Lofoten, remote islands located in the north of Norway, constitute an archipelago known for its charming beauty and incredible mountains overlooking the sea, numerous fjords, stockfish fishing and, obviously, the Northern Lights.
It was exactly for the Northern Lights that we selected the Lofoten Islands as destination for our Christmas trip, knowing also that the Polar Night occurs in December.
It’s been definitely a risky choice, but, at the end, we got home fully satisfied.
Some info on our trip
PERIOD: During the Christmas week, from December 24th to 30th.
AURORA BOREALIS (NORTHERN LIGHTS): The Lofoten are located above the Arctic Circle and, from September to March, it is possible to see this phenomenon. However, the Aurora Borealis is rather elusive and specific conditions must occur to make it possible to spot it:
- There must be solar activity
- The weather must not be cloudy
- No light pollution, the darker the better!
- The Aurora can appear at any time and its duration is unpredictable, you have to be patient!
Apps such as “AURORA” are useful to forecast the phenomenon. You can book specialized tours or go find it on your own just like we did.
DECEMBER WEATHER: These islands are a climatic anomaly; in fact, mitigated by the Gulf Stream, winters are not too harsh, with acceptable temperatures considering the latitude. When we were there, there were 8 degrees as a maximum and a minimum of -6 degrees. This does not mean that it is not cold though! Mountain clothing with many layers is absolutely recommended.
HOW TO REACH LOFOTEN ISLANDS: Getting to Lofoten is not easy because there are no direct flights from the major European cities. So, you will probably need to stop in one of the Norwegian cities and then reach these islands.
Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Bodo but it takes almost 5 hours to reach the Lofoten Islands, not to mention that the sea could be really rough.
♥ Our choice: Lufthansa flight from Venice> stopover in Frankfurt> stopover in Oslo> arrival at Harstad-Narvik airport, Evenes.
GETTING AROUND THE LOFOTEN ISLANDS: The main islands are connected to each other by the E10, a panoramic road that is easily accessible and kept in excellent conditions, even during the winter. For this reason, the easiest way to get around is to rent a car, it will become your excellent travel mate!
♥ Our choice: Rental at Sixt, directly in Harstad-Narvik airport, of a Peugeot 3008, a little tight but comfortable.
POLAR NIGHT: From December 7th to January 5th in the Lofoten Islands the sun never exceeds the horizon line. This does not mean total darkness but, if you are lucky with the weather, you can admire a 4-5 hour long sunset whose colours make this place truly magical.
ACCOMMODATIONS: The rent of the Rorbu is widespread in the islands; Rorbu are ancient stilt houses inhabited by fishermen but very popular today among tourists.
♥ Our choice:
Svolvær ⇒ Svinøya Rorbuer.
Reine ⇒ Maybua.
Nusfjord ⇒ Nusfjord Artic Resort.
Svolvær, Henningsvær, Hamnøy, Sakrisøy, Reine, Å
Skagsanden beach, Sandbotnen beach, Haukland beach, Nusfjord.
COST OF LIFE: High. For example, eating in a restaurant costs approximately 800/1200 Norwegian Kroner (NOK) per person, equivalent to € 70/100. All excursions, whatever they are, are always around 1200NOK per person. The costs of accommodation and the car are also high, which is why it would be better to share the trip with other people.
While waiting for a specific post on our road trip (which we are working on), we thought to share in the meantime a photographic diary of the Lofoten Islands during the polar night because, honesty, we were very satisfied with the work we did with our cameras! Have a good vision ♥