KVALVIKA BEACH HIKING GUIDE
Located in an isolated bay on the northern side of Moskenesøy and only reached by foot, Kvalvika feels as though it could be at the edge of the world, not an easy hour’s walk. Here turquoise waves crash on golden sands and vertical cliffs rise into the clouds in a display of Lofoten at its best.
While quite popular as a day hike, Kvalvika is also a wonderful camping location, as most people leave in the late afternoon and you’ll have the place mostly to yourself. And why not go take a swim under the midnight sun and then sit by a campfire late into the night?
From any location on Lofoten, take the E10 to Fredvang. After leaving the E10 and crossing the twin bridges, turn left into Fredvang and continue along the road through the village. After approximately 3 kilometers (from the turn) you will see a red boat shed on the left near the water. Immediately past this is a paved parking turnout large enough for 10-15 cars. Park here.
If the parking area is full, DO NOT park along the road. Summer 2016 experienced heavy crowds at Kvalvika and the police have been writing tickets for illegal parking. In 2017 it is likely there will be a fee for parking as the council hopes to increase the size of the parking lot to accommodate all visitors
Directly across from the parking area you will see a trail heading up the hill. There are several entrance points, but the main one has a recently added stone steps. The beginning of the trail is moderately boggy as it heads through the mountain birch and up the hill. After 10-15 minutes you will be mostly clear of the trees and head towards the center of the pass. Elevation gain is gentle here as the path takes you between the two mountains.
After about 30-40 minutes you will reach the top of the pass and begin the descend to the beach. Here the trail gets steep and rocky in places, and quite slippery if wet. Continue down towards the beach if you can see, or towards the sound of waves if you’re in the clouds. About 1 hour after leaving the car park you should be arriving at the flat, grassy dunes at the back of the beach.
Kvalvika beach is an excellent place for camping. The back of the beach consists of flat grassy turf with plenty of scenic areas to pitch a tent. My favorite spot is hidden among a small rock outcropping a couple hundred meters to the left, as it helps you keep away from the hikers wandering around during the daylight hours. You might also have to clear away a bit of sheep ‘debris’ before pitching your tent, but it’s never too bad.
The best source of water is from the stream coming down on the right side of the beach, next to the trail to Ryten. Driftwood should be in ample supply to get a good campfire going, just try and use an existing spot.
And as with all camping on Lofoten, be sure to check the weather forecast so as not to get caught out in a gale, even in summer.