Lofoten Islands in Norway in 20 questions / answers


I start writing these lines from my cabin under the polar night of Vesteralen, at the gates of Lofoten Islands in Norway where we will enter, as this story is published, in one of the most desired destinations in Arctic territory. And I have many questions and search for answers ...

If I have noticed something these days it is the level of ignorance I had of this area of ​​the planet. Having been in Svalbard or Greenland, you get to think that you know the places that holds the area more beyond the Arctic Circle and you can't be more wrong. Not one destination is similar to the other, from a desert mixture of tundra and snowy mountains to a green land of beautiful fjords (not to mention the immense icy solitude of the Antarctic Peninsula) to a steep landscape of mountains and snow-covered cliffs.

Like I did in that one "Greenland in 20 questions / answers"I propose a similar article to know where we are going

Lofoten Islands in Norway in 20 questions / answers

1. What is special about Lofoten Islands in Norway compared to other places in the country?

It is an archipelago of deep fjords, impressive cliffs and an anomalous streamthat splashes a conglomerate of more than 2000 islands where, in addition, a kind of mountainous barrier is formed between the Scandinavian peninsula and the Norwegian Sea that seen from the sky looks like an immense great wall

2. Is there life in them? Are any of the islands inhabited?

It seems incredible but we humans have adapted almost anywhere on the planet and 24,000 people currently live in them. Fundamentally they are the islands of Austvagøy, Gimsøy, Vestvagøy, Flakstadøy, Moskenesøy, Værøy and Røst, the main inhabited islands beyond the Vesteralen archipelago,

3. What is the main population of Lofoten Islands?

The main population of the Lofoten is on the island of Austvågøy, and it is called Svolvaer. It is possible to land directly on it since it has a short runway airport. There is also the Troll Fjord, which is a must for any traveler, especially in summer.

4. Why is it said that Lofoten Islands in Norway presents a unique anomaly in the world?

It seems that the temperature is about 5 degrees higher than expected in these latitudes (at the height of Alaska and Greenland and above the Arctic Circle). This is due to the so-called Gulf Stream, a warm body of water that is born in the tropics and reaches these shores of Norway. There is nothing.

5. White beaches of crystalline sand? Do I wear the swimsuit?

Without entering to assess the temperature of the water, beaches like Haukland could happen as belonging to a tropical paradise with fine white sands and crystal clear waters, only beyond the Arctic Circle. We will miss some palm trees and a pina colada.

6. What are rorbuer, what we hear so much about? Is it a good accommodation option?

The rorbuer They are the old fishermen's houses that have been converted into cozy accommodations located in traditional villages, an excellent and picturesque option to get to know the islands.

7. How is it possible to go from island to island? I have read about one "King's Route"

Along 230 km, a road crosses the archipelago from north to south and links the islands by bridges such as Fredvang. This is the E10, with tunnels under the sea and magnificent bridges to give continuity through the extraordinary landscapes and known as "the way of King Olav V"reaching Å

8. Is there a town called Å? Are they all that simple to pronounce?

No, are sometimes unpronounceable names, and on top of that the simplest one does not read "a" but "or". Better forget about trying to learn the language in 7 days, haha.

9. What kind of activities can be done in winter there? And in summer?

In winter, dog sledding, trekking or sailing under the polar night and in Summer, hiking, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving or photographic whale and sperm whale safari, They are some of the main attractions for the traveler, in addition to the wonderful natural environment

10. Can it be done for free or is a specialized agency necessary?

Although we go with Polar Lands, there is good road infrastructure that connects the islands through underground tunnels and bridges. However, we have opted for the route designed by the pioneer adventure agency in the Arctic because we have already made 2 more trips with them (Svalbard and Greenland, almost impossible by free reaching the wildest places) and their concept of expedition and adventure together with the route and activities raised (dog sledding, snowshoeing, polar cruising in winter and whale safari or kayaking in summer) convinced us.

11. What is the source of wealth of Lofoten Islands? What do people live on?

He cod It has been for centuries the main source of wealth of the Lofoten, a privileged location for their fishing that turned the archipelago into authentic fishing islands. Today the customs remain but the tourism It is already an important source of wealth

12. In addition to cod, what kind of cuisine can I find?

All kinds of fish (salmon, hake, etc.) and seafood (including seaweed), Arctic fish soup, seafood salads, but also meat from reindeer and lamb in dishes such as Fenalår, Pinnekjøtt, Fårikål or Smalahove. Have also developed typical desserts as one of blackberries with whipped cream (Multekrem) or baked stone cinnamon rolls

13. Is there a time difference between Spain and Lofoten Islands in Norway?

No, the time at all points in Norway and Spain is the same

14. Why choose Lofoten Islands from Tromso and not go to North Cape?

And why not both? Those who have more time have a very nice route to do. In our case we have always preferred not to hurry and there will be time to know the different, but special, places of North Tromso

15. Are the Lofoten Islands a good place to enjoy the Northern Lights? When to go?

The aurora borealis is one of the most spectacular phenomena that nature offers us and that is produced by a radiation of particles from the Sun, in short periods of time and with dark night between October and mid-April ...

Do you want to see northern lights in summer? !It's possible!

Contrary to what most people think, in South Greenland in summer you can see spectacular auroras since mid-August and throughout September. In fact, the scientists and astronomers of the Canary Islands observatory in their project Shelios for the study of the Northern Lights, go to Fletanes camp in QaleraliqI met on my trip, the last week of August and part of September to observe them. Polar Lands in your travel catalog has "Northern Lights and Inuit World"with departures from August 20 approximately every year

… In a certain ring of the planet that corresponds to certain places in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Finnish and Swedish Lapland and Siberia.

And where in Norway are there more chances to see it? The most likely area is the one that runs from Tromso at… !! Lofoten Islands !! Without a doubt, guaranteed success, especially in January and February

16. You haven't commented anything about the possible Viking origin, didn't you stop by?

Yes, in fact between 500 and 900 A.D. The largest Viking community in Europe lived here, specifically on the island of Vestvågøy, in the town of Borg. But this has not been known until very recently ...

17. So, was there an important Viking find?

Not only that, but it is considered that one of the most important finds in Viking history in Europe occurred when, in 1981, a farmer observed that the earth changed color the deeper it dug. After exploring the terrain, they found glass pearls and a ceramic jug whose origins were in the Franco Kingdom over 1,000 years ago. At the end of the decade they were able to completely rebuild the history of the first settlers.

18. Besides the sailors, are there other animals in this area of ​​the planet?

Although the great attraction of the fauna of Lofoten Islands is in the sea, including the sighting of whales and sperm whales in the summer season, in addition to reindeer, in Lofoten Islands bird lovers will find here a fascinating variety, from eagles to hawks, passing owls or owls, wading birds, ducks or geese, seagulls, puffins, pechiazules, scribe nivales, picapinos beak, ampelis, aquatic blackbirds ...

19. Is fitness required to face such a trip?

No, you can do what you want, although if you want to get to the wildest places (off the beaten track) you should have aphysical level Be careful although it is very simple trekking at all times

20. And how do I prepare a trip? How do I arrive? Do I need a visa? I want photos and more information!

Altoooooooo! Better let us enjoy it first, look at the preparations article in "Trip to Lofoten Islands in 7 days"And surely when you read this we are already writing the travel diary to Lofoten Or even finished. Photos? As in the rest of the article, we put some more of the image bank of to which we subscribe

Have I managed to capture your interest? TheLofoten Islands in Norway are that polar paradise dreamed of the great expeditions of yesteryear. But I will tell you more about them, which begins to cool on the terrace of the cabin.

Isaac, at the gates of Lofoten Islands in Norway