Veggen Lofoten may only be a small mountain, but definitely delivers on views! At 489 masl, it rises proudly between two of the most beautiful beaches in Lofoten – Haukland Beach and Uttakleiv Beach, and is the best viewpoint to see the two stunning beaches from above. It’s also one of shortest Lofoten mountain hike and easily accessible by car. Veggen is an alternative short hike to its more popular sibling – Mannen. The trail, however, is steeper and therefore chosen by smaller number of visitors – which makes it much quieter than Mannen.
Veggen hike in Lofoten fact sheet
- Height: Veggen 489 masl
- Total time: 3 hours
- Total distance: 2.8 km
- Parking: car park at Uttakleiv Beach (charge applies). Click here for directions
- Level of difficulty: 3/5 -moderate, possible some steep sections. Norwegian standards: BLUE – moderate.
- Veggen weather: Veggen weather forecast (Haukland)
- Which map: Vestvågøy nordeca r/v (click here to buy)
How to get to Veggen hike start point, parking information
The trail to Veggen Lofoten starts at Uttakleiv Beach car park (click here for directions). Charge applicable for motorcycles and cars/campers was 40 NOK per 3 hours (2018). Also, good news, facilities available at the car park are: toilets, chemical waste disposal point (campers and motorhomes) and rubbish bins. In fact, the car park also serves as a small self-service campsite (see detailed information on bottom of page).
Hiking Veggen from Uttakliev Beach
Veggen fjell Lofoten is best hiked from Utakleiv. Many paths run across grassy dunes between the beach and foot of Veggen mountain, most of them are faint and disappear after only a couple of metres. Hence it’s essential to follow a good, well defined trail to get to the slopes of Veggen fjell, and start the ascent in right place. The clearest path starts near the car park, between toilet block and small red house. Although it’s not signposted, the path is very easy to find and follow. After about 10 minutes, the path arrives to the slopes of Veggen and the ascent begins.
When we first saw the path climbing Veggen slopes, we weren’t sure whether we should really follow it! The hike began with a very steep, muddy section climbing to a low saddle. Ascent required a lot of care and focus; in couple of places our path was also a home to a little stream.
‘Well’, Bea said, ‘it’s OK to climb up, but it’s going to be a challenging way down!’ Fortunately, as we discovered later, the muddy and steep section didn’t present much problem on our return to the car park.
After about 20 minutes of steep climb we reached a saddle. With great relief we sat on lush grass to take a short break. The saddle happened to be a spacious meadow with small, blue-watered lake, Vasskarvatnet.
To our surprise we heard familiar cries, high in the sky above. A couple of eagles was circling above us! These two majestic birds of prey accompanied us for another couple of hours. They were peacefully gliding high up, but later we also witnessed a ‘marital fight’ (at least we thought it looked like one!). What a spectacular sight it was! The eagles were attacking each other, their claws forward and ready! And these angry cries! We’ve never seen anything like it! Soon enough the eagles were at peace again, effortlessly gliding high above, only to disappear in the crag a minute later.
After such spectacular show, we were astonished and enthusiastic, eager to continue the hike.
We followed a faint path on eastern side of the meadow, and soon found ourselves facing a steep climb again! Only this time our trail ran over soft, heather ground. Some sections were so steep that our feet were sliding down! Luckily, we were able to reach out and use heather as hand holds – it was strong enough and provided good grip.
What a struggle to climb up, it took much effort! Finally the terrain levelled a little and we could catch our breath again. Under our feet was a soft blanket of lush, green heather and foliage, incredibly soft to walk on!
We realised that all the way up, we enjoyed views to unspoiled Uttakleiv Beach, its white sand and turquoise water, waves gently washing the shore.
We took one last look at Uttakleiv Beach and followed the ridge to Veggen summit. Then, first time we saw the other stunning beach in Lofoten, Haukland Beach.
Haukland Beach stretches on western side of Veggen and is surrounded by small hills and flat-ish dunes. I must admit, views to Haukland Beach were even more pleasant than to Uttakliev Beach! (click here to find out how to explore the two beaches and combine them into a full day adventure!)
Summit of Veggen is marked with a cairn (pile of stone) and makes for an amazing viewpoint! Although summit ridge is narrow, it doesn’t have feeling of being exposed nor dangerous, there’s enough space to walk comfortably and safely.
At the top, we were joined by another couple, but only briefly – they were the only other hikers we met that day.
Bea and I always take our time at the summit, unless the weather is horrendous. Otherwise, we enjoy views, take dozens of photographs. Most importantly, we have a cup of honey and ginger tea, some snacks – nuts, raisins or a sandwich. It comes very naturally, sometimes we just sit in silence and cherish the moment, appreciate how lucky we are to be there.
The most spectacular views from Veggen summit were to Mannen mountain (and rugged mountains further to the west) and to the east – towards Leknes area, a maze of wetlands, lakes, islands and peninsulas.
When we finally satisfied our eyes and souls, we hit the trail again, the way back. The descent went surprisingly smoothly, getting down the steepest sections wasn’t as hard as we imagined. Quickly we hiked down to the saddle, but sadly, the eagles were nowhere to be seen.
Wild camping near Veggen and nearest campsite
We were happy to find out that there is a small, self-service campsite at Uttakleiv Beach, as well as opportunity to wild camp at nearby Haukland Beach!
Wild camping at Haukland Beach: camping is not forbidden at the large, free car park over Haukland Beach, in fact it’s a good spot to spend a night in a camper. This car park is divided into two sections: there is a height limit barrier at the lower part of the car park (just at the beach edge), however the part nearer road has no barriers. The grassy area between car park and beach is flat and suitable for tents. One thing to note, however, is that there are no toilets (except summer) and the area is pretty much an open space with couple of houses built nearby.
Camping at Uttakleiv Beach: there is a ‘self service’, basic campsite at Uttakleiv Beach, checked twice daily by a warden. The ‘campsite’ is a flat-ish, grassy area at beach end, with some benches and tables provided, as well as a provisional sink & tap with cold water (open air), a two-toilet block and chemical toilet disposal point for campers. As I mentioned, it’s a self-service facility, to stay overnight at Uttakleiv Beach one has to pay at the ticket machine (small wooden hut, see photo below), prices in 2018:
- camper 200 NOK / night
- tent 120 NOK per 24 hours
- tent + car 160 NOK per 24 hours
- tent + motorbike 160 NOK per 24 hours
- chemical toilet disposal point 75 NOK
Veggen hike Lofoten map
What we loved about Veggen Uttakleiv
We think that hiking a mountain with views to ocean, sea or beaches is like hitting bull’s eye! Hiking Veggen Utakliev was just like that – a small mountain rising over two of the most beautiful beaches in Lofoten. The beaches – Haukland and Uttakleiv, seen from above were sensational. Although trail to Veggen is a bit steep, climbing to the summit is well worth the effort! As Veggen is easily accessible by car, especially from nearby towns, it’s one of best Leknes hikes. Why not try it!?
*Level of difficulty explained: 1– easy walk, mostly flat 2-easy hillwalk, good path 3-moderate, possible some steep sections 4-long hillwalk, possibly some scrambling involved, possibly pathless 5-difficult, possibly pathless, long, requires technical skills
NORWEGIAN DIFFICULTY LEVEL EXPLAINED: GREEN – easy , BLUE -moderate, RED – demanding, BLACK -expert