Sakrisøy is Lilliput among the fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands, yet it can still offer everything that is characteristic of a true fishing village – and more.

For five generations, the Gylseth family has bought fish and done business and trade on this tiny isle, caught as it is between sea and fjord, outermost in the Lofoten Islands. Shortly after Christmas, and continuing on towards Easter, the giant Lofoten cod are still piled on to the quayside, ready to be hung on the stockfish racks that cover most of the island. Today, we supplement these traditional activities with tourism. Previously, the “rorbu” cabins were an important factor in attracting visiting fishermen to stay at the fishing station. Now, they are an attraction to travellers from far and wide, who seek to experience the Lofoten Islands – and stay in overnight accommodations with the sea beneath their floorboards.

We have yet to mention the most exciting and unexpected attraction on the island. Amid fish racks and rorbu cabins, in what used to be a barn with sheep, cows and Linda the horse, we find Lofoten Toymuseum, the first of its kind in Norway. Here, we find Norway’s largest collection of old dolls and toys open to the public, based on the fact that Dagmar (the owner) is a true collector.

In the loft above the museum, antiques and second-hand goods are sold, and should you so desire, you can enjoy dinner or just a nice cup of coffee and some freshly made waffles in the restaurant “Underhuset” which is located directly on the water in the middle of all the yellow rorbu cabins.

By the way; did someone suggest that porcelain dolls made in France or Germany have no place in a fishing village north of the Arctic Circle? Well, don’t be too sure about that. For centuries, stockfish from the Lofoten Islands has been a coveted commodity, finding its way even as far afield as Italy. The boats that set off loaded with stockfish returned with sugar, flour and other necessities, and when times were good, they might also come back with indulgencies for decoration and pure pleasure. During the last century, the parlours of the merchants of Lofoten would often be equipped with furniture made in workshops on the Continent; at social events the ladies would be adorned in the latest fashions from Paris, and porcelain dolls from far afield would lie in the beds of their children.

Today, the Lofoten Islands are less than ever to be regarded as some distant corner of the world. But whereas all kinds of exotic tongues can be perceived here mainly during the summer, it is largely the cod alone that has chosen the Lofoten Islands as its destination during the winter. From all over the Northeast Atlantic, they swarm down towards the Vestfjorden, driven by ancient instinct.

Our advice is to do as the cod do! Come to the Lofoten Islands when the sun is once again above the horizon, the fishing boats hasten in and out of the harbours, the gulls are in high spirits and the quayside is a hive of activity. Then Lofoten is Lofoten.

We wish you welcome!

Dagmar Gylseth and family
Svein Are Fredriksen