Islands of staggering natural beauty in Norway's arctic north
Lofoten is an archipelago above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway that encompasses the municipalities of Vestvågøy, Flakstad, Moskenes, Værøy, Røst and Vågan. The first settlements in Lofoten date back to the Viking age, and the islands have been the centre of great cod fisheries for over 1,000 years.
Svolvær is the main community of the islands and is a popular stop on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage. This harbour town of 4,300 inhabitants is home to numerous small art galleries, shops and cafes as well as the “Svolvær Goat” (Svolværgeita), a mountain with two characteristic “horns” that is popular among climbers.
The archipelago has long been an inspiration for photographers and artists for its natural beauty, unique lighting conditions and idyllic villages with rustic fishermen huts. It is also popular for wildlife viewing as the sea here is rich in marine life, with frequent sightings of otters, seals and occasionally orcas. For bird watchers, common bird species seen here include puffins and sea eagles.
From late May through mid-July the sun stays above the horizon, a phenomenon known as the midnight sun. This 24-hour daylight gives visitors ample time to try a host of exciting activities, such as kayaking, hiking, midnight golf and—for adventurous types—even surfing! In contrast, Lofoten’s long, dark winters make it an excellent locale for viewing the northern lights.View North Norway