Sorvagen Waterfall

Lofoten Islands / Sorvagen / A i Lofoten / Reine, Nordland County, Norway

About Sorvagen Waterfall

Hiking Distance: 1km round trip (to falls); 2km round trip (to bridge)
Suggested Time: 30-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2019-07-03
Date last visited: 2019-07-03

Waterfall Latitude: 67.89504
Waterfall Longitude: 13.00662

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Sorvagen Waterfall (or more accurately Sørvågen Waterfall) was our lone waterfalling attraction that we experienced in the magical Lofoten Islands.

This waterfall actually didn’t have a formal name, and I only named it as such because it sat behind the fishing village of Sørvågen.

The Sørvågen Waterfall backed by the ridges of Støvla

In fact, you could argue that the waterfall itself didn’t possess anything special other than it was one of the few reliable ones on Norway’s signature island chain.

It was merely a cascade that just so happened to be along the way for longer hikes (such as a popular one to Munkebu Hut).

That said, I felt the surroundings were what made this rather simple waterfalling experience so memorable.

Indeed, the Sorvagen Waterfall was surrounded by attractive lakes, backed by sharp mountain peaks, and even had an ocean view to boot.

Such scenery merely hinted at the landscapes that would be typical of the longer Lofoten peak hikes for mindblowing top down views (provided you’re up for the physical demands and time commitment of such excursions).

My Sørvågen Waterfall Experience

I started off from a somewhat limited car park that filled up quickly (see directions below).

The start of the trail to Munkebu as well as the Sørvågen Waterfall

From there, I followed the signs onto an obvious granite path where I could already start to see the waterfall.

After walking about 250m, the trail reached a signposted junction.

The path on the right went around the neighboring lake Sørvågvatnet for 2.5km, but I only needed to go about 250m to reach a waterfall on Olaelva.

Olaelva branched off from the main stream, which I believe is called Studalselva so this waterfall could technically be considered a segment of the Sørvågen Waterfall that we’re focusing on in this page.

The side waterfall on the Olaelva ultimately spilling into the Sørvågvatnet

Anyways, continuing towards the larger waterfall (and not doing the Sørvågvatnet loop), I then had to climb up a semi-steep granite friction pitch that went alongside the cascade.

Once I got to the top of the climb (roughly 175m beyond the first trail junction), I was able to look down at the Studalselva and the waterfall backed by the peaks of Vestertinden and Støvla.

Since the maps called this stream Studalselva, perhaps the Sørvågen Waterfall could very well be called Studalsfossen.

In addition to enjoying the views of the waterfall, I also looked back past some wiry star of David towards both the Sørvågvatnet, the town of Sørvågen, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

The view in the other direction towards the wiry Star of David as well as the Sørvågvatnet and the town of Sørvågen

As far as the Sorvagen Waterfall was concerned, this could be the turnaround point for a very short and easy experience.

However, I did manage to go up beyond the waterfall to see what else there was that could be reasonably done on a time constraint.

Beyond the Sørvågen Waterfall

So after having my fill of the views over the Studalsfossen and in the other direction, I then continued to follow the trail, which descended towards a tiny footbridge over the branch of Studalselva that became Olaelva.

Once across the bridge, the trail started to become less defined as I kept left and climbed up alongside the Studalsfossen.

Looking across the Sørvågen Waterfall as I was climbing alongside it

Eventually, when I made it to the top of the cascade, I noticed a dam and some kind of small-scale facility across the stream, which made me think that perhaps this waterfall had some degree of regulation.

The path continued further upstream for another 200m before I encountered a bridge spanning the start of the Studalselva as it drained the fairly large Stuvdalsvatnet.

By the way, I wondered if Studalselva could also be called Stuvdalselva given the name of the lake, and thus could the waterfall also be called Stuvdalsfossen?

In any case, this bridge and view over the lake was my turnaround point, but I did spend some time enjoying the views across the lake towards more cascades in the background.

View of Sørvågvatnet and some cascades in the distance as seen from the footbridge right at the lake’s mouth

Even though I turned around from this bridge to return to the car park, the trails didn’t end here.

Indeed, had I crossed the bridge and followed the steep uphill path on the left side beyond it, I would have wound up summiting the Tindstinden peak, which would have yielded a top down view over both Sørvågen and Å.

Had I followed the trail skirting the east side of Sørvågvatnet and closer to the distant cascades at the head of the lake, I would have continued on the much longer hike to Munkebu.

Nevertheless, in summary, I wound up hiking about 2.5km or so, and it took me on the order of a leisurely hour or so to do it.


The Sorvagen Waterfall resides in the Moskenes Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.



We drove to the Sorvagen Waterfall from the town of Svolvær, which seemed to be the main population center of the Lofoten Islands.

From there, we drove about 126km west on the A10 to the town of Sørvågen.

Once in town, I looked for a signed turnoff (going in the opposite direction of Holmen) leading to Munkebu.

Although I’m quoting driving distances and times as if you didn’t make stops, with scenery like this in the Lofoten Islands along the A10, it’s hard not to make stops!

I then left the A10 and turned onto this side road and drove for about 200m to the signed car park for both Tindstinden and Munkebu.

Overall, this drive would take a little over two hours, but I guarantee that you will make stops along the way (i.e. you will probably need more time to really experience the Lofoten Islands).

Beyond Sørvågen, it was another 2.5km to the end of the A10 at Å i Lofoten.

When I visited in early July 2019, this car park was very busy and parking required a great deal of patience (i.e. waiting for someone to leave).

Since I showed up some time in the mid-afternoon, perhaps I got lucky in that some people were finishing up their hike.

The very busy car park at the Munkebu and Tindstinden Trailhead behind the town of Sørvågen

However, I think an early start (more likely if you happen to be staying this far out on the Lofoten Islands) would be best to score a parking spot as well as buy you a lot of time to hike and really experience this place!

For geographical context, Svolvær was 126km (over 2 hours drive) east of Sørvågen, 129km (over 2 hours drive) east of Å i Lofoten, 68km (a little over an hour drive) east of Leknes, 220km (over 3 hours drive) west of Narvik, 420km (over 5.5 hours drive) southwest of Tromsø, and 222km (about 5.5 hours drive with a long ferry at Moskenes) north of Bodø.

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360 degree sweep from the top of a granite hill revealing the cascade and another forking component of it as well as the town and sea beyond

360 degree sweep of the waterfall behind Sorvagen while also showing the ocean in the distance and doing a couple of zoom in pannings of the waterfall itself

Sweep of the Stuvdalsvatnet before zooming in on the cascades backing and spilling into the natural lake

Video panning along a side cascade as part of the Sorvagvatnet loop trail before backing out and showing a more complete look at the falls as well as a nearby shelter

360 degree sweep showing the scenery at the end of the fishing wharf of A i Lofoten while zooming in on a cascade backing the town

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Tagged with: lofoten, sorvagen, a i lofoten, reine, nordland, norway, waterfalls, moskenes

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