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5 Photographs That Will Convince You to Visit the Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands aren't your typical "one and done" kind of vacation destination. Once you step foot on the soil, you'll forever yearn to return and marvel at its absolute splendor.

By: Chris MacMurray + Save to a List

About a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon a specific picture on my Instagram search feed. The photograph framed a dramatically shaped mountain at the bank of a fjord with a small section of red cabins laid out in the foreground. I immediately took a screen shot of the picture on my phone and sent it to my dad along with a text that said, "We need to go here."

A week ago, we went.

This photograph that I saw on Instagram was taken in the town of Reine, a small town located on the southern end of the Lofoten Islands in Norway. 

As part of our two week trip to Europe, my dad and I spent five nights in Lofoten. We even stayed two of those nights in one of the red cabins that sit in the foreground of that iconic picture! 

There are so many characteristics of Lofoten that set it apart from any other place in the world. For one, the islands are located above the arctic circle, meaning that the entire island(s) sits in complete darkness for one month a year, and also in complete light for another month of the year. The tourism on Lofoten increases significantly during the duration of the endless light, because of the high probability of catching sight of the midnight sun. The second night that we were in Lofoten was the beginning of the cycle of the endless light. Although we had fairly clear weather throughout our time on the island, low clouds were always sitting on the horizon when we tried to catch a glimpse of the midnight sun.

But this didn't minimize the grandeur of the islands in the slightest. It seemed that around every bend there were towering peaks. At the end of each hike there were rewards of fjords and oceanic views. After each view I saw, I was convinced that I had seen the best that the islands had to offer, only to be proven wrong after seeing the next. Each trek seemed to out-marvel the previous. 

Lofoten is a chalice full of majestic taste. To savor each and every sip, I believe, would take more than a lifetime. Not even the locals I spoke with (most who had lived on the islands for their entire lives) had trekked all of the hikes or seen all of the views that my dad and I inquired about. Inevitably, Lofoten is one of those places that demands another visit after the last. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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