Nusfjord: The Historical Gem of the Lofoten Islands

Published on 17th May 2016 by Shing Yoong

My word. How can I possibly talk about the beauty of Nusfjord without failing miserably?

Being here is like a gift from Mother Nature. It has a special quality that goes beyond its jagged peaks and expansive fjord view, it somehow takes you to that happy place within yourself, where you forget everything except for being utterly present. The feeling of being truly alive. The feeling of being in the moment, right now, as you are.

That’s why trying to describe the beauty of this place is difficult – the feeling it evokes is just as promising as its spectacular landscape - it has a certain je ne sais quoi.

As soon as I stepped inside the rorbu (fisherman’s cabin) we were staying for the night, I knew I didn’t want to leave. It’s the kind of place a writer would go if they wanted to finish the last chapter of their novel, or where two lovers would choose to lock themselves up for a week of romance with a roaring fire and relax to the sound of the ocean swaying back and forth.

Whilst you can happily lose track of time while staring out toward the seemingly endless peaks and recurring waves of the Lofoten Islands, Nusfjord has deep-rooted historical value.

The area is one of Norway’s oldest and best preserved fishing villages. Today it is seen as an open-air museum for visitors and boasts an old-fashioned village store, a workshop making cod-liver oil, a sawmill and a forge.

Walking around the place, there can be a natural smell of cod drifting through the air which reminds you that this is still a working village and you can spot cod hanging out on the racks to dry. 

There's also a restaurant which serves freshly served catch-of-the-day and accommodation in old fishing cabins, most with panoramic views of the fjords and mountains. 

While we stayed in one of the modern cabins which is great for people who enjoy a touch of luxury, guests also have the choice to stay in more traditional rorbuer which maintain authentic features, some with bunk beds and original wooden paneling.

Interestingly there are five protected rorbuer on the Lofoten Islands and all five are located in Nusfjord. We got the chance to look inside two of them which gave us a good impression of how fishermen used to work and how they’d sleep. We were surprised to learn that guests have the opportunity to sleep in these protected cabins during the summer at a cheaper price to the renovated ones. I thought a night in these protected cabins might be more expensive, but they’re not equipped with bathrooms or modern heating, making them less comfortable.

When we woke in the early morning the sun was shining like a summer’s day, we could hardly believe our luck as we raced onto our balcony and prayed to Apollo it would stay this way.

Alas, it did not. In no less than an hour the sun recoiled and the heaven’s opened. But the change in weather wasn’t so bad after all, as the clouds moved closer together and laced the mountain peaks I realised Nusfjord looked more majestic now than ever.

That ability to look beautiful whatever the weather is important in Norway, a country where rain, wind, snow and sun come and go many times between night and day.

Want to stay here?

If you're interested you can call a member of our team on 01274 875199 or see our new summer holiday to the Lofoten Islands.