august 31 - 7. september 2023
This week is dedicated to the most beautiful and rugged mountains, fjords, and beaches that Lofoten has to offer. We explore the island by boat, and the whole of Lofoten is our playground. Join us on this highlight of a trip exploring the best of Lofoten!
With seven days at our disposal, the Lofoten mountains seen from different angles and with the midnight sun will give us a real summer and holiday feeling. Being on a sailboat, we are flexible and move smoothly around amongst the islands. During the trip we go hiking, fishing, kayaking, surfing, and when we moore up we can make a bonfire on the beach. We will also sail to and visit some of the best and most exciting cultural sites and restaurants in Lofoten. There will be many fun moments both onboard and on land, and you will get to know the Lofoten area very well. You will also learn a lot about sailing, as we end the trip as real sailors, crossing Vestfjorden to Bodø.
We begin the tour in Svolvær and sail north to Raftsudent, Digermulen, and Trollfjorden; an impressive fjord landscape with steep mountainsides and alpine mountain ranges - a place that is near and dear to us at SeilNorge. From there we sail to the small island of Skrova, from the top of which we have an amazing 360-degree view towards the “Lofoten wall” in the west, Vestfjorden in the south, and Steigen and Hamarøy in the east. From here we can truly understand the immensity of the mountains of Lofoten. We then sail into Henningsvær which is one of the best harbours in Lofoten and which has also become a cultural point of interest. From Henningsvær we sail up through Gimsøysundet and to the north side of Lofoten, and then westwards through Unstad and into Mærvoll and Tangstad, where we prepare ourselves for a visit to Unstad Arctic Surf. From here the tour continues south again through the mountains in Nappstraumen and to Nusfjord; one of Lofoten’s most authentic fishing villages. From Nusfjord we sail on to Reine, which - with it’s harbour surrounded by steep mountains - is one of Lofoten’s most photographed sites. From Reine we can ascend Reinebringen, or sail into Reinefjord to Vinstad and visit the breathtaking Bunesstranda north from there. After many days learning the ins and outs of sailing aboard our vessel, we are ready to end the trip with a race over Vestfjorden to Bodø. If the conditions are good we can make a stop on the outside of Bodø during the crossing. We might have perfect weather this afternoon… we will see!
Along the way on this tour there are opportunities to do extra activities at the places we land, such as surfing at Unstad Arctic Surf ( http://unstadarcticsurf.com/). All our planned activities along the way are optional. If you prefer to take a break in the boat and write poems or do yoga, or do nothing at all, you are free to do so.
Like on all our trips, you will learn to sail along the way, and you will get both challenges and feelings of achievement - as well as friends for life!
Watch our 2 minute movie from this trip here.
In the summertime we sail together one or more boats in a fleet. See pictures and read more about our boats here.
This week was really incredibly great! Very nice program with both a lot of sailing and ocean - and the possibility to hike some mountains. The split into cabins, watches etc. worked well. Our skipper was skilled and friendly, and he managed to include all of us and balance our wishes and requests as we went along. Well done! I became such a fan of the whole trip that I’m considering moving to Lofoten some day!
Day 1: Trip start in Svolvær
We meet at 16:00. Check-in and go through the program and safety procedures onboard. In the evening we make dinner, get to know the boat and crew, and prepare for sail. If we are ready and the winds are good, we try to start sailing this first night already.
Day 2: Raftsundet and Trollfjorden
After breakfast we sail towards Trollfjorden and Rafstundet, past Lille Molla, Store Molla, and Digermulen. Lunch in Trollfjord will be nice! This fjord is very well-known for the steep mountains that shoot down into the narrow fjord below. Those who wish can walk up to Trollfjordhytta and feel the “troll atmosphere” in Trollheim, while those who prefer to have a campfire on the beach can do that instead. We overnight at the pier in Trollfjorden or at anchor amongst the islands of Rafstundet.
Day 3: Sailing to Skrova and Henningsvær
After a chill morning with a good breakfast onboard we set sail and navigate around Store Molla and Lille Molla and to the small and venerable whale hunting Island Skrova, which lies amongst the islands in Vestfjorden. On Skrova we go ashore and try to summit the little mountaintop with it’s impressive views of the “Lofoten wall” in the west, all of Vestfjorden, and Hamarøy and Steigen in the east. In the afternoon we sail from Skrova to Henningsvær, one of the best harbors in Lofoten. This place is very lively in the summer, and we can choose to stay overnight in the harbor or find an anchorage just outside the town. We of course go to shore and explore. Nusfjord is also surrounded by high mountains, so those of us who are interested can go for a climb. In the evening we have dinner at Restaurant Karoline, one of the better places to eat in Lofoten. There is also a fun pub where we can have a few rounds before we sleep Nusfjord for the night.
Day 4: Sailing to the northside of Lofoten and Unstad surfing beach
After breakfast we will sail up Gimsøystraumen and to the northside of Lofoten, and then head west towards the well-known surfing beach of Unstad, which is our goal for the day. We moor at Mærvoll, from which we can go over the hill to Unstad. At Unstad Arctic Surf those who are interested can rent surfing equipment and take a surfing class. Another option is to go to the Viking Museum in Borg. In the evening we eat dinner in Unstad or in the boat, and when everyone is nice and full we will head back to the boat where the gentle waves will rock us to sleep.
Dag 5: Sailing to Nusfjord fishing village
This day we won’t sail as far so we can have a chill morning and a cozy breakfast onboard. Afterwards we raise our sails directed southwards through the “Lofoten wall” again, towards Nappstraumen. From there it is not so far to Nusfjord. Nusfjord is Lofotens most iconic and best-maintained fishing village, and the whole place is a museum. Of course we will go to shore and explore! The village is also surrounded by impressive mountains, which the adventurous of us might choose to climb. In the evening we eat dinner at Restaurant Karoline, one of the best places to eat in Lofoten. There is also a fun pub in town, so we might choose to have a few rounds before spending the night in Nusfjord.
Day 6: Morning sail to Reine to spend the day in the mountains or on the beach
Now it is finally time to visit Reine, and there is no better way to arrive in Reine than by boat. The harbour waters are surrounded by steep mountains, making for breathtaking views. This day the options include to go on a guided kayak tour, walk up to Reinebringen, or take the boat into Reinefjorden to Vinstad, from which we can follow a trail north to visit Bunesstranda. On Bunesstranda we like to take the responsibility to clean up some trash left behind by others, so we will see if there is anything to cleanup when we get there! We spend the night in Reine.
Day 7: Sailing over Vestfjorden to Bodø
After a good week on our sailing trip it is time to clean up and make the boat truly sea-ready, put on our sailing gloves, and cross Vestfjorden like true sailors. The crossing takes 8 to 12 hours, depending on the weather. As we are usually multiple boats on the trip this week it can be a “regatta day” where we race across the fjord. If the conditions are good we can stop in “the weather” on the outside of Bodø on our way in. Maybe we all have fantastic weather to sail through this afternoon. We will see! In the evening we arrive in Bodø. After a well deserved arrival drink of aquavit or apple juice we do a quick clean-up on board so it is easier to clean up the next morning.
Day 8: Ending the trip in Bodø in the morning
In the morning we leave the boat and have breakfast at Thon hotel on the quayside - the city’s best breakfast. Thank you so much for a great trip!at trip!
The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that we can adapt to the weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to change and improve our itineraries. We will have a dinghy for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all our trips - we are ready for adventure! Are you?
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!
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.
The Nordlandsbanen train line goes all the way to Bodø, and can be taken overnight from Trondheim or Oslo. This is a great way to travel and a beautiful journey from southern Norway. For timetables and prices see www.vy.no. If you live along the coast, the speed ferries or Hurtigruta are possible options either northbound or southbound. Another option is a flight to Bodø, and there are some reasonable tickets.
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.
Level of this trip
Sailing wise, our trips are not very difficult, and you are always welcome to join us! Our trips attract both people who have never sailed before, as well as experienced sailors. If you are a beginner, we will turn you into a seaman/woman as soon as possible. If you are experienced, you will be given more responsibility and greater challenges so that you can learn new things along the way. We usually sail along the coast in protected waters, and we often have the opportunity to choose either more or less exposed routes, depending on the weather. The weather Gods decide, so you must be prepared for both windless conditions and sailing in harsher weather!
As with all activities, there is plenty of specialized equipment and clothing for sailing. We do not expect you to buy lots of new equipment to join any of our trips, so, use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, try to purchase used equipment, and if you have to invest in new equipment - buy quality items that will last. What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered clothing underneath. Some jackets may not be waterproof enough, or might not perform well in saltwater, so you might want to consider purchasing or renting a set of “oilskins” from us to use on the wettest days. Even in summer it can be cold at sea, so bring both swimwear and warm clothing. 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. A morning swim in the sea is also 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. On most trips we sail multiple boats in a fleet, with 7-9 people onboard each boat.
Environment and sustainability
In general sailing is an environmentally friendly activity,, 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.