In collaboration with Reine Rorbuer
I have had two travel dreams for a long time. First was to see the Lofoten Islands in Norway, and the second to spend a night in one of those cute fishing huts while in Lofotens. Now, both dreams have come true, and all I can do is to dream of my quick return!
A NIGHT IN AN ARCTIC PARADISE
The drive to the little fishing village of Reine from mainland Norway takes hours – and the quantity of hours depends on how many times you’ll stop to take one more photo! It was already dark when I arrived at Reine Rorbuer, and in the reception, I heard that the ferry to the islands had been cancelled: winter storms had begun. Lucky for me, as due to the cancellation, my room had been upgraded to an apartment in Reine’s former police station. As I stepped into my rooms I had just time to see the mountains in the fjord to disappear into the darkness. The lights glittering on the other side of the water belong to another village, Hamnøy, praised for its prettiness.
I had arrived at an arctic paradise.
Reine Rorbuer has 32 former fishermen’s cottages and two hotel rooms. All the cottages are recently renovated without touching the original atmosphere of the buildings: sturdy wooden walls are bare and the floor is good old plank wood. A small kitchenette is handy containing all the necessary equipment and a filter coffee maker. The bathroom is the most modern, but even here warm colours of wood prevail. The lighting is on the dim side creating a cosy and old-fashioned feel to the cottage.
The best part of my apartment 24, called Jasper, is the view over the grassy rooftops to the fjord and the mountains around. It was difficult to leave the breakfast table in the morning and go explore the surroundings: the scenery kept altering every few seconds and I didn’t want to miss any changing shade of clouds and rain.
A COTTAGE IN A FISHING VILLAGE
When I open my car door for the first time in Reine, a recognisable smell of fish greets me. Lofoten islands are famous for stockfish, or dried cod. Along the way, I have seen hundreds of wooden structures where the fish would hang drying if it was the season.
The Lofoten consists of group of little islands, and the village of Reine is located on the southern end of the group. Next stop in the south is Å and it is also the end (or start, depending on your direction) for the E10 road winding through Lofoten Islands.
Reine is often titled as the prettiest village in the Lofotens. I didn’t visit all the other towns but Reine did charm me in a way that I almost decided to sell my car and settle in Reine. There is also a shop, café (with the best coffee in the Lofotens) and a couple restaurants in Reine, so basically, everything you need! This makes Reine a cosy retreat in itself or a good base for more outdoorsy oriented travellers.
Spending a night in Reine Rorbuer was a charming experience, as the surrounding landscape is one of its kind. You don’t need to go hunting for the best scenic glimpse around here: the scenery everywhere is just one big firework of spectacular sights.
Reine Rorbuer has a restaurant, Gammelbua, which servers equally spectacular dishes to match the location. But it was not only the flavours of the fish but also the cosy atmosphere which transferred me into a charming feel of bygone era’s glorious tradition of inn keeping. Gammelbua is located in Reine’s old shop and dates from 1790. As in the cottages, also here the old structures of the house are on display. The dim lights accentuate the warm atmosphere created by little lanterns and a brisk fire in the fireplace hits the cosiness levels through the roof. If we didn’t need to start driving early next morning, I might have savoured a few more Lofotenpils and stayed till closing time.
But as things were, I retreated into my cottage, sat at the kitchen table and admired one more time the spectacular night time view of Lofoten Islands.
Till next time, Reiner Rorbuer and the Lofoten!
Reasons to visit:
1 Atmospheric cottage accommodation is an experience you’ll never forget.
2 The village of Reine so pretty that you’d think it’s a movie set.
3 Gammelbuas food and drink and the good old feel of inn keeping tradition.
P. S I wish to thank Reine Rorbuer for the stay and the impeccable hospitality! The collaboration does not affect the content of my writing, as I collaborate only with hotels I can warm-heartedly recommend to my readers.
Rooms starting from 140 per night