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Location: Nordland, Norway
Area: 1,227 km 2 (474 sq mi)
Nearest Railhead: Jernbahnveien, Stasjonsveien
Nearest Airport: Harstad/Narvik Airport (EVE)
How to reach: by air
Famous for: archipelago and a traditional district
Months open: All year
Best time to visit: mid-January to late March for Northern Lights, summer
Lofoten is an archipelago in northern Norway and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of thecountry. Its fantastic mountains, fjords, inlets, peaks, open sea, bays and beaches make it a wonderful destination for marine animals as well as for adventure seeking tourists. However, it is not to say that Lofoten does not exude quietude and peace amongst its small fishing villages and ever changing weather. In fact, its mild climate, influenced by the warm Gulf Stream and its proximity to the Arctic Circle make it also a potential Aurora Borealis viewing destination. The Northern Lights coupled with the phenomena of the midnight sun both surrounded by the stunning landscapes, make Lofoten highly irresistible.
What's Here: Lofotr Viking Museum, Kvalvika, Sakrisoy Uttakleiv
How to reach
Lofoten has various airports that bring flights from Osla and other northern Europe destinations, such as, the Leknes airport, Svolvaer, Stokmarknes airport and more. One can also drive to Lofoten since bridges connect the larger islands to the mainland via the E10 highway. However, Bodo is often the main hub for travellers visiting Lofoten.
Lofoten is made up of some of the popular islands, such as, Gimsoya, Vestvagoy, Flaksadoya, Moskenesoya and the islands of Vaeroy, Rost. The main cities of Lofoten are Leknes and Svolvaer.
Things to do
One of the most striking features of Lofoten is the thriving wildlife. The inlets, bays and marine topography along with an agreeable climate are responsible for some of the most wondrous wildlife found here. The Rost Reef is the world’s largest deep water coral reef found off the western coast of Rost island. Cormorants, puffins and sea gulls are some of the many sea birds that soar in the skies. In fact, Lofoten has Europe’s largest sea bird colony. Other animals found include the otter, moose and penguins. Lofoten has multiple activities that one can pursue. Mountaineering and rock climbing along the peaks, mountains and glaciers are very thrilling. One of the main rock climbing centers is at Henningsvaer on Austvagoya. Unstad is a known destination for surfing, and is in fact the world’s northernmost site for surfing. The well-marked cycling routes and a dedicated cycling ferry ensure that cyclist relish the surrounding views and explore the landscape with ease. Other adventure activities in Lofoten include skiing, hiking, fishing, rafting and scuba diving. Fishing has been an integral part of Lofoten’s culture and folklore has sufficient stories on how boats made the journey for the winter cod fishing period and fishermen sailed for days. The rorbus, popular accommodation sites for the travelling fishermen remain till date and are refurbished for visitors to stay. The Lofoten Wall is another name given to the archipelago because it looks like a closed wall when seen from higher points around Bodo or at the sea. The Moskenes maelstrom is the most dangerous maelstrom on the Moksstraumen Island and often believed to be the origin of the term maelstrom. Other attractions on Lofoten are the 3000 year old cave paintings in the Kollhellaren Caves, the archeological evidences from the Viking and Iron Age at Vestvaagoy, the must visit picture perfect fishing village of Nusfjord and other scenic yet important fishing villages of Henningsvaer, Unstad and Eggum for its scenic pebbled beach. The Skomvaer Lighthouse is another feature to check out. Lofoten however has always been strongly influenced by the Viking Age and the Lofotr Viking Museum is a definite attraction for historical and archeological lovers. At Borg, The Viking Longhouse was discovered by the archeologists and is the longest ever longhouse (83m) which has now been reconstructed into a living museum. Lofoten is hence a wonderfully peaceful abode where one can come close to nature at the same time be mesmerized and fantasized by it. The gorgeous beauty of this archipelago is far away from the urban chic landscapes of major cities. In fact, it is all about fishing villages, Viking age artifacts and loads of scenic landscapes of varying natures and kinds. Visit Lofoten to get a slice of heaven here on earth.