Explore the majestic Lofoten islands as they should; by sailboat!

Best of Lofoten
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You may have heard of the Lofoten islands? Almost the whole world now 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 awesome beaches and into roadless fjords. Underway we stop at some of the best places to eat and by 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 Svolvær

We start the trip in Henningsvær and begin by sailing south to Reine and Reinefjorden. Reine is not only one of the most picturesque places in Lofoten, it is as well a great starting point for mountain hikes, kayaking and fishing. From Reine we continue to the well kept traditional village Nusfjord. We then sail north to the outer side of Lofoten through the tidal current Nappstraumen and to Unstad. Unstad has become famous for surfing and here you can rent equipment or join a surf lesson or do SUP boarding. From Unstad we continue around and back to the southern side to the small island of Skrova. Skrova ranges only 281 meter above sea level, but from the top here you have a fantastic 360-degree view of the Lofoten Wall in the west, the Vestfjord in the south, and Steigen in the east. Finally, we top off the adventure with sailing into the fjord landscape Trollfjorden and Raftsundet. The trip ends in Svolvær.

Included and additional activities along the way

Along the way on this trip there are opportunities to do additional activities at the various places we land, such as surfing at Unstad Arctic Surf or Kayaking in Reine. All the included activities underway 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 also learn to sail along the way. You will have challenges, feel mastery and gain experiences & friends for life!

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

Do not buy a couch – SailNorway instead!


The very best of Lofoten

 

This week was really incredibly great! Very nice program, nice with both a lot of sailing and ocean - and the possibility to climb mountains. The cabin splits, watches etc. worked well. Our skipper was skilled and sympathic, and he managed to include all of us and balance our wishes and requests as we went along. Well done! Loved the trip so much that I’m considering moving to Lofoten some day!

Ingrid

Itinerary

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

At 16.00 we start and get settled onboard. We then 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 might sail already this first night to a nearby anchorage.

Day 2: Full day sailing to Reine

After breakfast, we set sail heading south towards Lofotodden and to Reine, which with its beautiful harbour is probably Lofoten’s most photographed place. This first day we have a good number of nautical miles to cover, and much to learn. Hopefully we get some good wind. On arrival in Reine, we prepare dinner on board, and hope for clear weather so we can hike up to Reinebringen, a relatively short but steep hike. The spectacular view from the top of Reinebringen is a great way to end this first day.

Day 3: Day trip to Bunesstranda, or kayaking in Reinefjord

We use the morning to explore Reine further. An obvious alternative this day is taking a small public ferry into the Reinefjord to Vindstad, and from there walk over to the beautiful Bunesstranda (the Bunes Beach). Here we can swim, do beach-games, make pancakes or just enjoy life. Keen to go higher? Next to Bunesstranda lies the peak Helvetestind which rises vertically 660 meters straight up from the beach. If it’s not too wet the hike up offers a great view. Another option today is to join a guided kayak-trip from Reine. In the afternoon we sail to our next hidden gem; Nusfjord, one of Norway’s best preserved fishing villages. Entering Nusfjord is like sailing into a postcard. This evening we plan for dinner at Restaurant Karoline, one of the best places to eat in Lofoten.

Day 4: Sail to the outer side and to Unstad Arctic Surf

In Nusfjord we enjoy a calm morning and a good breakfast on board. We then sail north through the tidal stream Nappstraumen aiming for an afternoon surf at Unstad Arctic Surf. We drop anchor at Tangstad from where we cross the hill over to Unstad by foot. At Unstad Arctic Surf we can rent surfing equipment and take lessons. Another option is to visit the Viking Museum at nearby Borg. Dinner this day is either at Unstad or on board, and we spend the night on anchor.

Day 5: Sail around Austvågøy to Skrova

After a quiet morning with a good breakfast, it’s again time for a proper day sailing. With several boats together it is always a race, and this day we navigate our way around Austvågøy and back into the more protected side. On the way we pass by Henningsvær, but continue to the island Skrova which used to be the main whaling harbour in Lofoten, due to its ideal closeness to the whales pool; the Vestfjord between Lofoten and the main land. At Skrova we hike to the top of the mountain which has great view over Lofoten, or we can check if the pub is open.

Day 6: To Trollfjorden and Trollheimen

Today we sail to 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 fjord has become very famous for its steep mountains that go straight down into the narrow fjord. In the afternoon we might hike up to Trollfjord cabin and get a feeling of the “trollish atmosphere” up there. Back in the boats we spend the night alongside the quay in Trollfjorden or at anchor nearby.

Day 7: Cultural experiences in Nyvågar

In the morning we will start sailing early for Kabelvåg and Nyvågar, two small towns close to Svolvær. In Nyvågar there is an interesting aquarium, a good art gallery and a museum; this is a place that really gives perspectives and new insights. In the afternoon we sail the last stretch into Svolvær. We wash and clean the boats, pack and get ready for departure the next day. As seafarers, we might check out the local nightlife.

Day 8: Goodbye for now in Svolvær!

In the morning we pack ourselves out of the boats and have breakfast at the nearby Kringla, Svolvær’s best bakery. Thanks for a great week together, and welcome back next time!

Changes to the program

The program should be seen as a starting point which we adapt according to weather and conditions. We reserve the right to constantly improve the program for the better. With us along the way, we always have dinghies for beach landings and small expeditions. We have fishing equipment for the cod, and hiking equipment for bonfires and summit hikes – 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

Travel

This trip start in Henningsvær and ends in Svolvær.

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.

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