Summer hums above the Arctic Circle
For a while now, my internal compass has been pulling me north. Recently, I answered the call. And I am so happy I did. We just returned from a 10 day trip to Northern Norway. Above the Arctic Circle. I had seen pictures and read stories but truly underestimated the awe I would feel. We loved The Lofoten Islands in summer. I am home now with lungs still full from breathing in nature. My soul is content from so much wonder and amazement. Lofoten was beyond lovely at summertime. Let me share with you why.
So Many Reasons You Should See The Lofoten Islands in Summer
1 | THERE ARE MILLIONS OF MOUNTAINS
I will admit, it was mountains I was seeking. That drew me to this place. And I found them. So many. Ok. Maybe not millions. But it feels like there was yet another peak in every direction you looked. Jagged and rocky, they define these islands and set this scene. A backdrop for memories of mountainous goodness.
2 | THE MIDNIGHTS are FULL OF SUN
For one month before and one month after the summer solstice on June 21st, the sun does not set this far north. At all. And while we missed the true midnight sun by a week or so on our visit in late July, it never truly got dark. Even when the sun sets at midnight, it rises again at 2 am. Sunset…. sunrise. Sunset… sunrise. If you have trouble sleeping or a photographer’s fear of missing out, it may mess with your head. But we fell in love with the perpetual twilight that threw lots of light in the sky every night.
3| WHITE SAND BEACHES WILL tempt you
Who knew that the Arctic has some of the best beaches in the world? Here you will find sugar fine sand that sits in wide white crescents. Take off your shoes and wiggle your toes. Look for pink clam shells, striped limpets and fragile urchin skeletons. Dare to take a dip. We did and you should. It’s not THAT cold. But maybe we’ve been Scandi conditioned. The water here is so clear and such a brilliant aqua blue that it felt perfect to cool off in after a hike in the hills. We loved the swaths of perfect white sand at Kvalvika, Haukland, Uttakleiv and Ramberg Stranda.
4 | There are hikes in them hills
The Lofoten Islands offer hikes for all abilities and energies. With a good pair of shoes, you should be all good to go. We hiked over hills to white Arctic beaches. We scrambled up rocks to see views over villages. We strolled along cliffs with no ascent needed for stunning. Stay on the trail and pack out what you pack in. This is the Lofoten code of conduct. Protect this beautiful place for all to enjoy.
5 | TRY A KAYAK TO CRUISE
Back down at sea level, take to the water. A kayak is a perfect way to see into the clear water. We loved paddling around Skrova with WildSeas Adventures. Keep watch for Sea Eagles in the sky or little crabs scurrying on the seafloor. It is that clear. Quiet and calm, serene and safe. There is something magical about the sound of paddles dipping and pushing as our boats slid smoothly over the sea.
RELATED: SUMMER GLAMPING SAFARI ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE
6 | SO MUCH FRESH SEAFOOD TO TASTE
Fishing has been important to the peoples of the place before written history. Cod is king here and you’ll see stockfish drying on racks all over the islands. Try some as jerky or in a tomato stew-like dish called Bacalao. In the southern archipelago, don’t miss Anita’s Sjømat on Sakrisøy for the best fish sandwich or peel and eat shrimp.
RELATED: OH DEAR COD, EAT THIS IN NORTHERN NORWAY
7 | You can rent a RORBU TO SLEEP IN
Those classic Norwegian fisherman’s cottages, rorbuer have been renovated for your Lofoten respite. Rent them all over the islands in darling seaside villages like Å, Reine, Sakrisøy, Henningsvær, Nusfjord, Ballstad, Kabelvåg and Svolvær – just to name a few. There is something special about sitting out over the water and watching the sun set behind the mountain ahead of you.
8 | Blossoms Blooming, there are WILDFLOWERS TO FIND
For a place that is covered in snow much of the year, I couldn’t stop marveling at the many wildflowers blooming. Fields and forests were blanketed in color. Like icing on the cake on why there’s so much to love about Lofoten in the summer.
WHAT TO PACK:
Weather in Northern Norway can be unpredictable – I was happy to have waterproof pants, sturdy trail shoes and my red raincoat while we were there. I can recommend all of these products for your trip north.
57 thoughts on “8 Reasons to Love the Lofoten Islands in the Summer | Arctic Norway”
I have just been to Norway and now I want to go back. Fabulous post!
I don’t think I could ever get my fill of Norway. I’m a sucker for that kind of epic nature!
That midnight sunset pic is gorgeous! All of them are good. You really capture the epic scale of the places you wander to. Bravo!
Thank you kindly – I am flattered! Cheers fro Scandinavia!
beautiful photos! and it all seems very refreshing not hot!:))
I was surprised how warm it was actually – we had days that hit 23 degrees C – it was warmer up there than in Copenhagen when we were visiting!
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I’d love to see the midnight sun #farawayfiles
It does mess with your head a bit – feels like you are laying down to sleep at 7pm in the evening. It’s a trip.
WOW!! I seriously never even considered the Lofoten!! Vut tonight I am showing this post to my husband. The mountains, the nature, the food is al right up our alley. Thank you for the inspiration!!
I loved all of Nordland actually! From Bodø to the Lofoten archipelago up to Vesterålen, so much to explore! Cheers from Scandinavia! Erin
That looks like an amazing place to visit! I can’t remember the last time I saw a mountain (living in flat Norfolk, UK) I am very jealous. #FarawayFiles
Yes – it’s pretty darn flat here in Copenhagen as well. Growing up on the West Coast of the United States, I am used to mountains in my landscapes! And while I love the flat for riding my bicycle here, I crave some peaks and vistas and views. Norway ticks all my buttons! Cheers, Erin
Oh my, this is spectacular. I had no idea how beautiful these islands would be. I’m pulling on my walking boots right now!
There are so many fabulous hikes and treks here – for all abilities – the path from Haukland Beach takes you right along the water and mountain, but is flat and not difficult. Or you can literally climb to the top of those peaks. That was a little high for me!
Sooo dreamy! Definitely have fallen in love via your pix on IG! Would love to see the Midnight Sun again – saw it once (I think) in Alaska as a kid! Pinned & Stumbled! #FarawayFiles
Thanks Lorelei! The midnight sun was definitely a trip!
This sounds absolutely heavenly. I want to be there now! I love your Norway posts. #farawayfiles
Thank you kindly – I truly appreciate it!
Twice I have planned a trip to the Lofoten and twice it did not work out in the end. Seeing your pictures just reminded me that I should try again. don’t they say 3 times is a charm. #farawayfiles
Oh no! Yes – you must check Lofoten off the list – its truly so lovely!
It is so crazy to me that the sun never truly sets in the arctic during the summer. That is definitely something I’d like to see. And Lofoten seems like the perfect place to see it. It seems so beautiful there. #FarawayFiles
And conversely – it’s super weird to think that it never comes up at points in winter! GAH!
Your photos are stunning! What a peaceful, serene place! Absolutely beautiful!
Thank you so much Gerri! When you got off the main road – that could get a little congested – yes – it was super serene – sometimes just the tinkling of the bells on the sheeps in the hills!
Norway and Scandanavia as a whole have been on my list for such a long time. I should have gone when I lived in London. But it’ll always be there right? Your pictures are making me want to drop everything and go now though. Those midnight summers and mountains are pretty tempting! #FarawayFiles
Scandinavia has something for everyone – Norway has the epic mountains and scenery, Sweden has fika and fun outdoors, Denmark has design, cool cafés and bicycles! Cheers!
Norway always makes me think of my time in New Zealand, with all of the mountains and just the vast differences of landscapes that can be found in one country. I really can’t wait to make a stop in Norway. #FarawayFiles
You would love it – so amazing! Just so much epic at every turn. And I need to get to New Zealand! Cheers!
It looks simply stunning. I so want to go back to Norway above the Circle. The mountain in item 7) i had to double check to make sure it wasn’t at Machu Piccu!
Not Machu Picchu! But you can hike to the top of most of them (and no altitude sickness!) Northern Norway was maybe one of the most beautiful places I ever been! Awe around every corner.
How stunning! I didn’t know about the islands at all, the images of the beach are about as far from the Arctic as you would imagine. #farawayfiles
The water isn’t exactly tropical – but it looks like it!!
How beautiful! And all those wildflowers… I can imagine that the Midnight Sun must have messed with your body clock but the plus is that you could admire all that incredible natural beauty all day and night 😉
Haha! That was the problem! With so much light – I wanted to be up photographing all the time! A little tired when we got back, but worth it! Cheers from Scandinavia, Erin
I didn’t know about the beaches! Ha!
I knew about the beaches, but had no idea how soft and fine and white the sand would be – so beautiful!
OMG, stunning doesn’t even start to describe it. Those mountains paired with the turquoise water looks like a cover of a magazine! xx
My goodness Erin! What a gorgeous place! I know a lot of people rave about it. I am used to see winter pictures, so, I am happy to see the beautiful beaches and blossoming flowers. Hope you write more about your adventure. #FarawayFiles
You’ve given us so many reasons to visit the Lofoten Islands. Everything just looks so beautiful there! Although I’m one of those people who can’t sleep even if it’s a little bright out so I’d definitely have to bring eye masks or something if I visit!
My list of places to visit was already so long, but after seeing and reading about your recent adventures I’m afraid I’ll be adding to it! The photos alone are stunning, but I can actually feel your excitement while reading your words! #farawayfiles
Oh. My. Goodness. I’ve been waiting for this post after all your dreamy Instagram pictures and it’s every bit as beautiful as I was expecting. I so have to visit the Loftoten Islands. They were already on my wishlist but they’re really close to the top now. Just tell me one thing. How warm was it? Loved reading this for #FarawayFiles
We lucked out and had days that were 22-23 degrees – but I think normal summer is about 15C on average. I just know you would love it!
When the weather is great it is magnificent! Not so good weather, Arctic Norway not so fantastic 😀
We had a couple days of pouring rain. Hiking in it was an adventure for sure! It’s still so beautiful even in the rain and moody clouds I thought!
Great that bad weather can’t ruin your day 🙂 We’ve had so many summers like that, so we are not able to see the charm 🙂
Just beautiful Erin. It just sounds like the perfect escape. The light is incredible and it must have been such a wonderful feeling waking up to those views every day. I feel my compass pulling me north now too
Norway rocks! You know.
Wow, your photos of Lofoten Islands are spectacular and my favourite is the fisherman’s cottage. I can imagine the fresh air and the beautiful and natural landscape – great place for you to recalibrate and enjoy the wondrous beauty of nature 🙂 #FarawayFiles
That is EXACTLY what Lofoten was for us – soooo lovely! Thanks Kat – cheers from Copenhagen, Erin
I want to see the Lofoten Islands full stop at any time of year! #FarawayFiles
Omg. I cannot get over that landscape! So beautiful. Those white sand beaches alone are enough to convince me! #farawayfiles
I know! It was so beautiful and I couldn’t believe how nice the beaches were! Cheers from Scandiland!
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We are trying to decide when to visit the Lofoten Islands….summer vs. winter. Your post gives us convincing reasons to go in the summer time! Great post, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for this great post! We are going to Lofoten in June. Flying from Oslo to Evenes. Do you reccomend renting a car? In which village do you suggest for us to stay? We will be there for 4 days and are hoping to visit a beach, hike, rock climb, and kayak. Thanks!
I would definitely recommend renting a car especially if you only have 4 days. I would pick a couple places to stay for two nights each? Svolvær is kind of like the capital of Lofotens and has tons to offer as far as tours, places to stay and eat, but lacks a little charm. Try Henningsvær or Ballstad or Sakrisoy or Reine and see if you can snag one of those cool Rorbua over the water. So cool. I would highly recommend the hike over to Kvalvika Beach – simply stunning. You should be able to experience the full midnight sun if you’re there towards summer solstice June 21st – that will be amazing! Have a blast – it’s sooo beautiful.