Spring at Hoven in Lofoten

Spring at Hoven in Lofoten

Marina Kraus
Marina Kraus
Published: 10 months ago
Updated: 4 months ago
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I put one foot in front of the other on the soaked ground and try not to slip on the muddy hiking trail. My hands are in windproof mittens, my pants are full of mud around my ankles and the rain drips from my hood in steady drops past the tip of my nose. Soon the descent from Hoven is done and one could seriously ask why we are on the road at all in this s** weather? So let’s rewind to where it all began and when it was still dry.

In April you also should expect snow in the far north
In April you also should expect snow in the far north
Even though the effective altitude is lower than in the Alps, the snow conditions are often equivalent to those in alpine regions due to the location far in the north of Europe.
In April you also should expect snow in the far northEven though the effective altitude is lower than in the Alps, the snow conditions are often equivalent to those in alpine regions due to the location far in the north of Europe.

Hoven is probably the loneliest mountain in Lofoten. The top of this freestanding mountain rises to the northwest of the small island of Gimsøya and separated from the Barstrandfjellet, which is home to the highest peaks on the islands at around 600 meters above sea level, even the 367m high Hoven looks quite impressive. It’s the perfect hike for a day of late rising (Marina), a long leisurely breakfast, and low-hanging clouds. The weather is gloomy, but lounging on the sofa all day is not our style, so we get out the Goretex jackets and hit the trail.

View over Gimsøya
View over Gimsøya
Gimsøya is a small archipelago in Lofoten, which is very much characterized by bog landscapes.
View over GimsøyaGimsøya is a small archipelago in Lofoten, which is very much characterized by bog landscapes.

Rain, swamp and sandy beach

As we shoulder our backpacks at the car and make our way across the golf course of Lofoten Golf Links, a cold wind blows around our noses and the fine droplets of the persistent drizzle make us shiver. My thoughts drift away on the first meters of our excursion to activities that I could imagine better in this weather and cold 5°C. For example, a warm shower, a drink, a drink, or a drink in the morning. For example, a warm shower, a hot cup of coffee or a sunny spot somewhere in the south? 🫣 Imagination is already a great thing, but after just a few minutes I’m already back in the here and now, because the path requires my full attention. A muddy hiking trail, coupled with slippery roots and swampy puddles so large that we have to keep taking long detours to get through halfway dry on foot is not the right place to roam through nature lost in thought.

A hike into the grey...
A hike into the grey...
The weather could definitely be better - wind, rain and wisps of fog chasing around the summit determine the scenery.
A hike into the grey...The weather could definitely be better - wind, rain and wisps of fog chasing around the summit determine the scenery.

But we are lucky. After a few minutes the rain stops, the wind at least does not increase and we can enjoy the view of one of the famous dream beaches of the Lofoten after a few meters of altitude from a plateau. Below us spreads the Hovsvika beach, whose white sand and turquoise water at least give this gray day some color. Somehow a strange mixture to see this Caribbean-like beach at winterly temperatures – that doesn’t go together in my head yet. Smacking step we take the further rise under the feet.

Impressive colors in the fjord
Impressive colors in the fjord
Typical for Lofoten: the water color of the fjords and coastal waters varying between blue and turquoise.
Impressive colors in the fjordTypical for Lofoten: the water color of the fjords and coastal waters varying between blue and turquoise.

Fog and snow – the Nordic spring

Where in the summer months here probably quite a few tourists every day share the narrow path to this simple viewpoint with a good 350 meters of ascent, we encounter only a few other people in spring towards the end of April. Four, to be exact – and that on the entire tour. And they are all descending as we are still on our way up, which means we get to enjoy the summit to ourselves.

Arriving at the summit cairn, the mountain flank breaks steeply away directly below us and our eyes roam over the Vikspollen, a small inlet that spreads out in a pattern of dark and light turquoise down there. The sea shimmers almost surreally and contrasts impressively with the green and brown of the plants on land, which have only recently been cleared of their winter snow cover, and the black-gray rocks that dot the landscape. The few houses and streets look from the height like in a model landscape and the silence that prevails up here is characterized only by the wind that whistles around our ears.

Hoven, Lofoten, 367 m above sea level
Hoven, Lofoten, 367 m above sea level
At 367 meters, the Hoven is not exactly impressively high. But sometimes it is precisely these supposedly small targets that provide an overwhelming panoramic view.
Hoven, Lofoten, 367 m above sea levelAt 367 meters, the Hoven is not exactly impressively high. But sometimes it is precisely these supposedly small targets that provide an overwhelming panoramic view.

But the joy of the view is unfortunately short-lived. While so far most of the clouds were hanging in the larger mountain massifs, they now push themselves more and more low-hanging around the summit of the Hoven and we can only catch shadowy glimpses into the depths for a few seconds, before everything sinks in the total whiteout. Our idea to wait a little longer in the cold, to wait for a hole in the clouds and possibly to get some nice views, quickly dissolves into thin air as the snow starts to fall. We decide to tackle the descent.

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We are in the middle of a cloud, but the visibility is good enough to find the way without problems. And already after a few meters of altitude we are again below the cloud cover and can enjoy the view of the coast. From above, however, now instead of snow comes rain, which pelts down on us and feels with every meter that we lose altitude, gaining strength. This is exactly how I imagined the Nordic spring – wet, cold, rainy and today it actually fulfills each of these clichés. And secretly I hope that he does not do that every day and we can also look forward to a little sun in the coming days.

Landscape in 2D
Landscape in 2D
Take all kinds of colors and mix them to create a coastal landscape. Finished are the Lofoten.
Landscape in 2DTake all kinds of colors and mix them to create a coastal landscape. Finished are the Lofoten.

April weather in Lofoten

With wet pants and dripping backpacks we reach the parking lot and can hardly wait to be back in the dry car and warm up our fingertips in front of the warm air jets during the drive. Despite the rain, fog and cold, we are thrilled with the hike up Hoven. The few views we were granted gave us the opportunity to see the island of Gimsøya and the surrounding coastline from above, and we were once again captivated by the landscape in Lofoten. In the evening, the rain clouds disperse and we get to enjoy the warming rays once again before it disappears behind the next mountain. The April weather in Lofoten – in any case always good for a surprise.

Marina Kraus

Marina Kraus

Product Designer and Content Creator. Whether digital or in "real" life, Marina is convinced that really good experiences depend on the story behind them. She gets the best inspiration for content and digital experiences on the road. As a part-time digital nomad, she sometimes works from home and sometimes from the van - with a view of rugged coastal or glacier landscapes.

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