All the info you need before hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach in The Lofoten Islands, Norway
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Hiking in The Lofoten Islands in northern Norway is an exceptional experience everyone should have on their bucket list. Two of the most popular hiking destinations in the region are Ryten and Kvalvika Beach. Who haven’t seen pictures of the gorgeous white sandy beach between the steep mountains of Lofoten? Or of people ‘falling’ from the cliff by Ryten?
The power of social media have undoubtedly played a huge role in making an already popular hike even more popular. But despite it being more crowded than ever it remains one of the most beautiful hikes you can do in Lofoten. Hiking Ryten and Kvalvika beach isn’t too hard for amateurs to complete, it doesn’t take too much time, and the views are spectacular.. What more can a traveler ask for? Keep reading for my best tips on hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach.
Where To Start And How To Get There
The summit of Ryten and Kvalvika Beach are located on the beautiful island of Moskenesøy, one of the Lofoten Islands. There are two main trail heads to choose from when hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach. Both of them are located a short drive from the main road E10, which makes it easily accessible if you’re driving (which most people are when visiting Lofoten).
Depending on what you want you have the option of choosing to hike both Ryten and Kvalvika Beach for the ultimate experience, or you can choose one of them. As we only had time to hike one, we chose Ryten. That way we got to experience the hike up the summit and the view of Kvalvika Beach from the top. Next time I’m definitely doing both! Preferably while camping at Kvalvika Beach.
The Northern Trail Head
The northernmost trail is located along road Fv806. It is marked in Google Maps as “Ryten trail head”, and with a tiny green sign at the premises. This is the one we chose, so we followed driving instructions on Google Maps until we reached the trail head and looked for parking, which is marked “Parking for Ryten” on Google Maps. Parking gets full pretty fast in the busy months so I advice you to get a super early start to your day. From the trail head the trail to the summit and to Kvalvika is marked well. Read a more detailed trail description here.
The Southern Trail Head
The southernmost trail is located along road Fv808. It is marked in Google Maps as “Kvalvika Beach trail head”, and with a tiny green sign at the premises. Across the street from the trail head you’ll find parking, marked as “Kvalvika Beach parking” on Google Maps. This route takes you directly to Kvalvika Beach, and from there you can decide if you want to follow the same path back or if you want to complete the summit. Read a more detailed trail description here.
Details On Hiking Ryten & Kvalvika Beach
Height: 543 meters
Distance: 3,5 km
Time: 2-3 hours
Duration Of The Hike
The hike should take approximately 2-3 hours if you’re in somewhat good shape, but the hike is absolutely doable for people in any shape. The sun never sets in the arctic during the summer months, so take all the time you need! The important thing is that you enjoy the trip, not how fast you can reach the top (unless that’s your thing, of course, what do I know). My travel squad and I took a long lunch break at the summit, and I took a looot of photos on the hike, so we spent approximately 4 hours on the hike in total.
If you’re looking for a hike where you get the most for your burned calories, this is it. I don’t even know where to start. The view of this hike is amazing from start to finish and I enjoyed every second of it (despite being way too sweaty and out of breath at times). This hike has everything I look for in a hike: amazing scenery wherever you look, the loud silence of nature and fun photo ops.
Once you get closer to the top you’ll get an amazing view of Kvalvika Beach with the steep mountains in the background. A bit further up you can sit on the Insta-famous cliff or pretend like you’re barely holding on to it, but don’t worry: It’s actually very safe, the ground below is just cropped out of the photos you’ve seen.
The only downside for me was the crowds of people. I mean, I can’t really complain since I’m one of them, but it was really annoying at some points when we basically walked in one super long line up the mountain. But that is the reality of high season travel. My tip is to start super early in the morning!
What To Bring On A Hike To Ryten And Kvalvika Beach
Hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach might not be the longest or hardest hikes out there. But there are still a few things to consider before heading up there. Here are some tips on what to bring on a hike to Ryten and Kvalvika Beach:
Clothes & Shoes
- Wear sportswear depending on weather conditions, like tights and a t-shirt. Don’t be that person who hikes in jeans and flip flops, its not comfortable or safe.
- Bring or wear a jacket depending on the weather. Preferably one that is both waterproof and windproof like this one. Even on warm summer days it might be chilly at the top, especially if it’s windy (wind + sweaty clothes and body = cold AF).
- Bring or wear thermals in the colder months, or if its a cold summer. My favorite ones are from the Norwegian brand Kari Traa (sweater / pants).
- Wearing comfortable outdoor trousers is also practical. An elastic pair like these are great for the warmer months, while these and these are good options for the colder months.
- Wear shoes with a good grip. Bonus points if they’re waterproof. Hiking boots are great but not necessary. I find boots bulky and heavy to wear and if you’re anything like me I recommend wearing shoes like these amazing waterproof ones instead.
- A small backpack is a must. I love my Fjallraven Kanken, but its honestly not the best for hiking. Get one with a chest strap like this one from Osprey, especially if you’re bringing heavy camera equipment.
- Food and snacks are always smart to bring. Even if you’re not planning on hanging out on the top like we did, unexpected things and accidents may happen. If you stumble and hurt yourself you’ll be glad you brought extra food and water while waiting for help.
- Bring enough water is super important. While water bottles are great, my favorite hiking item is the CamelBak. Purchase the reservoir seperately and put it in any backpack, or get a backpack and reservoir in one, like this or this.
- Bring a camera with extra batteries and memory cards. I recommend a light travel camera with interchangeable lenses and the option of shooting in RAW. My favorite is the Sony a6500 camera with the 16mm 1.4 lens for landscape shots.
Places To Stay When Hiking Ryten & Kvalvika Beach
There are several places to stay when hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach, whatever travel style you prefer.
When we did this hike we were camping in our lavo at Lofoten Beach Camp. From there it only took us fifteen minutes to drive to the parking spot by the Ryten trail head (northern trail head). Lofoten Beach Camp is a great and very affordable developed campground that I truly recommend. For 150 NOK we got a spot for our lavo, wifi and access to toilets and showers. It is also possible to do laundry here, which is a huge plus. They also have rooms and bungalows available for rent if you’re not that into tent life. It is located at a gorgeous white beach with an amazing view!
It is also possible to camp in a tent out in the wild. If you’re doing that I suggest you camp closer to the hike, at Kvalvika Beach or by Forsvatnet lake (a lake between Kvalvika Beach and the Ryten summit). If you camp by Kvalvika Beach you won’t have access to water, so keep that in mind when packing if you decide to camp there.
Other Options Nearby
5-bedroom House in Ramberg: Always wanted to stay in a traditional wooden house? This adorable one might be perfect for you. Located right next to the gorgeous Ramberg Beach you’re only a 8 minute drive from either trail heads to Ryten and Kvalvika Beach. The property has free wifi, a hot tub, BBQ facilities, full kitchen and a private beach.
Lydersen Rorbuer: Affordable accommodation in a lovely environment. Gorgeous view and only a 3-5 minute drive from either trail head. Perfect for groups traveling together as you can choose between several different room sized. Shared kitchen and family rooms available and breakfast buffet.
Kafe Friisgarden: Lovely B&B in Ramberg, less than a 10 minute drive from either trail head. Free WiFi, free private parking and a breakfast buffet available. Known for their great restaurant with local food and delicious coffee. The super market across the street is perfect for stocking up on snacks for your hike.
Ramberg Gjestegård: Cozy guesthouse in Ramberg super close to the gorgeous Ramberg Beach. Stay in a cottage with free wifi, kitchenette and a patio with an ocean and mountain view. Enjoy local dishes and a drink in the restaurant. Kayak, boat and bike rentals available.
Other Things To Do In The Area
There are a lot of fun things to do in the area. Go fishing, kayaking, hang out at one of the incredible beaches like Ramberg Beach, and so on. If you need more ideas on things to do you should check out my ultimate guide to Lofoten.
Travel Responsibly In Lofoten
Lofoten’s claim to fame hasn’t been all flowers and butterflies. Although most visitors behave great, the ones who do not ruin it for everyone else. Last summer the locals were sick of people camping in their backyards without asking, of people pooping in the middle of popular hiking trails, and inexperienced tourists hiking in dangerous areas despite warnings – putting themselves and their helpers in unnecessary dangerous situations. No one is going to stop you from exploring wonderful Lofoten, but please travel responsibly. Here is how you do it:
Respect the forces of nature and be careful while hiking and climbing. Do proper research on routes prior to hiking and bring necessary equipment. Always tell someone where you’re going in case of emergencies.
THE RULES OF CAMPING
Nearly all uninhabited lands are open for camping in Norway, with the exception of yards, parking spots, cemeteries (!), animal enclosures and within 150 meters of any building. If you’re in someones property, be sure to ask them for permission. Do not get upset if they say no, it’s their right.
LEAVE NO TRACE
Lofoten is a fragile arctic environment, treat it as such. Leave the nature as it was before you arrived and please don’t litter. Learn more here.
THE TOILET SITUATION
Use public toilets whenever you can. If you cannot hold it, walk as far as you can from a public trail to do your deed. And cover it up after so no one has to step in your poop later.
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