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.
RELATED: WORLD’S WILDEST WHIRLPOOLS | SALSTRAUMEN MAELSTROM
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 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.
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.