MARINATE YOUR BODY
IN SOUL-WARMING SUNSHINE ON
A Day at the Beach
Revisit your childhood and build sandcastles, play in crystal clear water, or just roast in the sun at one of southern Lofoten’s dazzling white sand beaches. Several alluring beaches dot the shores of Lofoten, and eager sun worshipers connect the dots. Join the club.
A BUNES BEACH PICNIC would be my first choice. If you don’t have a kayak, the only way to get to this serene and isolated beach is a spectacular 25-minute trip across the Reine Fjord with the local ferry from Reine to the tiny settlement of Vindstad.
The ferry, MS Fjordkyss, leaves from Reine Hurtigbåtkai, only 300 meters from Catogården. They sell tickets in the tiny office on the pier, and you need to show up half an hour early, 60 minutes in high season.
FERRY RESERVATIONS: +47 99 49 18 05
Vindstad, barely a village, has a population of one, Kjell Jakob, and a tight- knitted group of cabin owners. In high season, they all take turns running the small café in the old school where there’s also a loo at your disposal (they are super active preservationists, and they welcome VOLUNTEERS). Otherwise, there are no distractions in Vindstad. No noise. No roads. No cars. Only the fjord, the birds, and the clear blue sky.
From the jetty in Vindstad, you have a two-kilometre walk to the bottom of the fjord and then a short, easy hike over the ridge to the oceanfront on the far side and a delightful day of sun, sand, and Atlantic sea breeze.
On a summer day, there will be other visitors and a few campers around, but never enough to spoil the lovely ambience. The abandoned hamlet of Bunes is tucked away in a wide bowl under the towering mountain of Helvetestinden. From the dunes, it takes another ten to fifteen minutes to reach the shallow waves, the striking turquoise water that looks so utterly inviting. If you are a polar bear.
HORSEID BEACH is an even more remote and isolated wilderness experience (not suited for a one-day trip, though). To get there, continue from Vindstad to Kjerkfjord on the ferry from Reine. Walk right through the village, over the stream, and up the trail to the left.
While the hike up and through the pass between the mountains is easy enough, the steep descent on the northern side is a bit more tricky. Go counterclockwise around the small lake and continue down to the wide, flat beach.
Again, once you reach the sand, you still have another twenty minutes to go before you can cool off in the waves. Expect the entire hike to last about two hours.
Bring everything you need for a night in the open except drinking water which is abundantly available from the waterfalls. And please do make sure not to leave a single trace of your presence.
KVALVIKA BEACH is another scenic gem. Cross the two bridges over to Fredvang, 25 kilometres from Reine. Continue three kilometres to the parking lot at the trailhead which is quite conspicuous because of the many cars already there during high season. The remaining two-kilometre walk to Kvalvika Beach is fairly easy and absolutely worth your precious time and effort.
Apart from the pearly white sand beach, Kvalvika offers a cool swing set up by a couple of surfer dudes. They also built a wilderness cabin from driftwood and lived in it for the better part of a year. They made a very watchable DOCUMENTARY about that experience. The shack is open to the public so you may even be able to sleep in it yourself. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Kvalvika is a national park, mind you. There are no toilets and no garbage bins. So please collect your trash and whatever you find lying around.
YTRESAND BEACH at Fredvang is much easier to access. Just follow the signs from the E10 over the bridges. Shoot straight past Fredvang to the parking lot at the end of the road, and you are there. And what a place it is. Ytresand offers everything you want from a beach. The siren song of jaw- dropping views, inviting white sand, and turquoise seawater will reel you in and eventually entice you to bare your skin and plunge into the ocean. That should wake you up.
SKAGSANDEN BEACH is a favoured surfer beach and campsite a tad east of Ramberg near Flakstad, 29 kilometres from Reine. You park right at the exit from the E10, 200 meters from the beach. Facing the tall waves from the North Atlantic head-on, Skagsanden is a long sand beach with overgrown dunes, so this is a perfect playground for surfers and regular, sun-soaking beachgoers alike.
RAMBERG BEACH appeals to a more laid-back breed of beach bums, as the roadside beach right along the E10, 25 kilometres from Reine, is much closer to civilized amenities such as service station, Tesla charger, car repair shop, supermarket, cafés and restaurants. Ramberg also happens to be very popular among surfers.
LAKE ÅGVATNET near the village of Å offers a lovely sweet water alternative to a dip in the ocean. It is not exactly a beach, but right off the trail from Å, there is a narrow patch where you can walk or jump into the super refreshing water of Ågvatnet.
Å is the southernmost settlement of Moskenesøy, nine kilometres south of Reine. Just stay on the E10 till it ends in a parking lot outside a short tunnel, and walk westward a few hundred meters.
I recommend this spot because of the stunning postcard panorama of mountains surrounding the lake. An easy hiking trail will take you further into this dreamscape if swimming or lying around in the tall grass doesn’t satisfy your wanderlust.
No matter what, the alchemy of water, sunshine, and crisp arctic air is guaranteed to soothe your soul.