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Exploring the Scenic Fishing Villages of Norway’s Lofoten Islands


Overlooking Eliassen Rorbuer in Hamnoy

The Lofoten islands of Northern Norway are incredibly scenic. They a popular spot for both professional and recreational fisherman. The small clusters of colorful fishing cottages scattered against the dramatic landscape of mountains and fjords are one of their most distinctive and charming features of the Lofoten Islands.

Morning view outside my cottage at Rorbu Eliassen

Fishing is still the many industry in the sparsely populated islands with an estimated 24,500 inhabitants. In the summer, the fishing cottages fill up with Norwegians who fish recreationally and tourists who want to take in the midnight sun. But the locals who live in the Lofoten Islands year round are most likely involved in the fishing industry.


Fishing net detail on the side of cottage in the Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands are located in the Arctic Circle but experience milder winters than one might expect due to the archipelago’s position in the Gulf Stream.


Morning calm in the Lofoten Islands of Northern Norway

Many residents of Northern Norway head south to the Canary Islands during the dead of winter. I was told there was a “Little Norway” on Gran Canaria, complete with Norwegian pizza which is a thing.


A boat launch in Reine

Red and yellow seem to be the preferred colors for the clusters of fishing cottages that dot the coast of the islands. Reine and Hamnoy are two of the most picturesque fishing villages.


Yellow fishing cottages

 They are a charming contrast to the naturally dramatic scenery of mountains, fjords, beaches and sea.


Emerald green waters in Reine and a step peak

Cod fishing is the primary industry in this part of northern Norway. Also known as stockfish, the fishing season for Arctic Cod runs from mid-February through April.


Morning’s low tide in the Lofoten Islands

Norway is also known for whaling. They kill a few whales in this part of the world for human consumption. Whale meat is a local delicacy known as hval and it’s on the menu at restaurants in Svolvær.

A peaceful sunrise view in Hamnoy

The major Lofoten Islands are Austvågøy, Vestvågøy, Flakstadøy, Moskenesøy, Værøy, and Røst. Most are connected by a series of bridges.


Pops of color and dramatic natural scenery in the Lofoten Islands

In the winter, when many local businesses shut down photographers and tourists hoping to see the northern lights flock to the the charming fishing cottages.


Twilight in the Lofoten Islands

We hired local guide and photographer OddPetter Tanke Jensen as a guide for a day to show us around the islands. His roots in the area are strong. His father worked on the construction of some of  the bridges that connect the Lofoten Islands.


Much thanks to Odd-Petter Tanke Jensen for taking this pic of me and Anastasia

You can check out Odd-Petter Tanke Jensen’s instagram here.


Stockfish Snack: the Pringles of  mini-bars in Svolvaer.

Stockfish snack is sort of the beef jerky of the Lofoten Islands. It was in my mini-bar at my hotel in Svolvaer.