Find happiness in Lofoten
In winter there is no queue to see the Northern Lights, to go whale watching or skiing from Lofoten’s many mountains. And if you go fishing, success is guaranteed!
If you participate in this year’s Fishing in Lofoten («Lofotfiske»), the question isn’t whether you will catch any fish, but rather how many. When the cod makes the trip to Lofoten, your risk of ending up without any is practically non-existent.
Photo: media-army.de / Visitnorway.com
This annual winter event attracts tourists from Norway and all over the world. Everyone is welcome to give it a go. Rent a «rorbu» for the ultimate experience. This exotic type of accommodation is for rent everywhere in Lofoten, including Reine, Ballstad, Svolvær, Henningsvær and Kabelvåg.
There are organized tours that include rorbu, boat trips or rental of boats and the necessary equipment.
Rorbu in Reine
Many people will only consider a rorbu holiday in summer to coincide with the midnight sun, but if you wish to see Lofoten at its wildest and most beautiful, you should book a rorbu in the winter time.
Wake up to the peace and quiet with sea and sky views in stunning colours. Feel the forces of nature on your body and watch the low winter sun disappear on a pink sky while you excitedly wait for the Northern Lights.
Photo: Bård Løken / www.nordnorge.com
There are many options in Lofoten, but among the best places is the idyllic Reine, wedged between the magnificent mountains and the North Sea. You basically live on top of the mountains and the sea.
If you go fishing, as you should, you can bring fresh fish to your rorbu and prepare a delicious dinner there. Or you can visit one of the on-site eateries that specialize in fish and seafood, such as Gammelbua or Underhuset Restaurant, both offering delicious seafood caught in the area.
Cod Fishing World Championship
March 21 and 22 are important dates in Svolvær. This is when Vågan Boat and Maritime Fishing Assocation organize this year’s Cod Fishing World Championship, open to both amateurs and anglers. The competitors come from many different countries, and there is hustle and bustle around the clock in Svolvær during the event.
Photo: Ernst Furuhatt / www.nordnorge.com
Back to the Viking Age
Did you know that the world’s largest Viking Age longhouse is excavated in Lofoten? In Borg, a strong and powerful chief family lived more than 1000 years ago. And you can meet them at the Lofotr Viking Museum and see the full-size reconstructed longhouse. Here you will find architecture, crafts, food and customs from the Viking Age in Lofoten – a rewarding experience for both adults and children.
Photo: CH - VisitNorway.com
Museums and galleries
If the weather turns so bad that it is no use spending time outside, you can visit one of the many galleries in Lofoten. This area, that fascinates so many with its beautiful and dramatic scenery, has also attracted many artists through the ages. Galleries can be found everywhere in Lofoten, but many of them are situated in Henningsvær and Svolvær.
Photo: John stenersen
In Henningsvær, Galleri Lofoten and Kavi Fac Ory (sic!) are recommended. At Galleri Lofoten you will find, among other things, Norway’s largest collection of North Norwegian paintings.
Kavi Fac Ory is a very interesting exhibition space for international and contemporary art.
The hunt for the Northern Lights
There is a lot of superstition associated with the Northern Lights. And yes, it is very easy to get mesmerized when the green light flickers and glides across the sky. If you are in Lofoten for a few days and the weather is on your side, there is a very good chance that you will get to see the legendary Northern Lights.
Photo: Vidar Moløkken / www.nordnorge.com
Northern Lights safaris are arranged many places in Lofoten. Ask at the hotel or inquire with, for example, Lofoten Aktiv in Kabelvåg or XXLofoten in Svolvær.
Fjord cruise in Lofoten
Fjord cruises in Lofoten are popular both in summer and winter. The most visited fjord for the summer tourists is Trollfjorden. But it is just as beautiful in winter. There is no motorway leading to the uninhabited and deserted fjord, but it is easily reached by boat from Svolvær.
Photo: Espen Mortensen / www.nordnorge.com
Several tour operators offer fjord safaris to Trollfjorden, where there is a good chance this time of year to get to see both sea eagles, gravel whales, killer whales and other kind of whales.
Lofoten Charterbåt offers regular all-day trips during the week in winter, with lectures on nature, climate, birds and marine mammals before the trip takes you to Trollfjorden and Vestfjorden.
Under the surface
At the Lofot Aquarium in Kabelvåg you can learn lots about the Lofoten cod, how the gourmet food that is stockfish is produced, and also about the fish, shellfish and sea creatures you find in the sea and the fjords.
Photo: Roger Johansen / www.nordnorge.com
Among the most charming residents are the seals and otters that you can feed. And if you haven’t seen a catfish before, you can greet it here.
Skitouring in the Lofoten mountains
In the fantastic mountains of Lofoten there are countless opportunities for skitouring – some for newbies, others for experienced offpiste skiers. Lofoten has plenty of terrain for all levels. Four popular peaks are Stornappstinden, Himmeltinden, Geitgaljartind and Småtinden.
You can of course go skitouring on your own if you are familiar with the terrain. But the safest thing is to join a group tour or go skiing with your personal guide.
Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen / www.nordnorge.com
Lofoten Ski Lodge in Kabelvåg offers packages with full board and guided tours, perfect for a group of friends. You can also be taught about avalanches.
If you’re not too fond of skiing and steep slopes, a nice snowshoe trip in the beautiful landscape can be a good alternative. XXLofoten in Svolvær organizes 3-hour tours with a guide that tells you about the nature, culture and people up north while you walk. All you need to do is dress properly, and you will get snowshoes and poles customized for you before you’re on your way.
Lofoten Aktiv in Kabelvåg offers snowshoe trips combined with a Northern Lights safari – two adventures in one night!
For more information, visit wideroe.no