Aerial view of bridge
Go to Evenes

Nordic Road Trip - Great Explorations Along the E10

Bridge

Scandinavian roads are ideal for a road trip, as the driving here is generally very sedate. Even a cursory glance out of the car window at forests, bushes and rock formations gives a first impression of how unspoilt and enchanting the landscapes are. With a total length of 880 kilometres, the European Route 10 - E10 for short - runs through Sweden and Norway. 129 of these kilometres belong entirely to the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway and connect the towns of Svolvær and Å. If you drive quickly - but why should you? - you can complete the route in just over two hours. But it's worth turning left or right off the E10, exploring the picturesque villages and staying for a few days and nights.

Hike up the hill
Woman hiking

A Walk in Svolvær

For the residents of Svolvær, the ascent to their local mountain, Tjeldbergtinden, which is almost 400 metres high, is a Sunday morning walk. They swear that the unrestricted view of Svolvær and Kabelvåg, the sea and the green hilly landscape from the summit relieves them of all worries. It's no wonder that most of the locals not only scamper steeply upwards over sharp-edged stones with a fascinating ease, but also go through life in a relaxed manner. With a little fitness training, you are sure to succeed too.

Statue
View of the city

The Wide View of the Horizon

End the evening in Svolvær the same way you started it in the morning on Tjeldbergtinden: in the crystal-clear air, with breathtaking views, relaxed and happy. When the sun seems to hover over the summery North Sea and it just won't get dark, it's worth taking a walk across the pier into the middle of the sea. At the end of the path, the "Fiskerkona", the "fisherman's wife", awaits, her gaze fixed on ships on the horizon. By the way: In Svolvær, which is a kind of capital of the Lofoten Islands with just under 5,000 inhabitants, there are a surprising number of places to stay overnight - from modern hotels with panoramic windows overlooking the water to Norwegian cottages with romantic creaking wooden floorboards and a fireplace.

Aerial view of islands

The Football Pitch at the End of the World

After half an hour you reach the next stop on the tour: the 500-soul village of Henningsvær. The village gained worldwide fame primarily for the "Henningsvær Stadium", one of the most beautifully situated football pitches in the world, immortalised on countless posters and wall calendars. It is probably the unique mixture of bright green artificial turf with white markings, rocky outline, the sound of the sea and the screeching of seagulls that make the football pitch a highlight of Lofoten.

Sitting together watching sunset
Pizza oven

Culture with Industrial Charm

In the 1940s, the premises of the "Trevarefabrikken" were still used - in a very Nordic way - to make furniture and cod liver oil. Today, the old factory in Henningsvær is a place for enjoying life and socialising. Culinary delights, yoga sessions and cultural festivals are organised here. In short: visitors want for nothing - not even freshly baked stone oven pizza with thin potato strips, goat's cheese, honey and rosemary. If you can't tear yourself away from the "Trandamperiet" wine bar until late in the evening, you can spend the night in the hotel.

Village Reine

Originally Good: Reine

In 1887, the travel writer Ludwig Passarge described the small fishing village of Reine, a good two hours from Henningsvær, in extremely friendly terms: "But in the small bays, on the 'Vaagen', as they are called here and in Iceland, the people live in their small but clean, red-washed (original!) friendly houses, as we see them in our picture in the small village of Reine. The snow-white curtains always shine through the light-coloured windows and there are blooming flowers on the windowsill." To this day, almost nothing has changed in this picture. If you visit Reine, you should spend the night in one of the "red-washed, friendly houses" - hopefully with flowers on the windowsill included!

Cabins in Reine
Sign

Fish Stories in Å

About 15 minutes from Reine is Å, the end point of the famous E10 motorway. For a long time, the lives of the 100 or so locals revolved exclusively around fishing. Because they know more about history and crafts than almost anyone else, they have turned almost the entire village into a museum. Whether it's a cabin, boathouse, cod liver oil factory or stockfish tasting, in Å you can learn about the tradition of fishing from the bottom up - and thus also understand an important part of the country's culture.

Cinamonroll
Woman baking

A Bite to Say Goodbye

To round off your Lofoten exploration tour along the E10, here's a little culinary tip: pay a quick visit to the "Bakeriet På" in Å, buy a freshly baked cinnamon bun and take a big bite with a view of the mountains. I bet you've never tasted anything so delicious! The baked goods here are made by hand according to age-old traditional recipes in an oven built in 1878. If you are staying here, travelling onwards or back, always take the opportunity to stock up!

Photo Credits

  • Header - Photo by den-belitsky on Adobe Stock
  • Paragraph 1 - Photo by Shchipkova Elena  on Adobe Stock
  • Paragraph 2 - Photo by Andreas Prott on Getty 
  • Paragraph 2 - Photo by Tupungato on Adobe Stock
  • Paragraph 3 - Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler on Alamy
  • Paragraph 3 - Photo by Andres Duran on Visit Norway
  • Paragraph 4 - Photo by Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost on Getty
  • Paragraph 5 - Photo by Kristin Folsland Olsen on Visit Norway
  • Paragraph 5 - Photo by unknown on Getty
  • Paragraph 6 - Photo by Frithjof Fure on Visit Norway
  • Paragraph 7 - Photo by Frithjof Fure on Visit Norway
  • Paragraph 7 - Photo by Roland Knauer on Alamy
  • Paragraph 8 - Photo by Angela on Adobe Stock
  • Paragraph 8 - Photo by CH on Visit Norway