While planning this years summer vacation, I discovered that the ferry towards Lofoten made a stop halfway. This stop was at the island Skrova, and for an enthusiastic paddler it looked very exciting. In every flyer, this island is called “Lofoten’s little Hawaii” and the reason is that it supposedly rains less here than everywhere else in Lofoten, something which sounded like a promising start for my vacation.
The ferry is arriving late in the evening and the sun is setting. Sunbeams are glittering in the ocean. The shape of the island is protecting the harbour from the oftentimes rough ocean outside. On the inside, the waters are absolutely still. This is a proper safe harbour, you might say. It’s breathtaking and perfect for water activities like kayaking, SUP and how about a nice evening out, taking the rowboat around the harbour?
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Leave you car
Upon entering the island, there’s a sign encouraging you to leave the car at the dock. It doesn’t take long to stroll across the island. The car would just be in your way, anyway, as this is a pretty small island. When walking it’s much easier to talk to the locals and make sure you get to see everything the island has to offer.
Around the island
Most islands I’ve been to are by default perfect for any kind of fun in the water, and Skrova is no exception. Today is all about kayaking. The dock’s provide easy access. We pass the traditional red boathouses (or “rorbu” in Norwegian), both new and old, the old fish processing plant and lots and lots of boats of different shapes and sizes. The conditions are excellent this time, also on the outside of the island, where it can get very rough when the weather sets in. Today, it’s like paddling through cotton, so soft and could have been in complete silence if the seagulls hadn’t disrupted the peace. A clear blue sky offers views in all directions.
Paddling around the island is highly recommendable and perfect on a day like this. Along the eastcoast, a steep mountainside is shooting straight up from the sea. Above us, countless of birds are flying around and sometimes the racket they make can be ear-deafening. Soon we get close to the northside of the island. The landscape changes. Fields of green appear and then we see the beaches. Long beaches covered in perfect white sand. At this time, the colour of the sea changes to azure blue. It feels like we made a wrong turn somewhere en ended up in, well Hawaii – just like the flyers said. It is so beautiful it almost hurts my eyes to watch. We forget to paddle, but are pulled forward by the current, so all hands on deck now.
A day at the beach
Needless to say, this calls for several hours at the beach. Exploring our surroundings. Sunbathing and curling our toes down in the sand. In the sky above us the eagles are passing by. Not just one, but myriads of them. They don’t take notice of anything, busy thinking about the next meal. There’s not a lot of people at these beaches and I would guess that has to do with the temperature in the water not matching it’s beautiful surroundings. The sea is cold, and even though some might manage to take a swim, most of us would just settle for barefoot strolling along the shoreside. My memories of this place will stay with me for a long time.
Kayaks are readily available for rent at the island, but the beaches are also accessible by foot through the nature reserve, and it’s not a long walk. The 1,5 km long dirt road takes you past meadows of flowers that make you want to take off your shoes an run barefoot in the grass. Walking to the beaches, be sure to set aside plenty of time, enjoy the lunch you brought and have fun. Going back, you could take the detour up to Skrova’s only mountain, Skrovafjellet, at 281 meters. On the top of the mountain, there is a 360 degree panoramic view to the mainland and the Lofoten wall. When weather permits, you’ll get to see it all. And good weather’s always nice when you’re on vacation, right?
Local food and accommodation
Even though the island is small, there are two restaurant on the pier that offer local food. There’s of course cod and salmon on the menu, in addition to other traditional and untraditional dishes. For an extra extra special experience, you could take the trip out to Skrova lighthouse. In addition to dining, they offer rooms for the night.
As with everywhere else in Lofoten, the traditional rorbu’s (boathouses) are usually also available for rent, along with apartments, cabins and a variety of rooms. The old oiltank (“Oljetanken” in Norwegian) is located in the middle of the harbour and upgraded to a modern apartment that can be rented for a shorter or longer stay. A truly special experience. If your goal is to live in nature and wake up to the sunrise and seagulls screaming in your ears, you could bring your tent or hammock and stay a night or two at the beach.
During the year, festivals and other cultural happenings are an important part of life at Skrova. If nothing special is going on at the time you are here, you can still enjoy several permanent photo exhibitions. The walls inside the only tunnel on the island are filled with picture from this and surrounding island, dating back to the 1960’s. Well, it’s worth seeing. Enjoy your stay.
What do you think? Please let me know in the comments below.
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Image credit: Helekim Tekst og Foto