Givær is a remote island located 50 km north of the Arctic Circle and 28 km west of Bodø. Givær is Bodø’s westernmost outpost and one of Nordland’s smallest inhabited islands (local population 15). Givær is truly a hidden gem along the Arctic coast of Northern Norway. Only a few visitors find their way to this island and its fascinating history. Although tiny, the island’s hospitality and welcome are legendary.
Givær is one of the best places in Scandinavia for visitors to experience daily life on a truly remote and traditional island. As soon as you step off the local express boat, you will notice the absence of traffic, people and commerce. There are no roads, no shops and no cars.
Off the beaten track: Givær has never been a big tourist attraction and the locals want to keep it that way. Small groups will always receive a warm welcome. Although most people in Bodø have heard of Givær, very few have visited this special place.
About life on Givær: The express boat is the lifeline of this tiny island community, bringing food and other provisions from the mainland. The island’s children commute to school on nearby Helligvær.
The locals drink seawater treated at a desalination plant, while electricity is produced by a diesel-powered generator. Givær’s residents were evacuated to Bodø during Hurricane Ole in February 2015 when 25 m high waves and strong winds were forecast for the island.
Minimum 4 people.
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Easy. Please see details below.
A day trip lasts approx. 9 (11) hours.
Group size & Capacity
The recommended group size is 20 guests. Please see details below.
Season & Availability
May - September. The round trip is only possible on specific days. Please see details below.
Meeting pointClick for larger map
Is this trip suitable for everyone?
Yes, everyone can attend. However, as we will travel by boat, there is a small risk of sea sickness.
What do I need to bring?
You should bring
- Personal clothing suitable for a short walk in the prevailing weather
- Wind- and waterproof clothing
- A day pack, something to drink and snacks
We will provide
- Transportation by local express boat Bodø – Givær – Bodø
- English-speaking guide.
Tips for Avoiding Seasickness
- Look up and out on the horizon during the boat ride.
- Choose a seat where you will experience the least motion. This will typically be in the middle of the boat.
- Get fresh air and don’t read while onboard the boat.
- Bring medicine and/or motion sickness wristbands.
- Eating salty snacks and drinking Coca-Cola are good local tips.
Where and when do we meet
- The meeting point is by Bodø Tourist Information Office in Bodø. Please see map above.
- Meeting time: We operate this tour at fixed times. Please see start times in the booking calendar.
Group size - We prefer small groups
- The typical group sizefor this trip ranges from 4 to 20. We prefer to keep the group size rather small when visiting Givær, which improves the experience for the participants and guide alike. A group of 20 guests more than doubles the local population!
- Larger groups need to make a request, so we can check capacity. Groups larger than 20 guests will be divided into smaller groups, each of which trip are accompanied by their own guide. NB: We don’t mix private group trips with solo travellers.
- What is the minimum number of participants? To run this tour, a minimum of four people must book. If this minimum is not met, we reserve the right to cancel the tour. You will then have the option of being rebooked on an alternative date or receiving a full refund.
Weather cancellation policy
- There is normally no need to cancel this trip due to weather. The only exception is extremely strong wind, which leads to the cancellation of the express boat. This is very unusual during summer.
- If the weather gets too bad, we will consider choosing alternative routes or experiences.
When is this trip available?
- The round trip is only possible on 2 – 3 days each week, please check calendar for available dates. On other days, the boat only calls at Givær once.
- Best season: We recommend taking this trip in May – September. A trip to Givær in the off-season is possible for adventurous travellers. High wind and rough seas are more likely to occur during winter. Staying one or more nights at Givær in rough weather conditions can be a great experience too.
- Customised tours: Groups wanting an independent travel plan may book private transport by boat. Please just ask!
Meet by the Bodø Tourist Information Office. You will be greeted by your guide for the day, who will escort you to the quay. As we need to catch the express boat, it is important you arrive on time. The boat calls at Landegode and Helligvær before arriving at Givær. The guide will tell you about some of the other inhabited and uninhabited islands in the archipelago off Bodø.
Meeting our local guide: On arrival at the quay in Givær, you will meet hospitable locals including our local guide, who will proudly show you around the island. After a short briefing at the quayside about the plans for the visit, we will walk together to the large boathouse where light refreshments will be served.
Short walk on the island of Givær: This promises to be a short walk as the island’s ‘main street’ (a gravel/cart road) is just 250 m long. The island is just 700 m from south to north, while the main island covers an area of just 0.11 km². A chapel and abandoned post office stand on Givær’s highest point.
About life on Givær: You will hear about everyday life here and what makes people live here instead of in the ‘big city’ of Bodø. You will gain an insight into the traditions of collecting eggs and down from the eider duck.
Old buildings dating from 1601: We will visit the old rorbu (fishermen’s cottages) used during fishing in times gone by. These are among the oldest buildings in the municipality with the oldest cottage dating from 1601. You will also visit a wharf loft featuring a well-preserved collection of old nets and fishing gear.
The eider duck as a domestic animal: Collecting eggs and down from the eider duck has been an important source along the North Norwegian coast right back to the Viking Age. Givær is one of the few places where eider ducks are still kept as a sort of domestic animal.
Interaction between ducks and humans: The locals protect the ducks from predators and are rewarded with their lucrative down. Learn about this fascinating interaction between ducks and humans. During the nesting season, female eider ducks are so tame that you can have a close-up encounter without them flying away.
Enjoy a simple but tasty lunch at the local pub. Those who wish may taste traditional food like flatbrød (wafer-thin, crispy bread) and lefse (a thin, folded pastry).
The return trip to Bodø by express boat calls at various island. This varies from trip to trip, but usually includes Helligvær, Landegode and sometimes also Bliksvær. These islands differ markedly from each other. Landegode has an 800 m high mountain, while Helligvær consists of more than 300 smaller islands.
*NB: The times in parentheses are valid from 1 May – 22 June and 20 August – 1 October.
Return to downtown Bodø after a memorable trip.
*NB: Times in parentheses: from 1th May – 22th June / 20th August – 1th October.