Traveling all the islands?
In Lofoten, Vesterålen, and the Narvik region, there is much to be explored. If you are looking for insight into local life and history, the museums are the place to be. And, they are found all over the place.
The unique history of Lofoten and other experiences
Lofotr Vikingmuseum is located in the middle of Lofoten, surrounded by magnificent scenery. In this wonderful archipelago, people have lived for thousands of years. How did they live? What does it mean to "row fishing"? If you stop by the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum on Å in Lofoten and/or Lofoten Museum in Kabelvåg you can find the answer. By the way, at the Lofoten Museum, you can enter Lofoten's oldest, intact rorbu (fisherman's cabin), "Skrovabua". And, you can see how the rich were living, in the squire's residence.
Would you like to see a real Lofoten cod? Without having to fish it yourself? At the Lofoten Aquarium, you can see both coastal cod and skrei (North-East Arctic Cod), haddock and saithe, crabs and starfish. There are also some cute seals in the outdoor pond, and these feed on specific times. The same goes for the otters Gunn and Ottar - the aquarium's great charmers.
The Lofoten fishery has affected inhabitants along the Norwegian coastline, through all times. The life and destiny of coastal people of the north can be felt through the artwork at the Espolin Gallery, which houses a master of Norwegian art. You can also find a nice little gift shop there, and the kids can try to make their own artwork in the scraperboard workshop this summer.
In Svolvær you can find a gem of a museum. The Lofoten War Museum is really worth a visit. Here is a large, large collection of uniforms and smaller objects from WWII, along with Christmas ornaments and drawings thought that Hitler has created. Stories of power and resistance, Lofotraidet (Operation Claymore), soldiers in the streets, sabotage, and more - are told at the Lofoten War Museum (center of Svolvær).
You get hungry by going around and learning about the past and the present. At the end of the road, at Å, in the summer, cinnamon buns, bread, and other baked goods are baked in an old, old stone oven. You can also get acquainted with the fishing village environment, with piers and cod-liver oil factory, fisherman's cabin (rorbu) and much more. Have a snack in the cafe and enjoy the journey around Lofoten.
Do you remember when the mobile phone was so big that it had to be in a backpack? Do you know why Northern Europe's first telegraph was in Lofoten? Visit Sørvågen Radio and Telecom Museum and hear about the history of communication in the small, fun, and important museum.
Does the journey continue from Lofoten to Vesterålen or the Narvik region? We have nice museums to recommend there too. Let's start with Ballangen museum in Ballangen, one hour south of Narvik and close to a large, nice campsite. Here you can join a bike tour with a guide, to hear more about the mining industry in the region. Mining has always been an important industry and you can visit both the museum, but also the mines, and other cultural monuments associated with this industry.
Not far from Ballangen is Kjøpsvik and Museum Nord Divdasvuodna/Tysfjord, Kjøpsvik. In this tiny village between the tall mountains, there is a permanent exhibition on the development of Tysfjord region and the Norwegian national mountain Stetind. Historical photographs, local geological materials as quarts and cement is on display in the exhibition.
A short drive from the ferry site Bognes (towards Lødingen or Skarberget (northbound)) lies Korsnes with it`s charming, cosy museum. Korsnes was formerly a traffic hub in Tysfjord, with a trading post, steam ship expedition, and telegraph office. The site is very intact in a beautiful surrounding and shares history from 1700 - 1900 ca. You may get aquainted with the photographer Magdalene Normann (1877 - 1979), amongst other stories.
From Narvik, huge quantities of iron ore are being shipped. The ore arrives by train to the city and reloads to ships. Learn about this and much more at Narvik Museum (300 meters outside the city center, easy to walk, easy to park). The museum is settled beautifully in an old building overlooking the harbour of Narvik.
In beautiful Vesterålen there are so many wonderful things to see! Let's start with Andenes: There you can climb the stairs to reach the peak of the lighthouse and look out over the whole of the Andenes - at the far end of the big sea. Andøy Museum also houses a fine exhibition about a polar hunter. In Bø Museum you get to know the female author Regine Normann - the museum is located just off Artscape Nordland's "The Man from the Sea". At Sortland, there are exhibitions you should not miss, in Sortland Museum, both for children and adults. Just northwest of Sortland you will find Jennestad Handelssted (trading post), which offers you a journey into the "old days", with its intact trading site and very nice, old-fashioned shop.
Finally! The Hurtigruten Museum opens this summer!
At Stokmarknes, an important, spectacular, and rich in content museum opens. Here you will learn about why Hurtigruten actually started walking along the Norwegian coast 125 years ago, the importance for the people along the coast, for trade and communication. Births and shipwrecks, war and peace - the stories are many.
Come in, board the landed Hurtigruten ship Finnmarken (anno 1956). Get on the tires and join the machine. The museum is designed for families, with activities and stories that can affect both young and old.
We are pleased that the Hurtigruten Museum will open during the summer. The building is spectacular as the story is. Welcome abord!
Skaftnes Gård (Farm) and Fygle Museum on Vestvågøy, as well as the museums in Korsnes and Kjøpsvik in Tysfjord in Ofoten, are not open in 2021.
At Melbu there are also two museums (Neptun and Melbo Hovedgård (Manor)), which due to COVID-19 are not open this summer. However, we hope that you have found many inspiring tips in this article - we welcome you to an adventurous summer in Lofoten, Vesterålen, and Narvik region !!