For anyone with a penchant for perfect Norwegian beaches, azure seas and a gentle pace of life, Northern Norway’s Bodø region is ideal. Whether you’re kayaking under midnight sun or watching the Northern Lights under dark skies you’re in for a mesmerising time.
Nearby Kjerringøy is a seaside gem with idyllic coastal and alpine landscapes that are sure to have you reaching for your camera. It is also the nation’s best preserved seaside trading post dating back to the late 19th century, bringing an interesting element of history to your trip.
Here’s some of what you can look forward to on your trip to Bodø:
Stunningly scenic countryside often bring about feelings of joy along with calmness and deep relaxation – something we all need to reconnect with from time to time. Bodø has no trouble in obliging. Crisp, fresh air and dramatic alpine and coastal landscapes fill the senses, while the peninsula’s thriving rural villages and the historical Kjerringøy Handelssted trading post teach you about the peninsula’s local maritime culture.
Excellent culture and heritage
Kjerringøy Handelssted is iconic of the area and enjoyed its golden age in the 1800s. Today, the trading post is one of the most important intact buildings from this period in all of Norway and has been presented with the Olavsrosa quality label, a designation given to Norway’s most impressive cultural heritage sites. You will find information on the lives of the most influential Nordland merchants. Kjerringøy Handelssted has been used in the film adaptations of a number of novels. You might catch one of the Kjerringøy Theatre Company’s modest shows at the trading post when on an organised tour.
Fascinating art and literature
While at the trading post, don’t miss Zahlfjøsen, home to the exhibition: “Hamsun in film and images”, which gives an insight into films based on Norwegian novels by Knut Hamsun, winner of the 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature. In addition, you will find the spacious, new art gallery here which showcases the works of artist Karl Erik Harr as well as housing studios and an art shop.
Top fishing and diving
The small strait of Saltstraumen contains the world’s strongest whirlpools. Here, the water reaches speeds of over 20 knots, while more than 3,000 cubic metres of water flows across the fjord’s threshold every second.
Saltstraumen is a firm favourite among fishermen. Home to an abundance of fish – the world’s biggest saithe (coley) was caught in the current using a rod – while wolf fish and cod are more common catches. Meanwhile, seabirds including eider ducks and white-tailed eagles fly in for food and spend the winter months here.
For experienced divers, the feeling of drifting with Saltstraumen’s powerful, ever-changing current is unforgettable. Huge shoals of fish, shellfish, moss creatures, sea squirts, starfish and bristle worms add colour to your adventures.
Sumptuous culinary experiences
Markens Grøde (Kjerringøy Farm) is a quick day trip from Bodø, and gives you the opportunity to get a traditional view of how cheese is made. You can also watch bread making using a wood-fired stone oven, and learn how meat is cured from the farm’s own organic livestock. With the practicalities over, you are then allowed to sample sumptuous locally made treats at the farm’s charming café and, of course, buy your favourites to take home.
Breathtaking nature reserves
Whether you are looking for hair-raising challenges on steep mountain ascents, leisurely boat excursions or gentle walks, nature reserves provide the setting for unique experiences. Surrender to Bodø soft, white sandy beaches and sharp peaks running right down to the water, and you’ll soon see why people flock to this little peninsula for peace and relaxation, well away from daily life.
The nature reserve at Sundstraumlian is a great place to start, with its rich mix of forests. Alternatively, take a walk through the coastal pine forests of Skånland or the birch forests of Børvatnet with their many orchids. Meanwhile, the Bliksvær nature reserve preserves coastal nature including several species of wetland birds.