Festvågtinden (541 m / 1775 ft) rising next to Henningsvær village, south of Austvågøy island, is one of the most popular hiking trails in Lofoten, Norway. From the top of Festvågtinden there is an incredible view as the sun sets on the horizon behind the Lofoten mainland.
The Lofoten Islands
The Lofoten Islands, located in the northwest coast of Norway, are sometimes called the most beautiful islands in the world. And it's no wonder when you look at the majestic mountains rising vertically from the turquoise sea, white sandy beaches, and the brilliant green of the barren land. The glowing midnight sun and golden light nights also attract photographers to the winding roads and steep slopes.
Along with Festvågtinden, the best hiking destinations in Lofoten include the iconic Kvalvika and Ryten, the peaceful and fairy-tale Horseid Beach, and the SUP boarding paradise Haukland Beach with its neighboring mountains.
Henningsvær is a small fishing village in the Vågan municipality of Lofoten. The village is mostly located on the islands of Heimøy and Hellandsøy, and the mountain range Vågakallen and Festvågtinden on the main island, Austvågøy. Drive to the popular tourist village along the bridges of Henningsvær on road 816.
Attractions in Henningsvær include a soccer field and a church. There are nice restaurants, cafes and shops in the village. The narrow streets of the fishing village of around five hundred people are quickly done, but you can continue the day on the fine beach cliffs.
When arriving in Lofoten by car, Henningsvær is a good first destination and last destination when leaving, if you have already checked out the villages of Svolvær and Kabelvåg. These regions also have the best diving and snorkeling waters.
Parking and camping near Festvågtinden and Henningsvær
A large private and paid parking area can be found in Festvåg on the western shore of Urvika Bay. The parking fee can be paid with a mobile phone by first downloading the app, the instructions can be found on the information board on the wall of the building.
In the parking area you can also find instructions for camping and a map of the Festvågtinden route. There are three camping areas, one on the Festvågtinden side of the Henningsværveien road and two on the other side of the road on the cliffs by the sea. The areas are large, there is probably a place for a tent even in the high season.
The parking lot is close to Gandalfveggen. Gandalfveggen is a popular climbing area in the southwest corner of Festvågtinden. Climbing guides can be bought from a cafe in Henningsvær.
Lofoten has strict rules for camping and hiking in order to protect nature, just like in other nature destinations. (link visitlofoten.com freedom to roam) The areas for camping are marked separately and the tent must be located at least 150 meters (492 ft) from the buildings. Camping on private land requires permission from the landowner. You can camp in the same place for a maximum of two nights, further away in the mountains for a week.
Making fires in the terrain in the summer is prohibited in Lofoten other than at purpose-built fireplaces. Naturally, you have to clean up your own trash and bring it out of nature. There are also a lot of public toilets in the area, which you should use whenever possible.
Festvågtinden Trail Description
From the parking lot, go along the road for about 300 meters (1000 ft), then turn left into the bushes. You can easily see where the trail starts from the signs of wear.
There are stairs at the very beginning of the trail, followed by a sandy and stony trail. The path spilts pretty soon, turn right and straight up to Festvågtind.
Next, large boulder field will appear. At this point, the trail may disappear from sight. You can get relatively easily over the boulders to the upper slope to the right.
After the boulders, the ground turns into peat and low vegetation. You can notice several trails in the terrain.
Its own destination is the Lake Heiavatnet (189 m / 620 ft) located in the middle of the route. You can swim in the lake if you like. The rightmost path leads to the lake.
The most direct route to the top is to go right through the middle of the gravel and steep scree slope. At some point, the paths merge into one wide path that leads to the top of Festvågtinden. Gravel may slip underfoot.
You still have to climb between rocks to reach the top plateau, but there is no exposure or danger of falling near the top. From the summit of Festvågtinden, unimaginably beautiful sunset landscapes open in the direction of Vestvågøya. A great place to sit can be found near the Presten wall.
Festvågtinden - my experiences
Festvågtinden is a very popular summit and hiking trail (28,000 people in 2021). On my own trail running adventure in the first week of August, the trail was quiet, but there were approximately ten to fifteen people at the top admiring the sunset. Most of the hikers were at the summit log.
My own mobile map application does not find any trails from Festvågtinden. I ran on the mountain in the dark, just following the paths and occasionally looking at the map app. You can't get lost in the trail very easily.
I ran and power hiked up the mountain quickly, at the top I stared the stunning sunset, and on the way down it was already completely dark. So, I didn’t get many pics this time. You can find good and informative pictures e.g., on Summitpost.
Festvågtind is an easy and fast trail running or hiking destination in good weather. If you visit Henningsvær, I definitely recommend doing a little nature sports gig in the astonishing scenery!
- Destination: Vågan, Lofoten Islands, Norway
- Distance: Festvågtinden summit 1.3 km / 0.85 miles (one way)
- Difficulty level: moderate (very steep slope, some minimally airy places)
- Duration: 45-90 min in each direction
- Where to stay: camping by the sea