Settlements dating back to the last Ice Age

In the forest behind Nyvågar Rorbu Hotel, there is a 9,000-year-old cave. During the last Ice Age, this cave was on an island. But as the heavy ice melted, the land rose, and now the cave, with its two entrances, is on land. The cave is full of mythical rock carvings and cave paintings, which tell us that people in Nyvågar hunted and fished here even before the ice retreated after the last Ice Age. When you stay with us at Nyvågar, you sleep on historic ground.

Next to Nyvågar Rorbu Hotel is an archaeological excavation site with settlements dating back to the 8th century. Today, only 1% of the area has been excavated, and more than 100,000 objects have been found. The excavations show that already in Viking times, Vágar was an important meeting place for trade, deliberation, exchange of goods, and conflict resolution for the chieftains in the north. The market, the fishing, and the people formed a commercial export and cultural center. This led to King Øystein I Magnusson already building fishermen’s cabins here in Storvågan in 1100. In the years that followed, the area became a well-known trading center in the north. In the 1300s, dried fish accounted for over 80% of Norway’s national exports, and Vágar had extensive trade and cultural exchange with Europe. “Alperosen,” Lofoten’s oldest fishermen’s cabin, is located in this area today.

The plague turned things upside down

In the period after the Black Death in the 1350s, Vágar gradually lost its central administrative functions, and the primary sale of dried fish was moved from Vágar to Bergen. By around 1400, Vágar had thus played out its role as a city and regional capital, but the excavations show significant fishing activity in the centuries that followed.

Enjoy the treats while you’re here

Today, Nyvågar is a cultural treasure for those interested in history and culture. Here is the Lofoten Museum where you can learn all about the history, cultures, and traditions of Lofoten, Lofoten Aquarium with an exciting selection of everything living in the sea outside the fishermen’s cabins, and Galleri Espolin with powerful images of people, life, and work in Lofoten.

In addition to history and culture, we also offer culinary experiences in our Restaurant Nyvågar, Lofoten Spa, and Lofoten Loft Bar.

With North Norwegian hospitality, we encourage activities and experiences that give you a taste of the real Lofoten in every way.