Adventure off the beaten track in Steigen and Lofoten!

On the wild side - Steigen and Lofoten
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Welcome to an unforgettable and active holiday week where we explore the wild and awesome areas along the coastal Steigen and Lofoten islands! This is the voyage for you who are curious to explore the wild side of Steigen and Lofoten areas. Where we have anchorages, mountains and the archipelago to ourselves. We sail criss-crossing Vestfjorden and seek out the most awesome places in this archipelago and mountains. We are on a voyage of discovery together with a sailboat, and arrive in Lofoten as one should; by boat and sail!

Active holiday in wild surroundings

With a full week at our disposal in this wild and rather amazing nature, we will have a lot of time to hike and play around. We get to see the surrounding mountain ranges from different angles in both daylight and midnight sunlight, giving impressions that last. Maybe we get rain, wind, sun or fog, but we can guarantee it will be spectacular anyway. With a sailboat, we are flexible and we have unique access. We get close to nature, the people, the birds and the fish in the water.

Instead of looking for umbrellas for our drinks we hike mountains, kayak, surf, fish, make good food, and have bonfires on the beach. On our way we’ll pass by traditional fishing villages and we find some of the area’s best places to eat. We spend time to explore and take it easy, and you will get to know the area well. Yet there will also be plenty of sailing. Are you ready for an active holiday in the wild fjords of Lofoten and Steigen?

From secluded anchorages to lively fishing villages

We start the trip in Bodø and sail our way up and into the many islands in the Steigen archipelago. After a stop at Nordskot, we head onwards to Hamarøy. This part of Steigen is far off the beaten track, and with many secret places to explore. The journey continues to Tranøy lighthouse, from where we have a lovely view westwards to the Lofoten Wall. From Tranøy we put on our sailing gloves and cross Vestfjorden itself! Arriving in Lofoten Islands, we firstly visit the spectacular Trollfjorden – home of trolls. After we sail to the whaling island of Skrova. Further we head to the northern “outer” side of Lofoten, aiming for the surfing beach Unstad. Here you may rent surf gear or join a class in surfing or SUP-boarding. We then continue to Nusfjord before we wrap up the trip in Henningsvær; the most lively but traditional fishing village in Lofoten. 

Active holiday with unique access

With the sailboat as our mobile base for discovering and traveling in small groups, we get up close to nature, wildlife, and the locals who live in the areas we visit. Of the planned activities, you are of course free to take part in what you want along the way. If one day you rather take it easy on the boat, write poems, do yoga or do nothing, then you do that. If you want to maximize the experience, you book one of the optional extra activities.  Which on this trip are the kayaking in Steigen and the surfing at Unstad Arctic Surf.  

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!

Do not buy a couch – SailNorway instead!

 

Our fleet

On our summer-trips we sail in a fleet of boats. Find pictures and read about our boats here.

 

Summer in Lofoten

Film by Tanner Noller, from the trip Best of Lofoten, summer 2023.

This trip was worth every single penny, every waking moment, and every new connection we made. Sail Norway made all our Norwegian sailing dreams come true. It was the perfect trip - sailing, hiking, beach days, exploring fishing villages, amazing weather and views. We could not have asked for a better trip, crew, or skipper. The itinerary was not rigid nor planned for every hour, and that's what we prefer. I loved the flexibility to allow us to customize the trip even more to our preferences.

Samantha J, Best of Lofoten

Itinerary

Day 1: We meet in Bodø and the adventure begins!

We meet at the quay in Bodø at 16:00. We start by getting to know each other and the boat, and we go through the plan and ambition for the week. We then do a safety brief and go through the basics when it comes to sailing and boat-handling. After dinner, when everything is ready, we hoist sails for a small stretch this first evening. We are aiming for Landegode, the majestic island just outside Bodø. Here we anchor or find a pier for the night.

Day 2: Sailing to Steigen and Nordskot

Before breakfast someone will surely swim in the arctic water! After breakfast we can stroll ashore, or just prepare the boat for sailing. Today we set the course for Nordskot in Steigen. Somehow two well known Norwegian expeditioners, Børge Ousland and Randi Skaug, both have their own island here, offering various activities or just a talk over a coffee. We’ll spend the night here, and maybe we’ll get the chance for a sauna and sea bath in the evening.

Day 3: Kayak on Nordskot and sail to Tranøy lighthouse

Around Nordskot there is a rich archipelago full of small islets and chalk-white beaches. For those who wish, there will be an opportunity for a guided kayak trip this morning. After lunch we set sail and head north towards Hamarøy and the Tranøy lighthouse. Tranøy lighthouse is centrally located out in the Vestfjorden and has been a beloved landmark for seafarers for generations. Tranøy offers a great view over the Vestfjord and over to the Lofoten wall, and art-galleries are plentiful as many residents here are into art. We eat under way and at arrival to Tranøy we opt for a little midnight trip to the lighthouse.

Day 4: Over Vestfjorden to Trollfjorden and Skrova

Now it is our turn to cross the infamous Vestfjorden. We get ready for a proper sailing again and set course from Tranøy and directly towards Lille-Molla and Skrova, the closest point of arrival in Lofoten. Maybe, if conditions are good, we are lucky to get a fish or three for dinner! In the evening we sail to the island Skrova and spend the night in the harbor there. Skrova used to be the main whaling harbor in Lofoten, due to its ideal closeness to the whale’s pool; the Vestfjord.

Day 5: 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 6: 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 7: Last day of sailing - sail racing to Henningsvær

In Nusfjord we stretch our legs in the morning, either just around in the village or up to two nearby lakes overlooking the harbor. After a good breakfast we ship shape the boats for a final sailing distance over to Henningsvær. If we are more boats on this trip this is going to be a race! The finish line is at the entrance to the harbor in Henningsvær and it is not allowed to start the engine until we are inside the harbor basin. We arrive in Henningsvær, perhaps Lofoten’s most spectacular fishing village, in time to have dinner, arrange the boat, and end the trip with a celebration together at Trevarefabrikk this last evening.

Day 8: Thank you for now!

The last morning, we pack and wash the last things, and we are off the boat by 10:00. The nearby coffee shop Lysstøperiet is a great place to continue wrapping up all the impressions. Thank you for a great week! If you have time to continue exploring Northern Norway, your options in the Lofoten Islands are manyfold.

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 on board during the trip
  • Our Comfort Package, which consists of accommodation on board 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 if available: dinghies, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc.
  • 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. kayak, 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 starts in Bodø and ends in Henningsvær.

You find more information 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 on board

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.

On board 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 on board, 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 on board and so we build a capable team on board.

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 on board, 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. On board 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 on board). 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 on board

On our trips, you will be part of the crew on board 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 on board. 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 on board!

Life on board & 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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