Henningsvær is situated at the foot of Mount Vågakaillen, and consists of a group of isles and islets spread out at random in the blue waters of the Vestfjord.
With the mountain at its back and otherwise surrounded by the sea, Henningsvær was a natural hub of activity during the Lofoten Winter Fishery, and in the 1800´s, the island community prospered, and Henningsvær became one of the most prominent fishing villages in Lofoten.
Unlike many other fishing villages, the population of Henningsvær has remained stable in recent years, and there are still over 500 people living there.
The islands were not connected to the rest of Lofoten by bridges until 1981, a fact that probably helped save the community from the contemporary style of architecture with its preference for concrete blocks, that otherwise left its mark on just about all other Norwegian towns and villages in the 60´s and 70´s.
Such a combination of an active, vibrant environment and well-preserved architecture, makes Henningsvær something quite unique.
Henningsvær has a lot to offer, also in the way of food and drink. There are restaurants with scope for culinary indulgence, and cafes where you can get a bite to eat, or just enjoy a cold beer on the quayside.
With a varied assortment of hotels, quayside accommodations and fisherman´s "rorbu" cabins, Henningsvær can offer a total of over 400 beds. Single or double rooms, family accommodations with room for 4 or 6 people. Basic and economical, or high standard accommodations Ð here, you will find lodgings to suit most any requirements.
Henningsvær can offer a wide range of exciting activities: Fishing trips, deep-sea rafting safaris, courses in mountaineering, and sea kayak rental for those interested in the outdoor life.
Art and handicrafts including galleries, candle foundry, knitting design, ceramics workshop and a glass-blower´s cabin for those interested in culture.
It would seem that the further north you go, the more the seasons leave their mark on the local inhabitants. There is greater variation in the north, and the contrast between the Midnight Sun and the Dark Season has an effect on most of the people there.
The following is a brief account of how the year unfolds in Henningsvær:
January 6: The sun reappears above the horizon for the first time after a month of darkness. The Lofoten Fishing Season gradually begins in February, although it is not until March that the visiting boats begin to fill the harbour in Henningsvær. The fishing season reaches its peak during the six to eight weeks from the beginning of March until late April. Then the village is busy and full of life with several hundred visiting fishing boats and hectic activity at all the fish halls and landing stations.
March 21 is vernal equinox, and the daytime lasts equally as long all over the country, but from then on, the further north you go, the longer the daylight lasts. The spring comes slowly to Lofoten. Even though the days get longer, and it gradually becomes light all night, it takes a long time for the winter to let go. There may easily be snowfall in April, but there may also be fantastic Easter weather, too. It takes a long time, however, before the surroundings turn really green, and it is not until the last week of May that the birch trees are lush and their foliage fully unfolded. But then nature finally bursts into bloom, the flowers blossom, and within a couple of weeks, the landscape is lush and luxuriant.
June 5 is the first day the sun can be seen above the horizon all night long. In Henningsvær, however, it does disappear behind the mountains in the north, but if you drive out to Gimsøy, for instance, you will have a first class view of the Midnight Sun.
June 23 is mid-summer´s eve Ð the brightest night of the year.
July is the peak season for the tourist industry in Henningsvær, and the village becomes a hive of activity night and day. After the general public holidays, things calm down a bit, and there are fewer Norwegian holidaymakers, but still a large number of visitors from Germany and southern Europe.
The autumn is changeable and unpredictable. Some years the mountainsides come alive in every imaginable shade of red and yellow Ð other years, all the leaves are lost in the autumn storms before they even manage to turn yellow. This is what happened in 1986, when the hurricane "Frode" hit Henningsvær with full force, tearing down several houses there.
September 22 is autumnal equinox, and from then on it quickly gets darker and darker. The days become discernibly shorter and Henningsvær prepares for the dark season, and what almost seems like a kind of winter hibernation.
On December 6, the sun can be seen for the last time before retiring below the horizon for a whole month. It is not completely dark all the time during the dark season, however. Around mid-day, there are a few hours of "blue light", and in this kind of winter illumination, Lofoten can sometimes be at its most beautiful. At times like this, the Northern Lights may also be seen dancing across the skies on clear crisp nights.