Your own private lighthouse

Off the beaten path: See Norway’s coast with a lighthouse tour

Photo: Littleisland Lighthouse / Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Littleisland Lighthouse / Wikimedia Commons

Molly Andrus
Norwegian American Weekly

Want to experience Norway’s coast with a trip to remember? How about spending your vacation in a lighthouse?

If you’re looking for the best views of the sea, unique accommodation, and a glimpse into the lives of lighthouse keepers, this may be the perfect vacation for you.

When lighthouses became automated at the end of the 20th century, the rooms that had once housed the lighthouse keepers were abandoned. More than 60 of these historic lighthouses along the Norwegian coastline have been transformed from vacant quarters into authentic guest rooms for travelers.

With a plethora of options available, there’s sure to be a lighthouse to fit each traveler’s agenda.

Splurge on luxury and adventure at Littleisland Lighthouse

Located north of the Arctic Circle and in the open water of the Atlantic Sea, the Littleisland Lighthouse is an adventure in itself. Once you’ve reached the lighthouse, you will be able to relax and enjoy the peace of being on your own island with a view of the Lofoten Islands. There are two luxurious double bedrooms, as well as a cozy library, available for guests to enjoy. The price is much more expensive here, but includes the cost of all meals, transportation, and all conveniences. The activities on the island include bird watching, whale watching, exploring the caves, and, of course, viewing the spectacular Northern Lights. You are sure to have the Norwegian vacation of your dreams at Littleisland Lighthouse.

There are various ways to reach Littleisland Lighthouse. First, you must travel to Sortland. You can get here by shuttle from the Skagen airport, bus from Evenes airport, or express boat from Tromsø. The Littleisland shuttle will then take you across the water to the lighthouse at your convenience.

Explore the local region at Kråkenes Lighthouse

Kråkenes offers a diverse array of experiences. It is located in the Vagsøy community, between Bergen and Ålesund. You can choose from the bridal suite in the main house and the five double rooms in the storm house. Kråkenes Lighthouse also offers the SlowTur Concept for those seeking relaxation. Enjoy a massage and meditation with a minimum three-night stay at the lighthouse.

Discover the area by walking to the nearby historical village, strolling along the local beach at Revfik, and exploring the stone formations dating back to the glacial period. The management suggests taking day trips north from Kråkenes. At Hovden you can visit World War Two ruins, and at Vestkapp you will experience the beauty of Norwegian coastal nature.

You can reach Kråkenes by driving three hours south from Ålesund or six to seven hours north from Bergen.

Photo: bildethu / Wikimedia Commons  Kråkenes Fyr offers a luxurious place to rest and take in the dramatic scenery.

Photo: bildethu / Wikimedia Commons
Kråkenes Fyr offers a luxurious place to rest and take in the dramatic scenery.

Embrace the coastal culture at Ryvarden Lighthouse

Dating back to 1849, the Ryvarden Lighthouse has a rich history and an abundant culture. It boasts the motto, “where the sea meets the sky,” and has become a landmark of the Norwegian coast. It is located south of Bergen, in Sveio. The lighthouse quarters were renovated in 2007 and can accommodate up to 10 guests.

When staying at Ryvarden, be sure to visit the cultural gallery. It was established in 1992 and now draws up to 35,000 visitors per year. The current exhibition in the gallery features the French maritime artist Râmine. If you’re feeling up for it, explore the region on foot as you ponder the 1,100 year history of Ryvarden. When you’re ready to escape the stormy coastal weather, visit the café for some traditional Norwegian waffles.

From Bergen, a three-hour drive south and one ferry ride will get you to Ryvarden. You can also reach the lighthouse from Stavanger with a two-hour drive northwest and a ferry.

Photo: Roar Johansen / Wikimedia Commons Ryvarden is a landmark on the Norwegian coast, and a great place to soak in some history.

Photo: Roar Johansen / Wikimedia Commons
Ryvarden is a landmark on the Norwegian coast, and a great place to soak in some history.

Relax in an idyllic setting at Ulvesund Lighthouse

There’s no better place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the coast than Ulvesund Lighthouse. You will find this destination in the Vagsøy community, near Kråkenes Lighthouse. There are three rooms available in the lighthouse, one in a cabin, and one in the machine house.

Unwind in the garden while reclining in a hammock. If you’re feeling especially inspired, you can rent painting supplies and recreate the plentiful landscape. Shop for handmade crafts and tasty treats in the gift shop and enjoy homemade traditional Norwegian meals in the café. And finally, don’t forget to mingle with the two friendly goats residing in the garden!

Ulvesund is a three-hour trip south from Ålesund or a seven-hour trip north from Bergen. If you’ve decided to visit Kråkenes Lighthouse as well, you can reach Ulvesund in a quick 45-minute drive east.

Immerse yourself in the diverse wildlife at Svenner Lighthouse

Svenner Lighthouse is the perfect destination for the wildlife enthusiast. It is located south of Oslo and just across the fjord from Fredrikstad. There are six bedrooms available with space for 19 guests.

Due to the harsh coastal climate, Svenner has an exceptional botanical diversity. It is an important area for small birds migrating in the spring. In May and June, visitors can see many eiders and gulls at Svenner. The bird life has been protected in this region since 1935. Of course, it’s also a good spot for fishing and crabbing. If you want to experience life as the lighthouse keepers lived, a vacation at Svenner Lighthouse is a great choice.

Svenner is just a two-hour-drive south from Oslo. This is the perfect destination if you want the opportunity to stay in a lighthouse but also want to partake in the capitol’s tourist attractions.

This article originally appeared in the May 16, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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