The Lofoten Islands are known as a photographer's paradise.
The colors, shapes and landscapes seem to come out of a Nordic storybook, in which the snow-capped mountains plunge into the sea, sinking into the deep waters.
In each season they show a side of themselves, offering always different attractions and activities. always new with which to fill your days.
Since I saw the photos of the small rorbuer (fishermen's houses) in the snow they are no longer? managed to get them out of my head and so? in the end, last January, I was there, regardless of the bad weather forecast and the chilblains on my hands and feet.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LOFOTEN BEFORE YOU GO:
The Lofoten are located well above the Arctic Circle, but despite this the climate is not? not as rigid as in other places of the same latitude. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, temperatures are similar to those of northern Italy in the same period (January). Indeed, I can say that while in Lofoten the temperature varied from 4? C during the day to 0 / -1? C at night, in Italy in the same days there were record temperatures of -15? C !!!
The weather changes very quickly, so be prepared for any eventuality!
Although it is not very cold, we are still close to the North Pole, so in the winter season the hours of daylight are very few, the sun does not rise at all at the end of December. At the beginning of January we talk about 3 hours of light a day, even if? pi? correct to speak of twilight or in the most cases? lucky for very delicate and very long sunrises, closely followed by immediate sunsets.
In summer, however, between late May and July, the sun never sets, giving rise to the phenomenon of the midnight sun.
ROADS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT:
The islands are not very well served by public transport. I know, they told you the tale that everything in Norway? perfectly served and on time, but not? true. The Lofoten are quite isolated and connected to each other only by two daily buses in winter.
I therefore recommend that you rent a car to get around easily.
The streets of Lofoten, although sometimes very narrow, are in excellent condition.
In winter, "excellent condition" in Norway still means a sheet of ice. The rental cars are practically all equipped with spiked wheels so you will have no problem driving even in the worst conditions. The thrill that runs down your spine as you cross the frozen bridge does not take away anyone in any case!
The beauty of Lofoten in winter? also this.
Why? go to Lofoten in winter even if the roads are icy and the services poor?
Why? from here you can see the Northern Lights! With a little luck and clear skies, the odds are. to see her from September to the middle? April are very high!
I wrote all about the Northern Lights in this article: Northern Lights
WHAT TO DO IN THE LOFOTEN ISLANDS:
Both in winter and in summer? It is possible to go on safari to see the sea eagle, the killer whales and with a little luck the whales. There? even someone snorkeling with killer whales ... No, this? too much for me too!
You can go trekking, hiking, kayaking, fishing or just wander around looking for new fjords and beaches.
You can visit the Viking sites or enjoy the small fishing villages.
Like all of Norway, Lofoten are also expensive. Maybe a little less than the rest of Norway, but still well above the prices we are used to.
By choice and for pleasure I have always stayed in the rorbuer, which are small stilt houses on the water that were once fishermen's houses, which always also have an electric kitchenette. In this way you will also be able to save money by cooking characteristic Norwegian dishes on your own (bacalao and meatballs that you find ready at the supermarket!).
Not C'? nothing better than having a warm dinner in your own rorbuer looking at the sea and waiting for the northern lights.
The first day he left? went like this, by car in a blizzard, arriving in Svolvaer at night, that is? at 15.30 in the afternoon!
The landscapes that you cross are so fascinating that time wants ?, believe me.
HOW TO GET TO THE LOFOTEN:
You can reach them by plane from the airports of Bod ?, Harstad / Narvik arriving at Svolv? R, Leknes or R? St.
Can you arrive by ship from Bodo, which can in turn be reached by plane or train from the main cities? of Norway.
You can reach them with the Hurtigruten, the famous fjord post, which makes two stops here.
I personally preferred to arrive by car overland from the Evenes airport, first making a stop at the Vesteralen, islands that are more? North.
The second day the weather finally calmed down, so we explored the area, passing from island to island through bridges and underwater tunnels, without meeting anyone for hours!
Finally the dawn that evening? managed to make room in the clouds and we had our moment.
For us the permanence? it didn't last long and on the third day we returned to the airport to spend a few days in Oslo. Mi? remained the desire to get to the last island and see the villages more? isolated and the spirit even more? wild of this area.
We will return to Lofoten to see them also in another season.
I want to see the mountains reflected in the green waters and the eagles flying between the peaks.