Lofoten is an archipelago in the northwestern part of Norway. I have never heard of this place until 6 months ago, when I started seeing all these amazing photos on Instagram. Further research revealed that these are some of the most beautiful places in Norway. Mainly fishing villages, they lie within the Arctic Circle, which is supposedly cold but because of gulfstream and some of the currents which I won’t get into because I don’t know, it enjoys very mild climate compared to it’s latitude. When I was there, it was mid single digit celcius, very comfortable, unless there’s rain or wind.
I won’t write much on Lofoten. The photos speak for itself. I spent 2 nights each in Hopen and Leknes, and a night in Hamnoy. Beware that there’s limited hotel available, and forget about restaurant they are scarce. I used mainly airbnb for accommodation and cook my own food. Some of the nicest villages/regions are Henningsvaer, Ramberg, Kabelvag. Reine looks really nice too with the dramatic mountain background. It was unfortunately raining and cloudy most days I was there, though I did catch a glimpse of the aurora in Ausnestfjorden, I suspect my last sighting. Driving is very easy. It’s relatively warm here so no issue with ice on the road. The main E10 road is also the National Tourist Route, but do venture outside of E10. The off-road are in excellent conditions and they have some breathtaking sights.
Continuing from my last post, week 3 started from Tromso. It’s an interesting city, relatively large in size, but there’s not much happening. It is a good place to base yourself if you’re going for the Northern Lights. There’s a lot of tours from here so if you have limited time, this could be a good option. There’s plenty of good spots for aurora, though I didn’t go because I didn’t have winter tyre! You can also go up the cable car to get a panoramic view of the city, and if you’re lucky, the aurora.
Senja was next after Tromso. A long long drive. It was actually quite scary, since it’s cold, and driving can be quite dangerous when there’s ice on the road, so gotta drive slowly especially when it’s dark, which is starting at about 5pm. The island itself is quite beautiful. Did a loop of the island mainly on the National Tourist Route, exploring various view points. Stayed in a big house by myself here for 2 nights via airbnb for less than US$40 a night, with direct view of the aurora (saw strong activity both nights) and dark enough for astrophotography.
We’re not finished yet. There was Andoya between Senja and Lofoten. Spent 2 nights here, in a rorbuer (fisherman cabin!) through airbnb. It was kinda a perfect location, dark enough, and I did see the aurora both nights I was there. This is also the location of the Andoya Space Station, a real space station where Norway launches their rockets from! Cool right. Aside from driving around the island, I also joined the whale safari looking mainly for the sperm whale. We saw them about 3 times… though as experienced with the blue whale in Sri Lanka, just for a brief period each time. Good enough. Till next post folks, where I’m driving the western coast of Norway through seas and mountains.