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What to See in Lofoten
The main reason people travel to Lofoten is to experience the amazing nature, the rugged mountains and fjords, the fishing villages and the midnight sun.
Lofoten´s beauty is however best experienced during the light and warm summer months, from May to August.
Midnight Sun in Lofoten
The midnight sun, meaning that the sun does not set and is visible 24 hours a day, can be seen in Lofoten from approximately the 27th May until the 17th of July.
It really is a magical time in the region. Imagine sitting on a beach, fishing, or climbing a mountain at 3am in the morning!
Mountains and Scenery
What makes Lofoten truly special is the rugged mountains coming straight up from the sea, the clear waters and the cute villages tucked in between.
The views are best appreciated from the sea, so a boat trip – either kayaking, fishing, whale or bird watching safaris, or just a fjord cruise – is a must when in Lofoten.
Another way to take in the majestic views is to go hiking. Lofoten is a rock climber´s mecca, and many activity providers arrange guided tours up the most amazing mountains.
The Svolvaer Goat
The most popular climb in Lofoten is the Svolvaer Goat. A challenging climb, with the extra thrill of the optional jump between the two peaks at the top.
Trollfjorden is a 2km sidearm of the Raftsund, on the eastern side of Austvaagoy.
Hurtigruten takes a short detour into the fjord on its way south because of its beauty.
At its narrowest it is only 70m wide, which is a challenge if you´re manoeuvring a large cruise ship!
The rugged peaks towering along the 2km inlet is among the most photographed, painted and awed upon sight in the whole of Lofoten.
The majestic mountain towering 3,200ft over Henningsvaer on Austvaagoy is an important point of reference for sailors, surrounded by myths and old beliefs, as well as a favoured spot for rock climbers.
Bird Watching in Lofoten
Lofoten is one of the best places in Northern Europe to go bird watching, and the furtherest out islands around Roest has Norway´s largest seabird colonies.
In the summer months, you can get up close with Puffins (the largest colony in Norway), Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Guillemots, Black Guillemots, Shags, Fulmars and White-tailed Eagles.
The islands are mostly protected areas, but go on one of the daily boat trips which will take you right up to the giant bird cliffs right out at sea.
In winter, the famous fishing season in Lofoten also attracts large numbers of birds, such as King Eider, Purple Sandpipers and White-billed divers.
Bird watching is easily combined with whale watching in Lofoten, and there are no doubt plenty of spectacular photo opportunities.
Whale Watching in Lofoten
Whale safaris in Lofoten take place all year round, but is particularly popular between October and January.
Every autumn the herring migrate into the fjords, bringing the Minke Whales with them.
Day trips are arranged from both Svolvaer and Henningsvaer, where there is also a whale research centre open to visitors.
Read more about activities on offer in Lofoten.
Whale Watching in Andenes
Andenes on Andoy, an island just north of Lofoten, is the only place in Northern Europe where you can see the giant Sperm Whale on a short day trip.
From Andenes it is only one hour by boat out to the Bleik Canyon, an area where the ocean seabed plummets, providing the perfect feeding ground for several species of whale, including giant Sperm Whales, Minke Whales, Killer Whales, Pilot Whales, Harbour Porpoise and Humpbacks.
Whalesafari in Andenes has been named “the world´s largest, most successful Arctic whale watching operation”.
The company states a 95-99% chance of spotting whales on their safaris and even offer a “whale guarantee”, giving you a free extra trip should you be unlucky enough not to see any whales.
Northern Lights in Lofoten
Lofoten is also a great place to experience the northern lights.
From October to March the Aurora Borealis light up the sky at night, and as Lofoten is so scarcely populated, there is little light pollution.
In the popular BBC documentary, Joanna Lumley saw the northern lights for the first time in Lofoten. Watch clips from the Joanna Lumley documentary.
Stockfish in Lofoten
Another sight you will be hard pushed to miss visually and scent-wise is the Lofoten stockfish production.
Norway´s oldest export, Lofoten stockfish was sold to all over Europe from around year 800.
The cod hangs in pairs on wooden racks for three months, preserving the fish, giving it a near indefinite sell-by date.
Towards the end of April, when all the fish has been prepared and hung to dry, 400,000 square metres of Lofoten is covered in stockfish!
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