Mountain view, The Lofoten Islands Mountain view, The Lofoten Islands

I’ve just returned from a week in the dramatic Lofoten Islands and can’t wait to go back! Found high above the Arctic Circle, just off Norway’s fjord-strewn northwest coast, this rugged archipelago epitomizes everything that is appealing about the Norwegian landscape.

Any time is right to visit the islands but, personally, I prefer the summer months when perpetual daylight (well, between May-July) is on offer. Nothing beats the feeling of wandering along a powder-white sandy beach or standing atop a mountain bathed in the Midnight Sun. Of course, winter months have their benefits too in the shape of the mesmerising Northern Lights.

The Lofoten Islands The Lofoten Islands

Whenever you go, Lofoten has something for everyone, and I found the best way to explore is by car. Hiring a vehicle from the local airport was straightforward and driving down through the islands was equally simple – partly, because traffic is relatively light, especially when you head off the main E10, which cuts through the spine of the islands. Sometimes, I was driving and wouldn’t see another vehicle for miles.

The Lofoten Islands The Lofoten Islands

Whether you’re a serious photographer or just enjoy taking snaps on your Smartphone, you’ll be stopping your car seemingly around every bend because the vistas are spectacular. From wide white beaches, tiny ports with colourful houses and lush, deserted valleys to jagged snow-capped peaks, raging waterfalls and flower-splattered meadows, Lofoten is beautiful.

If, like me, you’re a keen walker, it doesn’t get much better than the treks on offer here. As well as buying decent maps, I’d recommend the informative and well-researched Hiking the Lofoten Islands by David Souyris and Magdalena Brede, which I obtained from Stanford’s (www.stanfords.co.uk). It contains detailed descriptions of not only 60 day hikes but a trek across the archipelago in 11 days, too.

The Lofoten Islands The Lofoten Islands

One of the highlights of my visit was heading down the coast in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) to spot sea eagles, who reside on this rocky coastline all year. Daily boat trips are available (I enjoyed a two-hour trip with Lofoten Explorer – lofoten-explorer.no) from Svolvaer, where I was based. I’ll never forget the moment a huge sea eagle swept down from the mountainside to snatch a fish from the water in front of us – it was one of those rare “wow” moments.

But many of the highlights of this trip were just simple things, including strolling along a deserted beach and sitting down in a lush meadow while appreciating the silence – pure bliss!

The Lofoten Islands The Lofoten Islands

When it comes to choosing where to be based, you won’t go far wrong with the town of Svolvaer. Facing the open ocean and backed by huge peaks, it’s perfectly located for exploring the rest of the islands; and although it’s the archipelago’s main town, its population is a mere 9,000 so a relaxed atmosphere courses through its streets.

For accommodation, I chose Svinoya Rorbuer (svinoya.no) in the town, which offers a collection of authentic red timber cabins. Originally, they were used by fishermen but have since been restored. I was very impressed because they contain everything needed for a comfortable stay, including one to three bedrooms and well-equipped kitchen, lounge and modern bathroom.

Visiting the Lofoten Islands is something I’d wanted to do for years and it’s amazing to think that I finally realised my dream. Okay, it might be challenging reaching the islands (three flights are involved), but enduring the hassle is well worth it.

Svinoya Rorbuer, The Lofoten Islands Svinoya Rorbuer, The Lofoten Islands
The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

19th July 2018



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

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