Bø muncipality has approximately 2.800 inhabitants and covers a area of 247,1 km2 in Nordland county. Bø is often called Vesterålen´s pearl. The township is characterised by great variety in landscape and flora. It is also an area that can offer, at the same time, frothy ocean´s and calm skerries, white sandy beaches and colourful moors, flat heath land and alpine peaks, cacophonic bird rocks and quiet marshes. The arctic light, ever changing, like the weather, plays a large role in your experience of nature. In summertime, there is the midnight sun and its pink nights, the crystal clear air and deep arctic greens. In the wintertime, there is the bewitching dark season and the other-worldly northern lights, the driving snows and exciting storms, which have been known to tear roofs from houses and toss boats ashore. Hear the dramatic tales of toil, of humour and ill fate, of human companionship and wondering curiosity, of internal strife and collective harmony. Of powers, beliefs and superstitions.
First and foremost, it is nature herself that provides the greatest adventures in Bø. The township has often been called a fairy tale land, not only because Bø is the birthplace of fairy tale author Regine Normann, but because nature here is fairy tale-like in its variation and richness. Contrast and abundance are two key words that describe outdoor adventures you will experience in Bø. On your trip here, you can hike some of our marked trails or perhaps take to the open sea for some fishing. For your trip out on the ocean, you may either rent a small boat on your own, or hire someone certified to take tourists out for fishing trips.
Vesterålen has North Norway´s largest collection of grave mounds and ancient artifacts. Of the some two thousand graves registered in the area, over 600 of these are located in Bø. Nearly 200 of the gravesites are found on Svinøy. Other significant concentrations of graves are located at Vinje, Føre, Fjærvoll and Hovden.
BØ COMMUNITY MUSEUM
The grounds of the museum offer paths that lead to lookout points towards Gaukværøy and the Lofoten mountains. Bø Community Museum is located at Vinjesjøen on the Parkvoll property that was bought by Bø Township in 1984 and immediately transformed into a museum. Bø Community Museum comprises 6 different buildings. The museum has about 3.000 objects, many based on agriculture and fishing, which have traditionally been, and still are the main occupations in Bø. In addition, there is much more, such as carpentry tools, cobbler´s equipment, doctors and dentist´s paraphernalia, as well as a collection of rare and unusual things of cultural and historical value.
THE MAN FROM THE SEA
"The Man from the Sea" is an interesting statue in Bø. The Man from the Sea stands on a hill at Vinjesjøen; he gazes out over his kingdom. You will find him very near the Bø Community Museum. Visitors stream to this mystical man in Bø. When you visit here, you will be able to join him in looking out over his kingdom. From his vantage point, you will be able to see Gaukværøya and the rear side of the Lofoten mountains, among other sights. And you will surely hear the Man´s mute salutations brought to you from his past, from his kingdom, from the sea.
The first people settled in Bø already during the Stone Age 3000 - 4000 years ago. Most of the graves, however, date from the Iron Age and the period of migration, during the period between 200 A.D. and 1000 A.D. Most of the archeological discoveries have been stumbled upon while working farmland. Some organized digs have been completed. The Viking graves at Føre total 12 and were carefully opened and systematically researched. According to experts, the remains of the dead and the objects buried with them were remarkably well preserved, and they remain some of our most unique artifacts.
The oldest graves are from 300 A.D. Although the skeletons and artifacts have been removed and are now housed in Tromsø museum, the graves themselves (stone coffins) are intact and will give you some insight into the customs of early Bø ancestors. What is special about the gravesite is that the deceased represent all ages and both sexes: Children, adolescents, adult women and men, as well as the elderly. All were buried with objects that witness to various aspects of their lives and activities.
The Midnight Sun stays above the horizon, and it is light 24 hours a day. The sky must be clear and there must be unobstructed visibility northwards in order to see the Midnight Sun. A summer night on the fjord or in the mountains is an experience not to be missed, you can go fishing in the fjord, which contains splendid variation of fish, or you can take a walk in the wilderness surrounding.
Aurora Borealis is the Latin name for the Northern Lights – solar winds that meet the atmosphere in a zone around the magnetic North Pole. The Northern Lights are only visible when the sky is dark and clear, from August to April, and they are most intense from 10 pm to midnight. The region on the 700 northern latitude is a fantastic place for experiencing the beautiful and intense play of colours given off by the Northern Lights.
The dark time, or the long, dark Polar Night, lasts from 30th November - 12th January - there is only a twilight-dusk type of light (the blue light) for a few hours during the middle of the day. This does not mean that it becomes totally dark, however. The aurora borealis trails its multicoloured banner across the sky and the moon lights the scene just like the nightlight of Our Lord. The experience of the winter with the uniqueness of the light, the northern lights and snow is fantastic. Especially beautiful is the blue light southwards, just before it becomes dark.
Many come to Bø to go hiking. There are many regularly scheduled hikes organized during the year. If you would like to join one of these, you are invited to contact the ramblers’ associations in Bø, or the office of cultural affairs. The natural surroundings in Bø are our greatest playground. It is varied, so that one might experience everything from typically southern Norwegian landscape to harsh and wind-worn terrain, where contact with the forces of nature is clearly visible. If you have some time on your hands, we recommend you take one of our marked trails.
Guvåg - Breitinden
One hiking trail goes from Guvåg up to Breitinden mountain. The view you will experience on this hike is probably one of the best we can offer. From here, you will have a panorama that stretches out over 7 townships of the Lofoten and Vesterålen islands. The trip takes from 1 to 2 hours.
Steine - Lynghaugtinden
Another frequently travelled trail goes from Steine past the mountain lodge, Vetten, and all the way to the summit that is popularly called "The Needle" (Lynghaugtinden). This trip takes a few hours, but it crosses varied terrain and offers a fantastic view of Lofoten and Vesterålen, not to mention Bø. On this hike, there is also the option of turning off towards Veatinden, but this leg of the hike is recommended only for the more experienced climber.
Can be hiked all year round. The trail begins and ends at Sund, looping around Skata mountain. It is also possible to go to the summit of Skata. The trip is relatively short and can be completed in about one hour. It is very suitable for the hiker who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend.
At Nykvåg, one can hike up near Raen, between Nykvåg and Hovden, and further up Nykdalen towards Hovden, in a circular trip that ends at the point of departure. This is also an easily feasible trip offering a spectacular view. One special attraction here is the contact between the sea and the mountain.
Straumsjøen - Vikan - Åsan - Spjelkvågen
A nice little ramble, which is often used as a Sunday outing by the local citizens of Bø, is the trip from Straumsjøen to Vikan. This hike can be completed in as short or long a time as one wishes. The trip (25 min. one way) runs along an old road leading out to abandoned farms located in breathtaking Vikan. If you continue from there along the sea, you will pass a lighthouse lamp and further on to a second larger lamp at "Flaskforet". If the sea is at low tide, you can inspect several natural potholes, formed by the erosion of the sea in the bedrock over several milleniums. The trip can be continued all the way round, via Åsan to Spjelkvågen, and lasts about 4 hours.
For bird watchers, Bø is an eldorado. The abundance of nature provides an abundance of bird species. As many as 150 species have been observed in the township. Perhaps the most spectacular bird is the white tailed eagle, which is a common sight in our area. If you are observant, it is unlikely that you will miss seeing this majestic bird.
At Nykvåg, in the spring, you may even see the white tailed eagle swooping in for prey on the bird rocks. It is here at Nykvåg that we find the highest concentration of sea birds in the Vesterålen islands. There is a large variety of species, among the most common of which are the gulls: the common gull, the herring gull and the black backed gull. Eider ducks and cormorants, puffins and kittiwakes are found along the coast, most often out on the bird rocks that are accessible only by boat. Guillemots nest at Måsnyken and Fuglenyken.
Along the lakes and in the marshes, there are also many birds. Some 80 lakes and a numerous smaller ponds provide the habitat for the many species we find here. At Straume, a bird watching tower has been built; you can climb it and use your binoculars to observe a variety of birds: ducks, redshanks, snipes, sandpipers and lapwings, as well as many others. The woods and the mountains are also home to numerous bird species, such as the golden plover, the common grouse, the bluethroat and woodcock, willow tit and flycatcher. Bird life in Bø varies from season to season as many species migrate south for the winter; many remain year round, however, so that the bird lover has an adventure in store here, no matter what time of year. An informative brochure on bird life in Bø is available at the office of cultural affairs.
There are many smaller fishing lakes in Bø, although we do not have so many good salmon rivers. Fishing licences may be purchased at the post office. In some water courses, fishermen are required to have separate, local licences. Contact the cultural affairs office for information.
Golfstrømmen Golfclub is under construction.