Norway Lofoten Islands Beaches 360 Virtual Tour

Lofoten Islands beaches Norway panoramic photography virtual reality tour

Norway Lofoten Islands beaches above the Arctic Circle in 360 virtual reality tour and panoramic photography.  Discover remote Kvalvika, Unstad and Kilan beaches as well as other coastal Lofoten Islands viewpoints like the small fishing village of Reine.  We take you to the summit of Ryten mountain where you can see Kvalvika beach from above and onto the beach itself with large rocky cliffs.  Click here for the Norway Lofoten Islands beaches 360 virtual tour.  Photography by Jean-Pierre Lavoie and all rights reserved.  Please contact us for panoramic images and VR content licensing.

Kvalvika beach from Ryten mountain summit

Kvalvika beach from Ryten mountain summit

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Kvalvika beach mountain hike

Kvalvika beach mountain hike

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Ryten summit hike

Ryten summit hike

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Hike to Kvalvika beach

Hike to Kvalvika beach

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Kvalvika beach

Kvalvika beach

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Vinstad near Reine

Vinstad near Reine

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Virtual reality tour 360phototours.com panoramic photography

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Scroll or slide through the above panoramas.  For immersive 360° views go to red “click here” links at top left in the image sliders.

There are numerous stunning isolated beaches and small fishing villages like Reine surrounded by high peak mountains at the Lofoten Islands.  This archipelago is a spectacular area of Norway you will enjoy to explore if you have the opportunity to go there.  What is striking for a first time visitor is that a lot of those beaches and hiking trails are in fact so isolated that you don’t see any sign of human activity.   You may think that you are on a deserted beach like Robinson Crusoe!

Of course, remote and untouched nature means that a few of these sites are a bit harder to get to and that you will have to do some walking and moderate to serious hiking to explore them.  It is a good idea to monitor closely the weather forecast, high winds, daylight visibility since you don’t want to be stuck on the edge of a cliff with high winds and a storm lurking your way.  Other than that the Lofoten Islands are a true nature gem that you will enjoy discovering with it’s high snow covered mountain peaks, amazing beaches and small fishing villages along the archipelago surrounded by water.

But bare in mind as a side note that not all is perfect in this world and it is the same for the heavy cost of living in northern Norway.  They are on the upscale of Scandinavian countries which are high to say the least.  Food supplies are also incredibly expensive over there and the same for the very rare restaurants you may find.  Like in Northern America the further up North you go, you’ll find less things to buy and pay a lot more!

Bunes beach hike

Bunes beach hike

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Bunes beach

Bunes beach

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Reine fishing village

Reine fishing village

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Vareid beach

Vareid beach

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Kilan beach

Kilan beach

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Unstad beach

Unstad beach

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Virtual reality tour 360phototours.com panoramic photography

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Following are a few sites presented in this 360 degree virtual reality tour.  Like you may guess there are many more beaches in the Lofoten Islands and this is far from a complete survey of them all.  We only scratch the surface of what the area has to offer.  Note that images were captured in the month of May just after the northern lights (aurora borealis) and before the full daylight cycle of the midnight sun.  If northern lights are not the purpose of your trip to Lofoten, spring as well as summer are good seasons to let you explore more deeply the mountains trails that are less accessible during winter.

Map of images locations.  Locate the sites and images we describe with this map to show you around.

Bunes beach.  Accessible by taking a ferry boat from the fishing village of Reine, near the tiny village of Vinstad is Bunes beach.  It is an easy hour and a half walk from where the ferry drops you off at Vinstad.  You will find a few houses without any roads going to them which is a strange thing to see.  At least for me as a Canadian from Quebec accustomed to cars and roads almost everywhere except in a few remote locations.  Walking on Bunes beach is a spectacular scene in itself with the sea embraced between two large rock cliffs.  It is a fascinating scenic view making you feel as if you are alone on the edge of a strange world!

A word of caution if you get to Bunes without your camping gear.  The last daily ferry will pick you up at 15h15 from Vinstad.  Be there on time for your return ride to Reine or you will have to spend the night there in the open until the next day.  I was fortunate when I was there, the sun was blasting light in the sky and I was on time for the ferry!

Ryten mountain.  There are a few possible hikes that will take you to the summit of the massive Ryten mountain cliff in the Fredvang area at a height of 543 meters from sea level.  The one I chose is a roughly 3.5 hours walk toward the summit that started at the side of the road (red parking dot in the above map).

You start walking your way up towards a mountain pass.  Then you reach a higher altitude lake where I photographed it against southern mountain peaks in the background.  The rest of the hike, seems longer, specially on the last stretch to reach the summit of the mountain.  This uphill hike is a serious challenge to attain the top of the mountain with all your gear.  But like any other adventure, it happens that you are rewarded in the end.  When you reach the summit, the stunning view over the Lofoten mountain peaks far away and Kvalvika beach way down below you in the distance is just amazing.  The beach sits at the foot of a steep mountain.  This is truly a magnificent view with all the elements of landscapes and seascapes joining in together.  Just watch out for very high winds up there.  I was barely able to use my tripod to make my panorama shots because of high winds.

If you look at the immersive 360 images I made along the path toward the summit, you’ll see that the trail is fairly good but most of the times it is hard to see the actual trail!  The ground is made of rocks, dirt, grass, some watery spots and snow patches now and then.  It is imperative that you have some sort of written instructions or maps to find your way in order to know where you are going.  One helping factor is that your are not in a forest, but a large open air field with low vegetation where you can see mountains, valleys and general guidance objects that will help you along the way.

It may also be confusing if you walk toward a location then come back on the return path from that same location.  It might sound trivial, but even if you use the same general trail or path, you see the surrounding from the opposite direction and do not recognize at all if you actually took the same path.  On the way back from Ryten summit, I missed the trail and corrected my way later by going toward a large patch of snow on the ground that I remembered from my way up…  So minimum planning is a must to visualize in your mind where you’ll go before hitting the trail and it is also important to carry a map.  Looking at a dim smartphone screen with gps and map is not the most practical way to navigate in a trail, at least for me nothing beats information on paper without low battery or light glaring issues.

Kvalvika beach.  If you look for a beach that is a little bit harder to get to than Bunes beach with more hiking challenge, then Kvalvika is the perfect beach for you.  It is located in an isolated bay on the northern side of Moskenesøy.  Kvalvika is a true isolated beach that you can only reach by walking.  You start the journey by walking uphill and pass again in a valley between two mountains.  Refer to the starting point of the hike (red parking dot in the above map).  The hike ends to reach the beach by going downhill to complete the 2.5 hours journey approximately if you take a few pictures along the way.  You will be rewarded after the hike with the beautiful beach embraced between vertical cliffs.

Kvalvika beach seems even more remote than Bunes because it is further off the beaten path.

Reine.  Reine is a fishing village in the municipality of Moskenes in Nordland county.  You can see in the panoramic image of the virtual tour large racks that are used to dry large amounts of stockfish for many months.  Stockfish is mainly unsalted fish like cod that is dryed by cold air and wind on wooden racks.  I read that we have these type of dryers for salty fish in Gaspésie, Quebec or that they were mostly used in the past.

Vinstad.  Vinstad is a tiny village with just a few houses around the shore and it is located in the northwestern direction from Reine.  You reach Vinstad by a ferry boat from Reine as it is the starting point to hike to the remote Bunes beach.

Vareid beach.  This is a nice coastal area with a lot of rocks and mountain peaks.  Vareid beach is just below the road and easily accessible without any type of hiking.

Kilan beach.  Kilan is one of those easy beach to reach because it is just on the side of the road!  So if you don’t have good hiking conditions and want to see a stunning site without to much effort, Kilan is one of those nice spots to stop by and enjoy the view.

Unstad beach.  This is a beach that is known for surfing.  In fact, when I was there just before midnight there were Norwegian surfers in the water riding on waves!  It is easy to get by car with a parking at the right side of the beach.

A lot of helpful information for planning trips to these sites and beaches were obtained from the amazing site of Cody at 68 North.

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