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nergaardlerøy, leroeySalMarmarine harvest

Lofoten
fishing, salmon, lobster

LOFOTEN

Lofoten is located in Nordland County. The municipality in Lofoten is Vågan, Moskenes, Vestvågøy, Flakstad, Værøy and Røst.

The total land area amounts to 1,227 sq. km. About 25,000 people live there. The road distance is almost 170 km from Fiskebøl near Vesterålen in the north to Å in the south, where the E10 ends. From Lofotodden, at the south end of Moskenesøy Island, the air distance is more than 60 km to Skomvær, the southernmost point in Lofoten.

Lofoten stretches like a wall of mountains to the southwest in the sea. Between the mainland and the Lofoten Wall lies the Vestfjord. Lofoten consists of mountains and peaks, wide open ocean, sheltered inlets, stretches of seashore and large virgin areas.The Lofoten Islands are said to be one of the most beautiful climbing areas on earth.

Lofoten in winter

Stockfish, produced from spawning cod, was the staple good, and it was sold to almost all of Europe. Italy is still the most important market for high-quality stockfish from Lofoten. The winter fisheries for cod are still crucial for the settlement in Lofoten. Fishermen from all over North Norway take part in the Lofot Fisheries, which are based on the Norwegian Arctic cod´s spawning in the Vestfjord between January and April.


THE MIDNIGHT SUN

midnight sun

In the areas to the west and the north of the Lofoten islands the midnight sun is visible from 27 May till 17 July. At Værøy and Røst this period is a little shorter.

BIRDS

Lofoten has an abundant selection of birds. We meet birds from the forest, moors, highlands, sea and ocean, and many species which migrate past Lofoten every spring and autumn. The white-tailed eagle flourishes in Lofoten, and the area has one of the world´s largest stocks. Most sea bird species are found in this region: razorbill, guillemot, cormorant, kittiwake and the characteristic puffin, just to mention a few. Especially the farthest islands of Værøy and Røst are renowned for their bird colonies and bird rocks. Hundreds of thousands of puffins and other sea birds can be heard and seen here, joined in a colourful orchestra.

DAY OF THE COD

Takes place on the first Saturday in March, every year. Cod is the very basis of Lofoten´s existence, and on this day a number of programmes are carried out all over Lofoten. The purpose of this day is to celebrate the Lofoten Fisheries history and the interesting coastal culture that has evolved around it.

THE GREAT LIQUAR DAY

The 25 March is known as the Great Liquor Day in Lofoten. How this came to be is somewhat obscure, but the tradition apparently goes back to the end of the last century, when measures were taken to counteract excessive consumption of liquor during the fishing season. By and by, the day came to represent the opposite of what it was meant to: On this day, it was acceptable, as it were, to be seen meandering unsteadily through the village.



FLAKSTAD
Flakstad Municipality consists of Flakstad Island and the northern tip of Moskenes Island. The origin of the name Flakstad is debatable. It might derive from the word "flag", meaning "cliff". An older name for the island was "Vargfot", meaning "wolf´s paw".

reine


The E10, officially named "King Olav V´s Road", passes through Flakstad. Most of the Flakstad habitation is to be found along the outer edge of Lofoten, facing the ocean, in fishing hamlets such as Ramberg and Fredvang. On the Vestfjord side, we find Sund, Skjelfjord, Nesland and Nusfjord.

Most of the farmland stretches along the shores of Fredvang, on the northern tip of Moskenes Island, Vareid and the area around Flakstad Church. The local tourist information centre is situated between the parish of Flakstad and the village of Ramberg (about 2 km north of the centre). The municipality is divided in two by the strait of Sund, which at it´s narrowest, at Strømsnes between the islands Moskenes and Flakstad, is just wide enough for two fishing vessels to pass each other.

Ramberg

The administrative centre is located next to a lovely white beach facing the Arctic Ocean. Just outside the village we find the beautiful Flakstad Church, built out of wood in 1780, with its characteristic onion cupola. The altarpiece is older than the church, and the pulpit was painted by the master painter from Bergen, Godtfred Ezechiel.

Nusfjord

Flakstad´s most famous fishing village. During the European Architecture Conservation Year in 1975, Nusfjord was chosen as one of three pilot projects for the preservation of original construction customs in Norway. Here you will find an agglomeration of fishermen´s huts, some of which are inhabited by fishermen during the winter season, and used by tourists in the summer. Michele Sarno runs a silversmith´s in Nusfjord.

Vikten

The glassblowing cottage is a popular attraction for travellers and here you will find products of high quality and innovative design. Åses Pottery is also situated here. Sales of own production. A pebble beach looking out to the open sea.

Napp

A modern fishing village. The beginning of the Flakstad trail, a sign-posted footpath leading from Napp, past Storbåthallaren - a Stone Age settlement of some reknown - to the abandoned farming and fishing village of Østre Nesland.

Sund

An old fishing hamlet. A fishing museum with a separate division for boat engines which can be started. Home of the smith from Sund, best known for his handmade representations of cormorants.

Østre Nesland

An abandoned fishing and farming village with wellpreserved production buildings: a farm mill, a cookhouse, boat house, salmon smokehouse, etc. On the way to Nesland you pass Skjelfjord, which was a port of refuge for British warships during the Battle of Narvik in 1940.

Fredvang

This fishing village, situated on the northern part of Moskenesøy, is point of departure for hiking trails leading to Yttersida, (the Outside). In the area around Fredvang are picnic grounds, cabins for daytime hikers, and the neighbourhood cabin with sleeping facilities for overnighters. The Draug Festival takes places in July. Flakstad´s one and only bakery is here.

Mølnarodden

Access to hiking trails along the lake Solbjørnvatnet.



MOSKENES
Moskenes municipality covers the southern part of Moskenes Island, where the landscape has been sculpted by glaciers and other elemental forces that have turned it into one of the wildest and most fascinating spots in Norway. Hermannsdalstind, altitude of 1029 metres, the highest mountain in Western Lofoten. There are a large number of mountain lakes to fish in.

Lofoten


The landscape is characterised by sheer mountains and a narrow shoreline. There was settlement on the western side of the island, overlooking the mighty ocean, up until the 1950´s. Today, settlement is concentrated on the eastern side, where there are good harbour conditions for the fishing fleet, cargo vessels and pleasure boats.

In Moskenes, the fishing villages lie one after the other like pearls on a string. In places like Reine, Hamnøy, Sakrisøy, Sørvågen and Å, to name only a few of them, much can be learnt about everyday life in a fishing village. You can also follow the example of many travellers, and rent a fisherman´s hut, spending your vacation in an authentic and lively environment.

Moskenes has plenty to offer for those who wish to meet the elements. A boat trip by way of the Maelstrøm, characterized as one of the fiercest - and possibly the most dangerous ocean currents in the world, brings us to the "Outside" of Lofoten.

Here we find traces of settlement dating hundreds, indeed thousands of years back in time. The gigantic Kollhellaren Cave in Refsvika is a coastal cavern with approximately 3.000 year old cave paintings. Organised boat trips and fishing trips in the Maelstrøm, together with visits to the cave in Refsvika, in the company of authorised guides.

Fishing boats also offer trips that provide insight into the professional life of fishermen. Back on the "Inside", you might want to take a trip to Reinefjorden. From Reine a boat goes to one of Norway´s most beautiful fjords, where you can have a pleasant walk when you go ashore.

At the ferry harbour in Moskenes there is a bust of Colonel Birger Eriksen who was commander of Oscarsborg Fort on April 9, 1940. Eriksen was born and raised in Moskenes. In the village of Moskenes you will find a sculpture in memory of Tennes-Kaspara, the last person to be beheaded in Moskenes.

Galleri Krysset, a private art gallery, can also be found in Sørvågen. Numerous other routes are recommended in Moskenes; both in the mountains and in any of the small fishing villages, so rich in tradition. A 2 hour hike from Sørvågen, along a signposted and marked rambler´s trail, will lead you to the Lofoten Tour Association´s mountain rambler´s cabin, Munkebu (DNT).


Å

At the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum in Aring;, you can join in on the activities, and appreciate the environment of a genuine traditional village. The museum is comprised of 14 buildings, each of which has its own purpose in the ancient village: a boat house, a steam processing plant for cod-liver oil, a forge, bakery, fishermens huts etc. What all these buildings have in common, is that they belong there, and have not been brought to Å "to become a museum". The bakery and the blacksmith´s are in operation throughout the summer. The museum also produces and sells its own cod-liver oil.

Visit the stockfish museum in Å and learn about the thousand-year old history of stockfish as a trade commodity. Learn how stockfish is classed, where it is exported, and what is required of a first-class product.

 

On the island of Sakrisøya, Dagmar´s Museum of Dolls and Toys can be found - a place for the whole family.


Historic Events


1906
The world´s second wireless telegraph station was opened in Sørvågen. A permanent exhibition of the history of local telecommunications has been established in Sørvågen.

1928
North Europe´s first radio telephony project is started in Sørvågen. With the aim of linking broadcasting and telephone technology, church services in Moskenes Church were transferred to the radio station on 12 February 1929.

1941

The Reine Raid is carried out by Norwegian and British commandos.

1963
King Olav opens the Lofoten Road. The King goes ashore on Aring; and lays down a commemorative plaque at Hamnøy.

1992
King Olav V´s Road, Highway E10 from Aring; to the national border.



VESTVÅGØY
The municipality covers all of Vestvågøy island, which was divided into four municipalities, those of Borge, Busknes, Hol and Valberg, until 1963. The western and southern parts of Vestvågøy are dominated by tall steep mountains. The north and south are also mountainous, but here the mountains are not as steep nor as tall as in the west and south. Between the mountains, the land stretches out to form a wide valley, Lofoten´s principal agricultural area. Vestvågøy is actually the second largest agricultural municipality in Nordland County.

 

The municipality´s school system, from primary to upper secondary levels. There is a wealth of cultural activity in the borough and among the many performers you will find the Lofoten Theatre Group, the Nordland Puppet Theatre, the Children´s School of Culture, the School Brass Band, the Choir, folk dance groups and several sports clubs. There are also swimming pools and sports halls, a central stadium, ski jump and downhill slope, in addition to lighted skiing trails and first class rambling terrain providing the opportunity of activity all year round.

Daily flights between Leknes, Svolvær, Røst and Bodø. The Coastal Express calls at Stamsund every day. Vestvågøy is connected with areas in the west by a tunnel under Nappstraumen. The road to the east crosses to the islands of Gimsøy and Austvågøy, to which two bridges were opened in 1981.

Supplemented by services and trade, fishing and agriculture are the main sources of income for the municipality. The Lofoten Trawler company is based in Stamsund. Vestvågøy diary is a major producer of butter and cheese. Cheese from Lofoten is sold to all parts of the country, and a national test has confirmed that the best lamb in the country comes from Lofoten. The fishing fleet employs a significant number of repair shop personnel. The only private abattoir in North Norway.

Ballstad

Approximately 1.000 inhabitants, one of Lofoten´s largest fishing villages. Here you will find a steam processing plant for cod-liver oil, a boat yard harbouring the world´s largest mural, restaurants, and several parties who rent out fishermens huts for accommodation.Ballstad was one of the first communities to provide this kind of accommodation.

Gravdal

Approximately 1.900 inhabitants, one of the largest villages on Vestvågøy. Lofoten Hospital and the Nordland School of Fisheries. Buksnes Church, built in dragon style in 1905, might be worth a visit.

Leknes

The municipality´s centre of administration and trade, with about 1.600 inhabitants and well-developed services, including a hotel, cafes, restaurants, auto repair shops, specialty shops, a pharmacy, bakery, movie theatre, swimming pool, and other services. The newspaper Lofot-Tidende is published here.

Vik / Haukland

Marvellous white beaches; fine spots from which to watch the Midnight Sun, and a popular outing place for both local residents and tourists.

Unstad

Unstad has one of North Eropas best surf beaches, here comes the North Atlantic rolling in with the surf waves of the highest quality. Here it is swell, hollow, tube sections and finally some lovely beach break towards the beach. At Unstad comes travellers to ride the waves all year round.

Borg

The biggest Viking Age chieftain´s homestead in Scandinavia has been excavated at Borg and a full-scale replica of the chieftain´s house has been reconstructed. Here, you can see the archaeologists impression of how the living quarters and banqueting hall will have looked during the Viking Age.

In what was the barn, you can now see a comprehensive exhibition of Viking Age finds from Borg and the rest of the island of Vestvågøy. You will also meet real-life people who will show you what life might have been like during the Viking Age. And if you have time, you can go down and take a look at Lofotr, the Viking ship, and the authentic boathouse replica.

Eggum

A snug community, attractively situated at the foot of tall cliffs. Beautiful pebble beach; lookout for viewers of the Midnight Sun. Borga, built in stone during WW II, was one of the first German radar stations in northern Europe. Good starting point for hikes.

Stamsund

Approximately 1.400 inhabitants, one of the largest fishing villages in West Lofoten; founded by J. M. Johansen at the beginning of this century. J. M. Johansen merged with Aker Seafoods (change name to Havfisk) which is is among the largest employers in Norway´s fisheries industry, and one of Norway´s leading producers and exporters of fish products. Havfisk is owned by on of Norway richest men, Kjell Inge Røkke he started out as a fisherman and today he is selling prawns from a boat at Aker Brygge. In Stamsund, we have the Nordland Puppet Theatre and Children´s School of Culture.

There are handicraft shops, the Coastal Steamer docks and a tourist information office. Stamsund Sports Club together with the snowboard aces Daniel Franck and Terje Håkonsen arranges the first The Artic Challenge. The combination of sea and mountain, snow/ice and granite make these islands one of the most unique ski destinations on the planet. War memorial museum. Artist´s studio and Galleri 2 are situated approximately 150 meters from the Coastal Steamer docks.

  Holsøyne

One of the largest known North Norwegian burial sights from pagan times, believed to date back to the early Iron Age, i.e. somewhere between 200 / 300 and 600 BC. At Skaftnes (Sennesvik), the collection further consists of a farm house from 1860, a pier, a large boat house and a forge. There are also remains from the Stone Age in the settlements at Sversvika.

Flakstad, Fredvang, Nusfjord


Hol

Hol Church is the oldest church in Vestvågøy. This is a cruciform church built out of wood in 1806. The first church was built in 1400 and the altarpiece dates back to 1766. Borge Kirke Consecrated in 1987, this church has room for 700 people and is often used for concerts. Open road Church. The church is well known for its distinctive architecture and excellent acoustics.

Fygle

Vestvågøy Museum there is a fine collection of approximately 2,000 items. Lofoten Riding Centre and Leisure Resort.



VÅGAN
Vågan Municipality includes almost all of the islands of Austvågøy, Gimsøy and a number of small islands, among them Henningsvær and Skrova. A small edge of the island Hinnøya also belongs to Vågan. Svolvær is the capital of Lofoten, and an important junction for the entire region. The town is also the largest gateway to Lofoten for the steadily increasing tourist traffic.

The service industry is well developed and involves both private and public services. Let us mention Lofoten and Vesterålen Police Force, the Land Registry for Lofoten, the Motor Vehicle and Driving Licence Inspectorate, Ship Inspection, the Norwegian National Coastal Administration in Kabelvåg, Nordland Dept., the Norwegian Association of Unprocessed Fish, Nordland Dept., a liquor shop, etc.

henningsvær, henningsvaer


The biggest newspaper, Lofotposten, is published in Svolvær. There are many schools with several branches at the upper secondary level, in addition to the 2 year Art School in Kabelvåg.

The colourful cultural life includes choirs and bands, cabaret groups and a number of other activities. A North Norwegian Artist Centre has been established in Lofoten, and 75% of all professional artists in Lofoten and Vesterålen live in Vågan. All kinds of sports; indoor sports hall, skiing slopes, floodlit tracks, wonderful touring terrain and lively small-boat activity, are parts of the leisure activities of people living here.

Daily flights to the other air fields in the area and to the main network in Bodø. Svolvær is called daily both by the north-bound and the south-bound Coastal Steamer. Express boat service to Stokmarknes, Bodø and Narvik. Ferry service to Skutvik / E6. Vesterålen is served by the ferry route between Fiskebøl and Melbu. Good bus connections with Svolvær. Car ferries to Skrova, Brettesnes and Digermulen.

Fishing is the most important source of income. Vågan has North Norway´s second largest fisheries and is North Norway´s largest aquacultural municipality. The engineering industry counts as one of the largest in North Norway and industrial activity related to the fisheries is considerable. Additional important sources of income are travel and tourism, trade, and public and private services.

Svolvær

Became transit harbour in 1918. Today Lofoten´s regional centre with about 4.120 inhabitants. The Svolvær Goat, is the town´s most characteristic feature, and it represents a challenge to climbers. The peak was reached for the first time in 1910. The Svolvær Goat peak, a characteristic feature of Svolvær, challenges mountaineers to jump from one of its horns to the other. Would you dare to jump?

A very special Bar called Magic Ice where you drink from glass made of ice etc. The painter Gunnar from Lofoten and his most famous painting, The Battle of Trollfjord can be seen in the County Hall. Among galleries we might mention the North Norwegian Artist Centre with its exhibitions and Dagfinn Bakke´s Gallery. The Konrad Gallery exhibits the works of amateur painters. Svolvær offers the atmosphere of a harbour, a small town and art simultaneously.

Kabelvåg

This community was the most important fishing village in the last century, and opened its first guest house in the late 18th century. Kabelvåg forms a part of the municipality´s cultural history reserve with an interesting architectural structure. Approximately 2.000 inhabitants. Around the year 1103, King Øystein had Lofoten´s first church built in Kabelvåg. Later, around 1120, he also had rorbu cabins built for the fishermen. A commemorative statue of him can be seen on the heights overlooking Kabelvåg town centre.

Lofoten Cathedral Vågan Church, also known as Lofoten Cathedral. It was built in 1898 and can accommodate up to 1.200 people. the Lofoten Aquarium displays all kinds of life in the ocean, creatures living among pebbles on the shore, or at abysmaldepths. Also a pool for seals, which has become extremely popular. Nature pictures from Lofoten are shown in two marvellous slides show programmes.

Storvågan

Historical area with roots all the way back to the year 900. In the Middle Ages the area was the most densely populated area in North Norway due to the Lofot Fisheries. From there, all fish was transported out of the regions for further export to the continent. There are archaeological excavations during the summer which are available to the public. In addition we have the Lofot Museum, the Lofot Aquarium and Gallery Espolin Johnson - all of them fine attractions.

kabelvaag, kabelvåg, nyvågar, nyvaagar


Henningsvær

The Venice of Lofoten and one of Lofoten´s largest fishing villages, counting approximately 540 inhabitants. Henningsvær was connected to the mainland by the bridge which was built in 1983. The community has a special and dense atmosphere dominated by the fisheries. Lofoten House Gallery / Karl Erik Harr

Exhibition of well-known Karl Erik Harr paintings and a collection of paintings by artists who worked in the Lofoten Islands around the turn of the century. Don´t miss Frank A. Jenssen´s superb slides show and his unique photos of white tailed eagles. There are also a number of large format photos of Lofoten in the gallery, taken by photographer Wilse about 70-90 years ago.

Raftsundet

The trip through Raftsund Sound is an unforgettable experience. There are fascinating small islands, white sandy beaches, fields of flowers framed by high mountains and glaciers reflected in the water, and the renowned Trollfjord with precipices descending straight into the sea. We do recommend a boat trip into the spectacular Trollfjorden.

Digermulen

The community of Digermulen with Keiservarden is situated by the entrance to the strait Raftsundet. There are organized trips / tours from Svolvær several times a day to these beautiful natural surroundings. You can also travel on your own, by car / bus express boat or ferry to Digermulen.

Gimsøy, Laukvik

Regions on the outside of Lofoten with a fantastic view to the open ocean and the Midnight Sun.

Hov

A peaceful, idyllic place on the outer coast of the island of Gimsøya with small inlets and white beaches, and an unobstructed view towards the north and the Midnight Sun. Lofoten Golfclub is fitted snugly into the natural terrain. The sea provides water obstacles near several of the holes and the beaches act as natural sand bunkers. This makes the course a good challenge, also to more experienced golfers.

When seen from Highway E 10, it is situated behind the distinctive mountain peak of Hoven, which is also very suitable for moderate mountain walks. Hov has one of the oldest settlements in the Lofoten Islands and is abundant in ancient monuments, including several burial mounds and landing places from the Stone Age and the Viking Age.

Skomvær

The last stop before the ocean is the lush green island Skomvær with it´s proud lighthouse, constructed in 1887. The artist Theodor Kittelsen lived at Skomvær for almost two years towards the end of the 1880s. He has rendered his experiences in both drawing and writing.

 


VÆRØY
Værøy is the penultimate municipality in Lofoten. The Island is dominated by a long mountain ridge running from northeast to southwest. About 90% of the population lives in the village Sørland where the administration is located, together with a doctor and a registered nurse, as well as the library. Here you will also find shops, fish landing facilities, a garage, and most of the services available in the municipality. Værøy has one 9-year compulsory school, (primary and lower secondary levels), which is attended by about 90 students. There is a brass band, three choirs, and a football team.

More than 80 % of the workforce is employed in the fisheries. There is also salmon farming. In recent years, tourism has been increasingly significant for Værøy. Every day, a car ferry runs between Værøy, Røst and Bodø. A helicopter service also operates to/from Bodø. During summer season there is daily connection with Moskenes by ferry. In the winter time this connection is limited to once or twice per week. The route to Moskenes crosses the Moskenes Maelstrøm, one of the world´s fiercest maelstrøm currents. It has inspired both E. A. Poe and Jules Verne.

 

Sørland, and most of Værøy´s arable land, is located to the east and south of the mountainous area on the island. At Nordland there is a large pebble beach, Mollbakken, right by the road from Sørland. Several burial sites from the Viking and Stone Age have been found there. At Nordland, you can distinctly see three different sea-levels from times of yore, at 6, 12 and 40 metres above our current sea-level.

The uninhabited Mosken also belongs to Værøy, and was at one time used as grazing-land for sheep, summer and winter. Just beyond Mosken, we have Svarven, where fishermen had their shacks. This was their shelter during the saithe-fishing season, lasting from late summer to autumn.

lofoten


At one time, when there was a bounty on eagles, the people of Værøy used to catch eagles with their bare hands, a rather singular pastime that the inhabitants of Værøy had to themselves. Lying in hiding in caves, hunters baited the eagles and caught them with their hands. Eagle hunting caves can be examined to this very day. The mighty bird cliffs on Værøy are to be found on the southwesterly side of the massive, facing the ocean. During the summer, trips to these cliffs are organized every day.

Måstad

At one time, about 150 people lived here, catching puffins as a subsidiary source of income. Catching puffins involved the use of the unusual puffin dog, also termed the Måstad dog. Puffin meat was cured in salt and lasted way into the autumn. There were no roads and very unsatisfactory harbours, so a few years after the war, the village was abandoned.

Today, there are about 700 puffin dogs in Norway. All of them can be traced back to Måstad. Going ashore on Måstad is generally combined with a fishing trip or an expedition by boat to the bird cliffs. Måstad can also be reached on foot. Simple overnight accommodation is available at the schoolhouse.

Værøy Old Church

This wooden church is to be found at Nordland. It was taken apart, moved from Kabelvåg and rebuilt at Værøy in 1799. This is the oldest church in Lofoten. Right beside it, there is a small local museum.

Theodor Kittelsen

During his Lofoten period, the painter also visited Værøy, where he lived in the Borgstua of the old vicarage, which has since been turned into an inn.


RØST
On the tip of Lofoten, jutting out into sea, about 100 km to the west of Bodø and 115 to the north of the Arctic Circle, we come to Røst and it´s 365 islands, holms and skerries. The largest of them, with it´s highest point just barely 12 m above sea level, is Røstlandet. Further south, the islands of Storfjellet, Vedøya, Trenyken and Hærnyken loom like gigantic monuments in the water.

Mount Storfjellet is the highest of these mountains, reaching a height of 259 metres above sea level. The entire population of this municipality is to be found on Røstlandet and a couple of lesser islands with which it is connected by roads. Here, too, we find the municipal administration offices, a primary school, a nursery, shops, restaurant, post office, bank, air strip, and fish landing facilities.

The great ocean itself, and what is left of the Gulf Stream, leaves its mark on Røst, with mild winters and cool summers. Coupled with relentless winds, the climate is ideal for the production of the island´s most important export commodity, stockfish. From January to April large amounts of cod are brought ashore and hanged on racks, to be processed by the weather and turned into first class products.

Preparatory to the export of this excellent commodity, a number of people are employed in the process, both in spring and summer. Røst is more dependent on fish than most other municipalities in the country. In fact, not many municipalities in Norway produce export articles for larger sums per inhabitant than Røst.

There are daily flights between Bodø and Røst. Good corresponding flights. Also direct flights between Røst and Leknes. Ferry link between Bodø, Værøy and Moskenes. The direct crossing from Bodø to Røst takes about 4 hours on the ferry and 20 minutes by air.

 

The scenery on Røstlandet, covered as it is by flat pastures, marshes and innumerable fresh and brackish lakes and ponds, contrasts sharply with the towering, steep bird cliffs that rise out of the sea towards the southwest. Nowhere else in Norway will you find as many nesting sea birds as on these islands.

Røst Church

In January 1835 Røst Church (built around 1825) was blown down by a hurricane. According to eye witnesses the roof was swept off, with the spire and the bells attached to it. The spire is still there, in the cemetery, and is a reliable navigation point for ships off the coast.

The Church Ruins

The church itself was consecrated 5 May 1839 by a bishop, the Right Rev. Kierschow, whereas the choir and sacristy were consecrated in 1883. In building their church out of stone, people felt they were safeguarding it from storms. It was constructed along lines laid down by the architect H.D.F. Lindstows for the country´s churches in general, but is presumed to have been the only church of its kind to be made of stone. It was used until 1900, as it was considered too small and demolished the year after by Royal decree. Today´s church was inaugurated in 1900.

The triptych

The triptych in Røst Church is one of five triptychs given by the Dutch Princess Elizabeth to Norwegian Churches along the rugged coast. This was a gift of gratitude to the powers above for having shielded her during a storm, on her sea journey to Copenhagen to become the bride and Queen of Christian II. In 1520, the triptych arrived in Røst, where it has probably adorned five different churches thus far.

Pietro Querini

This was a Venetian nobleman, shipwrecked in the North Sea during the early winter of 1431 / 32, on a journey from Crete to Flanders. A life boat with survivors from the wreck drifted ashore on the uninhabited island Sandøy, outside Røst. The survivors were found, in very poor condition, in January 1432. They stayed on till spring, and then left on ships carrying stockfish. The Italians narratives of conditions on Røst at the time is one of the most important descriptions we have about the lives of ordinary people in North Norway during the Middle Ages. A monument to commemorate Querini and his companions was unveiled on Sandøy, 10 July 1932.

Bird Nesting Colonies

The steep and towering islands southwest of the populated island of Røstlandet, are home for the largest number of nesting birds in all of Norway, - with approximately one fourth of the country´s seabird population. A census taken in 1992 shows a population of 2,5 million adults birds.

During the summer, there are daily boat trips to the nesting colonies. On the island of Vedøya, you can see the remnants of early settlement, showing that the island was probably an old fishing and hunting station. Bird lovers and researchers, both at home and abroad, regularly visit these ornithologically important islands. Moreover, a book about the birds on Røst has been published in Norwegian, English, German and French.