Having visited Austvågøy and Vestvagøy, E10 continues west to the next island of Flakstadøy, with most of the population of 1,600 hearty souls living along the northern tier, around the town of Ramberg, which makes a good base for exploring the island.
Flakstadøy is serviced by buses running along the main route via Leknes to the end of the line, the curiously named hamlet of Å. If you're motoring, you can take a toll tunnel from Vestvagøy (our last stopover) to Flakstadøy for a cost of NOK100 ($20/£10) per vehicle.
Seeing the Sights
If you're touring the island, head for the secluded village of Nusfjord, on the south coast, a setting for some of the island's most dramatic scenery. Both the beauty and the bleakness of this remote village have drawn many artists to the area. The European Conservation List has added this 19th-century fishermen's village to its list of protected sites.
A favorite walk for us begins 300m (984 ft.) south of the old school in Nusfjord. Here you will see a cairned path leading to Nesland, a trek of about 4 hours round-trip. On this walk, you'll go about 200m (656 ft.) before you reach Østre Nesland, where you'll come across several big potholes near the shore. You'll also see the only remaining watermill in the Lofotens.
You'll find a colony of fishermen's huts, some still inhabited during the winter season or rented out to visitors in summer.
Ramberg, with its backdrop of snowcapped Arctic peaks, opens onto a beautiful white beach facing the Arctic Ocean. Just outside the village you can visit Flakstad Kirke at Flakstad (tel. 76-09-93-19), built of wood in 1780 with a distinctive onion-shaped cupola. The altarpiece is older than the church, and the pulpit was painted by Godtfred Ezechiel, a master painter from Bergen. Charging an admission of NOK30 ($6/£3), the church is open in summer daily from 10am to 4pm; otherwise, it's open only during church services.
At Flakstad, another of our favorite walks begins first with a drive out to Fredvang, following the signpost to Yttersand. At this point, you can park your car and walk for about 30 to 40 minutes along the shore to Mulstøa. Along the way, you'll find an idyllic spot for a picnic.
The old fishing hamlet of Sund lies west of Ramberg along E10. It's visited mainly by those wishing to see Sund Fiskerimuseum, Sund (tel. 76-09-36-29; www.sundfiskerimuseum.no), near the bridge leading to the next island of Moskenesøy. A collection of fishing huts here contains all the paraphernalia needed to capture cod. The fisherman's cabin, or rorbu, is the oldest building in Sund, containing a wide range of domestic utensils, tools, and other artifacts used in fishermen's huts of old. On-site is a resident smithy known for his iron sculptures of cormorants. The museum is open June to mid-August daily from 10am to 6pm, charging NOK50 ($10/£5) for adult admission and NOK15 ($3/£1.50) for children. A final attraction is Glasshytta at Vikten (tel. 76-09-44-42). This is the original Lofoten glass-blower's cabin, offering products of high quality and innovative design. It is also the home base of north Norway's first glass blower, Åsvar Tangrand, who designed Lofoten's seven-pronged logo, which evokes a longboat. The studio, charging an admission of NOK20 ($4/£2) for adults (free admission for children), is open from mid-June to mid-August daily 9am to 7pm (curtailed hours off season). You can purchase some very distinctive and charming pieces here at rather reasonable prices.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.