Make sure to visit Kjerringøy on your next trip to Norway. I promise you, you wont regret it.
Kjerringøy is a stunning peninsula that will surely take your breath away with its majestic mountains, well kept 1800s buildings, interesting history, art galleries, cultural events, and white sandy beaches around every corner. Kjerringøy had a big impact on Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. It has also been frequently used as a filming location for several Norwegian films.
Located less than an hour from my hometown Bodø in northern Norway, this coastal gem is often overlooked by tourists traveling through the Salten region on their way to Lofoten. Although its a popular destination for day trips and weekend trips among Salten locals, Kjerringøy still has more of that “off the beaten path” vibe to it, not to mention less crowds. A visit here is easily combined with destinations like Bodø, Lofoten, Vesterålen, Steigen, Hamarøy or Helgelandskysten.
Sounds too good to be true? Come and see for yourself. And keep reading this post for my best tips on how to get there, where to stay and things to do in Kjerringøy, Norway.
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How To Get To Kjerringøy
As previously mentioned, Kjerringøy is a peninsula located less than an hour from the city of Bodø in northern Norway. It is accessible by car, bus or bicycle.
BY CAR/BICYCLE: Head north from Bodø on the road Fv834. After approximately 30 minutes by car you’ll reach Festvåg ferry terminal. The ferry will take you to Kjerringøy in 10-15 minutes. Plan in advance and check the timetable here. Detailed driving instructions are included in the map at the bottom of this post.
BY BUS: You can take the 400 bus from several bus stops in Bodø to Kjerringøy. Check the timetable here (will vary with season), use the travel planner on reisnordland.no or plan your trip with the Reis Nordland app (iOS/google play). Purchase bus tickets using the app Billett Nordland (app store/google play) for the best prices. Consider purchasing the ‘Travel Pass Nordland’ in the app if you’re planning on traveling a lot by bus or boat in Nordland.
Places To Stay In Kjerringøy
Why not bring a tent and spend the night outside? Kjerringøy is the perfect place to camp. If you’re not the outdoorsy type, or just prefer to sleep in a bed, you can consider these great options instead:
Kjerringøy Bryggehotell: A lovely 4 star hotel right by the ocean with an amazing on-site restaurant. The hotel is located in what is considered the centre of Kjerringøy, and is within walking distance of the most popular sights.
Kjerringøy Rorbusenter: Comfortable and charming lodging in Tårnvik, where the road ends on the Kjerringøy peninsula. The perfect choice for those eager to hike or fish, or if you just want to enjoy the quiet nature at its best. Restaurant available on-site.
Scandic Havet: If you don’t plan on spending the night in Kjerringøy you should consider staying at Scandic Havet in Bodø. Their rooms are beautiful and the rooftop restaurant has the best view of the harbour and the rest of the city.
8 Things To Do In Kjerringøy
This peninsula has something for everyone. Here are a few ideas on great things to do in Kjerringøy:
1. Go Fishing
Few activities are as simultaneously exciting and relaxing as fishing. Either bring your own fishing rod and try your luck fishing when visiting Kjerringøy, or rent the equipment you need from Kjerringøy Bryggehotell or Kjerringøy Rorbusenter. The latter can also take you on an ocean fishing tour on a skippered fishing boat if you’re looking for a more thrilling experience (book by e-mailing email@example.com).
2. Try Sea Kayaking or River Canoeing
Why not get out on the water for some fun exploring? Sea kayaking is a very popular activity in this part of Norway, and you can rent equipment at Kjerringøy Bryggehotell if you have proper training (called “våttkort” in Norwegian). Going on a canoe trip in beautiful Fjærevassdraget is also a great option, and it does not require any specific licence or prior training beyond common sense. Rent canoes in advance here.
3. Head To The Beach
From the moment you get off the ferry on the Kjerringøy peninsula you’ll see a ton of stunning white sandy beaches along the coastline – literally around every corner. Take advantage and go for a walk, have a swim, or explore for a few hours. Or bring a book, some food and beverages and spend the day at one of the magical beaches of Kjerringøy. My favorite so far is Strandå beach, it is absolutely breathtaking!
4. Go Hiking
Kjerringøy is the perfect destination for hikers, and there are a ton of different hikes to do depending on what shape you’re in and what experience you’re looking for. A few options:
- Kvarven: This is the only peak I’ve been to in Kjerringøy so far, and I highly recommend it. At the summit you’ll find yourself at 604 meters above sea level, enjoying an amazing view of the entire region. Kvarven is fairly easy to hike (by Norwegian standards), which makes it great for beginners. Check out a video of Kvarven here. Detailed map can be found here.
- Eidetinden: One of the most popular hikes in Kjerringøy is Eidetinden. The peak is located 1020 meters above sea level, making it the highest summit on the peninsula too. The view looks incredible and I can’t wait to hike this one myself someday. Read more here, detailed route map can be found here.
- Strandåtind: If advanced climbing is your thing you should consider booking a guided climb to Strandåtinden, Norway’s third hardest summit to climb. It looks like an experience of a lifetime! Check out a video here.
5. Admire The Local Art
Kjerringøy has inspired both Nobel prize winning author Knut Hamsun and a fine selection of filmmakers and artists with its breathtaking nature. One of them is Norwegian artist Karl Erik Harr, who is known for his incredible illustrations inspired by the nature in Nordland. Pop by the museum Karl Erik Harr Museet to catch a glimpse of some of his best art pieces. Right next door you’ll find Zahlfjøsen, an old barn turned into a gallery, which is also worth a visit. Before you know it you’ve got a piece of Kjerringøy hanging on your wall at home.
6. Explore The Peninsula
Honestly, one of the best things to do in Kjerringøy is to just walk, cycle or drive around, exploring and enjoying the beautiful nature. Or why not rent a bike and explore on two wheels instead? You never know what you’ll stumble upon! I personally love to see how the mountains change from one angle to the next, to get caught in the sudden rain, and randomly run into adorable creatures like sheep, reindeer or moose. Bike rental is available at Kjerringøy Bryggehotell and Zahlfjøsen.
7. Visit Kjerringøy Old Trading Post
The one thing you absolutely cannot miss in Kjerringøy is visiting Kjerringøy old trading post. It is the best preserved trading post in northern Norway and a visit here is like traveling back in time. You see, Kjerringøy was kind of big deal back in the day. It was one of the wealthiest trading centres in northern Norway by the end of the 19th century, and there are still 15 beautiful and well-preserved buildings left to tell the story.
Many of the buildings still retain their original contents, and when purchasing a ticket you get access to most of them. It is so much fun and simply fascinating to walk around exploring and get a glimpse of what daily life was like for the families running the post in the 1800s. My favorite building is Kramboden, the old shop from 1842 where you can see hundreds of old items still on the shelves. I also love the old furniture and decor in the main house and relaxing in the charming garden right outside. Having a walk on the pier is another experience not to be missed.
Although I recommend visiting the old trading post when its open, you shouldn’t skip it if its closed when you’re visiting Kjerringøy. It is still a great experience just to walk around the property on your own, even though you wont get to see the buildings from the inside. Check opening hours here.
8. Taste The Local Cuisine
A visit to northern Norway is not complete without tasting the local cuisine. This part of the country is known for it’s delicious seafood like bacalao, grilled tørrfisk and fish soup, as well as a variety of dishes that include moose, reindeer or whale meat. There is a handful of places to eat in Kjerringøy where you can order some of the mentioned dishes. Their menus vary with the seasons and what fresh ingredients they can get their hands on from day-to-day. Beer lovers should taste the Bodø based brewery Bådin’s beer “Kjerringøy”, which is available in restaurants and at the grocery store.
- Fjøsen Kafé: A cozy café at the old trading post. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and savoury you should try the classic (and somewhat strange) Salten speciality møsbrømlefse there. So so good.
- The Restaurant at Kjerringøy Bryggehotell: A lovely restaurant with truly delicious food and an amazing view of the ocean. Although their menu vary with available supplies, some of their dishes may include fresh shrimps, bacalao, baked tørrfisk and moose stew. I recently tried their fish soup with olive bread and it was incredible.
- Markens Grøde: This charming place is nothing less than a bakery, café and a cheese factory (!) in one. Their varied menu include both warm and cold local dishes, vegetarian options, as well as delicious pastries (their cinnamon buns are to die for). Don’t forget to purchase some local cheese before you leave!
- Kjerringøy Rorbusenter Café & Pub: The only place in Kjerringøy I haven’t tried myself yet, but it looks like a really cool place to dine or enjoy a pint. Located in Tårnvik, at the end of the road in Kjerringøy, you’ll have an amazing view from the pier.
- Matkroken Kjerringøy: If you want to prepare your own food or just need a snack for a hike you can pop by the local grocery store Matkroken. They have ice-cream and popsicles, too.
Map Of Kjerringøy
Below you’ll find a map of Kjerringøy, including driving instructions from Bodø.
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