Lofoten Island: Spectacular Beauty Around Every Corner And Truly Unparalleled
Updated: May 26
With spectacular scenery around every corner, Lofoten is an island chain (archipelago) and a traditional district in the county of Nordland, Norway. Lofoten has distinctive scenery with dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands like nowhere else on earth. Yet while Lofoten's sites may draw some comparisons, the beauty here is truly unparalleled: think colorful fishing villages, majestic fjords, and frozen beaches dotted with surfers.
There is evidence of human settlement extending back at least 11,000 years in Lofoten, and the earliest archaeological sites are only about 5,500 years old, at the transition from the early to late Stone Age. It experiences one of the world's largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to its high latitude.
From idyllic fishing villages to remarkable beaches that seem so out of place in Arctic Norway, the Norwegian islands of Lofoten have it all. The island village Reine has arguably the most spectacular setting in all of Lofoten. The approach by car is nothing short of breathtaking. The E10 winds its way across islands and skerries for a couple of miles, with open ocean, mirror-like lakes, and granite peaks visible in every direction.
The creative spark of the islands isn't just limited to photography. If you're suffering from writers block or blank canvas syndrome, this could be just the place for you to rediscover your muse. Painters have been coming to the islands for the light and natural scenery since the 19th-century. Today you'll find galleries, glass-blowers, ceramic artists, jewellery makers, sculptors, and many other kinds of artist running their own workshops.
One of Lofoten's biggest attractions are the painted fishing villages found all over the islands. The red and white wooden fishermen's huts (known as rerbuers) line the towns' waterfronts, and many are even available as vacation rentals. Known for its remote, rugged beauty, Lofoten sea is rich with life, and the world's largest deep water coral reef, called the Rost Reef.
Lofoten offers many rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities. It has 24 hours of daylight in the summer and has Alpine-style ridges, summits and glaciers, but at a height of less than 1,200 metres (3,900 feet). The main areas for mountaineering and climbing are on Austvågøy and Moskenesøya. Moskenesøya features remote and serious mountaineering whereas Austvågøy is very popular area for rock climbing.
The European road E10 connects the larger islands of Lofoten with bridges and undersea tunnels. There are several daily bus services between the islands of Lofoten and between Lofoten and the mainland along E10. Lofoten is also served by a number of small airports. Bodø is often used as a hub for travel to Lofoten. Simply hop in a car and take in the atmosphere.