Henningsvær is a small fishing village in the Lofoten Archipelago in northern Norway. The village, built on a few small connected islands, has become famous due to its football stadium. According to some people, the around 500 inhabitants are privileged with one of the most beautifully located football stadiums in the world. But it is eventually fishing that is the main business in the village. Henningsvær is one of several producers of stockfish in Lofoten. Don’t be surprised if you stumble upon a rack filled with smelly fish.
Most visitors will stay on one of the two main islands of Henningsvær. These are Heimøy and Hellandsøy. Between these two islands, which are connected by a breakwater, is the strait Heimsundet. It is in this strait that many of the village’s fishing vessels are harbored. The breakwater makes it possible to walk around the strait, making it into a central protected bay with the mountains of Lofoten watching out over the islanders.
A Short History of Henningsvær
Henningsvær, or Henning’s fishing village, is first known to have been mentioned in written records in 1567. The islands received a permanent population first in the 18th century. The first era of major development came in the mid-19th century when Henrik Drejer had purchased the fishing village. This was when many of the early commodities were built and it became one of Lofoten’s most important fishing villages.
The second era of development came following the Second World War. Henningsvær prospered with large catches of fish and the village eventually had around 1000 inhabitants. This eventually also led to new means of transportation. The ferry services connecting Henningsvær with the towns of Kabelvåg and Svolvær were replaced in 1963 by a shorter route to Festvåg, where it connected with the new road. That ferry service survived until 1983 when it was replaced by a bridge.
Things to Do and See
For many, it is the scenery that is the main attraction with Henningsvær and for those, there is little that can disappoint. The views are usually stunning and the only danger is that they are hidden from view due to the very common rains.
Heimsundet will be at the center for most visitors of the small village. This is in many ways the central bay but is in fact a strait between the two main islands. A walk around Heimsundet will take you along the main streets of the village, where most of the restaurants and accommodations are. It is also where you can enjoy the view of the calm water and enjoy the spectacular sight of the mountains rising above the village.
Henningsvær Stadium is the famous football pitch. It is on the island of Hellandsøy and the areal view of the pitch and the surrounding landscape is what made it go viral. It is for sure one of the most spectacular locations for any sports venue, but you need an aircraft to fully enjoy it.
Henningsvær Church is a white wooden church dating back to 1974. It replaced an old chapel from 1852. The church can today seat 250 people and is a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway.
The KaviarFactory is a venue for contemporary art. It opened in 2013 and has since had a couple of different exhibitions since. It is housed in an old factory building where caviar was earlier produced.
How to Get to Henningsvær
Flights: Svolvær Airport (SVJ) is 30 kilometers from the town and offers a few domestic routes.
Car: The town is a short detour from the road E10 between Narvik and Å.
Ferry: There are ferries from nearby Svolvær to Skutvik on the mainland. These ferries also make a call on the island of Skrova.
The driving distance from 5 major Norwegian cities, according to Google Maps:
Oslo – 1388 kilometers (20 h 19 min) Bergen – 1528 kilometers (23 h 42 min) Trondheim – 900 kilometers (14 h 6 min) Narvik – 244 kilometers (3 h 34 min) Kirkenes - 1058 kilometers (14 h 12 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Norway by visiting our page Exploring Norway