Lofoten Islands

- A Visual Expedition -

A forest bird never wants a cage.
— Henrik Ibsen

This chain of remote islands in northern Norway offers a unique experience any time of year. The landscape is covered with towering mountains that plummet directly into the ocean. Dark winters coat the landscape in a heavy blanket of snow while the night sky glows with dancing green lights. Summer brings endless days when the sun never sets, mountains are lush with greenery, and beaches can fool one into thinking they have discovered a tropical paradise in the arctic circle. It's not hard to find peace at the edge of the ocean, from the top of an isolated peak, or by the warmth of a fire during a passing storm. This land belongs to the fisherman who brave the stormy seas... and the vikings who came before them.

 Mount Hustinden's reflection on the wet sand of Skagsanden beach - Flakstad, Lofoten Islands, Norway

As winter fades, greenery crawls up the mountainside seemingly chasing the melting snow.

 Twin Bridges - Flakstad, Lofoten, Norway

The sun sets almost directly to the north just before the three week period when the it stays above the horizon all day long.

 Midnight Sun - Ramberg, Lofoten, Norway

Fishing villages dot the landscape, almost always dwarfed by the rocky scenery.

 Kvalvika Beach from Mount Ryten, Lofoten, Norway

The best views, like this one overlooking Kvalvika from Mount Ryten, require some hiking but are well-worth the effort.

 Vareid and Hustinden, Lofoten, Norway

The town of Vareid gives scale to the colossal Hustinden.

 Winter in Hamnoy, Lofoten, Norway

The fishing village of Hamnøya makes a postcard picture with its rocky foreground and sculpted backdrop.

 Looking south towards Henningsvær, Lofoten Islands, Norway
 Alpine Glow at Uttakleiv Beach - Lofoten, Norway

With winter comes the polar night, a three week period during which the sun never rises. For a couple of hours each day, the sun sits just below the horizon, creating the same warm glow right after a sunset.

 Reine bridge - Lofoten Islands, Norway

Winter is also one of the best times to visit if you enjoy an added level of isolation...

 Northern Lights from Uttakleiv Beach - Lofoten Islands, Norway 
 Northern Lights - Lofoten Islands, Norway
 Northern Lights over the Dragon's Eye of Uttakleiv - Lofoten Islands, Norway
 Northern Lights from Uttakleiv Beach - Lofoten Islands, Norway
 Northern Lights over Flakstad - Lofoten Islands, Norway

...or don't mind staying out late in negative temperatures to experience a mesmerizing light show.