We no longer need to discuss that the Lofoten is an absolute dream landscape, we have already provided enough evidence in the form of images . The beaches in Lofoten in particular, with their contrast of mountain landscapes, lush green meadows and turquoise-blue water, create a picture that captivates every photographer for hours. The wonderful Haukland Beach, Uttakleiv and the stony Unstad Beach are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful places . The absolute highlight of every trip to Lofoten However, it is hidden between pointed mountains and cannot be reached by car or boat, but only on foot through a not very easy hike: the Bay of Kvalvika. There you will find Kvalvika Beach, which could just as well be a dream beach somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean if you neglect the mountains around it.
The hike to the bay or beach of Kvalvika is one of the most beautiful hikes in Lofoten and works in every season. We had a lot of worries in advance whether it would even be possible in winter because we couldn’t find any information explicitly about the weather conditions in winter anywhere. How steep is it, how great is the risk of slipping? Can you see the trail markings when there is snow? Are there deep water holes or lakes that can be fatal if they are covered in snow? Because we didn’t really know what the conditions would be, our pants were pretty full and we were very careful on our way – ultimately, relatively unfounded. There were some tricky spots, but no problem with the right shoes and clothing.
If you are planning a hike to the Bay of Kvalvika, you have to decide between two options in advance: Do you really want to hike to Kvalvika Beach and experience the beach live or do you want to enjoy a fantastic view of the bay and the turquoise blue water from above? Both variants, i.e. the view from above plus the hike to the beach, can be combined with each other, but only in summer when the days are very long. There is not enough time for a day trip in winter, so unfortunately you have to make a decision. You should also be in good physical condition for this. We decided to look from above – so our hike led us to Mount Ryten.
We will now explain in more detail what the possible hiking routes to Kvalvika Beach look like, what to expect and what to look out for.
The bay of Kvalvika: location and how to get there
Kvalvika Beach is located on the island of Moskenesøya near the village of Fredvang. You can reach Fredvang relatively easily via the E10 after following the signs and passing two bridges. Two different parking spaces serve as starting points for the hikes, be it high on the Ryten or directly to Kvalvika Beach. Version A shows you the starting point for the hike to Ryten , version B shows you the starting point for the hike to Kvalvika Beach .
With a view: the hike over the mountain Ryten (version A)
You will find the parking lot as the starting point for your hike on the Ryten if you follow the signs to “Yttersand”. At some point you will pass a dilapidated house that Frankenstein must have built himself. Follow the street until you see a white house with a double garage on the right, where you can park (next to the garage of course). A few meters further on, a gravel path leads into the mountains on the left side of the road, you have come to the right place.
It doesn’t take long for the climb to begin and it’s a steep uphill climb. For the hike you need sturdy and waterproof footwear, waterproof pants and warm, waterproof gloves with which you can grip.
After a while you will reach a small plain with a mirror-smooth, small mountain lake. Keep to the right and follow the red path markings on the stones . It is now pretty steep uphill, the path is becoming increasingly slippery and you have to climb properly. Be careful where you step on the whole route, under the snow and moss there can be unpredictably deep water and mud holes (small all-clear: even if you sink to your knees, you can get yourself pulled out of the mud together). The view from up here over the mountains and the fjord landscapes is amazing, we always took a little time and just stood there and was amazed.
At some point you will reach another mountain lake on your left. At this point there is also the possibility to descend to Kvalvika Beach, the path is signposted and you can already see the bay. If you continue to follow the red trail markings, from here it goes steeply up to the Ryten. At this point the conditions actually got really hairy for the first time on the track. We did our best and climbed as high as possible, but at some point it got so slippery on the steep slope with all the snow and ice that we didn’t dare move a meter further. The danger of falling was too great and we had to break off a few meters before the summit. So we quickly took a few pictures at what felt like – 30 ° C, the incredible view down to the icy, Enjoyed the Caribbean blue Kvalvika Beach and will be back quickly. We were very happy when we had secure ground under our feet again at the level of the mountain lake.
The route on the Ryten is about 5km long oneway , you need about 2-3 hours for it . You should plan a (relaxed) full day for the entire route.
On the way back you can follow the signs and descend to Kvalvika Beach. Please note, however, that you a) need to be in good physical condition and b) the day must be long enough for it. In winter, when you only have a few hours of daylight in the north, there is not enough time. Then you have to tackle the two hikes separately! As a separate hiking route to Kvalvika Beach, however, there is another route, for which you should also plan a full day.
Hike to Kvalvika Beach (Version B)
You can see the starting point for the direct hike (B) marked on the map above. You can also easily reach the parking lot via Fredvang. The route is shorter than up on the Ryten, but no less strenuous or challenging. Anyone who thinks that they just have to quickly get over a hill and then stand on the beach is pretty wrong. A particular challenge is crossing the rocky outcrop that splits Kvalvika beach into two individual beaches: There you climb over the rocks on steel chains in a rather adventurous way to get to the other side (luckily this is not a must, you don’t have to both See sides of the beach). On the way back you don’t have to take the same route, you can also choose a different route. In this case, however, note
Since we couldn’t do the hike directly to the beach ourselves due to lack of time, here are a few helpful articles and experience reports explicitly about the hike directly to the bay of Kvalvika:
- Day tour to Kvalvika beach
- Overnight hike
- Route not to be copied
By the way, there is something very special to discover on Kvalvika Beach itself: a small ‘hobbit house’. Not so long ago, a couple of surfers lived here for 9 months, completely isolated from the rest of the world. The small cave is still completely preserved and equipped and can be used by anyone who wants to stay overnight and live in it. There are a few impressions here .
We really enjoyed the hike up to the Ryten and the solitude of nature up there. The cold was bearable thanks to continuous movement and the right clothing. We needed a total of about 5 hours for the hike, including photo stops (which worked well with the 6 hours of daylight in Lofoten at the beginning of February, but in the end we actually had to hurry a little to avoid getting into the dark). The hike was sometimes quite strenuous and even if we swore a lot during the time, whose stupid idea it was again, we didn’t even have mini muscle soreness the next day 😉 It’s worth it!