Reasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the World

8 Reasons to Love the Lofoten Islands in the Summer | Arctic Norway

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 awe. 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.

Reasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the WorldReasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the World
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.

Reasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the WorldReasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the World
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.Reasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the WorldReasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the WorldReasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the World

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.Reasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the WorldReasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the WorldReasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the World

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.

Reasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the WorldReasons to Love Summer in The Lofoten Islands | Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle | Oregon Girl Around the World
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. 

Reasons to Visit the Lofoten Islands in Summer | See the Midnight Sun above the Arctic Circle in Norway | Oregon Girl Around the World

Suitcases and Sandcastles

Norway by Rail

Start Your Norway in a Nutshell Tour by Train from Oslo

Summer break is almost here and maybe Norway is on your list. If you haven’t taken the overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo – that is an experience in and of itself. Spend time in the elegant and accessible city, but don’t limit your Norwegian trip to Oslo. Norway really shines outside the capital. Ride along as I revisit our train trip from Oslo to fjord country… this is Norway by rail.

ALL ABOARD | STUNNING NORWEGIAN SCENERY FROM THE TRACKS

Wending along in the eighth of ten cars, feeling the pull and sway along the tracks. Remarkably insulated from the bracing sound of metal wheels upon steel rails. Suprisingly infrequent is the clickety-clacking one most associates with this mode of travel. I love riding the train.

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By Bus to Bergen – Onsdag Wanderlust – Volume V

It’s Wednesday peeps. That’s Onsdag in Danish. And while my morning excursion to join the morgen sing along with the Copenhagen Opera Festival potentially exposed my gross lack of appropriate Danish pronunciation – and may have quickly led to lip synching – I do know what Onsdag means. It means – it’s the middle of the week. And this week in Copenhagen – the weather is abysmal. Seriously. Rain. Not rain. RAIN. More Rain. Oh – blue skies! Let’s do something! RAIN. I need an escape. How about you? Travel with me, virtually. Here and now.

Today I will take you on the last leg of our recent Norway in a Nutshell tour at the end of June. My story began back in Oslo and wound us through Norway by track and through fjord. (Missed those posts? Check them here and here.) Continuing on this Wednesday, let’s leave the gorgeous Nærøyfjord as we disembark our vessel at tiny Gudvangen. Shrouded in rain, (oh you thought I was going to take you somewhere sunny? Just wait…the weather does turn) we hurriedly make our way past the gift shop full of trolls and viking horned caps and Norsk flags and fur trimmed hats and expensive, if charming, Dale of Norway sweaters. Let the other tourists nab their souvenirs – we’ve got a bus to catch. There is no one ushering us along either. No. You have to locate that ride yourself. Ensure with the driver that you are in fact on the correct bus that will carry you on to Voss. Ja takk, in fact we are. Continue reading “By Bus to Bergen – Onsdag Wanderlust – Volume V”

Norway by Boat

Explore the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord from Flåm
NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL WILL FLOAT YOUR BOAT

Float with me as we continue our Norway in a Nutshell tour through the gorgeous Norwegian Fjords. More than one scenic train ride stemming from Oslo yesterday brought us to charming Flåm for a relaxing overnight once the tourist hoards had vacated. Bellies sated from the full Nordic buffet at the Fretheim Hotel this morning, we check out and head to the harbor to start the boated portion of our pre-planned Norwegian package.

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Norway by Rail

Wending along in the eighth of ten cars, feeling the pull and sway along the tracks. Remarkably insulated from the bracing sound of metal wheels upon steel rails. Infrequent is the clickety clacking one most associates with this mode of travel. I love riding the train.

Save for the engineer’s voice announcing the next stop in Norwegian or the shape and color of the farm houses flying their Norsk flags dotting the countryside – it could be Oregon. Instead of Douglas Fir trees, Norwegian Spruce cover the hillsides. Wait – what? HILLSIDES?!? Ahhhh…. topography. Feels like home. It’s what I’m used to. It is beautiful. Snow still tops some of those distant green hills. Not so in Oregon this year. My mother visiting from my from worries for her yard and town and state with the lack of snowcap and exceptionally warm weather for this time of year.

Not a problem in Norway. (Not really in Denmark either.) In stark comparison, a wetter than normal winter and spring have proffered a beautiful, verdant and lush landscape ripe with wildflowers and light green leafy growth. The overcast skies we woke to on our third morning in Oslo didn’t make it past Hønefoss as we travel north and westerly towards Norway’s famous FJORD country. Today’s eventual destination is the little town of Flåm at the base of the Aurlandsfjord. All aboard the first leg or our Norway in a Nutshell tour. We are underway on a gorgeous rail ride through the Norwegian countryside beginning from Oslo’s Central Station.

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