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Lofoten, a place of mystery

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Part. 1

The Lofoten archipelago, a famed place for us norwegians, and since the late 19 th century a place getting more and more international attention. Settlements being registert from around the early 12 th century. The main reason for its visitors was its rich access to fish, mainly to fish Arctic cod in the early winter months of the new year. Now tourism is becoming more and more important, but the fishing will always be close to the Lofoten heart. And a big part of its culture.

Lofotens second highest peak Geitgaljen, in the shade of its taller neighbor

Lofoten stretches roughly 100 km forming a wall with mountains ranging from 500-1100 meters tall. The tallest being Higravstinden which stretches 1142 meters tall, the second is its close neighbor Geitgaljen which stretches 1085 meters tall. Even though the mountains are not of the tallest. Lofoten is a spectacular sight since the sea clings to its mountain range, and the mountains raises steep straight from the sea, and with its fjords cutting lines in between. Its steep peaks and deep valleys formed during the iceage, leaving us with the characteristic presence we see today. Its rock being some of Norways oldest, some of it being formed around 2 billion years ago.

The mountains of Lofoten is famed for its rockquality, climbers and hikers flock during the summer months to the Lofoten mountains to reach its peaks, and to climb its many routes. With beautiful scenery, mild summer temperature, and high quality granite crack lines there is no question why. Henningsvær being on of the biggest hubs for eager climbers. Here you can also find the famous Climbingcafe.

But Lofoten is not just a summers place. During the winter it is also buzzing, fishing boats coming up to take part of the hunt for its glory in the sea. In the late winter season you can smell the money (a local saying) hanging on fish flakes, drying in the cold air to make dryed cod. An international recognized export goods. Locals as well as the tourists discovering Lofoten more and more, flock to its snow covered mountains which can yield magical moments skiing down. Being above the arctic circle, Lofoten has polar nights during the winter. In Svolvær, Lofotens biggest city the polar night starts 7 th of december and ends the 5 th of january.

A yellow line shoots through the mountains

Visiting Lofoten during the polar nights, can yield some magnificent lights and deep colours for a short period every day if the weather is clear. Being only for around 4 weeks, it is not the longest lasting polar night. In Svalbard as an example the polar nights last for 4 months.

To make the most of your stay, if your plan is to visit its mountains during winter for skiing or snowboarding. A good advice is to plan your visit to after the sun is back. Check local forecast, and avalanche forecast before. Norways primary source of information regarding avalanche is available from

If you are not familiar with the mountains, I recommend hiring a local mountainguide to make the most out of your stay. They know the mountains and travel in them all season long. A key component for finding the best and safest snow.

The northern lights is also possible to witness in this part of the country, adding even more beauty to this wonderful place. The arctic winter start in the end of september, and last until the end of mars. In this time the chance of seeing the northern light is highest, and the night is dark enough.

In photography my primary love is to capture the low light conditions that covers the landscape, painting it in deep colours from the setting or rising sun. As mentioned before the polar nights means darkness for up to 20 hours each day when it is at its darkest. Giving the viewer only a few moments each day to witness light from a sun below the horizon. But the light can reward extremely beautiful colour combinations filling the sky. In the blue hour during the winter, this light is at it most beautiful. Lasting only short while just before sunrise and right after sunset. The blue hour is not actually an hour, but about 20-30 minutes after the sun sets, or before it rises. So if you want to capture it have your gear ready.

A white castle towers the sky alone

Seen across the interweb, there are many scenic places you may visit to capture the essence of Lofoten. The small narrow roads twisting through the landscape, connecting the small towns scattered across its coast. Svolvær is Lofotens biggest city, and acts as a hub with both a ferryport and an airport. To get across if the weather is nice you can bike through Lofoten in a matter of a few days. A very familier sight to see during the summer season are the thousands of caravans and RV shutteling back and forth. Renting a car is also a popular choice when traveling.

The sun starting to come back

When staying in Lofoten, there are hotels of course scattered across. I you want to make it a bit more genuine, you can rent seaside cabins called "rorbu". Used back in the day for travelling fishermen resting between the battles on the sea.

There are also an abundance of campsite to park your RV, but they can be very busy in the summer season. So booking in advance to secure a spot can be advisable.

When travelling in Lofoten, you should pack for all types of weather. Being this high north and at the coast makes for quick changes. The winter can be subject to heavy snowfalls, and polar lowpressure systems colliding with the coast giving heavy winds and storms. During the summer you can be yielded with glorious sunshine. But be ready, the weather can change fast giving you cold winds, low clouds and heavy rain. Eventhough Lofoten is above the arctic circle, the weather is warm and mild during the summer due to the affects from the Gulf stream. This also effects the weather during the winter. Not giving super chilly winters. But a short advice is to have flexible timeschedule, and travelplan.

Where to visit in Lofoten. When travelling across Lofoten, there are plenty of hidden gems around. Travelling through I recommend visiting the famous places like Svolvær, Kabelvåg, Henningsvær and Reine. All serving up great photo spots to find those classic Lofoten photographies. If you are into surfing or want to learn, the best place and most popular is Unstad. There you can find both instructors and surfshops.

But don´t be afraid to explore all the nooks and crannies this archipelago. Because Lofoten is so much more than the mentioned places. And since the place is quite small in driving distance you can if you want to have a base hub and do daytrips. If you are all the way out around Moskenes, taking a ferry to the island Verøy is higly recommended.

A crown of sunset


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