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.
In the years since I wrote the first wrote this article, Kvalvika has become one of the most popular hiking and camping destinations on Lofoten. The parking area is far too small to meet the crowds, leading to daily traffic chaos all summer long as people illegally park along the (already narrow) road. And what used to be a quiet peaceful place to camp on a summer night, you now often find yourself surrounded by 40 or more tents on a warm July night. It is still a beautiful place, just no longer a quiet one.
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
Alternatively, just before entering Fredvang, there is a large public parking area at the old school, this is signposted just before turning left into the village.
There is talk of a shuttle bus service for summer 2019 running from the above parking at the old Fredvang school. But with most things Lofoten, who knows if it will actually happen or not…
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. A new wooden walkway has been build to avoid the previously boggy sections at the start of the trail and there are now several signs pointing you in the right direction at various points.
After 10-15 minutes of hiking you will be mostly clear of the trees and head towards the center of the pass to the north. 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 descent 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.
The easy hike to Kvalvika beach makes it an excellent place for camping. The back of the beach consists of flat grassy turf with plenty of scenic areas to pitch a tent. In recent years, the beach has become one of the most popular wild camping areas on Lofoten, so I suggest arriving early to find a nice place for you tent.
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.