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The perfect base for exploring the Lofoten islands

Tag: gimsøy

Gimsøy’s beaches in winter

Just a few photos of some of the beaches at Gimsøy in winter. The water temperature is usually 2-7°C.

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Want to go skiing on the beach? No problem:

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Northern lights at Lillevik Lofoten

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Gimsøy is among the best places in Lofoten to see the northern lights, or aurora borealis. There is very little light pollution at Gimsøy, and especially on the western side where Lillevik is located, and wide views of the sky, mountains and ocean. The northern lights can be seen from September to April, any time it’s dark.

This photo is taken 100 meters from the doorstep:

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If you stay at Lillevik there is no reason to go on an organized “aurora hunting” tour, as they often drive to Gimsøy anyway. Our best tips are:

  • Check the weather forecast and cloud coverage for Lillevik on yr.no
  • Look at the sky. The northern lights can appear and disappear in a few minutes.
  • There are many apps, but none of them can give any guarantee. We have experienced strong northern lights when the forecast said 0 % chance, and we have seen just black sky when the probability was high.
  • The best website is probably: Space Weather Prediction Center.

There are some great northern lights information at 68 North, including photography tips. We have a photo tripod you can borrow when you stay at Lillevik.

Northern lights and full moon above Lillevik:

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Winter magic at Lillevik Lofoten

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Lofoten is fantastic in the winter, both if you are an avid outdoor enthusiast or a nature lover that wants to enjoy the spectacular nature. While Lofoten is most popular as a summer destination, it is in the winter that Lofoten truly unveils its unique beauty. And there’s the northern lights, of course.

Lillevik’s location on the west side of Gimsøy may be the best in Lofoten. The view of the mountains and the oceans is among the best in Lofoten, and it’s so peaceful. It’s so quiet that you can hear the faint sound of waves on the beach on the other side of the island, two kilometers away.

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The mountain Hoven is 368 meters high, and takes a bit less than an hour to hike. You can start at Lillevik’s doorstep. It’s mostly visited in summer, but popular in winter too. We have snowshoes that you can borrow when you stay at Lillevik.

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When Lillevik was rebuilt in 2018-2020 we made sure to install large panorama windows. You see sea eagles, otters, porpoises (similar to dolphins) and other animals. We have nice Nikon binoculars that you can borrow. You can also see the northern lights from the couch, and since there is no light pollution Lillevik and Gimsøy is among the best places in Lofoten for it.

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Hoven rises behind Lillevik.

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Lillevik’s boathouse and small, private beach is just 100 meters from the house.

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The view from Hoven after a snowshoe hike:

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Close-up of Lillevik. The white house to the left is ours (the owners’).

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Winter in Lofoten can of course also be very rough, with severe snowstorms, closed roads and cancelled ferries and cancelled flights.

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When that happens it’s nice that Lillevik is a warm and cozy house, with triple glazed windows and excellent insulation, and a fireplace too.

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By the way: The polar night does not mean that it’s dark all the time. Even on the darkest day of the year (winter solstice on December 21 or 22) it’s daylight from around 10 to around 15. See our webcam for an example.

Lillevik in soft winter light in late November, during the polar night:

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And Hoven too:

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When it’s dark you can see the northern lights, even without leaving the house.

Gimsøy church

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Gimsøy church is just 10 minutes from Lillevik.

The church is located on Sand on Gimsøya in Vågan municipality in Nordland. The church is a long wooden church. It was inaugurated on 18 October 1876 and has 300 seats. The church is anchored to the ground to protect against strong gusts of wind from the mountain. The church was repaired after storms in 1887 and 1906, and also repaired in 1954–55. The church on Gimsøy is first mentioned by Aslak Bolt in 1432, and today’s church is in any case the third on the island, if not the fourth. Up until the year 1800, Vinje was the site of a church, but that year it was decided to move the church to Gimsøysand. What is believed to be the old cemetery at Vinje has been found.

In 2014, a number of improvements were made to Gimsøy church. It was financed through the will of a woman from Brenna who died in Mo i Rana without living heirs. Although Brenna belongs to the Strauman church, the village did not when this woman grew up. The woman was baptized and confirmed in Gimsøy church and bequeathed her entire inheritance to the church. This led to the parish council receiving funds to make a number of necessary improvements which primarily improved fire safety in the church. The electrical system was upgraded and modern fuse boxes with automatic fuses and earth-fault circuit breakers were installed. Furnaces were replaced with heat pumps for heating and a modern fire alarm system was installed throughout the church. In addition, the entire outside of the church was painted and improvements were made to the outdoor area.

In 2021, the church was restored inside: The original color palette has been retained. The work was completed in 2022.

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