From the top of Festvågtind, the views over the fishing village of Henningsvaer are breathtaking. This hike is very similar to Svolvaer Fløya and Reinebringen, in that it’s a steep, somewhat unexciting climb to an awesome viewpoint. It’s absolutely worth it on a clear day but consider skipping this hike on a cloudy, rainy day.
On the day we hiked Festvågtind, low-lying clouds hid the top of the mountain, which had us questioning the wisdom in investing our time and energy into this hike.
We never got to see those incredible views from the very top of Festvågtind, but I’m glad we did it. From the hiking trail we had some very nice views. They may not have been the sweeping vistas you get from the top of Festvågtind, but it was still a wonderful way to spend a few hours in the Lofoten Islands.
Facts About the Hike
Distance: 3 km (1.9 miles)
Elevation Gain: 500 meters (1640 feet)
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Length of Time: 2 – 3 hours
Note: Even though we didn’t go all of the way to the top, these stats are for the entire round trip hike to the top of Festvågtind.
Getting to the Trailhead
The trailhead is located on route 816, just 2 kilometers north of Henningsvaer. As you are driving towards Henningsvaer, there is a large parking lot next to building. This parking lot is located before the first bridge on the way to Henningsvaer. Park here.
GPS Coordinates of the parking lot: 68.171056, 14.213975. It is labeled as “Festvågtind Car Park” on Google Maps.
View from the parking lot. Festvågtind is the mountain on the left side of the photo.
To get to the trailhead, walk 200 meters down the road towards Henninsgsvaer. The trail heads off into a grove of short trees and then starts climbing uphill towards the summit.
The first part of the trail includes a short section of rock scrambling through a boulder field. Follow the light blue painted arrows or smiley faces. Yes, there really are goofy smiley faces painted on the rocks.
Hiking in northern Norway and the Lofoten Islands is not like hiking in other places around the world. Each hike we did here was a steep, challenging climb along rocky and sometimes muddy trails. These hikes can be more challenging than they look.
This one is no different. The hike up Festvågtind had us rock scrambling, slipping and sliding at times, and occasionally pausing to catch our breath.
View back down to the parking lot.
Even so, it didn’t take us long to reach the level of the clouds.
Hoping that conditions would magically change, we continued up the trail. But really there was no point to it. Now, we were in the clouds with zero visibility.
Sometimes we feel motivated the finish a hike just for the accomplishment of it but today we stopped early. There was nothing enjoyable about this hike at this point and without the view, why keep going?
If you have clear skies and hike past our turn around point, I have read that there is a short, easy section of rock scrambling just before you reach the summit. From the top of Festvågtind, enjoy panoramic views over the area.
The Return Hike
Usually, hiking uphill is more difficult than hiking down. Not on Festvågtind. This trail is challenging. It’s rocky, it’s steep, and it has just enough loose gravel that our feet would slide out from under us. We’d fall on our butts, laughing. After a few times, the fun ends and it just gets frustrating.
As you hike back down Festvågtind, it’s easier to enjoy the view, since now you are facing the islands around Henningsvaer.
After the hike, consider visiting the fishing village of Henningsvaer. This is a popular spot, so expect crowds of people and difficulty finding a parking space. But there are a lot of great restaurants in town, perfect to refuel after hiking for several hours.
We ate lunch at Fiskekrogen. We ate seafood stew and halibut burgers. The Irish coffee was pretty good, too!
During the lunch, the skies cleared up, and on the drive past Festvågtind, we could see the top. Maybe we should have saved the hike for the afternoon! 🙂
Where We Stayed
The night before hiking Festvågtind we stayed in Kabelvåg at Nyvågar Rorbuhotel. A rorbuer is a classic fisherman’s cottage that has been converted into a hotel room, which usually comes equipped with a kitchen, living room, and private bedroom. We had a two bedroom cabin with the bedrooms on the second floor and the kitchen and living area on the lower floor. Nyvågar Rorbuhotel also has an onsite restaurant and breakfast was included during our stay.
After hiking Festvågtind and having lunch in Henningsvaer, we drove south to Reine. We spent three nights in Hamnøy (right next to Reine), at Reinefjorden Sjøhus. This place is wonderful. We stayed in a two 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.
Does this look like something you would like to do? Hopefully you’ll be luckier with the weather. Comment below if you have any questions or if you have any advice for other readers.
More Information for Your Trip to the Northern Norway:
- Complete Guide to Climbing Svolvaergeita in the Lofoten Islands
- Discover Northern Norway in 25 Amazing Photos
- How to Hike Reinebringen in the Lofoten Islands
- Ørnfløya, A Short but Sweet Hike in Sommarøy
- Hiking to Måtind on the Stave-Bleik Coastal Trail on the Vesteralen Islands
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