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.

NORWEGIAN COD CULTURE

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 cod fish 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 boat house. 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 
OPENING HOURS:

Summer season: May 20 – September 3rd | Daily 11 – 17
Winter / Spring / Autumn 2017: Open Every Saturday from 11.30 to 15.00
Check website for additional openings in shoulder seasons and holidays.

TICKETS:

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.


HOW TO GET TO KJERRINGØY
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
CulturedKids

51 thoughts on “Norwegian Nature and History come alive in Kjerringøy | Norway

  1. Pingback: Faraway Files #44 | oregon girl around the world

  2. afamilydayout

    Your Norway posts have made me very envious. I’d love to visit the area sometime although might need to win the lottery first! You look like you’ve been lucky with the weather too.

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      You can find it fish and chips style and there is plenty to eat that isn’t seafood – so don’t worry!! 😉

  3. Trish @ Mum's Gone To

    I’m loving your blog posts about Norway – your enthusiasm for these little known areas of the country is wonderful. I do hope the tourist board know what a sterling job you’re doing of wooing people like me to come for a visit!
    #FarawayFiles

  4. Gosh you make me desperate to visit Norther Norway. That big blue sky, open space. So free! And I swear I can smell the fresh air through your photos. Thankfully I can’t smell the dried cod – I’m not sure on that one 😉 #FarawayFiles

  5. Norway looks simply stunning! Your pictures are fab. I’ve seen a few posts about this part of the world recently and it has seriously made me want to visit soon.
    The scenery from the ferry looks just wonderful!
    #FarawayFiles

  6. Oh this makes me so nostalgic of our 2010 camper van holiday around Norway! Somehow we managed to miss the Salstraumen and never tried stockfish! Like I needed more reasons to make me want to go back… Thanks for the gorgeous photos and the inspiration Erin x
    #FarawayFiles

  7. Clare Thomson

    You know how much I want to travel in your footsteps, don’t you? It’s so great to know about all the other wonderful places on the way to the Lofoten Islands.

  8. Now that I’ve been reading all about your fabulous journey, Norway is on my list. If I do find my way there, I will definitely be following in at least some of your footsteps! I already know you’re a good one to follow!! One of my favorite things is to grab cheese and bread to go! Your photos are stunning as always! #farawayfiles

  9. This post hits home because even though I grew up far from Norway, the salted cod is a staple in Puerto Rico (in the Dominican Republic too). A lot of the product we consume comes from Norway. We get the salted cod, leave it overnight in water and prepare it the next day. My mom used to prepare it with rice or in empanadas. My favorite is called serenata de bacalao. It is a cod salad prepared during Lent. #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      So cool Ruth – thanks for sharing! I tried the cod dried and reconstituted a couple ways – they also do a Bacalao up there – like a tomato fish soup!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes – very green – maybe in a different way that Ireland? Maybe not? Have you been out to Hoh Rain Forest yet on the Olympic Peninsula? That should fill your green and damp mossy need! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

      1. We’re headed to Hoh Rainforest next weekend actually and can’t wait! Norway does look different than Ireland, but is a good mix between Ireland and Washington honestly from the pictures. Maybe next year I’ll visit this gorgeous place!

      2. oregongirlaroundtheworld

        Oooh – can’t wait to see the Hoh through your posts! Enjoy! Hopefully it will be a good place to get away from all the smoke up in PacNW – making my heart hurt watching Oregon in flames.

  10. annette @afrenchcollection

    I would love to have natural grasses and plants on my roof for insulation and housing for insects and birds, but in our hot Australian sun it would simply die… sigh, I wish! #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes – we saw that all over up there! I think it must help with snow in winter as well? Living roofs are popular in Oregon as well – but with the warm summers they’ve been having lately, they have to be drought resistant plantings! Here in Denmark – you see the thatched roofs on homes which I find so charming! Are the living roofs popular in France at all?

      1. annette @afrenchcollection

        I haven’t seen living roofs in France myself and I have never seen or heard of it in Australia at all. In Australia so many regions struggle even to keep their lawns and gardens watered in summer.

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Actually somewhat close – many written words are same or similar – it pronunciation is very different!

  11. pigeonpairandme

    I’ve been to Norway a few times but never ventured further north than Alesund. I really would like to travel beyond, to these sorts of places – so remote, but resource-rich. It’s such a fascinating country. A hard life in times gone by, but what staggering beauty. Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids

  12. Norway is a truly magical land. Every time I listen to Peer Gynt I am transported back to be with the mountain trolls and forest sprites. Your lovely post reminds me that I must go back soon to do the Trondheim to Narvik train/bus journey for a 3rd time, hopefully with Northern Lights thrown in this time! Wilbur. #farawayfiles

  13. I love that you took a summertime road trip in the stunning northern Norway. I wanted to visit a few years ago, but had to change my plans. Norway (and a revisit to Denmark) are definitely on my list.

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes! We were definitely in the minority of Danish residents who all flee to Greece and Spain for summer vacation – we lucked out with the weather and had a blast!

  14. I’m missing Norway already reading these wonderful articles of yours! Swooping sea eagles? My eldest son would have been ecstatic to see those!! But… do tell me… how do you get the sky to be that colour in Norway? #FarawayFiles & #CulturedKids

  15. Yet another wonderful post introducing me to somewhere new in Norway! I absolutely love reading these, Erin. Along with beautiful pictures, you always share such useful information! thanks 🙂 #farawayfiles

  16. Coming from half a world away, Norway – and especially the far north – has always been fascinating to us. We love seeing how past generations built and thrived in what we think must have been a hard environment. The other thing that we can’t help but notice is how strikingly pretty Norway is! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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