Lofoten – legendary archipelago in Norway

The Lofoten Islands, high in the north off the coast of Norway, are a group of islands also called The Legendary Lofoten Islands. It is a sparsely populated area with beautiful nature. Photographers and visual artists like to work in Lofoten because of the special light and the wide variety of colors on the mountains and in the water. Thousands of years ago, Vikings lived there and Viking chiefs took their throne there. They enjoyed the midnight sun, just like today’s residents and visitors.

Lofoten archipelago in Norway

The archipelago called Lofoten covers 1,227 km2 and has a population of approximately 25,000. The islands are located in the Norwegian province of Nordland in northern Norway.
The most famous islands are:

  • Skomvær
  • Røst
  • Væroy
  • Gimsøya
  • Moskenesøya
  • Vestvågøy
  • Austvågøy
  • Flakstadøya

The Lofoten Islands are located north of the Arctic Circle. The islands are known for:

  • The overwhelming nature;
  • rugged pointed mountains;
  • fjords and lakes;
  • the midnight sun;
  • the northern Lights;
  • the snowy winters.



The people of Lofoten have a centuries-long and rich fishing tradition. In addition to tourism, it is one of the pillars of the economy. The ships set sail in the middle of winter to bring in the catch in a few months. The North Atlantic Ocean has rich fishing grounds, including herring and cod, and the islanders discovered them long ago. Between the islands and the mainland is the world’s largest deep-sea coral reef.


The Lofoten Islands were the center of cod fishing for more than a thousand years. In spring, cod migrate from the Barents Sea south and gather around the Lofoten Islands to spawn. The caught fish are tied together by the tails of two and hung on sticks. They are dried in the open air into stockfish . The islands are best known for their fish drying racks.


Clipfish is dried on the cliffs. The fish is unfolded, salted and dried on the cliffs in the sun. Nowadays new techniques are in use and the fish is dried in warehouses with large fans. The stockfish and the clipfish are still the most important export product of the Lofoten Islands.


The beautiful nature of the Lofoten attracts more and more tourists. Islanders offer their rorbuer as accommodation. Rorbuer are fishing huts, which are colored characteristically Lofoten red. The first rorbu was built as early as 1120. They are simple huts where the fishermen were housed during the months when they left their small farms for cod fishing.

Ferry service

The islands can be reached from the mainland by two ferry services, from:

  1. Bodø;
  2. Skutvik.

They sail past the different islands. The mail boat from Bergen also passes by. The various islands are connected by bridges. In 1992 the road over Sørvågen, the main route from Å to Melbu, opened. The road is also called King Olaf’s road . The cars generally don’t drive fast. The average speed is 60 k/h. due to the narrow roads, many bends and speed limiting measures.


The Lofoten Islands are also known as a place where whales can be seen. Swimming near the archipelago:

  • Orcas;
  • fin whales;
  • pilot whales
  • porpoises;
  • sperm whales.



The Lofoten Islands are nutrient-rich islands for animals. They can live well there. During a walk, an encounter with one of the following species is not unthinkable:

  • Otters;
  • elk;
  • reindeer;
  • foxes;
  • ermines;
  • lemmings.



The Lofoten are real bird islands. Some bird species find it an excellent breeding environment:

  • Puffins;
  • Jan van Genten;
  • kittiwakes;
  • crested cormorants.

In addition, large numbers of birds feast on what they find in the fish-rich waters;

  • Razorbills;
  • guillemots;
  • cormorants;
  • eider ducks;
  • small hunters;
  • sea eagle,
  • golden eagle.

A number of Arctic birds come to the area to spend the winter.

  • King eiders;
  • long-legged ducks;
  • yellow-billed divers;
  • ice divers;
  • pearl divers;
  • little auks.


Cave drawing

The Lofoten Islands were first inhabited in the Stone Age, about 6,000 years ago. The first inhabitants lived from fishing and hunting. They left behind some cave drawings of reindeer, killer whales and birds.


About 4,000 ago, several important Viking chieftains established their throne in Lofoten. The largest Viking hall in the world has been found in Borg on Vestvågøy. It is part of the Viking Museum LOFOTR. The Viking Museum is a reconstruction of the 83-meter-long house of a Viking chieftain that was discovered around 500 AD near Borg in Lofoten.


A . Lofoten

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