During our roadtrip through Northern Norway, we were also visited the Vesteralen, an archipelago located just above the Lofoten Islands. We spent two nights on Andoya, where we visited the tourist route and went on a magical bird safari under the midnight sun. But we also did some short hikes. In this article I share three beautiful hikes we made on Andoya.
The first stop is in Stave, a village located on a beautiful bay. A secondary road on the left takes us to a small car park at the foot of a mountain. This is where the hike to Hoyvika Beach begins. This beach is only accessible by boat or on foot. Decades ago, people lived here completely isolated from the outside world. In addition, it’s the most beautiful beach on the island and Hoyvika Beach has even been among the screen savers of the iPad. So it really is a must visit place. The trail first follows the coast, then follows a rocky slope. We climb to the top of this slope, where a magnificent view awaits us. On the bay and the jagged rocky walls in the background and we see a little bit of Hoyvika Beach. We don’t hike to the beach, to reach it we must descend a rocky slope and then walk on the rocks along the beach located below. We are running out of time because we are going on a bird safari in a few hours and the afternoon is coming to an end. Anyway, this fantastic view is already a real treat, and to ease the pain, we will sail the same evening along this beautiful secluded beach. To reach the beach, it takes at least a one hour walk.
Alomar Observatory and Ramnan mountain
Following the advice of one of the locals we met during the bird safari, we climb to a viewpoint on top of the Andenes mountains. This is where Alomar Observatory, a research station, is located. It’s located on Ramnan Mountain, 400 meters above sea level. According to him, the trail was easy and the view of the sea and the mountains would be breathtaking. This sounded pretty good, so starting from Andenes we follow the Fv82. Here we take the first exit on a small road where we can park the car. The climb on a gravel road is not very exciting, but the higher we get, the more the view is panoramic. From below, the trail seems to climb gradually, but some parts are quite steep. Before reaching Ramnan Mountain, it’s possible to climb to other peaks through the grassy slopes: first to “Andhue” Mountain, which means “Duck Head”, then to “Royken” Mountain, which means “Smoke” because this mountain is often suspended in the fog. Very nice, but we leave these peaks aside for the moment because our goal is the observatory and Ramnan Mountain and we want to hike further on the ridge. I think it took us about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the top. The climb is a bit monotonous, but the view from Ramnan Mountain is phenomenal. We observe a series of distant peaks and a sparkling blue sea, but also a view of Bleiksoya, where we did a magical bird safari under the midnight sun the night before. The view is panoramic, so the view stretches to the village of Andenes, the grassy plains on the east side of Andoya and even the mountains of Senja, where we will be driving on the scenic tourist route the next day and where we climb an iconic mountain. It’s quite pleasant to hike to Alomar observatory and Ramnan Mountain, especially if you go further along the ridge and/or if you take the small trails to the different peaks mentioned above. When we were on Ramnan Mountain, the wind started blowing very hard. So instead of hiking further on the ridge or following the trails to the other peaks, we return to the car park. Unfortunately, with this strong wind, it became a bit dangerous to walk at this altitude. In total we hiked for about two hours.
Hiking on Bleik Beach
When we’re done hiking to Ramnan Mountain, we have a picnic break on Bleik Beach. We find a place sheltered from the wind and enjoy the sun. Bleik Beach is very large, as you can see on the photos above, so it’s possible to go for a long leisurely walk. We walk on the beach, to the harbor, then on a dirt road until the beach turns into rocks. Apart from a camper and some hikers we meet few people during this little walk. On the program: a series of beautiful white sandy beaches, very photogenic beach houses, colorful boats and an intense blue sea.