The Lofoten Islands aren't an easy place to find. In fact, at the time, you would have to happily stumble upon it while searching Google Maps. Tomasz found it through Instagram - which is one of the ways he finds most of our adventures.
The only reason we visited Norway was to make it to Lofoten Islands. So after a long trip north from Oslo in our Toyota Advensis, we ended up in Bodo.
From there, it was a 2 1/2 hour ferry to the islands. Our original plan was to get there with daylight to spare- so we stayed overnight in a pretty quiet town of Mosjoen, and made our way up to Bodo in the AM. Once we made it to the ferry, we stood in line with a few other people that were waiting for the same boat. Unfortunately, we were right between seasons and they switched the schedules a day early than expected - making our ferry not 30min away, but a 5 hour wait.
I was SO distraught. Pouting for days, while Tom made his way out of the car to talk to some of the others in line. He ended up making so many friends we still talk to today. Most notably a couple road tripping around the world and a group of Polish men backpacking in the north. We were all in the same "boat" for lack of a better term, so we chatted and counted down the time. In desperation, we almost took a cruise ship out to the island - but they said they may not even stop there because of a storm out sea, so we didn't want to take a chance.
Finally - the ferry came. We loaded on, and made our way into the cabin for the trip. I personally planned to take a rest, but word to the wise - it is not that easy on a ferry going through the stormy seas.
At times I honestly felt the ferry was going to tip. We were crashing through waves so hard, that the front of the boat would quite literally pass the horizon line. I was freaking out, but when I saw the staff in food court area calm as can be - it calmed me down too.
Two and a half nauseous hours later - we made it. It was so dark, but our drive was only about 15min to Reine (one of the world's most beautiful villages). We stayed at the Reine Rorbuers, and I will promise you, you may not find a better place to stay in your entire life. The Rorbuers are well kept, the staff was extremely accommodating and the food - perfect.
We got in, got some rest, and awoke for some adventure. I want to take some time here to talk about our first look of Lofoten in the light. It was nothing but magical. Being in the shadow of these dark, rocky giants was unbelievable. Think about every fantasy movie you have watched where they are on some beautiful new planet- this is what it was like. It was hard to believe it exists. Throughout our entire time in Lofoten we kept having to remind ourselves to absorb it all as best as possible, because we will likely not see anything like this for a long time.
Our first day brought us to Reinebringen. It was a hike in Reine, but a very well known one for its difficulty and views. In fact, the view from the top was the exact image we saw on Instagram that led us here in the first place.
If you are interested in taking the hike - park right outside of the town of Reine and make your way around to the hike entrance. From there you will see a mud slide warning, and a clear path.
I will be the first to confirm that this hike is extremely difficult. The first day we didn't even make it up as the rain for the storm made it almost impossible to scale up. It was steep, and the path essentially became a river.
The next day we made the attempt again. It was a bit drier, a bit more doable. However, the top is quite steep. Too steep for myself, but not steep enough for Tom. He made it up and I waved at him. I was upset about not making it to the ledge - but as someone who has a fear of heights in certain situations - my irrational fear won that time.
We continued to explore the southern part of the islands (it's quite long), did the Kvalika Beach hike, and a few other adventures until it was our last day.
We sat outside our rorbuer, hoping for a spot of the northern lights, but alas, none to be found .
All in all, the southern area of the Lofoten Islands is an absolute must. Beautiful in every sense, magical, overwhelming.