The hike to Ryten has all of the ingredients of a perfect Lofoten Islands hike: sweeping vistas across the mountains and fjords, a fun but slightly strenuous hike to a mountain peak, and a breathtaking view of a white, sandy beach. The icing on the cake is a “mini Trolltunga,” an outcropping of rock where you can get creative with your photos.
By Lofoten standards, this is a relatively easy hike. Most of the hikes we did in the Lofoten Islands featured a steep, strenuous, thigh-busting climb to a mountain peak, all for an amazing (and very worthwhile) view.
Ryten is different. Yes, you still climb a mountain, but the trail is less steep and less strenuous. Along the way, the views keep changing, which keeps things interesting. But the real reason to do this hike is for that final view from the top of Ryten.
How to Hike to Ryten
Ryten Hiking Stats
Distance: 8.7 km (5.4 miles) round trip
Elevation Gain: 680 meters (2240 feet)
Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate
Length of Time: 3 to 5 hours
Ryten Elevation Profile
Please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, minimize campfire impacts, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.
Where is Ryten?
Ryten is located on Moskenesøya in the Lofoten Islands. The closest town is Fredvang.
There are two different ways to hike to the peak of Ryten. We hiked up the “direct route,” which starts near Ytresand and hikes directly to the top of Ryten. You can also hike to Ryten via Kvalvika Beach. This post covers the direct route to the top of Ryten.
Where to Park
For the direct route, there are several places to park. You will have to pay a small amount to park at both of them. The parking lots are operated by the locals who have turned part of their property into a car park.
Parking lot #1. I named this “parking lot #1” since it’s the first parking area we saw and it is located right next to the trailhead. To get here, cross the Fredvang bridges, follow the signs to Yttresand, and stay straight when the road turns off to Fredvang. The road curves to the left and then you will see a large, grassy parking lot on the left hand side of the road. This is simply part of someone’s yard that was turned into a small parking lot. It costs NOK 100 (in 2018) to park here. GPS Coordinates: 68.090657, 13.156302
Parking lot #1
Parking lot #2. This parking lot is slightly farther down the road but it shaves off a small part of the hike. You will miss the short walk through a field of wildflowers, which I really liked, but for many this may not be that big of a deal. This parking is located at the Peat Museum, also called the Lofoten Torvmuseum. It costs NOK 100. They also offer water and toilets. GPS Coordinates: 68.089081, 13.139661
Parking lot #2
We did not know about the cheaper, closer parking at the Peat Museum at the start of the hike. We noticed people hiking up from a different location, so after the hike we went investigating and found the second parking lot.
A new parking lot as of 2019. One of our awesome readers let us know about a third parking lot. It’s free but adds roughly 2 km to the hike. GPS coordinates: 68.0890076, 13.1746814. It’s next to the Fredvang skole, so it’s the farthest away from the hiking trail, but if you want to save some money and don’t mind the extra walk, it’s a nice option. Thank you, Lukas!
Ryten Step-By-Step Trail Guide
The trailhead is located on Fv806 right next to the first parking lot. If you park at the Peat Museum, there is a trail that joins up with the main trail just before the first climb of the hike.
The hike starts off with a short but beautiful walk through tall wildflowers.
The trail takes a turn to the right and then you climb the stile to cross over the fence.
After a little more hiking, you begin the first climb of the day. At the start of this climb, the trail from the Peat Museum joins the main trail.
View from the top of the first climb, looking back toward the parking lots.
At the top of the climb, the trail heads west. The trail is very easy to follow and most likely there will be enough people that you can follow those in front of you. Along the way, you will walk across wooden bridges, saving your feet from slogging through the boggy, wet ground in some areas. They also save the trails from wear and tear.
Just past the lake, the trail splits. Follow the sign towards Ryten. If you follow the sign to Hytta, you will take a short, unnecessary detour to the Fredvanghytte.
Now, you can see the final climb to the peak of Ryten. It’s not overly difficult, but when we did this, it felt like it would never end. Plus, it was crazy windy, with the wind blowing directly into our faces, slowing us down and making us very cold (even in July).
Viewpoint of Kvalvika Beach
Once near the top of Ryten, enjoy the spectacular views across the Lofoten Islands. There is a viewpoint near the top of the mountain, where you can see Kvalvika Beach, the Fredvang Bridges, and out across the mountains of the Lofoten Islands.
Looking back at the hiking trail. Off in the distance you can see the Fredvang Bridges.
From the first viewpoint, there is still a bit of hiking to do to reach the official summit of Ryten, shown in this photo (where the people are standing).
Another view of Kvalvika Beach
The “Mini-Trolltunga” on Ryten
On top of Ryten is a very cool photo spot. There is a large rock that juts out, similar to Trolltunga, with Kvalvika Beach in the background.
If you get the angle right, you can take photos that make it look like you are standing or hanging from a rock with nothing underneath of you. This rock sits just a few feet off of the ground, so it is relatively safe. Just note, that it is located near the edge of a cliff, there is still the chance that you could fall, if you are not careful.
On the day we did this hike, it felt like almost hurricane force winds were blowing on top of Ryten. We all looked forward to posing on this rock, but with the high winds, we felt like it was not safe to do. Tim was the only one in our group who posed for a photo.
Most people stop here, take their semi-crazy photos, and enjoy the view over Kvalvika Beach, without going all of the way to the official summit. To complete the hike, it’s just a five minute walk up the hill to the rock cairn that marks the official summit.
On the summit of Ryten.
To get back to your car, hike back the same way. It is possible to extend the hike, hiking down to Kvalvika Beach, but this adds a lot of extra distance, time, and elevation gain to the hike.
The awesome view on the return hike.
Where We Stayed
We stayed in Hamnøy at Reinefjorden Sjohus. This place is wonderful. We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment, which is really a two-level cabin with a kitchen and a living area. The view from the living room was AMAZING! We could look across the water to Sakrisøy and Reine and see Reinebringen in the background. My only complaint is that they do not have black out curtains, so with the midnight sun, I did find it difficult to sleep. That’s easy to fix by bringing along a sleeping mask. But without a doubt, we would stay here again.
Get more recommendations about where to stay in our post Where to Stay in the Lofoten Islands.
If you have questions about hiking to Ryten and Kvalvika Beach, or if you want to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Norway
ADVENTURES IN NORWAY: Trolltunga and Kjeragbolten are two of the best hikes to do in Norway. For an even bigger adventure, climb Svolvaergeita in the Lofoten Islands. Traveling to Svalbard in the arctic circle is an adventure in itself, but you can also go glacier kayaking or hike to one of the tallest peaks on Spitsbergen.
LOFOTEN ISLANDS: For an overview of the best things to do, read our Lofoten Islands Top Ten List. Get lots of travel planning advice in our Lofoten Islands Itinerary. For advice on where to stay, read our Lofoten Islands Hotel Guide.
NORTHERN NORWAY ITINERARY: On this 10 day Norway itinerary, road trip through Senja and the Vesteralen Islands, two beautiful off the beaten path destinations, and visit the Lofoten Islands.
MORE GREAT HIKES IN EUROPE: From thrilling trails in the Alps to easy walks along the coast, read our article 20 Best Hikes in Europe for some beautiful hiking trails to put on your travel wish list.
Are you planning a trip to Norway? Read all of our articles about Norway in our Norway Travel Guide.
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