Summer vacation in Lofoten

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This year we had a three week summer vacation and chose to spend it in the northern parts of Norway. Both of us have lived up north for a year and know how beautiful the nature is, so after last years round trip to Central Asia we now wanted to see and explore more of what Norway has to offer.

The knew that Lofoten is a popular spot for tourists, so in addition to spending time in Lofoten we wanted to explore some of the lesser known areas east of Lofoten, like Rago National Park, Steigen and the Narvik mountains. We flew to Bodø where we rented a car, and first up was Rago.

 
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Our first wild camp in Nordland, just outside Rago National Park.

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Hike to Rago National Park. The waterfall is called Litlverivassforsen.

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Ronja is stoked to see a cold mountain lake.

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Easy to see why.

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After a long day of hiking we found a wild camp near Kobbvatnet.

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Wild camp on day three, now in Steigen.

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We had this beach all to ourselves, which is probably what we enjoyed most about Steigen compared to Lofoten.

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Brennviksanden.

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From beaches to frozen lakes - this is Norwegian summer in a nutshell. This is the day after our beach safari, but we decided to go for a hike higher up in the mountains on the border to Sweden.

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Here we’re walking along Gautelisvatnet towards a DNT cabin.

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We were the only ones there. Well, except for these guys.

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Gautelishytta. The Swedish border is at the mountain tops on the other side of the lake.

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Found this spot on our way down and decided to set up camp.

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A pretty decent view!

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The next day we found ourselves in Kabelvåg, Lofoten.

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Ronja has lived in Kabelvåg for a year, so for her this was also a feeling of ‘coming back’, or perhaps ‘coming home’.

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She of course knew all the secret spots, and felt right at home.

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Being this far north you can experience the midnight sun. With this being the last day of the year before it starts to dip beneath the horizon again we decided to hike up the mountain Hoven to get the full midnight sun experience.

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We stayed for about 2-3 hours, watching the sunset turn into a sunrise.

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Sunrise at around 2AM.

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While heading down we got to see the moonrise.

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We headed for Unstad (the beach on the right) to surf, but as the surf was small that day we went on a hike instead.

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View of the Norwegian Sea. Next stop is Greenland if you head in that direction.

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Heading down towards Unstad. We’ll return for surf later.

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It may look like we’re the only people visiting Lofoten in the summer, but it’s unfortunately far from the truth. There is usually a campervan or two in every pullout, and a tent on every flat surface near a road. With some effort (avoid popular places, read maps instead of Instagram, and a bit of walking) the options do increase and you can find places like this one.

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When do you go to bed when the sunset is almost endless?

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Every day life.

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We decided to stay one more night.

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Dinner time.

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What a party.

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Of course, we can’t go out and play before we’ve done the dishes.

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A longer hike this time. We decided to sleep in the mountains.

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I’ve been keen to try out the tarp as a shelter, and managed to convince Ronja it was a good idea.

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As a cold sleeper she was quite skeptical.

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But she seemed rather happy, so I’ll take that as a win.

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The next day we woke up to rain and fog. Almost felt like being on a hike in Bergen.

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Before heading home we wanted to try our luck at Unstad one more time.

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The weather and surf was in our favour, so Ronja got to try surfing for the first time (and did pretty well too!).

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Our last sunset in Lofoten before heading back home. For surfing I’ve always been a huge fan of Hoddevika on the west coast of Norway, but Unstad here in Lofoten really had me impressed.

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Before getting on the ferry we had time to go on one final hike. The weather was all overcast, so we didn’t expect anything, but once we got to the top of Andstabben we realised that the clouds were only a thick layer of sea fog. So once we were over the fog we got to see this magnificent view of the last few peaks at the end of the Lofoten islands. Most likely the perfect way to end our vacation.

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Kristian Pletten