Photo: Cow parsley flowers blow in the midnight summer breeze, Nordlandshagen, Værøy, Norway. June 27, 2022. 01:10
It feels strange to admit, but before the end of June, I had never stepped foot on Værøy before. I’ve passed by several times on the ferry – more so because I could get a little more sleep during winter during the longer journey from Bodø and not have such a long wait for the bus in Moskenes. And I’ve stared across the Moskensstraumen and the island rising in the distance. But it always just seemed some place that I could always go to, and thus never did…
And that was a mistake! I should have headed out there years ago. It is a wonder place that feels a little like ‘old Lofoten,’ before things got a little on the busy side and every single roadside parking spot is filled with motorhomes and camper vans. Værøy was peaceful and quiet. And there actually seemed to be much better tourism infrastructure than Lofoten, with signs, maps, and parking for the numerous hikes around the island, and a nice clean (and free) toilet at Nordlandshagen, where the hike to Måstad and Måhornet/Måstadheia begins. It kinda feels like a little island that time and tourism has overlooked.
Over the long weekend I headed up Håheia/Håen – probably the most famous hike on the island, Hornet, and Måstad/Måhornet, the westernmost peak on the island after a scenic coastal hike. Overall, there is a surprisingly good selection of hiking routes for such a small place, so I look forward to going back again soon. And even better, having started on July 1st, the ferry between Moskenes – Værøy is now free, even for cars. So it is now cheaper and faster for me to go to Værøy than even just to get to Bunes or Horseid beaches! Especially with the new expensive parking fees in Reine which make it a slightly unfriendly place to visit now for someone living just down the road…
On this evening I had gotten back to my van early after hiking out to Måhornet. It was a hot day (by Værøy standards), but a breeze picked up near midnight – Its kinda always windy on Værøy it seems. Parked on the runway at the old airport for the night, the flowers were blowing in the soft and hazy evening light. Looking back north, first is the island of Mosken, then the distant silhouette of Lofoten proper. In autumn, this might be a nice view for northern lights dancing over the distant mountains.
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon Z7 II
Nikon 24-200 f/4-6.3
3 Stop ND filter