The island of Vaeroy - a part of Lofoten Islands - was our first stop in this indescribable archipelago. Because of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, although located within the Arctic Circle, Lofoten's climate is pretty mild. And Vaeroy, detached from the other, tightly squeezed islands and completely surrounded by the sea, is even warmer - snow rarely stays on the ground for long. It's unbelievable how beautiful and diverse the island is considering its tiny size. It has everything - a cozy town, the mountains, cliffs and paradise beaches - it's a tiny, concentrated mini version of the entire Lofoten archipelago - a perfect starter before exploring the rest of it.
How to get to Vaeroy (and Lofoten)
There are several ways to reach Lofoten. Although Norway is known to be expensive, getting there will not break the bank. And, to see one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the world - it's definitely worth the price!
There are extremely cheap flights available to Oslo from all over Europe, and then from Oslo, you need to fly up to the north - places like Narvik or Bodo. When you're there, the best thing to do is to rent a car and either drive from Narvik, or take a ferry from Bodo to Lofoten islands. We chose Bodo.
To be honest, we hadn't planned to visit
Ferry from Bodo to Vaeroy
We stayed one night in Bodo before traveling to Vaeroy, but the town is very ordinary and there's absolutely nothing special about it. The hostel, however, was very nice and quite cheap.
The Bodo-Vaeroy ferry departed before 5 am and it took over 5 hours to reach
The Vaeroy-Moskenes ferry cost around 600 NOK and took only 1 hour.
The ferry ride was extremely comfortable, the ship was huge and, although it was June, it was quite empty. If you hadn't had a good sleep the night before, you could have comfortably dozed off on the ferry.
Visiting Vaeroy - the town, the beaches and the mountain trails
We spent only 12 hours in Vaeroy - we arrived there at around 10 am and got the next ferry to Moskenes at 10 pm. Although it was such a short time, we managed to see virtually all that's there to see on this tiny island.
The first glimpse from the ferry
Upon arrival, the beautiful village of Sorland welcomed us with little wooden houses surrounded by the sea and pointy peaks of the mountains. The scenery was truly peaceful, idyllic but very raw and harsh at the same time. Something out of this world.
Below, we pasted the screenshot of google maps as well as the added names and exact locations of the places we visited as it's nearly impossible to find them online on google maps:
Breivika - Beautiful beach in Vaeroy
As there are practically no tourists in Vaeroy, we decided to just go anywhere and start exploring the island. We drove to the west, through the narrow mountain ridge towards the sea at Breivika (marked 1 and 2 on the map) where a few fishermen's houses stood.
Right away, a spectacular view emerged - the white sand beach (1 on the map) with extremely intense, turquoise color of the sea - something you would see in the Caribbean or other tropical locations. It defied simple logic, as no one associates the Polar Circle with such paradise beaches. If only the weather was a bit hotter... But maybe then, this hidden place would lose its charm and peculiarity.
Going further more, we encountered another, little beach with beautiful local fishermen's houses (2 on the map). Again, the strong color contrasting with the barren mountains and cozy red homes created an original scenery that you can find only in Lofoten. Those little beaches, however, were only a foretaste of what awaited us on the main Lofoten islands.
The best view in Vaeroy - the trail to Mastadfjellet viewpoint
Typing "Vaeroy" in Google, one of the first images that comes up is the magnificent cliff at Mastadfjellet overlooking another white sand, turquoise beach - Punn Sanded. We'd had no idea how to reach this point and it is a must when you're in Vaeroy - don't miss it!
We asked one of the locals for directions and he pointed to the end of the village of Sorland and said that from there we had to hike for around 1 hour 20 minutes (I marked this trail exactly on the map with red dots). It seemed that there was a road all the way up to the edge and the viewpoint, but we saw a sign saying "not allowed to drive" so we didn't risk and just started walking.
The trail at first is narrow and steep, but then it joins the paved road and overall is extremely easy. However, the weather can be annoying - the wind is extremely strong and usually comes with drizzle and fog. Even in June, it was pretty cold and wet (Vaeroy may be the warmest place in the Arctic Circle, but it's not warm in normal standards). Make sure you wear proper footwear as the ground is muddy and slippery in places.
Don't walk the entire trail to the very end at once - get off the path and admire unbelievably wonderful views of the entire Sorland and the beach at Sorlandshagen (around number 3 on the map) - there's no signs or trails there - you just must walk on grass but you won't regret it!
When we finally reached the end of the trail to the viewpoint (number 4 on the map, you'll see the antennas on top), we thought it couldn't get better, and then, we saw the Punn Sanden white sand beach and the Mastadfjellet mountain. I'm not going to joke, but for me, it was one of the most amazing and breathtaking views I've ever seen.
You can also walk around the Mastadfjellet mountain - from the village of Nordland, past the runway and along the coast. It's impossible, however, to get to the Punn Sanden beach itself from the land.
Nordland and Sorland
Tired after the hike, we went to one of the few cafes in Sorland to have lunch and chatted with the locals. We had not seen any tourists besides us in Vaeroy.
A walk around Sorland is very pleasant - this little village with its mild climate is perfect for producing fish which is imported mainly to Spain and Italy. You can see it everywhere - the fish hanging and drying can be spotted all over Sorland.
In the afternoon, we went towards Breivika beaches again to enjoy the amazing views and then further on to Nordland (5 on the map) - a tiny settlement composed of a few houses and a beautiful wooden church. From there, you can easily have a wonderful view over the rest Lofoten islands in the distance - especially spectacular late in the evening during the summer when the sun never sets. Soon, We'll write about the other places in Lofoten.
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