Lofoten, an archipelago above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, is well known for its natural beauty, unique light conditions and idyllic villages with rustic fishermen huts. The Lofoten archipelago is an inspiration for photographers and artists. In the winter when daylight hours are short, Lofoten is an excellent place for viewing the northern lights, perhaps from the deck of a sightseeing cruise or while enjoying a fine dinner of local seafood.
Petra and Sindre, Icelandic natives and two of our Nordic Visitor travel experts based in Reykjavik, stopped in to the blog to tell us about their adventurous work trip to Lofoten.
What a trip you had! How would you describe Lofoten?
Petra: Beautiful islands with a history that revolves around fish. I would also describe it as having a dramatic landscape, laid back atmosphere, and small villages with mostly red "Rorbuer" or fisherman cabins that really take you back in time.
What were some highlights of your recent trip?
Petra: I enjoyed relaxing in a fisherman's cabin with a cup of coffee, and the drive from Svolvær to Reine. I also really loved a cafe in Henningsvær called Lysstøperiet, which is a really nice and local coffeeshop where you can get the best Norwegian cinnamon buns that I have ever tried and you can buy candles that are made on the spot. We also visited Lofoten's oldest fishing village called Nusfjord which is now a living museum.
Sindre: I was quite impressed by the beaches and taking pictures of the dramatic mountain peaks. I've seen more mountains than I can count in my life, but I couldn't get enough really! And the local fish meals were delicious!
Is Lofoten a good destination for northern lights?
Petra: Yes, if the conditions are right. For northern lights you will need darkness, clear skies, solar activity and extreme northern latitude. During the winter months, Lofoten has two of these elements which are darkness and northern latitude. Then we need to cross our fingers for clear skies and solar activity. The northern lights season in Lofoten is from early fall to mid April. Even if you do not see the northern lights while you are there I am sure you will leave with a smile and good memories because the experience of being there is simply enough and the northern lights are just a BIG plus to this adventure.
Even if you do not see the northern lights while you are there I am sure you will leave with a smile and good memories because the experience of being there is simply enough and the northern lights are just a BIG plus to this adventure.
What are some outdoor activities to do in Lofoten?
Petra: Rib boat safari, hiking, kayaking, bird watching, horseback riding, biking, skiing, museums, fishing and much more.
Which activity or sight did you like best?
Petra: I love food so I really enjoyed trying local food like stockfish. It was also an adventure itself to spend the night in an old fisherman cabin. There is a lot of history in these cabins.
What tips would you give to Lofoten visitors?
Petra: I highly recommend people to have a car so they can drive around (all year around) and visit some of the small villages. Lofoten is a great destination for both action and relaxation so everyone could find suitable activities. Each season has something special to offer like northern lights, midnight sun, hiking trails in the dramatic landscape, birdwatching etc. Spend the night in a fishermen's cabin or in hotel in Svolvær, Henningvær, Nyvågar, Reine or Nusfjord. Try the local food and enjoy the stunning nature all year around!
Thanks for the chat, Petra and Sindre!
There’s far more to see and do in Lofoten, and northern Norway, than we can fit here in one blog post. The best thing to do is experience it in person! Luckily, Nordic Visitor has plenty of tours in Norway that include visits to the lovely Lofoten Islands.
Have something particular in mind? Get in touch with the friendly travel experts at Nordic Visitor for your own tailor-made itinerary.