Breathtaking, empty, and open to Arctic swells, Lofotens wave-battered coastline is a rare surfing frontier. It is the perfect backdrop to learn with friendly waves, while the more advanced surfers can enjoy world-class waves on the surf breaks further out.
Unstad beach faces north-west while the predominately wind and waves are W/SW, which gives the place mostly offshore winds. The lack of daylight makes this place a challenging surf destination during the winter. The flip-side is almost continuous light throughout the summer. From mid-April to late August, you can surf 24/7. Unstad has a lot to offer for surfers at any level, all year round.
March is one of the best months for surfing in Lofoten. A continuous push of low pressure delivers a good groundswell for the islands during the winter.
The Lofoten Islands have various spots for every level of surfing. Unstad alone has fast and fun lefts, tubing right-handers, and a fun beach break.
The average water temperature is between 8 - 14ºC in both summer and winter due to the gulf stream current. However, during summer, we usually use slightly thinner wetsuits and also drop the gloves. Therefore, when traveling to Unstad, you need to bring both boards for your normal surfing and a nice board that could handle a slightly heavier wave. If you are not interested in traveling with your own board, don't worry, we have a wide range of boards and wetsuits.
First and foremost, you do not come to Unstad to sleep all the time. However, we know that it is essential to live well and sleep well. You will find the much-needed comfort you need to perform in the waves with us. UAS can accommodate up to 55 people and have everything a surf resort can offer.
At Unstad, we strive only to serve fresh and local food in our kitchen. Our menu is regularly changing. You will always find some fish, meat, and vegan alternatives.
An extensive buffet breakfast with a selection of jams, herring, cold meats, vegetables, fruit, smoked salmon, cheese, bacon, eggs, and bread. Breakfast is served with coffee, tea, juice, and milk daily from 08 am to 10 am during high season and on request during low season.
Learn to be a better surfer during your stay at Unstad with our proven surf coaching system. Our mission is to deliver a unique, fun, and unforgettable surf coaching experience with exceptional attention to service, pedagogy, and safety.
Your very own surf guide will bring you to the fun and uncrowded waves, considering the wind, tide, and swell conditions. We provide you with the best equipment, warm wetsuits, and a wide selection of boards to choose from, you don't need to bring your own gear if you don't want to.
From SUP to bonfire during the cold nights or hunting the Northern lights, you can do many other activities when not surfing. See below some of our favorite options:
Stand-Up Paddle: Stand-Up paddleboarding is an exciting and professional guided tour. This is an adventure that explores the dramatic scenery in and around Unstad.
Lofoten: In Lofoten, located almost 200 kilometers north of the arctic circle, the summer sun will not sink below the horizon for nearly two months. For this period, the days are neverending. The opposite of this phenomenon is called "polar night," when there is no sunlight throughout the day. The midnight sun occurs in the Arctic circle during the summer solstice.
Bonfire: Bonfire is the perfect setup to experience the northern lights, companionship, good stories, and star sky or midnight sun. A great time experiencing the phenomenon of the northern lights accompanied by hot chocolate, local snacks and warm clothes.
Unstad – Eggum: Take a hike along the historic route between Unstad and Eggum. This moderate level trail takes about 1,5-2 hours each way. It is a beautiful path around the edge of Unstad and also a perfect walk to see the midnight sun in the summertime.
Ridge Aksla – Nonstinden: This hiking trip goes through a bit steeper terrain. Start by walking up to Utdalsvannet and follow the Aksla ridge to the peak of Nonstinden (483 m). Beautiful scenery over the Lofoten islands from the peak. Follow the trail to the other side of the tunnel and head back to Unstad. Approx. 4 hours.
Helligberget: This is the perfect day trip when you're staying at Unstad. Follow the road to the left of Unstad bay. Pass by the old fisherman's cabins and towards the old watermill. Turn left just before the watermill and follow the path towards the gap between the mountains. Walk on the right side of all the rocks. Nice view of the Lofoten islands from the gap and on the top. Approx. 2-3 hrs.
Fishing: You can go both fresh and saltwater fishing at Unstad. Only a 15-minute walk from the camp are beautiful lakes that are perfect for catching some nice trout. Summertime is the best season to catch delicious sei and during winter you could experience the world-famous cod fishing. For generations, fishermen from all along the Norwegian coast have participated in this world-famous cod fishery that takes place right off the Lofoten coast from February to late April.
Bolted routes: Located in the middle of Lofoten, Unstad is a perfect spot for some of the best sport climbing areas in Lofoten. Eggum (15 min away) has everything that your fantasy can imagine. Overhanging cliffs with routes graded from 6c and up. Perfect for days when it is raining. Also, nearby Unstad, there are some smaller cliffs with bolted routes or you can just take your shoes and crashpad and explore the bouldering in the nearby surroundings.
Traditional climbing: There are plenty of breathtaking crags and walls in the Lofoten area. Take a few days and improve your climbing skills at Northern Alpine Guides in Kabelvåg. Northern Alpine Guides is a small guiding service run by certified guide Seth Hobby and his wife, Maren Eek Bistrup.
Indoor climbing: If the weather is too bad or if you just want to climb indoors, the local climbing club offer has a great indoor wall located in Leknes.
Ski and snowboarding
Lofoten is often referred to as one of the most unique ski destinations in Europe. The combination of steep mountains and the Atlantic ocean makes it one of a kind. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced skier, you will find lines perfect for you.
January to April are the best months if you want to combine the best of the two worlds, surfing and skiing. The feeling of going straight in the surf after a fun day in the snow is amazing. We offer a selection of snowboards, split boards, and skis for rental. We also have avalanche equipment available for rent.
Watch nature's theatre unfold above you as the most spectacular light show takes center stage: The northern lights, with you on the front row. The best chance of seeing the northern lights, or aurora borealis, is between late autumn and early spring.
On clear winter nights, the northern light dance across the sky and, if you're lucky, light up in an array of colors. The lights are the result of particles from the sun, which are released in small explosions that interact with the Earth's magnetic field. Energy is released and causes what we call the Aurora Borealis, a natural and spectacular phenomenon.
Since 1963 there have been surfers in Unstad bay. Thor Frantzen and Hans Egil Krane were probably the first surfers in Norway. As young boys, they had to work on ships to earn money. The ships traveled worldwide and, in Sydney, they saw and tried surfing for the first time.
Back home in Lofoten, they had to make their own boards. At the time, the famous Beach boys were on all the top hit lists. On their Surfin´safari LP cover from 1962, they posed with surfboards. Thor and Hans Egli used this as an inspiration, and off they went and made their surfboards. These boards can be seen at Unstad.
Then again, in the early 90s, Kristian Breivik rediscovered the bay. At this time, there were only a few surfers in Norway and they were all located around the Stavanger area. Kristian moved to Stavanger and talked so much about these fantastic waves north of the arctic circle. One day, they gathered a small team and headed up to face the waves. They scored big time with a monster swell from the southwest and perfect barrels rolled in. Surfing magazine also traveled with them.
In 1999, surfers like Sam Lamiroy and Spencer Hargraves made the epic surf movie E2K, which was filmed at Unstad beach. At this time, there were not many surfers in the area. In 2000, Tommy Olsen moved up and started surfing. Some years later, there were a handful of local surfers. In 2003, Unstad Camping was a reality. It was founded by Thor Frantzen and his wife Randi and in the beginning, there were only a few cabins. They built some new cabins, started up a cafe, and began to rent out a few surfboards.
Today, Unstad camping has changed both name and owners. Marion Frantzen bought the campground from her parents and today, she and her husband Tommy runs what we now call Unstad Arctic Surf.