The Archipelago of Lofoten is a must for any traveller.
Lofoten is known for excellent fishing, nature attractions such as the northern lights and the midnight sun, and small villages off the beaten track. Kayak between the islands, go fishing for the catch of your life, or look for sea eagles soaring in the sky
The Lofoten Islands holidays
Encompassing the principal islands of Hinnøya, Austvågøy, Gimsøya, Vestvågøy, Flakstadøya, Moskenesøya, Væroy and Røst, the archipelago of the Lofoten is a nature lover’s paradise. A land of jagged mountain peaks, sheltered bays, a coastline dotted with picture-postcard wooden houses (the fishing villages of Henningsvær and Reine are among the prettiest) and large areas of virgin territory with beaches and fjords in the north and sea bird colonies in the south. Hiking, cycling, fishing and sea-kayaking are all available.
In 2007, National Geographic magazine commissioned 522 experts to study the impacts of tourism on islands worldwide. The islands of Lofoten were considered the third best-preserved destination and a historic and geological masterpiece. This study alone should give you an idea of why the archipelago of the Lofoten is worth visiting.
Norway: come for the sun, stay for the light show
Midnight sun (and polar night)
Because the Earth is tilted on its axis, polar regions are constantly facing the sun at their respective summer solstices and are tilted away from it in the winter. The Arctic and Antarctic circles, at 66° 33’ north and south latitude respectively, are the southern and northern limits of constant daylight on their longest day of the year.
Norway: come for the sun, stay for the light show
There are few sights as mesmerising as an undulating aurora. Although these appear in many forms – pillars, streaks, wisps and haloes of vibrating light – they’re most memorable when taking the form of pale curtains wafting on a gentle breeze. Most often, the Arctic aurora appears as a faint green or light rose but, in periods of extreme activity, can change to yellow or crimson.
The visible aurora borealis, or northern lights, are caused by streams of
charged particles from the sun, called the solar wind, which are directed by the Earth’s magnetic field towards the polar regions. Because the field curves downward in a halo surrounding the magnetic poles, the charged particles are drawn earthward. Their interaction with electrons in nitrogen and oxygen atoms in the upper atmosphere releases the energy creating the visible aurora. During periods of high activity, a single auroral storm can produce a trillion watts of electricity with a current of one million amps.
The Inuit (Eskimos) call the lights arsarnerit ('to play with a ball'), as they were thought to be ancestors playing ball with a walrus skull. The Inuit also attach spiritual significance to the lights, and some believe that they represent the capering of unborn children; some consider them gifts from the dead to light the long polar nights and others see them as a storehouse of events, past and future. Norwegian folklore attributes the lights to old maids or dead maidens dancing and weaving. The lights were seen as a bad omen and a sign that God was angry, and people who
mocked the superstition risked incurring the ire of God.
The best time of year to catch the northern lights in Norway is from October to March, although you may also see them as early as August. Oddly enough, Svalbard is actually too far north to catch the greatest activity.
Værøy is the penultimate municipality in Lofoten. The Island is dominated by a long mountain ridge running from northeast to southwest. Værøy muncipality has approximately 750 inhabitants and covers a area of 17,7 km2 in the conty of Nordland. Nordlandsnupen is Værøy´s highest mountain. One must reach it by walking up Breiviksdalen and turning right at the end of the valley. About 90% of the population lives in the village Sørland where the administration is located, together with a doctor and a registered nurse, as well as the library. Here you will also find shops, fish landing facilities, a garage, and most of the services available in the municipality. Sanden is a beach with a 400-metre tall wall of rock towers over the spot, making it incredibly warm on fine summer days. Access is only by boat.
Fisheries have always been the most important industry in Værøy. More than 80 % of the workforce is employed in the fisheries. There is also salmon farming. The main product is still traditional stockfish intended for the Italian market. Today Værøy also have a modern and efficient herring industry. Værøy have also a hand made chocolate factory. Lofoten Chocolate offer high quality chocolate to businesses and individuals. Værøy has one 9-year compulsory school, (primary and lower secondary levels), which is attended by about 90 students. There is a brass band, three choirs, and a football team.
In recent years, tourism has been increasingly significant for Værøy. Every day, a car ferry runs between Værøy, Røst and Bodø. A helicopter service also operates to/from Bodø. During summer season there is daily connection with Moskenes by ferry. In the winter time this connection is limited to once or twice per week. The route to Moskenes crosses the Moskenes Maelstrom, one of the world´s fiercest maelstrom currents.
Sørland, and most of Værøy´s arable land, is located to the east and south of the mountainous area on the island. At Nordland there is a large pebble beach, Mollbakken, right by the road from Sørland. Several burial sites from the Viking and Stone Age have been found there. At Nordland, you can distinctly see three different sea-levels from times of yore, at 6, 12 and 40 metres above our current sea-level.