Why Bodø, Norway is a Perfect Base to Explore Above the Arctic Circle

7 Reasons to Should Stay in Bodø When Visiting Northern Norway

Above the Arctic Circle in the summer, Northern Norway is amazing. And the town of Bodø is a perfect base to explore all the area has to offer. Bodø is easy to get to and has lots to offer both the active traveler and the slower soak in all the scenery type.

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Magical Mjelle Beach | Bodø Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | #Gemstone #RedSand #Minerals | Oregon Girl Around the World

Magical Mjelle Beach | Day Hike from Bodø Norway

Red and White Sand Beaches Sparkle Above the Arctic Circle

Make your way to Mjelle come Midsummer

Just north of the Northern Norwegian town of Bodø sits a double crescent of magical sandy beaches known as Mjelle. Here you can make an easy hike through beautiful green tree-lined paths to crystal clear turquoise waters and broad swaths of gemstone flickered sand. Yes. You heard me. Gemstones. There is something magical about Mjelle and pictures just truly don’t do it justice. You have to see it to believe it.

Continue reading “Magical Mjelle Beach | Day Hike from Bodø Norway”

Eat This Above the Arctic Circle | Tastes of Northern Norway | Oregon Girl Around the World

Oh Dear Cod | Eat This Above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway

From Cod to Kanelsnurr to Cloudberries 

Let’s Taste Northern Norway

Ah Norway. The big brother of the Scandinavian siblings. To me, Norway is like the tall, athletic hulky older brother who braves Arctic temperatures and winters without light while running up mountains with kids on his back to all ski down; he believes that every problem can be solved simply by going outside.

In comparison, sweet tow-headed sister Sweden – she’s got flowers in her hair, shares her land but waves from a canoe as she paddles out to her archipelagos to forage for lingonberries in her cute clogs and colorful clothes.

Denmark is the moody little brother whose lands aren’t as large, but is still happy ’cause – you know, hygge – and he thinks his sibs aren’t quite as cool as he cruises by on a bike wearing skinny pants and fancy white trainers while sipping a locally roasted small batch coffee on the way to the latest craft beer release. (Ok, maybe that’s just the Copenhagen version.)

But Norway, he is rugged. It’s true. Norway is. Whether you think Norwegians are or not. The landscape here surges from the sea in stark sharp peaks and fierce fjords. And so much sea. In fact, Norway has more coastline than most countries in the world. Only 7 countries have more.¹ And 90% of all Norwegians live in places by the sea.²  Think Vikings and hearty bearded fisherman. Or just people who eat fish. Lots and lots of fish.

My not-quite Norwegian with his not so impressive catch!

Yep. You guessed it. Seafood is supreme in this coastal country. Now you sea it. Norway is actually the second largest exporter of seafood in the world.³ With their clean, clear waters and a sustainable population of migrating fish species, it is easy to see why. So naturally, the diet here is dominated by food plucked from the cold waters. Especially above the Arctic Circle. And you should try some. Here’s what and here’s why. Continue reading “Oh Dear Cod | Eat This Above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway”

Norwegian Nature and History come alive in Kjerringøy | Norway

A beautiful day out in Nordland, Norway
From Bodø north to the Kjerringøy Peninsula

We recently spent 10 days in Northern Norway at the end of July, just past the peak of summer. If you’ve been reading along you have already figured out that Norway rocks. Really. Truly. Rocks.

Our trip began with a weekend in and around the darling and modern town of Bodø. It was a perfect base to explore the stunning Nordland region before heading out to the more than lovely Lofoten Islands. Around Bodø, there are many beautiful things to explore. Don’t miss the world’s largest maelstrom south of town at Saltstraumen. It’s amazing and if you’re up this way it shouldn’t be missed.


Want to learn a little about the local culture along with your nature? Head north along the water and make your way to the Kjerringøy Peninsula. Can’t quite place where I’m talking about? No worries. Orient yourself below. This is the land of the midnight sun.

Reasons to explore the Kjerringøy Peninsula | CULTURE
See the old KJERRINGØY TRADING POST | gamle handelssted

Start your time up here at the Gamle Handelssted, the Old Trading Post where you can learn of Kjerringøy’s historical significance as the most profitable trading post in Northern Norway. The Gamle Handelssted offers visitors a perfectly curated example of what life would have been like in the 1800’s when cod was king in these waters.

Since before recorded history, the seas in Northern Norway have housed a rich breeding ground for cod, making it a natural staple in the diet for peoples here since before time. This is especially true further west near the Lofoten Islands, where the annual winter cod fishing season is plentiful as the funny looking fish migrate south from the Barents Sea to spawn by the millions.


As these ancient northern populations settled and civilization emerged, jobs naturally diversified and with it the need to feed a growing non-fishing populace throughout the year, not just during fishing season. This led to the popularity, demand and commercial viability of a dried version of the codfish that could be eaten all year round. This cold air dried and unsalted cod is known as stockfish, or tørrfisk in Norwegian. It is local delicacy still to this day and you should definitely try some!

Back here on the mainland, the old Kjerringøy Trading post gave fisherman of yore a place to sell their stockfish. In turn, they could then stock up on supplies and amenities to take back to their homes in the islands. Today, you can revisit the post’s heyday from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Roam through fifteen well-kept buildings that sit on this beautiful site. Stroll around the grounds set along a protected bay and take a peek back in time. There are beautiful old fishing boats in the boathouse. A general store offers a glimpse at what historic goods would be on offer as well as modern versions for purchase. Step into the bakery and see the ovens and special rolling pins for making Norwegian crispbreads.

Tour the Main House

For 50 NOK extra, you can take a guided tour of the main house. Check with the museum for timings in English. For Norwegian speakers or the adventurous, try the play-acting tour and learn about the life here as two charming characters take you from room to room. Even without understanding, you can see that he wants to woo the maid of the house and she wants nothing to do with him. Charming even if incomprehensible!


Kjerringøy Gamle Handelssted | Old Trading Post 

Summer season 2018: May 19 – September 2nd | Daily 11 – 17
Winter / Spring / Autumn 2018: Open Every Saturday from 11.30 to 15.00
Check website for additional openings in shoulder seasons and holidays.


Adult: 100 NOK – Entrance ticket to the area and surrounding buildings.
Children: 50 NOK
Family (2 adults + 3 kids): 250 NOK
Extra: Ticket tour/entrance to the main house 50 NOK

Reasons to explore the Kjerringøy Peninsula | TASTES

Chock full of culture now? Need a place to respite? Check out the café at the Old Trading Post and take it outside if the weather is nice. Or trek through the little town to try some local cheese at the Markens Grøde. They offer a lunch buffet, but we opted for some takeaway cheese and a loaf of bread.

Markens Grøde
Cheese Factory, Bakery and Café
8093 Bodø, Norway

Or follow the road around to the Kjerringøy Bryggehotell right on the water. What a perfect place to enjoy a cold drink and watch as sea eagles swoop over the harbor. Want to stay longer here on the peninsula? Rent a cottage and make Kjerringøy your base.

Reasons to explore the Kjerringøy Peninsula | NATURE

There are several beautiful Arctic Beaches to peruse. Check out the map above for specific locations. We stopped at the one near Fjære, there is a lot across the road. Park and use the wooden stairs to get up over the sheep guard. Walk through the meadow to the sparkly sugar fine sandy beach on this a wide shallow bay. Something about the rocks around here leaves glitter on the beach. It is amazing to behold, especially on a sun shiny day. Look for Arctic urchin skeletons and pretty pink clam shells. Dip your toes in the water. But beware – it is cold.

Looking for an activity that is a little less lazy? There are hiking trails a plenty up peaks and to lakes, pick up a guide on the ferry to find them or ask at the Visitors Center back in Bodø before you head out.

Fly to Bodø, Norway

From abroad, there are several flights daily to Bodø through Oslo. Look at SAS and Norwegian Airlines. It is about a 1.5 hour flight to Bodø.

40 Minute Drive North

From Bodø, drive north on Norwegian County Road RV834. Only 40 minutes along a beautiful winding road that takes you right along the water then up through lush green mountains until you reach the little ferry port of Festvåg.

Take the Torghatten Nord Ferry | Festvåg-Misten

This is the easiest way across to the Kjerringøy peninsula without your own boat. The crossing takes 30 minutes and offers spectacular views of surrounding mountain ranges.

Check the website for up to date departure schedules to and fro the Kjerringøy Peninsula.

Once in Misten, follow the only road along the water to the old trading town of Kjerringøy.

Suitcases and Sandcastles