Røst Island: A Journey to Lofoten’s Edge

Nestled amidst the turbulent waters of the Norwegian Sea, the island of Røst stands as the outermost gem of the Lofoten archipelago. Røst captures the essence of coastal Norway with its unique landscapes, rich culture, and thriving fishing environment.

In this article we would like to invite you to embark on a virtual journey to Røst, exploring its natural wonders, vibrant community, and captivating way of life that sets it apart.

Table of Contents

The Distinctive Geography of Røst

While the Lofoten archipelago is renowned for its rugged mountains and dramatic landscapes, the island of Røst with its flat and wide landscape is very different. It makes Røst feel calm and peaceful, which is attractive to travelers looking for a break from the rough landforms of the other islands nearby.

Røst’s unique geography doesn’t only consist of its flatness and coastal beauty. Inland, the island is punctuated by wetlands, marshes, and small lakes. These areas, rich in biodiversity, provide vital habitats for a variety of plant and animal species.

 

Røst Island - a remote fishing community on the outside of the Lofoten archipelago

Røst Island - a remote fishing community on the outside of the Lofoten archipelago

Røst Island - a remote fishing community on the outside of the Lofoten archipelago

 

 

The Birdwatcher’s Paradise

One of Røst’s most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island’s craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

 

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

 

The real birdwatching paradise near Røst isn’t exactly on the main island itself but rather on a chain of uninhabited rocky islands that includes Vedøya, Sandøya, and Trenyken. The crown jewel of this avian spectacle is the legendary Skomvær Lighthouse, perched at the outermost point. Here, a staggering number of seabirds find their haven, mainly puffins but also razorbills and guillemots, choosing these islands to breed and thrive.

 

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

 

The avian spectacle on Røst is seasonal, with the most dramatic displays occurring during summer. Thousands of seabirds migrate to Røst every year to breed and raise their chicks. As spring gives way to summer, the cliffs come alive with a cacophony of calls, courtship displays, and the delicate choreography of feeding hungry chicks.

If you’re planning a visit during the summer months, don’t miss out on the opportunity to embark on daily RIB boat trips from Røstlandet to these bird-rich islands.

 

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

 

 

Røst Fishing Heritage

Røst’s economy and identity have been closely intertwined with fishing for centuries. The island’s strategic location has afforded its residents access to one of the most bountiful cod populations in the world. As a result, cod fishing has become more than just an economic activity; it’s a cultural touchstone that has shaped the rhythms of life on the island.

 

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

 

One of the most significant events on Røst’s fishing calendar is the annual Lofotfisket or Lofoten Fishing Season. This ancient tradition dates back to the Viking Age and involves the seasonal migration of cod to the cold, nutrient-rich waters of the Lofoten archipelago. During this time, fishermen from near and far flock to the Lofoten Islands to partake in this age-old ritual.

 

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

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A Historical Connection Between Italy and Røst

In 1432, an Italian explorer and mariner, Pietro Querini, embarked on a maritime journey that would ultimately lead him to the shores of Røst. Hailing from Venice, Italy, Querini set sail as the commander of a ship called the “Gabriella.” The objective of the voyage was to establish trade routes and connections with distant lands.

 

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

 

Life Among the People of Røst

The connection between Pietro Querini and Røst is established through the events that unfolded during their time on the island. Despite the challenges they faced, Querini and his crew were met with unexpected hospitality from the local population. The islanders, known for their fishing traditions and close relationship with the sea, extended a helping hand to the shipwrecked Italians.

Over the course of several months, Querini and his crew lived among the people of Røst, learning about their way of life, customs, and survival techniques. This interaction between the Italians and the islanders marked a unique cross-cultural exchange, as the two groups shared their knowledge and experiences.

Ultimately, after spending a winter on Røst, Querini and his surviving crew managed to construct a new ship from the remains of the Gabriella. They set sail once again, this time successfully reaching their intended destination of Bergen, Norway.

 

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

 

Røst honors its connection to Querini

Pietro Querini’s journey and his time on Røst have been preserved through historical accounts and records. It offers a glimpse into the resilience of explorers in the face of adversity and underscores the human connections that can be forged even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

In modern times, Røst continues to honor its historical connection to Pietro Querini. The island’s rich maritime heritage, its welcoming community, and its reputation as a place of survival and cooperation serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of this remarkable explorer and his brief but impactful encounter with the island’s inhabitants.

Plus you can taste a delicious fish soup in Querini Pub & Restaurant, visit the island during the Querinis days in August or listen to the Querini Opera. 

 

 

One of Røst's most distinguishing features is its role as a haven for avian life. It is internationally recognized as a vital nesting site for seabirds. Thousands of these majestic creatures flock to the island's craggy cliffs and rocky shores every summer, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

 

 

Living on Røst: Embracing the Remoteness

For some, Røst is not just a geographical location; it’s a home that has been passed down through generations. Families rooted in the island’s history find comfort and belonging in the familiar rhythm of life. The ties to their ancestors and the sense of continuity provide a powerful motivation to stay.

Others are drawn to Røst by the allure of solitude and tranquility. In a world abuzz with noise and haste, the island offers a respite from the chaos. Those who seek solace in nature’s embrace find Røst to be a haven of quietude.

While the island’s population might be modest, the sense of community is anything but. Røst’s residents share a unique bond forged by their collective choice to live in this remote paradise. Neighbors become more than just acquaintances; they are an extended family, ready to lend a helping hand or share a warm conversation.

 

The church on Røst Island

 

 

Where to Satisfy Your Palate on Røst

Despite its small size and population of around 500 inhabitants, Røst boasts an unexpected culinary scene that will pleasantly surprise you. Several of the island’s establishments offer remarkably delicious food.

At Røst Bryggehotel, near the ferry quay, you can try a yummy bacalao dish. Skomværkroa Pub is a good spot for a beer if you’re in the mood for a drink. And if you want something hearty, go to Querini Pub & Restaurant for tasty fish soup. You might be surprised to find super tasty kebabs at Kulwans café, along with coffee and homemade cakes.

 

Røst Brygge Hotel

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Getting to Røst

If you’re intrigued by the allure of Røst and wish to visit this remote island gem, here’s a guide to how you can get there:

By Air: Fly into Røst Airport

Røst Airport is the gateway to the island for travelers seeking a swift and convenient option. With regular flights connecting from Bodø Airport, you can easily catch a short flight that lands you on the island’s doorstep.

By Sea: Take a Ferry from Bodø or Moskenes

Ferries connect the island to Bodø, the neighboring island of Værøy, and Moskenes village in the Lofoten archipelago. The ferry service to Røst plays a crucial role in ensuring accessibility to and from the island. The ferry service is free for Røst residents and visitors.

 

The ferry to Røst Island

The ferry from Bodø arriving to Røst

 

Røst Airport

Røst Airport

 

 

Why Visit Røst: Uniquely Tranquil Experience

Røst sets itself apart from the rest of Lofoten. It’s not a typical tourist hub, but that’s part of its charm. If you’re into fishing, birdwatching, or intrigued by remote island life, Røst is worth a visit. It offers a tranquil atmosphere and a glimpse into a different way of living.

If you want to experience some unique Røst events, come in June for the Puffin festival – Lundefestivalen Røst, in August for the Querini Days or in March for “In the name of cod.”

 

Røst Island - a remote fishing community on the outside of the Lofoten archipelago

Urbex in Røst Island, Norway

 

 

Where to Stay in Røst

If you’re looking for a charming stay by the sea, Røst Bryggehotel provides a cozy haven conveniently located near the ferry quay. Another choice is Kaikanten rorbuer, situated a bit further down the road.

During our visit to Røst, we brought along our motorhome. However, it’s important to note that there is no official campsite on Røst (we found some information online suggesting that you might be able to stay at Røst Havfiske). Finding a spot where you can legally park your motorhome overnight is nearly impossible. 

 

 

Are you interested in exploring faraway places like Røst Island? Can you imagine living on a quiet island like this? If you have questions about visiting Røst or if you want to share your thoughts, drop us a comment!”

Picture of Ivar & Radka

Ivar & Radka

Hi! We are Ivar & Radka, an international couple who runs the Guide to Lofoten. We met in Trondheim and lived together in western Norway, Narvik and Tromsø. At the moment we call western Lofoten our home. We hope our page will make it easier for you to explore the beautiful places that made us chose Norway for our home.

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Ivar and Radka Guide to Lofoten

Hi! We are Ivar & Radka, an international couple who runs the Guide to Lofoten.

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