|Major islands||Austvågøy, Vestvågøy, Flakstadøy, Moskenesøy, Værøy, Røst|
|Area||1,227 km2 (474 sq mi)|
|Official website|| lofoten|
Lofoten (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈlùːfuːtn̩] ) is an archipelago and a traditional district in the county of Nordland, Norway. Lofoten has distinctive scenery with dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands. Its largest town, Leknes, is approximately 169 km (105 mi) inside the Arctic Circle and approximately 2,420 km (1,500 mi) away from the North Pole, making Lofoten one of the world's northernmost populated regions. Though lying within the Arctic Circle, the archipelago experiences one of the world's largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to its high latitude.
Lofoten (Old Norse : Lófót) was the original name of the island Vestvågøya. The first element is ló (i.e., "lynx") and the last element is derived from Norse fótr (i.e., "foot"), as the shape of the island must have been compared with that of a lynx's foot. (The old name of the neighbouring island Flakstadøya was Vargfót, "wolf's foot", from vargr "wolf".)
"There is evidence of human settlement extending back at least 11,000 years in Lofoten, and the earliest archaeological sites ... are only about 5,500 years old, at the transition from the early to late Stone Age." Iron Age agriculture, livestock, and significant human habitation can be traced back to c. 250 BC.
The town of Vågan (Norse Vágar) is the first known town formation in northern Norway. It existed in the early Viking Age, maybe earlier, and was located on the southern coast on eastern Lofoten, near today's village Kabelvåg in Vågan municipality. The Lofotr Viking Museum with the reconstructed 83-metre-long longhouse (the largest known) is located near Borg on Vestvågøy, which has many archeological finds from the Iron Age and Viking Age.
The islands have for more than 1,000 years been the centre of great cod fisheries, especially in winter, when the cod migrate south from the Barents Sea and gather in Lofoten to spawn. Bergen in southwestern Norway was for a long time the hub for further export of cod south to different parts of Europe, particularly so when trade was controlled by the Hanseatic League. In the lowland areas, particularly Vestvågøy, agriculture plays a significant role, as it has done since the Bronze Age.
Lofotr was originally the name of the island of Vestvågøy only. Later it became the name of the chain of islands. The chain of islands with its pointed peaks looks like a lynx foot from the mainland. In Norwegian, it is always a singular. Another name one might come across, is "Lofotveggen" or the Lofoten wall. The archipelago looks like a closed wall when seen from elevated points around Bodø or when arriving from the sea, some 100 kilometres (62 miles) long, and 800–1,000 metres (2,600–3,300 feet) high.
In March 1941 the islands were raided by British Commandos during Operation Claymore, and in a subsequent diversionary attack to support the Vaagso raid in December.
As of 2017, the islands attract one million tourists a year.
Lofoten is located at the 68th and 69th parallels north of the Arctic Circle in North Norway. Lofoten encompasses the municipalities of Vågan, Vestvågøy, Flakstad, Moskenes, Værøy, and Røst. The principal islands, running from north to south are:
Further to the south are the small and isolated islands of Værøy (1,227 square kilometres (474 square miles), and the population totals 24,500. Many will argue that Hinnøya, the northern part of Austvågøy and several hundred smaller islands, skerries and rocks to the east of Austvågøy are also part of the Lofoten complex. Historically, the territorial definition of Lofoten has changed significantly. Between the mainland and the Lofoten archipelago lies the vast, open Vestfjorden, and to the north is Vesterålen. The principal towns in Lofoten are Leknes in Vestvågøy and Svolvær in Vågan. The main islands are joined to each other and the mainland by road bridges.) and Røst ( ). The total land area amounts to
The Lofoten Islands are characterised by their mountains and peaks, sheltered inlets, stretches of seashore and large virgin areas. The highest mountain in Lofoten is Higravstinden (1,161 metres (3,809 feet)) in Austvågøy; the Møysalen National Park just northeast of Lofoten has mountains reaching 1,262 metres (4,140 feet). The famous Moskstraumen (Malstrøm) system of tidal eddies is located in western Lofoten, and is indeed the root of the term maelstrom.
Lofoten is a horst ridge of bedrock.The rocks of Lofoten belong to the wider Western Gneiss Region of Norway. Some of the high relief and irregular surfaces of Lofoten has been attributed to etching that took place during the Mesozoic Era. Evidence of this would be the kaolinite found at some locations. To the northwest the Lofoten archipelago is bounded by the NE–SW-trending West Lofoten Border Fault. This is a normal fault whose fault scarp has been eroded forming a strandflat.
In Vestvågøya mountains have steep slopes towards the open sea in the northwest and southeast while slopes pointing towards the interior of the island are more gentle. This is the result of erosion acting on a landscape that has been uplifted along NE–SW-trending faults in the margins of Lofoten while the interior axis has remained more stable.In tectonic terms mountains are half-grabens and faults are of the dip-slip type.
The sea around Lofoten is known to host significant oil reserves. The reserves amount to 1.3 bn barrels. Oil extraction in the Lofoten area is however prohibited.
The sea is rich with life, and the world's largest deep water coral reef, called the Røst Reef, is located west of Røst.Approximately 70% of all fish caught in the Norwegian and Barents seas use its islands' waters as a breeding ground. Lofoten has a high density of sea eagles and cormorants, and millions of other sea birds, among them the colourful puffin. It has mainland Europe's largest seabird colony. Otters are common, and there are moose on the largest islands. There are some woodlands with downy birch and rowan. There are no native conifer forests in Lofoten, but some small areas with private spruce plantations. Sorbus hybrida (Rowan whitebeam) and Malus sylvestris occur in Lofoten, but not further north.
The animals mistaken for the extinct great auk turned out to be some of the nine king penguins released around Norway's Lofoten Islands in August 1936, there until at least 1944.
Lofoten features a mostly subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc) under the Köppen climate classification, although some parts like Skrova features a temperate oceanic climate (Cfb). Winter temperatures in Lofoten are extremely mild considering its location north of the Arctic Circle – Lofoten has the largest positive temperature anomaly in the world relative to latitude. This is a result of the Gulf Stream and its extensions: the North Atlantic Current and the Norwegian Current.
Strong winds can occur in late autumn and winter. Snow and sleet are not uncommon in winter. The mountains can have substantial amounts of snow, and avalanches may come down from the steep slopes.
In Svolvær, the sun is above the horizon continuously ("midnight sun") from 25 May to 17 July, and in winter the sun does not rise from 4 December to 7 January. In Leknes, the sun is above the horizon from 26 May to 17 July, and in winter the sun does not rise from 9 December to 4 January.
The temperature in the sea has been recorded since 1935. At 1 metre (3 feet 3 inches) depth in the sea near Skrova, water temperatures varies from a low of 3 °C (37 °F) in March to 14 °C (57 °F) in August, some years peaking above 17 °C (63 °F). November is around 7–8 °C (45–46 °F). At a depth of 200 metres (660 feet), the temperature is near 8 °C (46 °F) all year. Skrova lighthouse on an island near Svolvær has the longest recording of air temperature in Lofoten. The warmest temperature recorded is 30.4 °C (86.7 °F) in June 1972. The coldest temperature recorded is −15.1 °C (4.8 °F) in February 1966. Last overnight freeze in June was in 1962, and last freeze in September was in 1986. Skrova and nearby Svolvær are among those places in North Norway which can record what Norwegians know as "tropical nights" when the overnight low does not go below 20 °C (68 °F). The warmest night at Skrova was July 15th 1961 with low 23.4 °C (74.1 °F), and the earliest in summer was June 10th 2011 with low 21.5 °C (70.7 °F). The wettest month recorded is December 1936 with 227 mm, and the driest is January 2014 with 0.9 mm.
|Climate data for Skrova 1991-2020 (14 m, precipitation days 1961-90, extremes 1934-2020)|
|Record high °C (°F)||10.6|
|Average high °C (°F)||2|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.9|
|Average low °C (°F)||−1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−12.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||89|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||14||11||11||10||9||9||11||10||15||17||15||15||147|
|Source 1: Norwegian Meteorological Institute|
|Source 2: Weatheronline climate robot (avg highs/lows)|
Even if the islands are not that large, there are some climatic differences. The islands in the southwest, Værøy and Røst, have the warmest winters, but summer highs are cooler. Vestvågøy with the town Leknes has lowland in the interior of the island with mountains nearby; winters here are slightly colder and much wetter than at Skrova, while summers are drier and comparable.
|Climate data for Leknes Airport 1991-2020|
|Average high °C (°F)||1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||203|
|Source 1: Norwegian Meteorological Institute|
|Source 2: Weatheronline climate robot (avg highs/lows)|
Lofoten offers many rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities. It has 24 hours of daylight in the summer and has Alpine-style ridges, summits and glaciers, but at a height of less than 1,200 metres (3,900 feet). The main centre for rock climbing is Henningsvær on Austvågøya.
The main areas for mountaineering and climbing are on Austvågøy and Moskenesøya. Moskenesøya features remote and serious mountaineering whereas Austvågøy is very popular area for rock climbing.[ citation needed ]
Lofoten has one of the world's most unique football pitches. The pitch rests on a rocky islet which has no actual seats.
Unstad is one of its better known locations for surfing. Every September surfers from around the world visit to compete in the Lofoten Masters.
There is a well-marked cycling route that goes from Å in the south and continues past Fiskebøl in the north. The route is part public road, part cycle-path with the option to bypass all of the tunnels by either cycle-path (tunnels through mountains) or boat. Traffic is generally light, although in July there may be a lot of campervans. Some of the more remote sections are on gravel roads. There is a dedicated cycling ferry which sails between Ballstad and Nusfjord, allowing cyclists to avoid the long, steep Nappstraum tunnel. The route hugs the coastline for most of its length where it is generally flat. As it turns inland through the mountain passes there are a couple of 300–400-metre (980–1,310- foot ) climbs.[ citation needed ]
The Lofoten Insomnia Cycling Race [ full citation needed ] takes place every year around midsummer, possible in the midnight sun, but certainly in 24-hour daylight, along the whole Lofoten archipelago.
The Arctic Race of Norway, the world's northernmost professional stage race on road bike which takes place every year in Northern Norway, crossed the Lofoten islands during its first edition in August 2013. As of 2015 [update] , the race was planned to be back in 2019 from Thursday 15 August to Sunday 18 August. The first two stages will cross the Lofoten archipelago from west to east. [ full citation needed ]
The European road E10 connects the larger islands of Lofoten with bridges and undersea tunnels. The E10 road also connects Lofoten to the mainland of Norway through the Lofast road connection, which was officially opened on 1 December 2007. There are several daily bus services between the islands of Lofoten and between Lofoten and the mainland along E10.
Lofoten is also served by a number of small airports:
Bodø is often used as a hub for travel to Lofoten. In addition to air travel there is a ferry connecting Bodø to Moskenes. There is also a ferry connecting Svolvær to Skutvik in Hamarøy, with road connection east to E6. Hurtigruten calls at Stamsund and Svolvær.
Lofoten International Art Festival (Lofoten internasjonale kunstfestival, LIAF) is a contemporary art biennale with no set venue or location on the archipelago.Artists who have participated include Kjersti Andvig, Michel Auder, A K Dolven, Ida Ekblad, Elmgreen & Dragset, and Lawrence Weiner.
The North Norwegian Art Centre(Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter, NNKS) was established in Svolvær in 1979.
KaviarFactoryis a privately-owned contemporary art space in Henningsvær.
The Nordland School of Art and Film(Nordland kunst- og filmhøgskole, NKFS) was established in Kabelvåg in 1997.
Norwegian painter Gunnar Berg was known for his paintings of his native Lofoten. He principally painted scenes of the everyday life of the local fishermen. Other artists whose work has been associated with Lofoten include Adelsteen Normann, Otto Sinding, Christian Krohg, Theodor Kittelsen, and Lev Lagorio.
In 2004, Nurse with Wound broadcast 24 unexpected radio transmissions from the Lofoten Islands,[ citation needed ] whose sounds were sourced from the environment and objects found in Lofoten. These recordings are included on their three releases entitled Shipwreck Radio .
Nordland is a county in Norway in the Northern Norway region, bordering Troms og Finnmark in the north, Trøndelag in the south, Norrbotten County in Sweden to the east, Västerbotten County to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The county was formerly known as Nordlandene amt. The county administration is in the town of Bodø. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen has been administered from Nordland since 1995.
Værøy is an island municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Lofoten. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Sørland on the main island of Værøya. The other village in Værøy is Nordland. Most of the residents live in the Sørland area surrounding the main harbor. The old Værøy Lighthouse sits at the end of that harbor.
Vestvågøy is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Lofoten. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Leknes. Some of the villages in the municipality include Ballstad, Borg, Bøstad, Gravdal, Knutstad, Stamsund, and Tangstad. With over 11,300 inhabitants, Vestvågøy is the most populous municipality in all of the Lofoten and Vesterålen regions in Nordland county.
Vågan is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Lofoten. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Svolvær. Some of the villages in Vågan include Digermulen, Gimsøysand, Gravermarka, Henningsvær, Hopen, Kabelvåg, Kleppstad, Laupstad, Liland, Skrova, Straumnes, and Sydalen.
Leknes (help·info) is a town in Nordland county, Norway. The town is also the administrative centre of the municipality of Vestvågøy. Leknes was designated a "town" in 2002. The 2.52-square-kilometre (620-acre) town has a population (2018) of 3,556 which gives the town a population density of 1,411 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,650/sq mi).
Svolvær is the administrative centre of Vågan Municipality in Nordland County, Norway. It is located on the island of Austvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago, along the Vestfjorden. The 2.37-square-kilometre (590-acre) town has a population (2018) of 4,720 which gives the town a population density of 1,992 inhabitants per square kilometre (5,160/sq mi).
Stamsund is a fishing village in Vestvågøy Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is located on the southern side of the island of Vestvågøy in the Lofoten archipelago, along the Vestfjorden. The village is located about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) east of the town of Leknes. The 1.06-square-kilometre (260-acre) village has a population (2018) of 1,092 which gives the village a population density of 1,030 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,700/sq mi). Historically, the village was the administrative centre of Hol Municipality from 1919 until 1963.
Kabelvåg is a village in Vågan Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is located on the southern shore of the island of Austvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago. Kabelvåg lies about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the southwest of the town of Svolvær, the administrative centre of Vågan municipality. The 1.13-square-kilometre (280-acre) village has a population (2018) of 1,883 which gives the village a population density of 1,666 inhabitants per square kilometre (4,310/sq mi).
Gravdal is a village in Vestvågøy Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is located on the island of Vestvågøya in the central part of the Lofoten archipelago, north of the Arctic Circle. The village is situated along the shore of the Buksnesfjorden, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) southwest of the town of Leknes. The village also lies approximately 72 kilometres (45 mi) west of the town of Svolvær and 63 kilometres (39 mi) east of the village of Å in Moskenes. Historically, the village was the administrative centre of the old Buksnes municipality which existed from 1838 until 1963.
Ballstad is a village in Vestvågøy Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is located on a small island off the southwestern tip of the island of Vestvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago. It is one of the largest fishing villages in Lofoten.
Skrova is a small island group and village area in Vågan Municipality in Nordland county, Norway.
Røst Airport is a regional airport serving Røst Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The airport is located on the northern edge of the main island of Røstlandet, just north of the main village of Røstlandet. It is owned and operated by the state-owned Avinor and handled 9,889 passengers in 2014. Services are provided by Widerøe, operating Dash 8-100 aircraft on contract with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to Bodø Airport and Leknes Airport.
Leknes Airport is a regional airport serving the town of Leknes and the surrounding areas in the Lofoten archipelago in Nordland county, Norway. The airport is located just outside Leknes in Vestvågøy municipality. The European route E10 highway passes along the east side of the airport. In 2014, Leknes Airport had 101,757 passengers. It is operated by Avinor.
Svolvær Airport, Helle is a regional airport serving the town of Svolvær in Vågan Municipality in Nordland county, Norway.
Austvågøya is the northeasternmost of the larger islands in the Lofoten archipelago in Nordland county, Norway. It is located between the Vestfjorden and the Norwegian Sea. The island of Vestvågøya lies to the southwest and the large island of Hinnøya to the northeast. In 2017, island had about 9,000 residents.
Vestvågøya or Vest-Vågøy is an island in the Lofoten archipelago in Nordland county, Norway. The island is located within Vestvågøy Municipality. The island lies between the islands of Austvågøya and Gimsøya to the northeast and Flakstadøya to the southwest. There are also several small islands and skerries surrounding the island. Vestvågøya makes up over 97% of the municipal area and about 99% of the inhabitants of the municipality live on the island. The European route E10 highway crosses the island connecting to Flakstadøya by the Nappstraum Tunnel and to Gimsøya by the Sundklakkstraumen Bridge.
Litlmolla is an uninhabited island in Vågan Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The island lies east of the town of Svolvær in the Vestfjorden. The island is located in the Lofoten archipelago, south of the large island of Austvågøya, southwest of the island of Stormolla, and northeast of the small island of Skrova. The 10-square-kilometre (3.9 sq mi) island was formerly inhabited, but has long since been abandoned. The highest point on the island is the 543-metre (1,781 ft) tall Nonstinden.
Henningsvær is a fishing village in Vågan Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is located on several small islands off the southern coast of the large island of Austvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago. The village is located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of the town of Svolvær. Henningsvær is connected to the rest of Vågan via the Henningsvær Bridges. The village is mostly located on the islands of Heimøya and Hellandsøya.
Central Hålogaland is a district of Northern Norway constituting the traditional districts of Ofoten, Lofoten, Vesterålen and Southern Troms og Finnmark. It has a population of 117,000, with the largest towns being Harstad (23,000) and Narvik (18,000). Smaller towns which act as regional centers include Svolvær, Sortland, and Leknes. The district covers 23 municipalities and an area of 11,600 square kilometers (4,500 sq mi). The Norwegian Police Service has Central Hålogaland as a police district with head office in Harstad.
Fløya or Fløyfjellet is a mountain adjacent to the town of Svolvær in Vågan Municipality in Nordland county, Norway. The 590-metre (1,940 ft) tall mountain is located near the southeastern shore of the island of Austvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lofoten .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lofoten .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article " Lofoten ".|