A playground for mountain lovers and magic summer days and night
Tine Simonsen @simonsentine, is a Norwegian fulltime student and part time freelance sports and outdoors journalist – but most of all just a girl who loves to play outdoors. This summer she`s been camping and hiking mountains all over the spectacular Lofoten islands. Let`s join her adventure.
In northern Norway there is an island chain that reaches out from the main land and into the Norwegian Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean. This is Lofoten, known for its alluring scenery; with mountain peaks sharp as swords - taller than the clouds, rising
up from the water in cozy fishing villages located in what might be the most spectacular fjords on planet earth. Hiking around in Lofoten, summiting some of these tops and enjoying sunlight around the clock from the midnight sun, is an experience that will warm your adventure heart for good.
“In Norway and especially in Lofoten, bad or harsh weather is no surprise even during summer. Be prepared for wind and sleet at the mountaintops, hot summer days by the shore – and everything in- between..”
In Svolvær, known as the Capital of Lofoten, there is an easily accessible hike that gives you a lot of bang for the buck, or with other words - a lot of beautiful scenery for little effort. You start the hike in the middle of town and do a round trip that takes about half a day.
First you will meet the Svolvær goat, a stone formation that has two horns at the top. This you can climb if you know how to (and bring gear), or you can get a climbing guide.
From there you hike along Fløya, a mountain ridge behind the goat over to the Devils gate. This is a stone over a steep drop that you can get up on:
“A lot of fun for those who are not afraid of heights.”
In the west of Lofoten –or the Wild West as the locals call it - there are some amazing things to see. One of the must does there is a trip to the beach. Not really to sunbathe or go for a swim – at least if you are not a real Viking or have a wet suit; a down jacket and wool shirt was a good idea. To bring a tent for an amazing sleepover will also be a pretty darn brilliant thing to do. This hike I did starts a little south of Ramberg, by a mountain called Torsfjordfjellet.
“As you are breaking a sweat after about 30 minutes of hiking, you are also loosing your breath by the thrilling view that throws itself at you,”
And it just keeps getting better and better for every step you take towards the mountain peak over the beach, Ryten. After that you can hike down to the beach to overlook the magic form another angle.
There are several ways to get to the top of Glomtind, but the one I chose included a little bit of hiking (or biking in my case) on an old dirt road before the trail hike, near a lake called Rørvikvatnet, some 15 km west of Svolvær. The hike is short but gets pretty steep, awarding you with a great view at the top - Or so they say at least, my view was a little more like whiteout.
To get to this amazing mountain hike, you have to take a ferry trip from Reine over the Reine fjord to Vinstad. From there you follow a dirt road along the beautiful fjord before the trail starts up the hillside. After the hike up to the «Hell Mountain» as it is named in Norwegian, you can hike down to Bunes Beach that is right by the foot of the mountain.
“The hike is a lot of fun, very exposed and with a breathtaking view.”
Even if that means a little planning and prioritizing – it will be worth it, I promise. The hike is very steep and you are on your own when it comes to security. There are no maintained trails, ropes or marks on the ground to direct you because the community of Reine wants to avoid unexperienced people setting out on the hike, risking to get hurt.
“Some save the dessert for last, but this one you save for a late sunny evening.”
The hike itself is very short, maximum an hour up, starting within a stone´s throw away form downtown Reine – if you are athletic and experienced. The view, well – I´ve seen a few, but this is - the best of the best.
So don’t just set out on this hike unprepared without experience or non- appropriate shoes.