A friend along the way

A friend along the way

Light from the lighthouses along the coast is the sailors' best friend. They flash gently on bright summer nights, and their life-saving rays of light cut through pitch-black, stormy winter nights.  
Utvær fyr. Photo Lillian Herland

Along the more than 100,000 kilometres of Norwegian coast, there are over 2,000 lighthouses and, at most, there have been over 150 lighthouse stations in operation. The first lighthouse was built in 1655, and people lived and worked in the lighthouses until 2006 when the last lighthouse was automated.

Aerial view of the red and beautiful Utvær lighthouse. Photo Lillian Herland.
Utvær Lighthouse. Photo by Lillian Herland.

Norwegian lighthouses are the story of

  • Love. Between the governess at the lighthouse and the lighthouse assistant.
  • Family. Wives and children who lived with their husbands who worked at the lighthouse.
  • Class divisions. The children of the lighthouse keeper and the children of the lighthouse assistant who were not allowed to play together even though there were no other playmates in the isolated place.
  • Formation of the state. Community solutions and people who were employed by the state. Technology. From coal-fired iron boilers to automated stations.
  • Meteorology. Collection of rainfall, wind speed and wave height data.
  • Wind. Pets that were blown out to sea and children who were tied up when they played outside in the storm. 
  • Waves. Monster waves that washed over both islets and skerries shattering the windows of the lighthouse buildings.
  • Isolation. There would be weeks between having contact with people other than those on the island. Even in more recent times, post was only delivered every 14 days. When the bundle of newspapers came, they would read one for each day and were two weeks behind the rest of society
  • Architecture. Distinctive buildings on desolate sites.
  • Safety. Fishermen and sailors who were rescued because the light showed the way.
Skomvær lighthouse in Lofoten. Photo visitnorway.com

Go on a lighthouse hunt along the coast

Havila ship sailing in the azure blue Geiranger fjord with steep green sides and a partly cloudy sky.
The classic

Round Voyage

Bergen → Kirkenes → Bergen

12 days
All 34 ports

  • Lofoten
  • Geirangerfjorden*
  • Saltstraumen
  • Northern lights or midnight sun
  • The Arctic Circle

Price from £947 per person

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