Exploring the Lofoten Islands by Car // A Roadtrip in the Arctic

As you may know from last week's post, the boyfriend and I stayed in Svolvær on our trip to Lofoten. Svolvær is such a cute little town and it was so amazing to see the Northern Lights there during the night. However, Svolvær is a really small town and we pretty much saw everything there is to see on one evening stroll.

Initially we had planned to stay in Svolvær for our entire 1 and a half days in Lofoten and thought about going on a sea eagle safari and visiting the ice bar. A friend of us who has worked as a tour guide in Lofoten though said that the ice bar is pretty cheesy and since the sea eagle safari would have been incredibly expensive and leaded us to Trollfjord, which we already saw on our Hurtigruten cruise, we decided to rent a car and explore the archipelago instead.

It was honestly the best decision we could have made! It was so much cheaper than all the touristy stuff in Svolvær and we got to see so much more!! We started our trip at 9 in the morning and when we came back to Svolvær in the late afternoon, we had seen incredible places, from beaches to mountains to the Viking Museum, and I of course was about 500 pictures richer!

Itinerary

We started our trip in Svolvær and made our way to Hennigsvær via Kabelvåg. Henningsvær is a fascinating little fishing village and it's absolutely worth its own post next week! We stayed there for a while and took lots and lots of pictures before heading to the Lofotr Viking Museum in Borg. The route was absolutely beautiful and we made a couple of stops along the way to take some pictures.

We then visited the Viking Museum which is the largest Viking chieftain's house of the world. It was only discovered and excavated in the 1980s so it's a pretty new and interesting attraction in Lofoten. After the museum visit, we headed to Unstad Beach. I had seen pictures of that beach on Instagram before going on the trip and decided that we just had to go there! Unstad is a really small village in the middle of nowhere but it's famous among surfers - again, Unstad too deserves a post on its own so more on that soon!

Finally we headed to Leknes which was kind of wasted time really. Leknes has got to be the ugliest town in the whole archipelago - it has got no charm whatsoever! However I'm really glad we went back to Svolvær via Leknes instead of taking the same route as before as this "southern" route really makes you feel like you're somewhere in New Zealand or the end of the world at least. There were charming mountains and fjords everywhere and almost no houses or villages. Really fascinating!

On the Road

Exploring the Lofoten Islands by car is definitely the best thing you could possibly do! Around every corner, a new mountain or fjord awaits you and there are breath-taking bridges connecting the different islands with each other. I'm sorry if I sound overly excited but I swear, this was the most scenic route I've ever taken!

This little fella apparently decided to to go on a trip too...

Photo Stops

The good thing about exploring the Lofoten Islands by car is that there's basically only one main route that you can follow from one end to the archipelago to the other. Also, there are little parking bays everywhere as the streets can be quite narrow sometimes which is so great if you want to stop and take a picture.

A mirror wall - one of many tourist attractions along the way...

I can't remember how many stops we took but I know it was a lot! We basically always stopped when there was a nice mountain or view over the ocean and you can imagine how often that happened! Plus, there are tourist attractions along the way where we also stopped at. There was for example this huge mirror wall at a beach next to the road where it looked like as if you were in the mountains instead of the beach cause the mirror would reflect the mountains in the far background. It might sound weird but it was really cool!

Lofotr Viking Museum

In the 1980s, archaeologists discovered the remains of a Viking chieftain house in Borg in Lofoten. They started excavations and found the largest chieftain's house of the world underneath the ground. It's 83 metres long and consists of a great hall, living quarters, a lobby and a byre. What you can visit today is of course only a reconstruction but it's pretty impressive nonetheless!

Apart from the chieftain's house, there's also an information center where you can inform yourself about who the Vikings were and what their life was like. There also was a movie telling the story of a Norwegian Viking family heading to Iceland in the 12th century because there was a civil war going on at that time. So in case you didn't know it, Iceland was settled by Norwegians a long time ago as they were in search for a better life during the war.

Taken on another photo stop. A sign was saying that we could see the Viking Museum from there but noooo??!! Just the church...

There also was an exhibition showing and explaining the excavation process of the 1980s and historians explain in short movie clips how impressive this found really is and why. I definitely enjoyed visiting the Viking Museum and can only recommend you to do so too!

Highlights

It's really difficult for me to say what my highlights of that day roadtrippin the Lofoten Islands were. It was a day full of gorgeous views so let me show you some of my favourite pictures instead!

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