mars 13 - 19. mars 2023
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.
Deposit and payment
You pay a 6000NOK deposit when you book the trip, and the rest of the payment is due 60 days before the trip begins.
Travel - in general
Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage you to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also allows you to start your holiday in a special way. Cycling, taking the train, or driving a car together can be good options! Feel free to add some extra time before and after your trip, since up north the weather can be unpredictable and might affect your plans!
Travel to and from Svolvær
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 to the feet 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 discover the joys of. SailNorway has arranged Ski & Sail trips in Helgeland, Steigen, Lofoten Islands, 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
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 great! There will be plenty of opportunities to learn more!
We try to keep the level as even as possible, so we can choose the destinations and trips based on the level of all participants. 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 skiing and for surfing.
Safety and risk - in general
We take safety seriously and on our trips we train on handling different situations that can occur at sea. 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 are trained quickly enough to be a participant - not a passenger. It contributes to learning, a 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. Feel free to contact us to discuss risk.
Safety and risk - Ski & Sail
We have the same mindset when it comes to skiing and alpine/backcountry trips. The first day of skiing we train on 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 good group dynamic are important. It is also crucial that you follow the guide's instructions in the mountains to ensure safety. Skitouring and alpine/backcountry skiing involve a certain risk, as does sailing. However, we at SailNorway, and our skippers and ski guides, do everything we can to minimize the risk in a professional manner.
We work with locally knowledgeable ski guides and plan the trips based on the latest available local reports and forecasts. 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, meaning that we may sometimes go somewhere that is not mentioned in the program or a place that we might not have tested in advance ourselves. This adds to the excitement!
Equipment for ski touring and backcountry skiing is required for this trip, that means avalanche/ski backpack with beacon, probe and shovel, and touring skis (or splitboard) with skins and ski crampons. We have a few sets of avalanche equipment that can be hired through us if you let us know beforehand, and ski equipment can be rented through our partners.
We include rental of surfing equipment on this trip, so we don’t expect you to bring this along in addition to the skiing equipment.
We will send you a detailed recommended packing list in good time before departure.
Food and cooking
On our trips you will be part of the crew onboard and get the chance to participate in all aspects of the running of the sailboat. This includes the cooking, where everyone is taking turns in the galley! Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. Before the trip we set up a menu and purchase what is needed. We offer good menus with healthy “boat friendly” food. If you have allergies or preferences, let us know in the registration form and we will take that into account. During the trip, we 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, cleaning the boat, or contributing in other ways when required. Our trips require a little work from 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 get along very well. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least doing 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 on board a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some it can be perceived as quite intimate and crowded, which one should 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 boat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences 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 generally in shared cabins, some of which have a double bed and some of which have bunk beds. Figuring out who sleeps where can be a bit of a puzzle, but we do believe we’ve gotten quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations. You must arrange any accommodation before and after the trip on your own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we’re happy to give you some recommendations.
We have plenty of heating and good food on the boat, but not always abundance of fresh water. This means it will not be possible to shower every day, but more or less every other day we are either in a harbor with fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or enjoy a sauna. And a morning swim in the sea is always available all year round!
What kind of people join this trip - and how many will we be on board?
Many come alone, some travel as couples, and others travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and interesting people you will become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but this isn’t 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 in making this a great trip for everyone. The number of participants varies from trip to trip. If we have many participants, we will expand with more boats and skippers. For Ski & Sail we are usually 1-2 boats with 7-9 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 much as we can. We also run 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 sustainably, knowledge, patience, flexibility, 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 run this trip. We are able to tell pretty early on whether a trip will be confirmed or not. If we have to cancel, you will get reimbursed 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 your trip.