A fantastic destination when cruising this wonderful part of the world, the Lofoten Islands offer a remote Arctic archipelago and provide some of the finest natural beauty even by the high standards of Norway. Despite this spectacular natural beauty, cruise lines did not truly begin to take an interest in visiting here until the mid-1980’s and even then it was only on occasion with calls to Leknes, Svolvaer and Stamsund. In recent years this stunning destination has seen its popularity with cruise lines rapidly rise.
Although a late comer to Norwegian itineraries, the Lofoten Islands have more than made up for lost time. This majestic destination has quickly risen to fame thanks to magnificent landscapes and spellbinding scenery. Remote fishing villages ooze traditional charm whilst the amazing pristine fjords showcase tremendous views, not to mention an array of incredible wildlife. If you search hard enough here, you can even find several hidden white sand beaches, often an ideal place to relax and unwind considering the islands impressively mild, Gulf Stream-influenced climate.
The thought of attempting to see numerous islands within one visit can seem a little optimistic but all of the Lofoten Islands are connected by bridge or tunnel and therefore it is possible to see many of the best sights here in the one visit. Fishing villages are the life and soul of this destination and as such, the fishing museum can often be a great place to see to learn more about the islands impressive history. Another fascinating museum option is the Viking Museum located inside the larges reconstructed Viking Longhouse in the whole of Scandinavia.
For a real insight into the fishing world here, visit Ballstad, one of the largest and most contemporary fishing villages in the Lofoten Islands. This area is an ideal place to make a stop and capture the tremendous views and is also home to 1,000 residents. The scenic landscapes make a visit here truly worthwhile and like many of the fishing villages throughout the islands, this is a wonderfully picturesque and traditional place to see. You’ll discover many of the diminuitive fishermen’s dwellings, many of which have been converted into holiday homes as the area continues to grow in popularity. This location is also nearby to Haukland Beach, which in truth looks a little more like a tropical island but without the temperatures to match. One thing Haukland Beach does have though is the element of surprise. One minute you are exploring the dramatic green hills and mountainous scenery of the Lofoten Islands and the next you are walking across the white sands of a glorious beach setting.
Excursions here are excellent and offer great opportunities to get the most from your visit. The Lofoten Heritage Trail is a great excursion option and offers the chance to gain a greater perspective on the dramatic countryside here. This type of excursion compromises both coach and walking tours. You’ll enjoy the sights of Flakstad Bay towards the Flakstad Church before getting an insider’s guide to the works of local craftsmen at Sund Museum. A tour such as this also offers the opportunity to experience the remarkable Nusfjord, one of the best preserved fishing villages in the Lofoten Islands. This fantastic location has now even been transformed into an Open-Air Museum.
For something different and to try something new, another popular excursion opportunity here is to visit the historic town of Svolvaer with its awe inspiring landscapes. Often the main attraction here however is the Magic Ice Bar and Gallery. The unique bar boasts an outstanding array of ice sculptures, all lit to perfection to provide the most amazing setting combined with music and imagery to tell the stories of the islands traditions.