Hiking to Hovdsundet Beach is a must for anyone visiting Bodø, Norway. Here’s how to get there & much more.
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If you ever find yourself in my hometown Bodø, northern Norway, I highly recommend you hike to Hovdsundet Beach. Hovdsundet is a secluded double beach with breathtaking views located only a short drive from the city centre. The hike itself is fun and will show you some of the best sights this region has to offer. We’re talking white sandy beaches, turquoise ocean as far as the eyes can see, and gorgeous mountain views in every direction. If you’re lucky you might even get to see an eagle or two on your way.
Sound pretty magical right? It is! I mean, this exotic looking gem is one of my favorite hikes for a reason, after all. Located north of the arctic circle this type of scenery isn’t what most visitors expect, which I guess is one of the reasons this hike has gained popularity the last couple of years. So charge your camera batteries and get ready to hike to Hovdsundet. I’ll tell you everything you need to know in this quick guide.
Distance: Approx. 8 km
Duration: From 80 minutes each way
Where To Start And How To Get There
The trail head for this hike is located less than a 30 minute drive from the city centre of Bodø. Since public transportation is very limited in this part of Bodø you should rent a car when going on a hike to Hovdsundet. Car rentals are available at Bodø Airport, which is conveniently located close to the city centre. Taking a taxi is another option, but I don’t recommend it unless its your only choice. It gets quite expensive and you’ll have less freedom to look around in the area before and after the hike.
Depending on where in Bodø your journey begins, find your way to the road Fv834 – marked as 834 on the map. Follow the road in a north east direction. The road ultimately leads to Festvåg and Kjerringøy, so whenever you see one of those locations on a sign you know you’re on the right path.
After a few short minutes on the road you’ll see breathtaking views of the fjord and surrounding mountains on your left, and you can even see the mountains of Lofoten in the far distance. Enjoy the lovely drive for 20-25 minutes, pass a place called Skau, and soon you’ll see a sign for Mjelle. Take a left turn and follow the narrow road. You’ll pass a couple of houses and venture up a steep hill. Soon you’ll see a curve with a tiny parking area on your left.
Where To Park
If there is enough space on the mentioned parking spot before the curve you should park there (Google Maps Location). That is also where the trail head is located. If there is no available space just keep driving further up the hill and you’ll soon reach a huge parking area on your right (Google Maps Location). Keep in mind that a ton of people may arrive after you embark on your hike, so be considerate when parking. I recommend you reverse park for ultimate conditions when you return from your hike.
The Trail To Hovdsundet
To make things easy for you I’ve gathered all the location data you need for your hike to Hovdsundet Beach in this map. It includes a driving route from Bodø, coordinates for parking spots and the hike trail. If you download the map on your phone you can even use it offline while hiking – perfect if you want to make sure you’re on the right path. Just remember to have GPS/location services turned on. Below you’ll also find a description of the hike trail.
Once you arrive at the trail head (Google Maps location) you’ll see a modest green sign leading the way, and a clear path west into the woods. Follow the path until you reach the shore – the shore will be your ‘lifeline’ on this hike to Hovdsundet, as the path is unclear at times. After 15-20 minutes you’ll reach a gorgeous beach called Auvika, which is a great destination as well.
Between Auvika and Hovdsundet, the path will be less clear and the terrain will be more diverse and rugged. It might feel a bit challenging if you’re not the most experienced hiker, but not in a dangerous way – this is the fun part! Just be prepared to use your entire body, take it easy and keep following the shore west; you’ll get there eventually. And believe me, the view is completely worth it. If it gets too rugged at some point you can always walk further up from the shore.
Once you reach the ‘end’ of the peninsula in the west you’ll have no choice but to head upwards until you eventually reach a hilltop. On this part of the hike you’ll get an amazing view of Hovdsundet Beach on your left. Keep walking until you’re a little north of the beach and you should soon stumble upon a trail that will lead you down to Hovdsundet Beach. The last part can be a bit steep, so keep your eyes on the trail to avoid falling.
What To Wear And Bring
When you get to Hovdsundet Beach you should spend a few hours or the rest of the day enjoying the lovely nature! Have a picnic, relax, read a good book, go for a swim, look for eagles.. Heck, why not bring a tent and spend the night there? Take advantage of the 24 hour daylight we get up here in summer and enjoy yourself completely. Here are some ideas on what to wear and bring on your hike to Hovdsundet Beach.
What To Bring
The most important thing to bring on any hike is water. For the best mobility while hiking I always recommend using a CamelBak. Or simply bring a light bottle in any daypack with a chest strap, which will stay on whenever you need to climb, bend over, etc. To enjoy your hike to Hovdsundet Beach to the fullest I suggest you bring some food and snacks, especially if you’re planning on hanging out there for a while (which you totally should). Don’t forget to bring a towel and swimwear if you think you’ll be tempted to go for a swim in the turquoise water.
What To Wear
Wear comfortable and flexible sportswear while hiking, like tights and a t-shirt. Bring or wear a jacket depending on the weather, preferably one that is both waterproof and windproof. Like Chicago, Bodø is known as “the windy city”, so be prepared for chilly wind even in the warmest summer day. If you’re doing the hike during spring, fall or a cold summer day you should consider wearing thermals (sweater and trousers). Wearing elastic trekking tights is also a great option.
As for footwear you should wear whatever you’re the most comfortable with when hiking. The important thing is that you wear shoes with a good grip. Hiking boots are great but not really necessary. I personally find boots bulky and heavy to wear and prefer lighter hiking shoes or running shoes. And whatever you do, just please don’t be that person who hikes in jeans and flip flops, it’s not comfortable or safe.
Read More: A Local’s Tips For Hiking In Norway
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