Værøy is a small island in the Lofoten archipelago. The island has a mountainous ridge running through the center and flat farmland below the mountains. It is famous both for its scenery and the abundance of puffins who nest here over the summer.
There are less than 800 inhabitants on the island, and most of them live in the town Sørland, in the flat farmland between the mountains.
Værøy is known to be the North-most point on Earth without a meteorological winter (i.e., the average temperature does not go below zero during winter). This said, it does freeze occasionally in winter. Most important, the weather can change very fast, and you can experience two seasons a day (fall and winter — do not expect any summer around here).
Norwegian of course. Most people speak English, though a little less than in the rest of Norway.
Plane flights are discontinued since a plane accident in 1990. However, helicopter flights are still possible from Bodø (total flight time: 25 minutes).
- Departure 9h from Bodø, arrival 9h25 in Værøy
- Departure 16h30 from Bodø, arrival 16h55 in Værøy
Return flights depart from Værøy 20mn after arrival (i.e., at 9h45 and 17h15) Booking: Lufttransport (phone: 75431800).
Værøy is located around 1h30 by ferry from Moskenes and 5h45 from Bodø (via Røst). Ferries are operated by Torghatten Nord. There is no ferry terminal strictly speaking, but a small waiting room, toilets, and a tourist information that is only open during the first 30 minutes following the ferry arrival. From the ferry, it is a 2km walk to Sørland.
From Moskenes (Rute 18-782)
- Departure 8h15 from Moskenes, arrival 9h45 at Værøy (everyday except Sunday, as of summer 2015).
- Departure 22h15 from Værøy, arrival 23h59 (!) at Moskenes (everyday except Saturday, as of summer 2015).
Less connections outside of the summer. Price: 83 NOK (one way).
By ferry from Bodø (Rute 18-782)
Two boats per day from Bodø:
- Departure 4.30am from Bodø, arrival 11.30am in Værøy (everyday except Sunday, as of summer 2015)
- Departure 4.30pm from Bodø, arrival 10.15pm (or 7.45pm on Tuesday), everyday except Saturday, as of summer 2015
By public transportation
There is no public transportation on Værøy. Taxi service:
- Værøy Drosjeservice (Taxi), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A large part of the island (in the West) is not reachable by car, and can be reached by foot only after a long walk passing by Nordland in the North of Værøy. As of 2015, the road to the summit Heia is closed for cars. Hence, a car is quite useless on Værøy.
Certainly the best way to explore Værøy. An alternative is to cycle up to Nordland, and explore the rest of the island on foot. But this rules out the possibility to then climb to Heia and go back to Sørland, which can only be made on foot.
- 1 Turistkontor ferjekaia (Tourist office (ferry quay)) (right in front of the ferry), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. opens when the ferry arrives, and closes 30mn later (as of summer 2015). Free maps, and information on Værøy. English-speaking staff.
- 2 Turistkontor Husfliden sentrum (Tourist office (Husfliden center)) (in the very center of Sørland), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9h45-12h and 13h-14h30 (Monday-Friday), 9h45-12h (Saturday) as of summer 2015. Free maps, and information on Værøy. English-speaking staff. Also sell souvenirs and home-made handcraft.
- 1 Værøy nye kirke (Værøy new church) (in the very center of Sørland), e-mail: email@example.com. Built in 1939 by Harald Sund. Closed for renovation as of 2015.
- 2 Værøy gamle kirke (Værøy old church) (in Nordland, near the old airport), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A nice red-colored wooden church with its bulb. Built around 1740 in Vågan, and moved to Værøy in 1799. Contains statues from Nottingham (England) dating from the 1430s. Closed for renovation as of 2015.
- 3 Ørnhus (Eagle house). In fact only ruins. Catching eagles with bare hands used to be a popular activity in Værøy until 1972.
- Several Viking-era ruins on the island.
- Puffins, who nest here over the summer; however, they will be gone by early August.
Swim on the numerous white sand beaches of the island. Do not forget that the water is quite cold, even in summer...
- 1 Nordlanshagen beach (at the end of the road, 6km from Sørland). A nice almost-white sand beach. Parking lot, free toilets, drainage facilities for camping-cars.
- 2 Punn Sanden beach (South from the Heia peak, but not reachable from there). A beautiful almost-white sand beach. Apparently only reachable from the sea.
- Sørlandshagen beach
Many hiking paths on the island, e.g.:
- Going to the Nordlanshagen beach following the road (6km from Sørland)
- Hiking to the Heia peak (2h one way from Sørland, 2h one way from Nordlanshagen).
- Going to the Western (and much less reachable) part of the island (> 2h starting from Nordlanshagen), up to Måstad.
Paths are clearly marked, and generally in good state. This said, some paths are not easy at all, as they can become very steep, especially between Nordlanshagen and Hornet. In any case, expect much wind! Also note that the maps given by the tourist information (and available at several points in Værøy) are quite erratic.
Due to the limited choice and the high prices, better bring your own food from the mainland.
- 1 Coop Prix (in the same building as Cafè Supern), ☎ . 9h-19h (Monday to Friday), 9h-18h (Saturday). Supermarket of a reasonable size, with many products. Mailbox and free toilets at the entrance. Expect to pay about 50% more than in mainland Norway.
- 2 Kiosken, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 19h-22h (Monday to Saturday), 18h-22h (Sunday). Small grocery store that opens when Coop Prix closes; also sells souvenirs.
- 3 Lofoten Sjokolade (Chocolate factory shop) (in the old airport terminal), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 10-14h (Monday to Saturday), closed on Sunday. Chocolate 100% hand-made, and made in Værøy. Some organic chocolates. Only a chocolate boutique; unfortunately, the chocolate factory itself cannot be visited. Expensive (70kr for 100g of chocolate) but since you came all the way to here, you will buy something, won't you?.
No real restaurant, except the Cafè Supern (see below).
There is a single café on the island.
- 1 Cafè Supern, Sørland 54 (in the same building as Coop Prix), ☎ . 10h-18h (Monday-Friday), 10h-16h (Saturday); closed on Sunday. The center of the social life in Værøy. Pastries, coffee, tea. Free Wi-Fi. Last order 30mn before closing time. Relatively reasonable prices.
- 1 Lofoten Værøy Brygge, Nedre Tyvnes 15, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 2 Prestegården, Fv791 15, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An old manse turned guest hosue.
- 3 Værøy Sjybrygga, Sjyen 15, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A sports fishing centre which can accomodate up to 25 guests at a time.
The most likely undesired event is to fall while hiking, or to catch a cold due to the bad weather. Other than that, the island is perfectly safe.
Mobile phone networks do not cover the entire island. Concerning Internet, only edge network is available, and only in parts of the island (as of 2015). Free Wi-Fi is available at the Cafè Supern.
- Røst, another island further South West
- Moskenes, on the island of Moskenesøya in the Lofoten archipelago
- Bodø, on the mainland