Lofoten Area Mountains Guide
Lofoten is a very special area of Norway. It entirely consists of a row of islands, reaching out from the mainland into the Norwegian Sea. And the islands are mountainous. Sharp peaks rise directly from the sea towards the sky.
Lofoten is the land of the fisheries. Fishing is far the greatest industry in the area, although tourism is growing as more people come to see this great land. Every spring, fishers from all over Norway gather at Lofotfisket, as great amounts of cod pass the area at this time. Experiencing Lofotfisket is a great adventure!
Lofoten is a row of very mountainous islands. At most places, only the small strip of land between the sea and the mountain is inhabitable. The inland of the islands are scorned with many sharp peaks, at altitudes between 500 and 1000 meters. Due to rough climate, there are few trees on the islands. Those there are, grow in valleys and in the lowland at protected places. The mountains at the outer islands are not as high as those further in. The outermost islands, Verøy and Røst, far out in the Norwegian Sea, do not have mountains of particular size.
Between the islands are sounds, often with strong currents. Fishing can be excellent, but many places it's not advisable to leave land in smaller boats. Fishing from land is always an option.
Winter at Sakrisøy near Reine
Lofoten is in the middle of an ocean and has a very rough climate. Strong wind, high waves and fog is typical. The summers are cold, and the winters relatively mild, when compared to the inner mountains at the same latitude. Despite this, Lofoten does not get as high amounts of rain and snow as the coast of the mainland. This is due to relatively low mountains. Most of the clouds just "pass-by".
Most of the coast on the islands is inhabited, while the inland is too mountainous. Therefore it has not been necessary with protection up to date. A national-park has been proposed at the area between Indrefjord and Øksfjord. These plans has been endangered by plans of building a road connection without ferries to Lofoten. Many argues that the road will make it easier for tourists to come to the area and the road will undoubtedly make the life for locals easier. But the road will spoil one of the last fjord - mountain landscapes in Norway without any kind of installation. It's again the classical conflict between local economical interests and saving nature.
Lofoten - Routes
Public transport to Lofoten is bus from Narvik and Harstad to Svolvær and Stamsund, and various boats from Bodø to Røst, Værøy, Reine and Stamsund. The coastal steamer stops at Stamsund and Svolvær. Hitching is popular.
It's perfectly possible to go with your own car, although everything goes slow because of narrow roads and many ferries. (But you have plenty of time, don't you?) Cycling is a popular option because of short distances, narrow roads and all the sights.
Most of the hiking possibilities in Lofoten are daytrips to summits in the area. Most of the many mountains can be reached on foot. On clear days you will have marvelous views to the Sea and the many other mountains in the area.
Although there are no mountain lodges in the area, there is a lot of accomodation available in villages, which should suffice for the daytripper.
Skiing in Lofoten is limited. You will probably only find enough snow in February - March, and the steep terrain will result in large risk for avalanche. Check out the conditions carefully before you go skiing in Lofoten.
Lofoten has many opportunities for the climber. Some peaks require climbing, most do not. But there are many possible routes on mountains that do not require climbing to reach the summit. More information about climbing in Lofoten can be given by Nord-Norsk Klatreskole.
The most known goal for climbers in Lofoten is undoubtedly Svolværgeita (The Svolvær-goat), a pinnacle on the mountainside above Svolvær. The climb is only one rope length. The summit of the pinnacle has two "horns", 2 meters apart with a deep crack between them. The jump between the horns is known as a great test of your courage!
Touring on Bicycle is very popular in Lofoten. Many take the trip from Narvik to Å, og vice-versa. This trip should take about 3 days. It's a real experience to go on bicycle in this terrain!
Lofoten National Tourist Route
Discover the beauty of the Lofoten Islands, anchored above the Arctic Circle, by driving from Fiskebøl to Å. This national tourist route is 166 kilometres long and takes you through Lofoten’s fantastic scenery - majestic mountains, green meadows, chalky white beaches, wooden fishing boats and rust-red fishermen’s cabins.
The main tourist islands, Austvågøy, Vestvågøy, Flakstad and Moskenes, appeal to writers and artists as well as outdoor enthusiasts. Climbing, hiking, extreme skiing, riding, golfing, kayaking, biking, sea rafting and fishing are highly popular activities. One of the world’s biggest sea eagle colonies is found here. On Lofoten’s southernmost islands you can see enormous bird rocks, swarming with hundreds of thousands of puffins, cormorants, guillemots and eagles. Seals, killer whales and whales are regularly spotted in the seas. For anyone with Viking ancestry a visit to the Viking museum at Borg is a must.
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