Mountain Name: Hoven – Location: Gimsøya – Elevation: 368m – Difficulty: Easy – Time: 1 hour
Hoven is a small hill rising alone out of the boggy flatlands of northwestern Gimsøya. With a height of only 368 meters and a gentle rate of ascent along the main trail, Hoven is one of the easiest ‘mountain’ hikes on the Lofoten Islands. But despite the modest elevation, the 360 degree views are still impressive and on clear days the islands of Vesterålen are visible across the sea to the northeast. Hoven is a good peak to wander up with a group of friends to watch the midnight sun on a midsummer evening.
Hoven is located on the northern side of Gimsøya, a small island between Vestvågoya to the west and Austvågøya to the east. Or more precisely, 48 km from Leknes or 38 km from Svolvær. From either east or west, cross the bridge onto Gimsøya and then leave the E-10 and head north on road 861. If driving from the west, Hoven will be immediately visible to the north. If arriving from the east, you will follow the coast and not see Hoven until you near Vinje. Follow the signposts to Hov or Golfbane. Parking is on the north side of Hoven, at the Lofoten Golf Links golf course. You will see a small unpaved parking area immediately west of the buildings.
From the parking area, walk south towards the maintenance building for the golf course (looks like a small airplane hangar). Walk to the backside of the building and you will see the trail immediately behind it. [The gravel road continues on past the building, and you can take this, but it will make picking up the trail again a little more difficult.]
Leaving the road, the trail first wanders through flat, boggy ground for several hundred meters before it begins to rise. By now any wandering paths should have merged into one and you follow the clear route heading west up the mountain. There are a few small rocky steps here and there, but for the most part the trail is quite easy and dry by Lofoten standards. After 45 minutes – 1 hour you should be enjoying the view at the top.
If visibility is poor, be mindful of the sheer cliffs to the west of the summit.
Photo: Panoramic view of summit of Hoven, Gimsøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Photo: Summit of Hoven, Gimsøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Photo: View west from summit of Hoven, Gimsøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway