Due to its almost magical reflections, Svolvær has adopted the name ‘City of Light’. Famous for its northern lights, midnight sun and exotic culture, it is the place to experience Lofoten at its best.
Svolvær has a long and rich history. Findings show that the oldest settlement found here was from the early Bronze Age, in a place called Øvreværet. Hunting and fishing has been the main occupation here since time immemorial, and historically the settlements consisted of caves and rock shelters. The first written source, which dates back to the mid-1500s, reviewed Svolvær as a ‘farm on the King’s land’. The 1900s, however, there was a significant population growth and strong economic development in the area and this it went from being one of many small fishing ports in Lofoten, to becoming a town.
An Artists Playgound
For centuries, this dramatic landscape has been a huge draw for visitors. The unique nature, as well as the incredible natural light in this part of Norway has long been a great inspiration for artists. Many travel here for inspiration or simply to paint. The place has a rich cultural scene and numerous art galleries. Take a short trip north and you will for instance find North Norwegian Art Centre and Dagfinn Bakkes Gallery.
Lofoten’s Exotic Nature and Mountains
When flying into Svolvær, it is impossible not to be impressed by the surroundings. The mighty fjords attract incredible wildlife including sea eagles and killer whales. The steep mountains that leap straight out of the sea are a paradise to hikers, climbers and winter sport enthusiasts. Svolvær's most famous landmark, Svolværgeita, stretches 569 metres above sea level. Its incredible rock pinnacle, which towers over the town, is characterised by what looks like two goat horns and that is what gives it its name. It is a must for experienced rock climbers. In addition, there are plenty of other hiking trails for all abilities. For those who want to hike in the area, or climb Svolværgeita, with an experienced mountain guide, tours are available with Lofoten Outdoor. There is no shortage of stunning scenery in the town and surrounding areas. From the centre it is only a ten minute walk to complete silence and nature. Svolvær offers a variety of activities, regardless of the season including fishing, hunting, sea kayaking and even berry picking in autumn. See activities offered by Svinoya
Why not rent a Rorbu, a seasonal house used traditionally by fishermen? Nowadays, they offer rented accommodation and make for the perfect base during a stay here.
Bustling Town Life
Svolvær has long been at the centre of the annual fishing season, attracting fishermen and visitors alike. This has contributed to the town’s strong industry as a trade port. Svolvær has a bustling lifestyle for its size and has a great urban café life and shopping based around the main market square, as well as outdoor restaurants in the summer months. There are also plenty of museums, galleries and nature based attractions open year round. Svolvær is the capital of the region, and a major hub. With Widerøe, you can fly here to reach Henningsvær and Kabelvåg, or to travel to other parts of Lofoten. Røst
is one of the region's largest producer of dried fish exports to Italy. Leknes
offers very special nature, known to be among the most beautiful in Norway, with steep mountains and pearly white sandy beaches.