Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Lofoten Islands: Northern Fairy-Tale

The Lofoten Islands offer amazing natural sights, unforgettable fishing, villages hidden from popular tourist routes and stunning whale safari

The Lofoten islands, Norway

WHAT TO SEE 

The Island of Moskenes 

Do you want to find yourself surrounded by wild nature? Then get onboard, pass Moskstrømmen, one of the most dangerous maelstroms in the world, and go to the "outside" of Lofoten. There you will find the remains of settlements dating thousands of years back in time. The gigantic Kollhellaren Cave in Refsvika is a coastal cavern with approximately 3000-year-old cave paintings. 

Moskenes, Lofoten, Norway

The Village of Nusfjord 

Nusfjord managed to keep untouched the whole complex of buildings dating back to the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th centuries. Nusfjord's architecture is unique. Here archaeologists discovered evidence of the earliest "industrial fishing" in the region. Excavations uncovered settlements from the fifth century. 

Lofotr Viking Museum 

At Borg, archaeologists discovered the largest Viking longhouse ever found from this era. The house belonged to a powerful chieftain. The building is 83 meters long and was reconstructed as a living museum with exhibitions and domestic animals.

Lofotr Viking Museum

Eggum and Unstad 

Buildings of Eggum and Unstad stand close together, as in the Middle Ages. The settlements are attractively situated at the foot of tall mountains. At Eggum, you will find a beautiful pebbled beach, which is a nice spot to experience the midnight sun. Unstad is famous for its excellent conditions for surfing. 

Henningsvær 

Henningsvær, surrounded by mountains and washed by the ocean, used to be a Lofoten center of winter fishing. In the 19th century, the island community prospered, and Henningsvær became one of the most prominent fishing villages in Lofoten. Unlike many other fishing villages, the population of Henningsvær has remained stable in recent years, and there are still over 500 people living there. 

Bird Rocks 

On the very edge of Lofoten Archipelago, you can find the island of Røst and many other islets and reefs. They host the largest colonies of nesting birds in Norway making up approximately a quarter of all birds in the country. 

Skomvær Lighthouse

Do not forget to visit the Skomvær Lighthouse – the final outpost overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 

WHAT TO DO 

Nature Safari 

Nature Safari in the Lofotens takes place from mid-October until mid-January. Participants go out in large boats and rubber dinghies to look for sea eagles, seals and other local wildlife. If you are lucky, you might even see a killer whale! 

Nothern Lights 

The Lofoten islands are the best place to observe this majestic phenomenon. Warm winters and the auroral oval crossing the Lofotens make the show especially beautiful. 

Norway Lofoten Northern Lights

Climbing 

The Lofotens is a preferred place for many mountain-climbers. The most used areas for climbing are located between Svolvær and Henningsvær. You can go in the mountains with your own equipment or turn to a company that offers guided climbing tours in Lofoten, such as Nordnorsk Klatreskole or Northern Alpine Guides

Fishing 

Try your luck fishing in the open sea. Relax and admire the outstanding scenery around you while waiting for the fish to bite. Every winter, hundreds of people travel to the World Championship in cod fishing in the Lofoten Islands. 

Legendary Lofoten fishing

Stockfisch 

Famous stockfish is one of the most important cultural traditions of Lofoten. Stockfish is made of spawning cod, and is an important ingredient for many dishes served in local restaurants. 

Surfing 

For many surfers Lofoten is one of the best destinations in Norway. Surfing above the Arctic circle is truly unique experience. Due to the cold water, do not forget a wetsuit! 

Lofoten Surfing

Cycling 

The Lofoten islands offer a lot for cyclists. Put on the clothing suited to the conditions and enjoy the area not just in the busiest weeks of summer. The roads are easy, however in summer they can be crowded with cars, caravans and motorhomes

Horseback Riding 

Do not miss a chance to go riding on Icelandic horses. Despite relatively small size these friendly animals are sturdy and can easily clear any hurdle. 

Icelandic horses, Lofoten

Skiing 

Go skiing along the slopes and admiring the picturesque panorama of fjords. The Lofoten islands host two skiing centers. In Lofoten you can ski from summit to sea. The mountains here are easy accessible from the roads. However, hiring a guide is highly recommended to get the best and safest skiing experience in Lofoten. 


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