Henningsvær

Your guide to Henningsvær in Lofoten

Bridges join the many islands of Henningsvær to the mainland. Henningsvær has played a significant role in Lofoten’s fishing history and is still a fascinating destination with its many small craft shops, art gallery and pleasant atmosphere. The nearby mountains are excellent for climbing.

The name Henningsvær probably comes from the male name “Henning” and “Fiskevær” or “Vær”, a place along the coast near the fishing grounds where fishermen live.

An iconic and well-known fisherman’s village in Lofoten

Henningsvær, which is located 25 km from Svolvær, consists of several small islands that are connected by bridges like pearls on a string. It is a fishing village in Vågan Municipality in Nordland county. It is located on several small islands off the southern coast of the large island of Austvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago.

A village bustling with life and energy, just 500+ inhabitants call Henningsvær home. You are visiting for a short period – let our knowledge guide you. We encourage you to do as the locals do; respect nature, and each other!

The village has grown to be a cultural hub in Lofoten, with several galleries showing both local and world- renowned artists. In February and March, the Lofoten fisheries have started and you can experience the busy life on the pier when the boats come back to deliver the catch of the day. The place is also a favorite for climbers from all over the world who come to have a go at the big walls in the north or people who want to explore the skerries on a rib boat or by snorkeling. Down by the harbor you will find small shops and restaurants serving local delicacies.

Stroll around the narrow streets and feel the atmosphere of the cozy fishing village where each season has its own charm.

Henningsvær Comunity Guidelines

Some helpful guidelines

  • The views are so nice you might want to shout but keep the noise levels to a minimum in the evenings and at night. Respect that some people need to wake up early in the morning.
  • The roads are narrow – if you have a car, please park at one of the big parking lots and explore Henningsvær by foot.
  • You are welcome to photograph the stockfish, just keep in mind that it is food so please do not touch.
  • Our nature is pure – please help us keep it that way.
  • Help us keep Henningsvær clean. Please dispose of trash in one of the public trash bins.
  • Ask permission before taking photos of people or their homes.
  • Shop locally – visit the small local businesses.
  • Our community is based on trust, please respect privacy and property.
  • Public toilets can be found in the town, please do not use nature.

Some more helpful tips

  • Join organized tours. A local guide will take care of your safety and make the adventure even better.
  • In Norway it is prohibited by law to drink alcohol in public areas.

Shops, art and culture

Henningsvær is mall-free and the place to go if you want to buy something unique. Here you will find many small niche shops. And not least, you will find people in the shops – which is really nice. Welcome to us!

Henningsvær is a vibrant hub of art and culture, brimming with talented artisans who create beautiful and practical products. We recommend exploring the stories linked below and visiting some of the local shops before your trip. Or, embark on an adventure and let inspiration find you as you wander the charming streets.

Henningsvær has emerged as a cultural stronghold in Lofoten, with several galleries showing both local art and world-renowned artists such as Ai Wei Wei and Bjarne Melgaard at Kaviar Factory.

Several days a week you can also get cultural experiences in the form of concerts with famous artists. Check out what’s going on before you go. You will also find pottery, glass and jewelry made by local artisans.

Where to sleep?

Credit: Jelle Dobma

To really get to know this place, you got to spend the night here. Get an overview of where to sleep in Henningsvær.

From traditional fisherman’s cabins to unique hotels and apartments, you’re bound to find something you like in Henningsvær.

Festivals and social events

The festival scene and cultural events in Henningsvær are truly exceptional. Despite the small population, this island community has cultivated a remarkable cultural life. People from all over the world come to experience these unique social gatherings.

Trevarefest

Trevarefest in Henningsvær is a vibrant, annual music and arts festival that celebrates creativity, community, and culture. It features a diverse lineup of live music, art installations, workshops, and local food, set against the scenic backdrop of this charming island village. The festival attracts visitors from around the world, fostering a unique and inclusive atmosphere.

The Codstock Festival

The Codstock Festival in Henningsvær is a lively annual music festival celebrating rock and blues. It features performances by both local and international artists, drawing music enthusiasts to this picturesque island village. The festival combines great music with the unique cultural heritage of the region, offering a memorable experience for attendees. Check out their facebook page to learn more.

The Pre Christmas Adventure in Henningsvær

Between the colourful autumn and the red, glittering Christmas there is a hidden treasure. It is blue, a bit cold – and totally wonderful. Experience the Pre-Christmas Adventure in Henningsvær.

It has almost been a little secret between us who live here, but now we wish to share it with you. So please listen carefully: Once the leaves have fallen off the trees, the nicest time of all will begin. This is when you experience the real Pre-Christmas Adventure.

I think this is the most exotic time you can experience. No matter where in the world you come from, you may have an idea of what to find north of the Arctic Circle. Northern Light. The eternal blue hours. The unpredictable weather. The summer is beautiful almost everywhere, also here, but only the north of Norway has this.

Cecilie Haaland – the ceramist who started to organize the Pre-Christmas Adventure.

Things to see and do

We are happy to help you find experiences that warm the heart. Feel free to stay an extra night – it’s good to just “Be” in Henningsvær and perhaps join an ocean adventure!

Climbing and skiing community in Henningsvær

There’s a strong climbing and skiing community in Henningsvær with their own gathering spot called “Klatrekafeen”. If you’re a climber or Ski Touring enthusiast, this is the place to be. Check out the local companies for various activities: I Fri Natur and Nordnorsk Klatreskole.

Close by is also the infamous Festvågtinden. A majestic mountain that offer a challenging hike!

Ocean activities

Exploring the islands and the surrounding area of Henningsvær from the ocean is a must. Immerse yourself in the azure-blue waters, both above and below the surface, and experience the wilderness that envelops this charming fishing village.

Be sure to check out Lofoten Opplevelser while in Henningsvær to check out their current activities.

Attractions

Henningsvær Church, is a significant cultural and historical landmark in the village. Built in 1852, this charming wooden church is an example of traditional Norwegian architecture. It serves as a central place of worship and community gatherings for the local population. The church’s picturesque setting, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, makes it a notable attraction for visitors, and a glimpse into the spiritual and cultural heritage of Henningsvær.

The Football Field in Henningsvær is one of the most famous football fields in the world. At least, if measured in how many photos there is of it. It’s actually bit out of control and there are locals who does not exactly love the fact that people wants to fly their drone here. So be considerate, and respect the locals and the general drone regulations. Read our drone guide to learn more.

Just past the football field, one of the heights offers a fantastic spot for photographing the Northern Lights. From this vantage point, you get just high enough and far enough from the lights of Henningsvær to capture stunning images of Festvågtind, Henningsvær, and the Northern Lights all in one shot!

The buildings and houses: Henningsvær is one of 13 protected cultural environments in Norway. The purpose of the protection is to preserve one of the country’s most important fishing villages. Henningsvær is a prime example of coastal development history, showcasing the evolution from a traditional fishing village to a modern one with diverse business activities from the early 1800s to the present day. So when you wander the streets, take it all in. You are walking among buildings with a rich heritage.

Where to eat?

If you come all the way to this section, you must start to get hungry?

Henningsvær has cozy high quality cafés and restaurants, all conveniently located within close proximity. Keep in mind that some establishments may be closed in late December and January, so be sure to check their opening hours in advance if you plan to dine here.

As a fishing village, Henningsvær offers a delectable seafood experience. Be sure to try Skrei (Cod) in its various preparations, along with other local delicacies.

How do you get to Henningsvær?

The narrow streets make it difficult to park for anyone visiting. So be considerate and park in any of the larger public parkings areas. How abut leaving your car somewhere else and jump on a bus?

You can definitely drive to Henningsvær, however, we recommend traveling by bus. The road from E10 to Henningsvær is narrow and challenging for some, and quite packed during the summer season.

For public transportation, download the “Reis” app from App Store, or from Google Play, when planning your trip to Henningsvær. With the app, you can plan journeys and see departure times for various modes of transport for the whole region.

You can also reach Henningsvær with Best Arctic and their Arctic Route that drives between Narvik and Å. This bus offers a unique “hop on/off” experience and drives past Hennigsvær twice per day during the summer season.