The Lofoten Islands
The craggy Lofoten islands lie within the Arctic Circle, separated from the mainland by the Vestfjorden. The magical archipelago is a place of uniquely distinctive scenery filled with the contrasting beauty of beaches and mountains, open sea and sheltered bays, untouched lands and picturesque fishing villages. The pure air, pristine waters and special quality of the Arctic light alone make it an exceptional destination.
This is the original Viking country and it was here that one of the earliest Viking towns, Vagan, was found. On Vestvagoya you can see the largest Viking longhouse, now a living museum.
Rost claims the world’s largest deep-water coral reef and the largest number of nesting sea birds in Norway such as eagles, cormorants, puffins and other birds. Otters and moose can be found on the largest islands.
In winter, the polar nights and the auroral oval crossing make the islands ideal for a chance at seeing the Northern Lights. It’s also the best time for fishing as Atlantic cod and other species come to the waters to spawn; nature safaris to spot majestic killer whales and seals; and for skiing excursions.
During summer, the long period of midnight sun make the islands verdant with growth and rock climbing enthusiasts flock here for the Alpine-style ridges. Surfing, cycling, golf, hiking, rafting, kayaking and for the brave, scuba diving, are also popular.
When to go
Summer is a great time for exploring the islands by foot and bicycle with the midnight sun. In winter the polar nights and auroral oval crossing make it the perfect place to see the northern lights.
What to do
- Taste "stockfisch", a Lofoten speciality made from cod
- Visit the medieval villages of Eggum and Unstad
- Visit Skomvær Lighthouse which overlooks the Arctic Ocean
- Winter is best for:
- Northern Lights and polar night, fishing expeditions, nature safaris for sea eagles, seals and killer whales, scuba diving and skiing
- Summer is best for:
- Midnight sun, rock climbing, surfing, cycling, golf, hiking, rafting and kayaking
Top hotels and boats in the Lofoten Islands
Here are some of our travel designers' favourite options
Nyvagar HotelFitted out with entirely modern interiors and facilities, the lodgings fuse quaint historic character with contemporary comforts. It’s easy to make yourself at home here with each cabin, or rorbus, offering a vast amount of space with two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and dining area spread over two floors. Fresh, local produce is prepared to create traditional, tasty dishes at the restaurant, while the Auavit Loft offers a cosy spot with superb sea, northern lights or midnight sun views.