 minutes walking according to Google Maps. As we walked we could see the Village has this cozy small-town atmosphere with its old wooden houses, unique boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries, all surrounded by the sea and the tall jagged mountains. We walked past thru the beautiful harbor, residences, the usual wooden construction for stockfish and finally came to the football field and found out that we could park our car there and the parking is free LOL. So lesson learned, you can drive to the stadium and parked there. And secondly download the Easy park apps first so you can park anywhere you like.

Even though Henningsvær is small, it feels quite urban and has this hipster-like vibe because of its cool cafes, restaurants, and shops selling locally made products.

Cosy shops and cafes surrounding the main square

Henningsvær has been a thriving fishing village ever since the 1500s with its heydays in 1940 when over 12 000 men stayed here during the cod fishing season. To this day, fishing remains the primary source of income, and the town exports around 66 000 tons of cod yearly, enough for an impressive 300 million dinners! Henningsvaer is only a 25-min drive from Svolvær, so if you are flying into Svolvær, you can base your stay here.

Our road trip ends with our visit to Henningsvær. It started to rain when we walked back from the stadium so we decided to just drive back and checked-in to our Hotel in Leknes (Scandic Leknes Lofoten). Scandic Leknes is only 5 minutes driving to the airport (1.7km) and they have a family room which is surprisingly spacious. The bedroom is separate from the TV room with sofa bed which was set up for the kids’ beds. The only problem is they don’t have elevator and our room is on the second floor. They have restaurant and we can request for breakfast box if we have early morning flight. If your accommodation is far from the airport, Scandic Leknes is a good choice for your last night at the island.

Our Video recap below

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