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Arctic Norway – The Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten islands Norway. Photo by Chris Clegg, Nordnorsk Reiseliv

One of the most spectacular highlights in Norway

The amazing Lofoten Islands archipelago offers breathtaking, unforgettable scenery, impressive alpine mountain peaks, Arctic fjords and tiny fishing settlements

Sea Eagle Arctic Norway. Photo by Rune Nilsen, Visit BodThe Lofoten archipelago is located north of the Arctic Circle in the county of Nordland, Norway. Between the mainland and the Lofoten lies the open Vestfjord. The archipelago is known for its exceptional natural beauty, the picturesque Fishing settlements, the Rorbu (Fishermen’s cottages) and the stockfish. Lofoten has a very high density of sea eagles and millions of other sea birds, among them the colorful puffin.

Due to the Golf Stream the climate is mild, despite the latitude north of the Arctic Circle.Between May 25 and July 17 you can experience the Midnight Sun, and from early May the nights are bright.

Lofotgen Islands. Photo by Terje Rakke, Nordic Life Nordnorsk ReiselivThe Lofoten Fisheries
Even before the year 900 AD, the sagas tell about boats being equipped for the journey to the Lofoten and the winter cod fishing season, where the fishermen travelled for days and even weeks in open rowing boats and sailing boats to take part in the abundant fisheries of Lofoten, throughout the entire winter.

Rorbus: This created a need for accommodation for the visiting fishermen, setting off the building of the well known “rorbus” – now most of them refurbished into comfortable accommodations for the leisure visitors.

The stockfish, produced from the cod, was sold to almost all European countries, and Italy is still the most important market for the high quality stockfish from Lofoten.

Scenery & attractions
The Lofoten wall – the archipelago looks like a closed wall when seen from elevated points around Bodo or when arriving from the sea, some 100 km. long, and 800-1,000 m. high.
The Moskenes maelstrom, considered to be one of the most dangerous maelstroms in the world
The coastal Kollhellaren Cave with some 3000 year old cave paintings.
Vestvaagoy with the archeological finds from the Iron Age and the Viking Age
The Viking longhouse (83 m) at Borg (the largest known longhouse).
The picturesque fishing village of Nusfjord
The picturesque villages of Eggum and Unstad, situated at the foot of tall mountains, with the scenic pebbled beach at Eggum.
Henningsvaer – the most important fishing village at Lofoten
Skomvaer Lighthouse

Lofoten islands Norway. Photo by Baard Loeken, Nordnorsk Reiseliv

Travel tips for the Lofoten Islands – our Arctic cruise packages:
Lofoten Islands, Helgeland coast & Sognefjord – 12 nights
Lofoten Islands, Helgeland & Sognefjord – 8 nights
Both trips include a stay at the Lofoten Islands
Arctic Fjords and Coastal Highlights – 7 nights trip including an amazing excursion across the islands
View all our Arctic Norway tours & cruises

The Arctic Nordland line, Norway. Photo by Rune Fossum, NSBMore travel tips – How to get to the Lofoten Islands:
By air: Flight from Oslo to Bodo (Norwegian & SAS) and then Wideroe from Bodo to Svolvaer
By train & boat: The Dovre line from Oslo to Trondheim (appr 7 hours), continue on the Arctic Nordland line from Trondheim to Bodo (appr 10 hours), then the Hurtigruten ship across to the Lofoten Islands (appr 3 hours)
By boat: Hurtigruten ship from Bergen to Stamsund or Svolvaer at the Lofoten Islands (3 nights)

View all our Norway destinations