Continuing east on E10, you'll come to the final road link at the hamlet of Å. This glaciated island extends for 34km (21 miles). Nature has turned this landscape into one of the wildest and most fascinating in Norway. In Moskenesøy you'll reach the highest peak in the Western Lofoten at Hermannsdalstind, rising to 1,029m (3,375 ft.).

People live on the eastern side of the island, with its sheltered harbors for the fishing fleet. Even if you're not driving, the island maintains good ferry-bus links with Leknes, Stamsund, and Svolvær. Leknes, for example, lies 55km (34 miles) to the east.

Hurtigruten (tel. 76-96-76-00, or reservations 81-03-00-00; www.hurtigruten.com) runs car ferries between Bodø and Moskenes, which take 3 hours and cost NOK561 ($112/£56) per vehicle and driver.

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The village of Moskenes, with its ferry terminal, is a mere refueling stop. You can stop in for information and guidance at the Fiskevaersferie Lofoten turistkontoret (tel. 76-09-15-99), at the harbor. Hours are from May 2 to June 22 and August 7 to August 25 Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, June 23 to August 6 daily 10am to 7pm.

Seeing the Sights

Directly east of Moskenes lies the village of Reine, one of the most scenically located in the Lofoten, its little timber houses set against the panorama of seascapes. Midnight Sun cruises often set out from here in summer from late May to mid-July. Tours cost NOK725 ($145/£73) and last 6 hours. Ask about tickets at the Moskenes tourist office.

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There are many rorbuer colonies here, because these fishermen's cottages are rented out to summer visitors, many of whom book for a week or two.

Reine's tranquil lagoon, set against a backdrop of mountain pinnacles, has appeared on many a postcard. For the ultimate panorama, you can climb up to the summit of Reinebringen at 670m (2,198 ft.), one of our favorite walks in the area.

You can also ask at Moskenes about 5-hour tours, costing NOK600 ($120/£60) and leaving Reine twice daily Friday to Sunday in summer. They'll take you to the turbulent Moskestraumen, the strait that separates Moskenesøy from the offshore island of Vaerøy. First written about by Pytheas 2,000 years ago, these wicked straits also inspired nautical tales by Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne. Mariners claim that they are the "world's most dangerous waters," yet they attract marine mammals and thousands of seabirds, which can be observed on these organized boat tours.

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Lying 3km (1 3/4 miles) from Reine is Sakrisøy, which is called the "Lilliput of Lofoten fishing villages." If you want to overnight on Moskenesøy, this would make the best base. In what used to be a barn filled with sheep and cows, you will find Dagmars Dukke og Legetøy Museum (tel. 76-09-21-43), in the center of Sakrisøy. In this "journey back to childhood," a local woman has collected more than 2,500 dolls from all over, including antique teddy bears and some historic toys dating from 1860 and beyond. It's open June 16 to August 15 daily from 10am to 8pm; August 16 to 31 and June 1 to 15 daily 10am to 6pm; and in May and September, Saturday and Sunday noon to 5pm. Off season by appointment only. Admission is NOK50 ($10/£5) for adults and NOK30 ($6/£3) for children.

You'll reach the hamlet of Å at the end of E10, and from here the only road to take is back to Svolvær. The little fishing village of Å is the setting of the Norsk Fiskevaermuseum (tel. 76-09-14-88), Lofoten's most intriguing fishing museum, founded in 1987. Nothing brings alive the role of a Lofoten fisherman like this museum, which covers a boathouse, Norway's oldest cod-liver oil factory, the homes of fishermen, a rorbu cabin, and a 150-year-old bakery, plus exhibits on coastal farming in the Arctic. You can also visit a smithy who still makes cod-liver oil lamps. Admission is NOK55 ($11/£5.50) for adults and NOK30 ($6/£3) for children. Hours are late June to late August daily from 10:30am to 5:30pm, or Monday to Friday 10:30am to 3:30pm in the off season.

Close by is Norsk Torrfiskmuseum (tel. 76-09-12-11), a museum devoted to stockfish, at which you'll learn more than you might ever want to know about Norway's oldest export commodity. You'll see what happens when cod is hauled in from the sea, going through the production processes including drying, grading, and sorting. Admission is NOK50 ($10/£5) for adults and NOK40 ($8/£4) for children. From June 16 to June 19, it is open Monday to Friday 11am to 4pm; June 20 to August 20 daily 10:30am to 5:30pm.

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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.