Mountain Name: Holandsmelen – Location: Vestvågøya – Elevation: 434m – Difficulty: Easy – Time: 1 Hour
Holandsmelen is a small hill near Leknes with an easy trail leading to the flat, broad summit with fantastic views to the white-sand beaches of Vik and Haukland. The unmarked, but well worn trail is easy to follow and relatively bog-free by Lofoten standards. With only a few short moments of steepness, this is a good trail for beginning walkers looking to get away from the road or those looking for an easy hike to go watch sunset on a calm summer evening.
Holandsmelen is located in the northwest of Vestvågøya and reached along the coastal road to Utakleiv. From either the east or west of Lofoten, follow the E10 towards Leknes. Before reaching Leknes, 5.5km from the west, 4km from the east, look for the road signposted ‘Utakleiv.’ Turn here. The lone, round mountain in front of you is Holandsmelen.
Keep along the road continuing in the direction of Utakleiv (do not take the ‘Vikveien’ shortcut if traveling from the east). As you continue driving along the coast, the road begins to climb and head inland. Passing the turnoff for ‘Voie’ on the left, 4km from the west, 5.5km from the east, continue another 500 meters where you will see the obvious parking area on the right. Park here.
From the parking lot there is a small trail leading into the grass on the left side, or alternately, continue along the main road towards Utakleiv, where in several meters you will come to a small farmers road. Continue up the farm track as it leads to the forest until you reach the end and the road suddenly stops. From here the trail begins as you head up the hill and deeper into the forest for the first short climb of the hike.
After 10-15 minutes or so the forest should begin to thin and you will soon have Holandsmelen appearing before you. It looks easiest just to cut straight to the mountain, but that is bog down there, so continue to follow the trail as it wraps around the left side of the low area and then continues towards the mountain. There are several smaller, wandering trails up here, but following the main, most worn one will keep you on course. After passing through the low, slightly boggy section the trail once again climbs up before continuing towards the base of the mountain.
Soon you will reach the mountain where the trail begins to climb. At first somewhat steeply the gradient quickly lessens as the trail wraps around the right side of the mountain. The last meters before the summit the trail passes over some rock fields so keep an eye out for cairns to keep on track, or, if in doubt, just keep heading up. Pay attention to your route this last section so you can find the trail on the way back down. You will now see the large cairns marking the summit. Enjoy the views down to the beaches and over the lowlands of central Vestvågøy.
Photo: The round, gentle summit of Holandsmelen rises in the distance, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Photo: View south across the rocky summit of Holandsmelen, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Photo: The Autumn sun hangs low in the western sky from summit of Holandsmelen, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Photo: Rays of light shine over Nappstraumen from Holandsmelen, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Photo: Sunset over the Norwegian sea from Holandsmelen, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway