Hike like royalty on The Queen's Route
- Destination: Vesterålen
- Season: May–September
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Distance: 11.8 kilometers (loop)
- Elevation Gain: 740 meters
- Duration: 5–8 hours
Embark on this truly stunning journey in either direction during this round trip hike from the historic fishing villages, Stø and Nyksund. The hike along this coast and in the mountains can be challenging at points, especially due to the variety of rugged terrain, but it is easily rewarded with views over the northern Vesterålen archipelago, the sandy beach of Skipssanden, as well as the lighthouse in Stø. Don't forget to bring a bathing suit to refresh yourself at the end of the trip in the chilly 8-12 degree C waters at Skipssanden beach.
The highest point during the hike is Mount Finngamheia, located at 448 m.a.s.l. If you prefer only hiking in one direction, take advantage of the local ferry.
Dronningruta translates to “The Queen’s Route”, and it is named after Queen Sonja of Norway, who hiked the route in 1994. In 2015, Dronningruta was on Visit Norway’s top 10 Most Spectacular Hikes list.
The largest local airport is Narvik Evenes Airport (EVE). Sortland Stokmarknes Skagen Airport (SKN) is also an option. If traveling by bus from the airport, use the Flybussen website to plan your journey.
You can get to Stø or Nyksund by local bus from Sortland.
If traveling to Stø, take bus 18-862 towards Stø, and get off at the last stop, "Stø". The buses are not that frequent: twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends, and takes about 1 hour 45 minutes from Sortland Bus Terminal.
If traveling to Nyksund, take bus 18-862 towards Stø, and get off at "Nyksund kryss (Øksnes)" in Myre. There are no buses to Nyksund, but you can take a private ferry to Nyksund from Myre with Seasafari Øksnes.
Find other transportation routes on the Norland Transportation Service.
From Sortland, take Road 820 towards Myre. When you reach Frøskeland, turn right onto Road 821. At the center of Myre, turn onto Road 935 towards Stø/Nyksund. You'll remain on this road for an hour before reaching either Stø or Nyksund.
The trail begins about 500 meters from the grounds of Gunnartangen Rorbuferie.
Your hike can start from either Nyksund or Stø, although the most popular village to start from is Stø. Overall, the trail is very well marked with DNT’s red letter “T” signposts along the trail.
Most of the trail is made out of packed soil, rock, and stones. The trail along the shoreline is made of grass and packed soil cover, especially in areas that are often wet. Where the mountain gets very steep, there are ropes to help guide you along.
If hiking from Stø, the trail first goes along the coast to the east and past remnants of a Viking house before taking you south into the forest and near a small lake. From there the trail increases in altitude as you hike along the ridgeline. The trail ends about 1 kilometer from Nyksund, where you'll hike along the very infrequent gravel road to the village.
From Nyksund, head northeast along the coast until reaching Stø. From Stø, follow the route to the east, then south along the ridgeline, returning to Nyksund.
- There is no drinking water access during the hike. So stock up on water in Stø or Nyksund.
- It can get quite windy while hiking along the coast, so make sure to pack a windbreaker
- For other packing tips consult the Outtt day hike packing guide.
Where to stay
Although both villages are small, Nyksund is quite bigger than Stø and it has a lively art and brewery scene. Only a few minutes walking distance from the harbor at Stø is the pristine beach Skipssanden beach. Nyksund and Stø are where most hikers stay, but there are accommodation options in Myre as well.
Gunnartangen Rorbuferie offers a variety of cabins on the water with picturesque views.
Stø Caravan Camp has full-service campsites to pitch a tent as well as areas for caravans. There's also a restaurant on the premises that serves locally caught seafood.
Holmvik Brygge Nyksund is the ideal place to stay in Nyksund. It has guests houses and apartments located on the water as well as a restaurant and organizes outdoor adventures.
Ekspedisjonen has whimsical rooms, a restaurant, and cafe.
Located on a tiny island off the mainland, Nyksund Spa & Hiking Club is a boutique hotel that has 5 rooms.
The newly renovated, The House on Skåltofta, is located on the outskirts of Nyksund and has great views of the open sea.