Vaeroy Travel Guide

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Værøy is the penultimate municipality in Lofoten. The Island is dominated by a long mountain ridge running from northeast to southwest. About 90% of the population lives in the village Sørland where the administration is located, together with a doctor and a registered nurse, as well as the library. Here you will also find shops, fish landing facilities, a garage, and most of the services available in the municipality. Værøy has one 9-year compulsory school, (primary and lower secondary levels), which is attended by about 90 students. There is a brass band, three choirs, and a football team.

More than 80 % of the workforce is employed in the fisheries. There is also salmon farming. In recent years, tourism has been increasingly significant for Værøy. Every day, a car ferry runs between Værøy, Røst and Bodø. A helicopter service also operates to/from Bodø. During summer season there is daily connection with Moskenes by ferry. In the winter time this connection is limited to once or twice per week. The route to Moskenes crosses the Moskenes Maelstrøm, one of the world´s fiercest maelstrøm currents.

It has inspired both E. A. Poe and Jules Verne.

Sørland, and most of Værøy´s arable land, is located to the east and south of the mountainous area on the island. At Nordland there is a large pebble beach, Mollbakken, right by the road from Sørland. Several burial sites from the Viking and Stone Age have been found there. At Nordland, you can distinctly see three different sea-levels from times of yore, at 6, 12 and 40 metres above our current sea-level.

The uninhabited Mosken also belongs to Værøy, and was at one time used as grazing-land for sheep, summer and winter. Just beyond Mosken, we have Svarven, where fishermen had their shacks. This was their shelter during the saithe-fishing season, lasting from late summer to autumn.

At one time, when there was a bounty on eagles, the people of Værøy used to catch eagles with their bare hands, a rather singular pastime that the inhabitants of Værøy had to themselves. Lying in hiding in caves, hunters baited the eagles and caught them with their hands. Eagle hunting caves can be examined to this very day. The mighty bird cliffs on Værøy are to be found on the southwesterly side of the massive, facing the ocean. During the summer, trips to these cliffs are organized every day.


At one time, about 150 people lived here, catching puffins as a subsidiary source of income. Catching puffins involved the use of the unusual puffin dog, also termed the Måstad dog. Puffin meat was cured in salt and lasted way into the autumn. There were no roads and very unsatisfactory harbours, so a few years after the war, the village was abandoned.

Today, there are about 700 puffin dogs in Norway. All of them can be traced back to Måstad. Going ashore on Måstad is generally combined with a fishing trip or an expedition by boat to the bird cliffs. Måstad can also be reached on foot. Simple overnight accommodation is available at the schoolhouse.

Værøy Old Church

This wooden church is to be found at Nordland. It was taken apart, moved from Kabelvåg and rebuilt at Værøy in 1799. This is the oldest church in Lofoten. Right beside it, there is a small local museum.

Theodor Kittelsen

During his Lofoten period, the painter also visited Værøy, where he lived in the "Borgstua" of the old vicarage, which has since been turned into an inn.

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