Of the many places I have traveled to so far in my life, there are always special places that I will always remember more than others. There are many different reasons for these special places such as the people I traveled with to that location, a fun memory, beautifully scenic landscape, and more. One of these such places is the small fishing village of Reine.
There have been a lot of cities, towns, villages, and outposts I have been to while traveling, and some are more characteristic and enjoyable than others. From my past travels, one of the towns that goes down in my mind as being one of the most beautiful or picturesque would be Reine.
Where might you find this beautiful and scenic village, you ask?
Reine is located in the dramatic Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. The Lofoten Islands archipelago find itself on the west coast of Norway jutting into the Norwegian Sea It is also part of the Arctic Circle. Speaking of the Arctic Circle, while writing this article, it was a lovely -30 degree Fahrenheit (though I posted this article on a much warmer winter day). I feel like I'm in the Arctic Circle right now, except I'm in Minnesota.
What makes this small fishing village so special? Well, for one look at the scenery surrounding this village and you can see why. It is surrounded by steep mountains with not so forgiving cliffsides that create landscapes from a fairytale. This cozy fishing village is home to many fishing shacks that can be seen whenever a Google image search is requested. The small, often red and yellow fishing huts are one of the recognizable characteristics of this beautiful town alongside the many boats, bridges, mountains, beaches, and not to mention fish drying racks. You'll know the fish racks or hjell as Norwegians refer to them,
when you see them or most likely smell them. It is a old way of fish preservation that is still used to this day frequently. It is a pretty cool and stinky sight to see!
Something about the Lofoten Islands was truly magical. It is an area with such a unique climate and landscape. It would be a perfect setting for a Sci-Fi or Fantasy film. Better yet, these islands are largely unspoiled by human civilization. Yes, there are towns throughout them, but much of it remains in tact and undisturbed. Another interesting factor about the Lofoten Islands is that there is some World War 2 history here as the German's once occupied this strategic point. While wandering one of the islands, some remnants of German occupation can be found which is pretty interesting for those who enjoy historical places when they travel. Keep an eye out for one of my next blog articles focusing on the Lofoten Islands as a whole.
Not only do I remember Reine as one of the most beautiful towns I have ever been to, but Norway as a whole places up very high in that list, if not the most beautiful country I have been to. I highly encourage you to take a jaunt over to this hard to reach destination if you ever find yourself in Norway. (While it may not be super hard to reach overall, it either will take you a lengthy road trip from southern Norway, or perhaps a flight or other method of transportation. I would opt for the driving option if you have the same, because Norway will provide plenty of scenic overlooks and adventures along the way.
You can find several shops, restaurants and other adventures while in Reine, or the Lofoten Islands. If you find an opportunity, take to the seas and do some fishing! I had a blast on a roughly two hour sea fishing excursion provided by a wonderful fisherman known as Jarl. I thank him and Airbnb for providing such wonderful opportunities!
Advice for travelers in Reine and the Lofoten Islands
Give your self 2-3 days at minimum. There is a lot to see and do here, no need to cut your time short and be in a rush!
The weather is very unpredictable. It often rained while I was here, so be prepared for constant changes in weather. Research in the best times of year to visit could prove valuable.
At the time of this article, the famous Reinebringen hike is still under construction. It has been for some time from what I have heard. It is still possible to hike up to this famous overlook, but it is quite dangerous and not well marked. I would recommend saving this hike for once the trail is completed, or if you have a knowledgeable guide. Don't do it when it's wet out! The cliffsides you hike up after essentially grass. Grass is not hiking friendly at steep inclines!
For another runner up for some of my favorite cities, check out my article (one of my first) on Valparaiso located in Chile.
Below are some further photos from my several day adventure in Reine and the Lofoten Islands. Feel free to contact me if you ever need some advice on this region!