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Vågan in Norway Vågan municipality coat of arms


477,5 km2

Vågan Local Directory

Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Vågan

Vågan municipality has approximately 9.100 inhabitants and covers a area of 477.5 km2. Vågan municipality includes almost all of the islands of Austvågøy, Gimsøy and a number of small islands, among them Henningsvær and Skrova. A small edge of the island Hinnøya also belongs to Vågan. Svolvær is the "capital" of Lofoten, and an important junction for the entire region. The town is also the largest gateway to Lofoten for the steadily increasing tourist traffic. Lofoten´s cod fishing season is between January and April. The original method was lines pulled in by hand from open boats, but today´s modern fishing fleet employs more efficient fishing gear. The Coastal Steamer (Hurtigruten) has daily departures.

Seen from Vestfjorden, the mountains of Lofoten to the north seem like a single connected range. Actually, this wild and powerful terrain is a series of islands stretching 200 km into the Norwegian Sea. The name Lofoten is often connected with the richest cod-fishing in the world. There is some farming, but fishing dominates as it has for hundreds of years.

The Coastal Steamer takes us through Raftsundet to Vesterålen to the north, and the famous Trollfjorden, a narrow fjord where precipices descend into the sea. The islands of Vesterålen are more fertile than Lofoten. Though there is a lot of farming, fishing and fish processing remain the major industries in Vesterålen. Wild mountains and fjords, idyllic islands and fishing villages, white sandy beaches and flowering fields, stormy seas and the midnight sun - you experience all of these rich contrasts in the island kingdom of Lofoten and Vesterålen.


Stockfish is unsalted fish, especially cod, dried by cold air and wind on wooden racks on the foreshore, called "hjell". The drying of food is the world´s oldest known preservation method, and dried fish has a storage life of several years. The method is cheap and effective in suitable climates; the work can be done by the fisherman and family, and the resulting product is easily transported to market. A temperature just above zero degrees Celsius, with little rain, is ideal. Too much frost will spoil the fish, as ice destroys the fibers in the fish. The climate in northern Norway is excellent for stockfish production. Due to the stable conditions, the stockfish produced in Lofoten is regarded as the best. The traditional cod harvest in Lofoten also takes place during the best drying time.


Svolvær is the "capital" of Lofoten, and an important junction for the entire region. Today Lofoten´s regional centre with approximately 4.120 inhabitants. The town is also the largest gateway to Lofoten for the steadily increasing tourist traffic. Lofoten´s cod fishing season is between January and April. The original method was lines pulled in by hand from open boats, but today´s modern fishing fleet employs more efficient fishing gear. "The Svolvær Goat" (Svolværgeita), is the town´s most characteristic feature, and it represents a challenge to climbers. Svolvær became transit harbour in 1918. The painter Gunnar from Lofoten. His most famous painting, "The Battle of Trollfjord" can be seen in the County Hall. Among galleries we might mention the North Norwegian Artist Centre with its exhibitions and Dagfinn Bakke´s Gallery. The Konrad Gallery exhibits the works of amateur painters. Svolvær offers the atmosphere of a harbour, a small town and art simultaneously. This is a bustling trading and communications centre with ferry, sea and air connections.

In the middle of Svolvær you will find Anker Brygge. On its own island in the middle of the harbor. You are within walking distance from the town square, Coastal Steamer (Hurtigruten) and many nice shops. You have a free view to port, sea and mountains from all the "Rorbuer". You can also let your hair loose in a piano bar, and on the deck you can enjoy Lofoten at its best! Catch a fish from your hotelroom? At Rica Hotel Svolvær at Anker Brygge it´s possible.


In an old shed, where the Coastal Steamer (Hurtigrutekaia) have it´s departure there is a icebar called the Magic Ice Hall. In this 300 m2 bar there are minus 5 degrees all year round. The bar is decorated by ice sculptures and your drink will be served in a glass made of ice, everything in the bar is made of ice. Sculptures and installations made of ice, dramatically lit and using sound music and images, they tell stories about nature, traditions and a fisherman's life on this island. The guests gets warm clothes before they have a drink. Magic Ice has an atmosphere that has to be experienced from the inside. The Ice Bar have what they called "a quiet room", a chapell for thinking and prayer.


Svolværgeita, "the Svolvær Goat", is the town´s most characteristic feature, and it represents a challenge to climbers. Svolværgeita peak was reached for the first time in 1910.


The World´s Most Beautiful Voyage is a voyage like no other. Nothing can compare with it. Nothing about this journey will resemble anything you have ever experienced before. A ticket for the Coastal Steamer is a ticket to the theatre, an 11-day drama in which new acts constantly unfold all around you. See the pictures from the Coastal Steamer taken by one of our passengers.


The LOFAST-road opens December 1, 2007, and is a boat-free connection to the mainland. The new travelling time between Svolvær and Evenes will then be less than 2.5 hours. Now you can easier get to Lofoten. By air to Evenes Airport or by train through Sweden to Narvik. Public buses between Narvik and Lofoten are scheduled to travel twice each way every day. We also remind of the express boat travelling between Narvik and Svolvær.


Historical area with roots all the way back to the year 900. In the Middle Ages the area was the most densely populated area in North Norway due to the Lofot Fisheries. From there, all fish was transported out of the regions for further export to the continent. There are archaeological excavations during the summer which are available to the public. In addition we have the Lofot Museum, the Lofot Aquarium and Gallery Espolin Johnson - all of them fine attractions.


The Lofoten Aquarium is situated in Storvågan near Kabelvåg. At the Lofoten Aquarium you have the chance to study our exiting marine life, with fish and sea mammals from Lofoten and the North Norwegian coastline. Here you can explore living creatures from their habitat by the water´s edge to the deepest depths of the sea, while at the same time gaining insight into the marine ecosystem. With its 23 large and small aquarium tanks, the Lofoten Aquarium caters for all ranges.


At the Lofoten Museum you can explore authentic environments from the 1800s in a beautiful scenic setting. Storvågan was one of Lofoten´s biggest fishing villages in the 1800s, and the museum has been built up around the old residence of the owner. The Lofoten Museum is situated one kilometre from Kabelvåg.


This community was the most important and oldest fishing village in the last century, and opened its first guest house in the late 18th century. Kabelvåg forms a part of the municipality´s cultural history reserve with an interesting architectural structure. Kabelvåg have approximately 1.950 inhabitants. Around the year 1103, King Øystein had Lofoten´s first church built in Kabelvåg. Later, around 1120, he also had "rorbu" cabins built for the fishermen. A commemorative statue of him can be seen on the heights overlooking Kabelvåg town centre. Vågan Church, also known as "Lofoten Cathedral" can also be found in Kabelvåg. It was built in 1898 and can accommodate up to 1.200 people. Just outside Kabelvåg is the modern tourist centre, Nyvågar Rorbu Hotel.


Vågan Church, also known as Lofoten Cathedral, was consecrated in October 1898 and is situated at Kjerkvågen, approximately 2 km east of Kabelvåg. It is a timber-built cruciform church in the Neo-Gothic style and can seat up to 1200 people. It was designed by architect Carl Julius Bergstrøm. Today´s church replaced an older one built in 1798 that was considered too small. The new church is the biggest wooden building north of Trondheim. The timber used to build it was supplied by the Jacob Digre timber company of Trondheim. The sections which the building consists of were prefabricated at the factory in Trøndelag and assembled in Kabelvåg.

Kabelvåg has been a parish centre for about 900 years. Lofoten´s first church was built there during the reign of King Øystein Magnusson. Five or six different churches have been located in the vicinity of today´s site. One of the earlier churches was moved to Værøy in 1799. Lofoten Cathedral was built to accommodate all the fishermen who came to Kabelvåg during the fishing seasons.


"The Venice of Lofoten" and one of Lofoten´s largest fishing villages, with approximately 540 inhabitants. Henningsvær is one of the most distinctive and idyllic fishing villages in Lofoten with the 942 metres high Vågakallen towering in the background. There is a pure white, inviting beach in Rørvik, close to Henningsvær. Henningsvær was connected to the mainland by the bridge which was built in 1983. The community has a special and dense atmosphere dominated by the fisheries. The Karl Erik Harr Gallery is a popular goal for tourists. There is a collection of works by other well-known Nordland artists there, too, painted from the mid-1800´s and up until more recent times.

The Henningsvær Bridges are two box girder cantilever bridges made of prestressed concrete. The bridges connect Henningsvær to the rest of Vågan municipality. The two bridges are called Engøysundet Bridge and Henningsvær Bridge. Engøysundet Bridge is the northern bridge and it is 194 metres long with a main span of 122 metres. Henningsvær Bridge is further south and it is 257 metres long with a main span of 150 metres. The bridges were opened in 1983.


The community of Digermulen with Keiservarden is situated by the entrance to the strait Raftsundet. There are organized tours from Svolvær several times a day to these beautiful natural surroundings. You can also travel on your own by express boat or ferry to Digermulen. It is now also possible to drive by car / bus.


Regions on the "outside" of Lofoten with a fantastic view to the open ocean and the Midnight Sun. The village is known for Laukvik-day and World Championships in topless tobogganing. Northern Lights Observatory (Polarlightcenter) is also something that attracts people to the village. Yet it is enough nature itself that lures tourists - where the big attraction is with the midnight sun from the pier. Culturally may village boasts Stangerholmen, an artwork of the rare. It is a house that was built in the 1880s and is covered with decorations by the artist Henning Welford. In summer, tourists and others visit the house and go on tour there. It is one of few remaining houses of this type in Northern Norway.


Gimsøy is a village of the island of Gimsøya as well as part of the larger island of Austvågøya. Both islands are located in the Lofoten archipelago. The village of Gimsøy (also known as Gimsøysand) is located on the northeastern shore of the island of Gimsøya, southeast of the villages of Saupstad and Vinje. Gimsøy Church is located in the village. The church is built of wood. It was consecrated on 18 October 1876 and has 300 seats.


Hov, a peaceful, idyllic place on the outer coast of the island of Gimsøya with small inlets and white beaches, and an unobstructed view towards the north and the Midnight Sun. When seen from Highway E 10, it is situated behind the distinctive mountain peak of "Hoven", which is also very suitable for moderate mountain walks. Hov has one of the oldest settlements in the Lofoten Islands and is abundant in ancient monuments, including several burial mounds and landing places from the Stone Age and the Viking Age.


The Midnight Sun stays above the horizon, and it is light 24 hours a day. The sky must be clear and there must be unobstructed visibility northwards in order to see the Midnight Sun. A summer night on the fjord or in the mountains is an experience not to be missed, you can go fishing in the fjord, which contains splendid variation of fish, or you can take a walk in the wilderness surrounding.


Aurora Borealis is the Latin name for the Northern Lights – solar winds that meet the atmosphere in a zone around the magnetic North Pole. The Northern Lights are only visible when the sky is dark and clear, from August to April, and they are most intense from 10 pm to midnight. The region on the 700 northern latitude is a fantastic place for experiencing the beautiful and intense play of colours given off by the Northern Lights.


The dark time, or the long, dark Polar Night, lasts from 30th November - 12th January - there is only a twilight-dusk type of light (the blue light) for a few hours during the middle of the day. This does not mean that it becomes totally dark, however. The aurora borealis trails its multicoloured banner across the sky and the moon lights the scene just like the nightlight of Our Lord. The experience of the winter with the uniqueness of the light, the northern lights and snow is fantastic. Especially beautiful is the blue light southwards, just before it becomes dark.


Lofoten´s mountains are a paradise for climbers. Popular climbs include The Raftsund range, Svolvær goat, Vågakallen and the mountains at Reine.


Deep sea fishing enthusiasts can take a fishing trip out on the ocean. You can fish for salmon, sea trout and Arctic trout. Be aware that there are a number of special rules in regards to fishing. Remember to purchase a fishing licence.


Lofoten Golfclub is a seaside links course. 9 holes. Par 31. 1986 meters from white tee. Yellow Water obstacles at 8 holes. Putting & pitching green, driving range. Owing to the bright North Norwegian nights the course is open 24 hours a day from the end of May until the beginning of August. The Midnight Sun is your companion all day and all night.

Lofoten Golfclub is fitted snugly into the natural terrain. The sea provides water obstacles near several of the holes and the beaches act as natural sand bunkers. This makes the course a good challenge, also to more experienced golfers.