At Villa Lofoten you can live in a historical farm and in listed harbour buildings. In earlier times these buildings were vital in allowing those who lived here to use local resources in a sustainable way. Since time immemorial people in Lofoten have survived through a combination of fishing and farming.

 

Villa Lofoten is founded on culture and nature. Through restoring old buildings and putting them to new use we conserve and communicate Lofoten's unique history. New life in old buildings is better than depopulation and decay. Values created by previous generations are given meaning in new contexts.

Our goal is to offer unforgettable experiences for our guests. Here you can relax. We emphasize authenticity and frugality, focusing on nature and the environment.

 

We also run Villa Lofoten Artist in Residence, a residency program for artists around the world.

In addition, we produce and sell films, and conduct workshops and other events through Villa Lofoten Film.

Kvalnes today

 

Towards the turn of the century, Kvalnes was affected by a decline in population. Houses were sold and new people moved in. Kvalnes is one of the six inhabited places in Vestvågøy with midnight sun.
People who like Kvalnes are often people looking for presence, closeness to nature, and self-expression.

 

Here you can be yourself. Let the day go by, just observing sun and light, tide and wind, bird life and seaweed, northern lights and stars, snow and ice. That's why you're as likely to meet an astrophysicist from Belgium as a birdwatcher from Canada, an Indian photographer or an Australian surfer here.
This was not always the case. Until the 1980s most people who lived at Kvalnes were what we call fisher-farmers. They survived through a combination of farms and fishing.

 

Villa Lofoten manages properties that testify to this way of life. Through the new use of old buildings, we ensure continuity and contribute to developing the area. Due to the accelerating changes in fisheries and agriculture from the 1960s to the present, the fishing community at Kvalnes has been transformed instead into a tourist destination and art scene. Farms have closed down and larger boats have taken over for the small fishing boats that inhabited the harbor at Kvalnes. The local fishery has been shut down. The fisher-farmer is history.

The Fisher-Farmer

Historie 

The fisher-farmer had a small farm with a couple of cows, some sheep and a pig, some chickens and maybe a horse. In addition, he fished and processed the fish for sale.

He would either own a boat or participate in a boat team on another man's boat. At the height of the fisheries, there were more than 20 boats in the harbor at Kvalnes. They preferably fished for cod, saithe, salmon and herring in the nearby areas and further north up to the coast of Finnmark. During the Lofoten fishing season, the cod would be hung to dry on "hjeller" and "hesjer". In the salt house they salted and preserved skrei cod. In the steamery they would extract cod liver oil and in the Rorbua they had their living quarters and repaired their fishing gear.

 

This lifestyle was largely a self-sufficient lifestyle. It was a laborious life and it depended on the whole family for labour. While the men were at sea, the women ran the farm.

The historical Kvalnes Harbour

 

Restoration and preservation of buildings is always about

making choices.

The Fisherman's Cabin

The Saltery

The Steamery