We explore Lofoten sailing – and the whole archipelago is our playground!

Best of Lofoten, across Vestfjorden
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You may have heard of the Lofoten islands? Almost the whole world has – and with good reason. This mountainous range of islands stretching far out into the Norwegian Sea is a fantastic area to spend a week of your time. This trip is dedicated to the most beautiful and wildest mountains, fjords and beaches Lofoten has to offer. 

Unique access to the Best of Lofoten

We explore and navigate the islands by boat like both visitors and locals have done for thousands of years. By boat we have unique access, and with a full week at our disposal we will really dive into the area and see the mountains from all angles.  

We sail from well-known fishing villages to white beaches and into roadless fjords. Underway we stop at some of the best places to eat and the most exciting cultural sights of the area. During the trip we hike mountains, fish, kayak, surf, and make bonfires ashore. And if you want more adrenaline, you can climb or free dive, no one will stop you.

From Henningsvær to Bodø

This trip is similar to our Best of Lofoten roundtrip, however on this trip we end the week with a crossing to the city Bodø on the mainland. From the start in Henningsvær we first sail northwards into the Raftsundet-area where we also go into the famous and majestic Trollfjorden (Fjord of Trolls) with mountains going straight up 400 meters from the waterline, and being home to several northern-trollegian families! From the troll-area of Lofoten we sail back out to Skrova. The small peak here ranges only 281 meters above sea level, but from the top we have a superb 360-degree view of the Lofoten Wall in the west, the Vestfjord in the south, and the mainland to the east.

From Skrova we sail to the north outer side of the Lofoten mountain range going through the tidal stream Gimsøystraumen, passing around both Gimsøya and the village Eggum before arriving at the famous surf beach Unstad. Unstad Arctic Surf has become a well known spot among surfers and here you can rent equipment or join a course in surfing or SUP boarding. From Unstad we sail southwards to Nusfjord, the most authentic and well kept fishing villages in Lofoten, and then onwards to Reine and the Reinefjord. 

Reine is not only one of the most picturesque places in Lofoten, it’s also a great starting point for mountain hikes, kayaking and fishing. Now that we have gotten to know the boat and the sailing pretty well we continue south to Værøy, one of the southern outer islands. It is an open stretch so it depends on the weather, but we always aim to make it to Værøy to hike the island’s particular mountains. The last day we cross the Vestfjord to Bodø, a full day of sailing that will test our sea legs and we make use of what we have learned during the week. The trip ends in the well connected city Bodø. 

Included and additional activities along the way

Along the way on this trip there are opportunities to do optional activities at the places we pass, mainly surfing at Unstad Arctic Surf or Kayaking in Reine. 

All the planned activities along the way are part of the adventure. However, if you prefer to take a break in the boat and write poems or do yoga, or do nothing at all, that’s what you will do.

As on all our trips, you learn to sail along the way. You will have challenges, feel mastery and gain experiences & friends for life!

Do not buy a couch – SailNorway instead!

 

Our fleet

On our summer-trips we sail in a fleet of several boats. You can see pictures and read more about our boats here.

 

The very best of Lofoten

Film by Tanner Noller, from summer 2023

 

A fantastic trip from start to finish. We feel very fortunate to have found SeilNorge and the “Best of Lofoten” - and to have shared this experience with some very special people made the adventure that much more enjoyable! Our skipper was a standout - ensuring everyone on the crew - regardless of sailing experience learned how to get the best out of the boat, and each other. Thank you SeilNorge - we’ll be back!

Chris B, Best of Lofoten 2023

Itinerary

Day 1: We meet in Henningsvær for the adventure to begin!

At 16:00 we start and get settled onboard. Then we go through the plan and ambition for the week, as well as important safety information and basic sail handling. Over dinner we get to know each other better, and if conditions are good we may sail already this first night to a nearby anchorage.

Day 2: Raftsundet and Trollfjorden

After a morning swim and a good breakfast we sail towards the stunning area of Raftsundet and Trollfjorden, passing the islands LilleMolla, StoreMolla and Digermulen on our way. Lunch in Trollfjorden (Fjord of Trolls) will be great! This narrow fjord is well known among sailors for its steep mountains going straight up from the waterline. Trollfjorden is a great hiking area and we can hike up in the mountains and visit the Troll-families that reside here. If you rather fish or just want to relax by the sea you are of course welcome to. In the evening we sail to the island Skrova and spend the night in the harbour there. Skrova used to be the main whaling harbour in Lofoten, due to its ideal closeness to the whale’s pool; the Vestfjord.

Day 3: From Skrova to Unstad, sailing around Henningsvær and Gimsøya

This morning we aim for a morning hike to the 231 meter peak of Skrova with its great view over the Lofoten Wall to the west, the entire Vestfjord in the south, and Steigen and the mainland to the east. From Skrova we have a full day of sailing into Henningsvær, and up the nearby tidal stream Gimsøystraumen before coming out to the more exposed north side of the Lofoten islands. Our goal for the evening is the well known surfing beach Unstad, and we drop anchor in a nearby bay from where we can cross the hill over to Unstad by foot.

Day 4: Surfing at Unstad and afternoon sail to Nusfjord

We start the day by crossing over to Unstad by foot, and at Unstad Arctic Surf it will be possible to rent surfing equipment and/or join a lesson in surfing or SUP boarding. Another option is a trip to the Viking Museum at Borg, or just walk and talk around in this beautiful area. In the afternoon we sail to Nusfjord, one of Lofoten’s best preserved and most authentic fishing villages. Tonight we plan dinner at Restaurant Karoline in Nusfjord, one of the better places to eat in Lofoten. They also have a nice pub here in Nusfjord called Pauline which is worth a visit. Clearly we’ll sleep in Nusfjord tonight.

Day 5: Exploring the area of Reinebringen, Reinefjord and Bunes Beach

Now it is finally Reine’s turn, and there is no better way to get to Reine than by boat. The harbor basin, which is surrounded by steep mountains, is an incredibly beautiful place. Today it will be possible to join a guided kayak trip, hike up Reinebringen, or take a boat into the Reinefjord to Vindstad, from where a hiking trail leads us to the north side, to the truly spectacular Bunesstranda (Bunes Beach). Here we often take responsibility and clean up rubbish, so it remains to be seen if there is anything there when we arrive. We sleep in Reine this night so an evening hike up to Reinebringen is also possible. We have more or less 24 hours of daylight anyway!

Day 6: Out to Værøy at the far end of the sea

Weather and wind permitting, this day we aim to sail all the way out to one of Lofoten’s outermost and southernmost islands; Værøy (meaning “weather island”). You can’t get to here without a boat, and Værøy island has beautiful beaches and spectacular mountains, some of them also home to one of Norway’s puffin colonies. After sail and lunch, we have the afternoon to explore Værøy, and we bet on both a mountain hike and an evening swim before dinner.

Day 7: Sail across Vestfjorden to Bodø

After almost a week of sailing, it’s time to make the boat ready for sea, and put on our sailing gloves; today we are crossing Vestfjorden! The crossing takes 8-12 hours depending on the weather. If we are several boats together this week, this will be the big race day. Once in port in Bodø we tidy and pack a little before dinner and if time, and go out for a beer or last night together.

Day 8: Goodbye for now!

A week of adventure and great fun is unfortunately coming to an end. We pack, tidy, and wash ourselves out of the boat this morning and those who wish can have breakfast at the nearby Thon Hotel. We end the trip at 10:00 this morning. Thanks for a wonderful week together, and welcome back next time!

Changes to the program

Please see this itinerary as a rough plan which we adapt underway according to weather and conditions. Often we also try out new places if we feel like it. We reserve the right to constantly improve our programs for the better. Sailing and exploring we always have dinghies with us for beach landings and small expeditions. We have fishing equipment for the cod, and hiking equipment for bonfires and summit climbs. We are ready for adventure – are you?

What is included?

  • A trip experience with sailboat – experienced skipper/instructor with local knowledge on board
  • All food we eat onboard during the trip
  • Our Comfort Package, which consists of accommodation onboard in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready-made bed (warm and nice duvets and pillows!)
  • An environmentally friendly, local, sustainable, unique, exotic and exclusive Norwegian adventure holiday
  • A shared experience and friendship with like-minded adventurers from around the world
  • A lot of time outdoors – raw and honest nature experiences
  • Use of our shared equipment: dinghies, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc. when possible
  • All boat-related costs such as diesel, propane and harbor fees
  • Personal safety equipment; Helly Hansen inflatable lifejacket
  • Instruction, advice, guidance and practical training in boating and sailing

What is not included?

  • Travel to and from the start/end location
  • Optional meals at a cafes/restaurants during the trip
  • Entrance to galleries, museums, or other alternative activities that you/we may come up with
  • Rental of equipment and/or activities from external operators, ex. paddling, glacier hiking or surfing where possible
  • Drinks such as wine, beer or exclusive apple juice and other luxuries (yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own)
  • Travel insurance and/or cancellation insurance – (up to you, but recommended!)

Important info

Departure and arrival

This trip start in Henningsvær and ends in Bodø.
You find more info on travel, equipment and other tips under Practical info.

Deposit and payment

You only pay a deposit (NOK 6000) upon registration, the remainder of the payment is due 60 days prior to departure.

Safety and risk onboard

We are all about people, and so we also take safety very seriously. On our trips we practice sail- and boat handling also for safety, and we spend time going through various situations that can arise at sea, how to handle them and how to avoid them.

Onboard a boat everyone must know what to do in critical situations and in the event of an emergency. Our philosophy is that partaking and participation builds safety. It is important for the safety of the whole boat that you are a participant onboard, not just a passenger.

Therefore all our trips are to be considered sailing courses in addition to being great  holidays and adventures: You are trained to make up the crew onboard and so we build a capable team onboard.

Feel free to contact us for a chat about safety and risk on our adventures.

Level of the trip

No sailing experience? No problem! Our sailing adventures welcome both novices and seasoned sailors for an inclusive and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re new to sailing or a salty sea dog, our trips cater to all levels.

We aim to transform beginners into sailors quickly while offering experienced participants greater responsibilities and challenges. Our mainland sailing journeys involve 44-50 feet boats navigating coastal and protected waters, occasionally crossing open stretches for excitement. Route adjustments based on weather and conditions ensure a safe and adaptable voyage.

Trips are not overly strenuous; with rotating positions, participants can balance sailing and relaxation. Active engagement minimizes seasickness, and if it occurs, it passes swiftly. Weather, however, is unpredictable, with the potential for stronger winds and various conditions in northern Norway and the Arctic, making each trip a true sailing adventure. Be prepared for calm winds and rough weather—embracing the elements for an unforgettable experience.

What we expect from you

Our trips require a little effort from you who are joining – everyone on board must be ready to contribute and to give of themselves also socially; the more you open up, share and interest yourself in the others onboard, the more enjoyable it gets. 

When you’re sailing with us you are invited to take part in the running of the ship and all that comes with it. You will be sailing, docking, navigating, looking out for whales and icebergs, but also making food, serving others, doing dishes and helping clean the boat during the trip, and contributing in other ways when needed. Onboard we are all in the same boat and when all help out, the ship is most happy. 

Our experience is that doing things together with others out in nature, and not least cooperating and doing activities with new people and different personalities than you might have around you normally, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable moments and stories:)

Equipment and packing

As with all activities, there is plenty of special equipment and clothing for sailing. If you don’t have any of this, you will get very far with normal hiking/outdoor equipment. You do not need to buy a lot of new equipment to join our trips. Use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, 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 warm clothing underneath.

Some jackets may not be waterproof “enough”, or might not perform too well in salt water, so you can consider a set of oilskin for the wettest days (available for rent or purchase onboard). A pair of higher rubber boots for disembarking from the dinghy is very good to have, as well as indoor shoes below deck. Out at sea and in the Arctic it can be cold even in summer, so bring both swimwear and plenty of warm clothes. Well before departure, we will send you a detailed recommended packing list.

Read more and see our packing tips here:

PS: In a sailboat, you pack in a bag or sack, not in a rigid suitcase. 🙂

Food & cooking onboard

On our trips, you will be part of the crew onboard and get the chance to participate in all tasks for the operation of the boat. This includes cooking and preparing food – everyone take turns in the galley! Skippers and crew assist as much as they can along the way.

We have great menus with tasty, healthy and “boat-friendly” food, and for each trip we order provisions for all meals onboard. If you have allergies or preferences, let us know in the registration form and we will take that into account as best as we can. You are also most welcome to bring any special food or drink with you. Why not bring some specialities from your country or region for the boat to enjoy? 

During a weeklong trip we often sail by a good restaurant or two where we can have dinner on land. Some places we need to pre-book and we will then need to choose a menu before we arrive. More about all of this when you come onboard!

Life onboard & accommodation

Life on a sailboat is super social and fun, but it might feel a bit intimate at first. No worries though, that vibe usually fades after the first hour. Everyone chips in to run the boat, and we’re all part of the crew, which means quick bonding.

We’re keen to get to know you and hope you’ll connect with the rest of the crew. It takes some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but soon you’ll be focused on making new friends and enjoying raw nature experiences once sea life feels like home.

Sleeping arrangements in shared cabins with double or bunk beds can be a bit of a puzzle, but we’re pretty good at figuring it out. Let us know if you have preferences. You’re on your own for land accommodations before or after the trip.

The boat provides heating and good food, but fresh water isn’t always abundant. Water conservation means not showering every day, but when near freshwater sources, we make the most of it. But nothing beats a morning sea swim for that fresh feeling.

Any questions? Need travel tips? Practical information?


You'll probably find the answer here, in our collection of questions and answers and practical information.

Practical information →