All the info you need before hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Norway
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 the iconic pictures of the gorgeous white sandy beach between the steep mountains of Lofoten, or of people ‘falling’ from the cliff at 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 or challenging, it doesn’t take too much time, it has amazing photo ops, and the views are spectacular. What more can a traveler possibly look for in a hike?
Keep reading for my best tips on hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach.
Table of Contents
- Where To Drive, Park And Start Your Hike
- Map Of The Hiking Trails To Ryten & Kvalvika Beach
- Things To Know Before Hiking Ryten & Kvalvika Beach
- What To Bring When Hiking Ryten And Kvalvika Beach
- Places To Stay When Hiking Ryten & Kvalvika Beach
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Where To Drive, Park And Start Your Hike
Kvalvika Beach and the summit of Ryten are located on the beautiful island of Moskenesøy, one of the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. When hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach you have two main trails to choose from, with parking available close to each trail head. Both are located a short drive from the main road E10, which makes it easily accessible if you’re driving your way through Lofoten.
Which Trail Should You Choose?
Which of the two main trails – or what combination of them – you should choose depends on what you want out of your hike, and how much time you have on your hands. This pretty much boils down to three hiking options:
- Hiking both Kvalvika Beach and Ryten: As there exist a trail between Kvalvika Beach and Ryten, its possible to hike both in one trip. I would probably choose to hike Ryten first, then go for a swim at Kvalvika Beach after, but vice versa works too. This is the most spectacular option but also the most time consuming and exhausting one.
- Hiking to Kvalvika Beach only: Don’t have much time but have your heart set on seeing Kvalvika Beach up close? This option might be for you. Its the least time consuming and exhausting option, but keep in mind you will not get to see the Instagram-famous view of Kvalvika Beach from above with this option. (Pick the southern trail head for this one).
- Hiking to the Ryten summit only: If you only have time for hiking one, and you want to experience the incredible view of the area and see Kvalvika Beach from above, this is the option for you. This is the one we picked – for those exact reasons – and we had an amazing trip. Next time I’m definitely doing both, though! (Pick the northern trail head for this one).
1. The Northern Trail Head (Ryten or both)
Follow these instructions for the northern trail head if you want to hike Ryten only, or both Ryten and Kvalvika Beach by starting with Ryten.
Where To Drive
Drive along the E10 until you reach the Fredvang intersection (Google Maps location), about 3,4 km south of Ramberg. Continue driving west towards Fredvang along the road Fv808. After a few minutes you’ll reach an intersection where the Fv808 turns left, but you must keep driving straight a head along the road that is now the Fv806, towards Ytresand. After another few minutes behind the wheel you’ll reach an intersection that kind of looks like the end of the road; take a left here and you’ll soon arrive at the Ryten parking lot.
Find a free parking space once you reach the Ryten parking lot (Google Maps location), either on your own or by following instructions from the people that live and work there. Parking cost 50 NOK for the day and you can pay with cash or card. Some visitors find the fee annoying but keep in mind that its located on people’s actual home and property, so it is only fair to pay a small fee. Parking gets full pretty fast in the high season, so I advice you to get a super early start to your hike if you can. Especially in July and August.
The Ryten trail head is located very close to the parking lot and its impossible to miss due to the many signs in the area. Follow the trail into the valley and you’ll soon start the first climb of the hike. After this first steep part you’ll spot a little lake on your left as the trail will turn west. Follow the trail as its get more and more rocky on the way up. After a while you’ll spot Forsvatnet lake on your left as you continue your climb up to the summit. The summit is marked by a cairn, but I promise that you’ll know once you reach it regardless!
Enjoy the view and and maybe take some fun photos by the world-known cliff before going down the same way you came. The hike takes approximately 2-3 hours for most people, but if you plan on hanging out at the top or taking a lot of photos like us, it will take more like 4 hours in total.
If you’re hiking Kvalvika Beach after Ryten: Start going down the same way you came. A little north of the Forsvatnet lake you’ll soon spot a trail headed in a southwest direction towards the ocean; this will take you down to Kvalvika Beach. Once you’re done at Kvalvika, hike back up towards Forsvatnet lake and connect to the trail back to the parking lot, where you came from. Note that you’ll add an extra 600 meters of elevation to your hike by choosing this option.
2. The Southern Trail Head (Kvalvika Beach or both)
Follow these instructions for the southern trail head if you want to hike to Kvalvika Beach only, or both Ryten and Kvalvika Beach by starting with Kvalvika.
Where To Drive & Park
Drive along the E10 until you reach the Fredvang intersection (Google Maps location), about 3,4 km south of Ramberg. Continue driving west towards Fredvang along the road Fv808. After a few minutes you’ll reach an intersection where the Fv808 turns left; take a left here, following the road signs to Fredvang sentrum. After about 3 km you’ll pass a little red boat shed on your left, followed by two parking spots (Google Maps location). I recommend you start your hike early to increase your odds for getting a parking spot, especially during the busy months of July and August.
The trail head is located right across the road from the parking spots. Follow the trail as it leads you into the woods, up a hill and between two mountains, before it decends quite steeply towards Kvalvika Beach at the end. Beware that it can get slippery if has rained recently, particularly the last part of the hike. Follow the same trail back to your car. The hike takes approximately one hour each way.
If you’re hiking Ryten after Kvalvika Beach: While at Kvalvika Beach, head north towards the creek. You’ll soon locate a trail next to it; let the trail lead you while you climb your way northeast up the hill, towards Forsvatnet lake. There you will be able to connect to the trail to Ryten. Follow the trail northwest up to the summit.
Map Of The Hiking Trails
Below you’ll find a map of the hiking trails to Ryten and Kvalvika beach from the two mentioned trail heads. Hit the star behind the name of the map to add its contents into your Google Maps. You must have a (free) Google account and be logged in to do so. Save the map offline and you can now use it offline while hiking!
Things To Know Before Hiking Ryten And Kvalvika Beach
Hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach is far from the longest or hardest hikes in Lofoten. Still, there are a few things you should keep in mind before and during your hike. Hiking in Norway in general can be challenging and even dangerous if you don’t take necessary precautions and plan your hikes well.
1. Take Precautions & Respect The Environment
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. Bring any garbage with you, and leave the nature as it was before you arrived. Oh, and try to avoid pooping on the hiking trail (yup, that an issue in Lofoten).
2. Bring Enough Water & Food
Bring water, 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.
3. Download The App Hjelp 113
You should know that the emergency number in Norway is 113. I also recommend you download and install the app Hjelp 113 on your phone prior to your hike (iOS/Google Play). The app tracks your location when you need it to, which makes it a lot easier for the right people to find you if you (or someone you meet while hiking) get hurt, lost or stuck.
4. Dress After The Weather
Choose clothes and shoes depending on season and weather conditions. Check the weather forecast prior to your hike and dress accordingly. Remember where you are on the planet; it can be chilly at the top even when hiking on the warmest summer days. Get more detailed tips on what to wear while hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach below.
What To Bring On A Hike To Ryten And Kvalvika Beach
Clothes & Shoes
- Wear sportswear depending on weather conditions, like leggings and a t-shirt during summer and additional layers when its colder. Jeans are a big nope.
- Always bring or wear a jacket, preferably one that is both waterproof and windproof like the Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid jacket in breathable Gore-Tex. 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 merino wool base layers in the colder months or if its a cold summer. My favorite ones are from the Norwegian brand Kari Traa.
- Wearing flexible trekking trousers is also practical. An elastic pair like the Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights are great for the warmer months (I looove mine!), while the Fjällräven Vidda Pro Trousers are a better choice 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.
- Bring enough water is super important. While water bottles are great, my favorite hiking item is the CamelBak hydration pack. Purchase the reservoir seperately and put it in any backpack, or get a backpack and reservoir in one like 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.
- Always bring a first aid kit while hiking in Norway. You never know when you, or someone you meet, need one. Consider packing toilet paper and pain killers, too.
Places To Stay When Hiking Ryten And Kvalvika Beach
There are several places to stay when hiking Ryten and Kvalvika Beach.
Our Pick: Lofoten Beach Camp
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!
If you want to camp outdoors the night before/after your hike to Ryten and Kvalvika beach, I suggest you camp close to the hike, like at Kvalvika Beach or by Forsvatnet lake (the little lake between Kvalvika Beach and the Ryten summit). If you camp by Kvalvika Beach you won’t have access to water though, so keep that in mind when packing if you decide to camp there.
Other Options Nearby
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.
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.
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.
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