Nusfjord – Lofoten’s “hidden gem”
Nusfjord is often described as one of the oldest and best-preserved fishing villages in Norway. It’slocated 6.2 km off the E10, the main road leading through Lofoten. A handful of rorbu (fishermen’s cabins) and work buildings make up the fishing village that today houses a bunch of permanent residents, as well as the accommodation and facilities of Nusfjord Arctic Resort.
The earliest traces of human settlement in Nusfjord date back to 425 BC and, with a golden age early last century, Nusfjord is a treasure trove of history. This unique fishing village offers a deep dive into an era where the Northeast Arctic cod (skrei) lay on the cliffs and hung on drying racks throughout the entire area. It’s estimated that more than 600,000 fish hung on the drying racks here at the same time during the “golden age”. In the early 20th century, Nusfjord was home to more than 1,500 fishermen. The walls of the restaurants and work buildings are covered with pictures of fish and fishing boats as far as the eye can see. Many of the old work buildings, such as the smithy, smokehouse, boat houses and cod liver oil factory, have been preserved and now form part of the historic tour that takes you through the classic Lofoten.
Today, you can stay in the same fishermen’s cabins that the fishermen once lived in, but with a somewhat higher standard and level of comfort. Nusfjord has quickly become a favourite among photographers and tourists wishing to gain an insight into what life was like in an intimate fishing village. Located at the end of the road, far from heavy transport and traffic, Nusfjord has been sheltered from the outside world for a long time. The first road to Nusfjord was not built until the 1960s, and no new buildings have been built around the harbour here since the golden age. To put it simply, “everything” remains just like it once was.
The adventures and activities offered in Nusfjord have been developed in cooperation with the locals and create memories that last a lifetime. You can take part in the authentic Lofoten fishery with Captain Jan Martin and his crew on board the traditional fishing boats, Elltor and Havdur. Alternatively, you can kayak in the fjord between steep mountains that drop straight into the sea or hike on traditional mountain paths that offer panoramic views of the archipelago. When you venture out at night you, can experience the spectacular Northern Lights during autumn and winter, while in summer the resort offers an excellent base for travelling to see the alluring Midnight Sun.
Surrounded by the island’s highest mountains and the fjord with a colour reminiscent of the tropics, Nusfjord is perfect for tourists chasing the best photo of nature, architecture or both for their Instagram feed. The three places to eat at the resort – Landhandleriet Café, Oriana Tavern and Karoline Restaurant – double as watering holes and venues for culinary experiences. They serve everything from stockfish to smoothie bowls and have a special focus on locally sourced ingredients.