mars 7 - 13. mars 2022
Are you ready for the ultimate adventure Lofoten has to offer during winter? A combination of both Surfing, Skiing and Sailing, through a week packed with activity and experiences? This sailing-adventure is for you who want to sail to the roadless fjords and ski Lofoten’s alpine peaks, right down to the shore. This trips is for you that want to try out the world-famous winter waves of Lofoten with the surfboard, and afterwards sail on the same sea. It is a trip for travelers wanting a more challenging holiday - for those who would like to experience something unique, wild, breathtaking and beautiful!
Lofoten offers a huge variety of activities, and during winter they’re all at their peak! On the outside of the “Lofoten-wall”, (Yttersida, the “outside”), the ocean swells roll onto the shore, creating some of the world's greatest surf. The mountains in the east of Lofoten are known for their alpine peaks and are some of the rawest places Norway has to offer for ski-touring. All this with a backdrop of blazing northern light in the sky above us, and plentiful fish in the sea beneath us. Through all this adventure and experience, we have a cozy and comfortable sailboat to call our home on water for the week.
During the week we will have two full days of ski touring, where we ascend and experience some of the best ski mountains in the world. Between trips we will sail short distances in the fjords, from one mountain to another. Austnesfjorden, Geitgaljertind and Trollfjorden are some of the areas and trips we hope to get to visit. On board with us we will have our own locally-knowledgeable ski guide who will be our guide on the days we ski. The mountains and trips we choose will be planned according to the skill level of the group, weather, and the conditions in general.
This trip is more than a “normal” Ski and Sail adventure. Here we will also set course further west in the Lofoten archipelago, towards Unstad and Flakstad, where we find some of Norway’s most beautiful sand beaches. This is also where we’ll find the best conditions for surfing, and where we’ll spend two days playing around in the waves with the surfboards. Thick wet-suits and professional instructors from Unstad Arctic Surf will ensure that this is a refreshing and action filled experience! Our partners in Unstad will provide us with equipment for the surfing and instructors for this winter-surf, which are all included in the price of the trip.
This is an active trip with full focus on the experiences the wild Norwegian nature has to offer, whether it is behind the helm, in the waves with the surfboard, or with skis on your feet. We can wait until we’re back home to be sore and tired! :)
For most of our winter trips we sail two boats together. The number of boats during each trip depends on the number of participants. If we have enough participants for two boats we also have more flexibility to split the group up according to skill level and experience. For this specific trip, this will be relevant both for the ski-tours and the surfing.
The trip starts and ends in Svolvær.
The boats we will be using for this trip are “Humla”, “Bien” and “Nirvana”, our 50- and 44-foot Bavarias. These boats are very comfortable and have enough space for 6-7 participants in addition to a skipper and guide/crew.
This is a concept we have really looked forward to getting the chance to join! A unique bucket-list trip with both surf, ski and sail in amazing Lofoten during winter-time. Sail Norway offers the most fun and memorable sailing experiences in Norway, both summer and winter, and we are sure this new concept will be all the way up there!
Day 1: Meeting on the dock in Svolvær
We meet in the guest harbor in the city center of Svolvær at 16:00, get settled into the boat, and get to know each other. Before we set sail, we will walk you through safety routines on board, and get familiar with the boat. Before it is too late in the evening we cast off towards a natural harbor where we spend the night at anchor. We eat supper on our way, but probably quite late, so we recommend you to eat dinner before meeting, if possible.
Day 2: Skiing in Austnesfjorden
After an early breakfast we go ashore with the dinghy. Together with the ski guide we will make a final decision on where to ski depending on weather, snow conditions and wind. There are many opportunities in Austnesfjorden, including Pilan, Rundfjellet, Higravtindan and Geitgaljertind. This being our first day of skiing we start off a little easy. In the afternoon we sail to our next harbour, which is the starting point for tomorrow’s ski trip. When darkness arrives we gaze to the sky and hope to spot the dancing show of the aurora borealis.
Day 3: “Trollheimen”
This day we head for the magnificent Trollfjorden, a bay available to sailors and boaters only. If the conditions allow, we head upwards early, before the sun starts warming the snow, reaching peaks of 1000 meters above sea level. After coming back to the boat we set sail back out towards “Vestfjorden''.
Day 4: Henningsvær and the Lofoten Fishery
This time of year does not only offer great snow and waves. This is also the time of year when thousands of fishing boats from all of Norway come to Lofoten to fish for “skrei”: the migrating cod. While we are here, we seize the chance to join in at the epicenter of this big event: Henningsvær. Here we try our luck and see if we can catch some cod for today's dinner! This will also be a full sailing day, where we aim for Tangstad in the evening.
Day 5-6: Surfing at Unstad / Flakstad
We wake up in west Lofoten, and get ready for a couple of good days of surfing at Unstad and Flakstad. Here the swells from the big Atlantic hit the perfect beaches of the area, which together makes for some perfect surf! The sailboat will be moored in Tangstad, close to Unstad, and our friends at Unstad Arctic Surf will take us out to surf. One of our surfing-days will possibly be spent at the beach in Flakstad. We will decide this together, depending on weather, wind, and the swell.
Day 7: Sail back to Svolvær og bye for now!
Our last day onboard will be spent sailing the last leg back to Svolvær. Maybe the weather allows us to take the route on the outside of Gimsøya? We will eat lunch underway, before we pack up and clean up the boat. The trip ends at 16.00 latest. Thanks for a wonderful experience!
The program may change according to weather and conditions, but it gives an indication of how we spend the days. We start every day with a good breakfast and make a packed lunch before we go ashore. Some of the days we eat dinner right away after skiing, other days we just eat a little when we come back to the boat, and then sail on before we make a later dinner. Some days, we spend time fishing, and time to look around. If the weather should be really not in favour of skiing, then we spend the day sailing or do something else fun.
Travel - in general
Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also gives another start to a holiday. Cycling, taking the train or driving a car together are good alternatives! Feel free to add some extra time before and after, since up in the north weather that can sometimes change your plans
Travel to and from Svolvær
So, if you have time then take the “Nordlandsbanen” train line to Bodø and the express boat (catamaran) or Hurtigruta (coastal express ferry) from Bodø to Lofoten. But Lofoten is far away for many, and most people end up flying. Then Svolvær is the nearest airport, or you can also fly to Leknes. Flights to Svolvær or Leknes are mostly with a connection in Bodø, and are possible to book through Widerøe, SAS and Norwegian. You can also fly directly from Oslo to and from Harstad/Evenes airport, and then take a bus from there to Lofoten and Henningsvær/Svolvær.
What exactly is Ski & Sail?
Ski & Sail is a trip concept where we sail into the foothills of the mountains and start the ski trip by the edge of the water. By boat we can move from place to place, and choose mountain sides and areas based on weather and conditions. Ski & Sail is something Italian and French skiers have done in Norway since the 90s, and something Norwegians so far have only started to discovered the joys of. SailNorway has arranged Ski & Sail trips on Helgeland, in Steigen, in the Lofoten Islands, in Lyngen, Finnmark and on Svalbard for many years, and we dare say that we know many of the very best places along the coast. Skiing & Sailing is really cool!
Level of this trip - medium level
On this trip we require some experience with randonee/alpine touring/backcountry skiing. We do not expect that you have any prior experience with sailing or surfing, but if you do that is very welcome. You will anyways learn a lot!
We try to keep the level as even as possible, so we can choose the destinations from the participants' level. If you are in doubt as to whether this is the trip for you, please feel free to contact us, and we can look at the level of the other participants and find a trip that suits you perfectly - whether you are a beginner or experienced.
On most of our winter trips, we sail two boats together. This depends on the number of participants, but it gives us a good opportunity to split the group into boat teams based on experience and level among the participants, both for the skiing and the surfing.
Safety and risk - in general
Sailing wise, our trips are not difficult, and you are always welcome to join us! We have with us both people who have never sailed before and experienced sailors. However, you must be prepared for everything from no wind to sailing in harsh weather. If you are a beginner, we will try to make you a seaman/woman as soon as possible. If you are experienced you will be given responsibility and greater challenges. We take safety seriously and on our trips we train on handling different situations that can occur at sea. Man-over-board, fire, abandon vessel, dismasting and grounding are some of these. Building the participants' skills on how to handle critical situations are important elements for better safety on board. On board a boat and on trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us it is important that you as a guest and participant is trained quickly enough to be a participant not a passenger. It contributes to learning, sense of achievement and increased safety for all. It's also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses, you are trained to be one of the crewmembers on board.
We have the same mindset when it comes to skiing and alpine/backcountry trips. The first day of skiing we train and repeat search and rescue techniques, and the use of avalanche equipment. Many elements determine the safety of an alpine/backcountry trip. Good planning, humbleness in relation to weather and avalanche risk, and a dynamic group are important.
Mountain hikes and alpine/backcountry trips involves a certain risk, as does sailing. However, we as an operator, and our skippers and ski guides, do everything we can to minimize the risk in a professional manner. Everyone gains on this and we have no one to lose. Feel free to contact us to discuss risk.
If we are in a place without snow, we sail to where the snow is! With the sailboat we are flexible with regards to finding the best snow, but that means we may go somewhere that is not mentioned in the program or a place that we have not tested in advance. Then it's extra exciting.
Ordinary alpine/backcountry equipment is required for this trip, that is avalanche-/ski backpack with beacon, probe and shovel, and alpine/backcountry skis with skins and ski crampons. Avalanche backpacks can possibly be hired through us and ski equipment can be rented through our partners.
We have put rental of surf equipment included in the price for this trip, so we dont expect you to both bring our skis and your surfboard.
In good time before departure we will send you a detailed recommended packing list for this trip.
Food and cooking
On our trips everyone contributes to the operation of the boat, so as long as you have not booked one of our trips with a designated chef, all take their turns in the galley during the trip. Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. In advance of the trip, we set up a menu and shop what is needed. We offer good menus with healthy and medium-advanced food. If you have allergies or preferences let us know in the registration form, and we take that into account. During the trip, we also often sail by a good restaurant or two where we stop and eat.
What we expect from you
We want you to take part in the routines onboard the sailboat, whether it is sailing, docking, navigating, looking for whales and icebergs, washing up, cooking, clean the boat or contribute in other ways when required. Our trips require a little work of the participants - and you must be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people go very well together. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least do things with new people with different personalities than one might be used to, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable stories :)
Life on board and accommodation
Life aboard a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some it can be perceived as quite intimate, which is important to be prepared for. On our trips everyone participates in the operation of the sailboat and everyone is considered crew. We would like to get to know you well and hope that you will get to know everyone else on the sailboat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences are quickly what will take your focus as soon as you become comfortable with life at sea.
Accommodation on the boat is part of the fun. The accommodation is in double cabins, some of which have a double bed and some have a bunk bed solution. We try to put girls in a cabin with girls and vice versa, but the puzzle is not always easy so you might as well prepare yourself to share the cabin with one of the opposite sex and rather tell us if it is important for you to share with one of the same sex.
If you want to stay a night on shore under the starry sky or in your own tent, then of course you do it! Any accommodation before and after the trip must be arranged on its own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we are happy to give you some recommendations.
On the boat we have a lot of heat and a lot of good food, but not always abundance of fresh water. It will not always be possible to shower every day, but mostly every other day we are either in a harbor with enough fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or even better, take a sauna.
What kind of people join this trip - and how many are we on board?
Many come alone, some travel as couples, some travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and committed people you become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but that is not so important to us. It doesn't matter if you are young or old as long as you want to go on a trip and intend to do your part so that you and the rest of the crew will have a good trip together. The number of participants varies from trip to trip. If we get many participants, we will expand with more boats and skippers. For Ski & Seil we are mostly 1-2 boats with 7-8 people onboard each boat.
Environment and sustainability
Both sailing and alpine/backcountry trips are environmentally friendly activities and we sail as much as we can and use the engine as little as possible. We encourage crew and participants to travel as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we use local ingredients and resources as far as possible. We also have our own trips where we collect litter and clean ocean trash from beaches.
Philosophically we often say that sailing is an exercise in sustainability; we move with the wind and we have limitations on things like water, diesel, electricity and food. In order to run sustainable - knowledge, patience, agility and hard work are required. The same can be said about many other things that one tries to do in a sustainable way.
Minimum number of registered participants
We need a minimum of 5 registered participants to complete this trip. We can see pretty early whether a trip will be confirmed or not. If we have to cancel, you will get the money back and/or offered to join another trip. Since we need a certain number of registered participants to confirm a trip, please do not book your travel (flights, ferry, train, bus etc.) before we have confirmed that we run it.