LOFOTEN (Norwegian pronunciation: ) is an archipelago and a
traditional district in the county of
* 1 Etymology * 2 History
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Geology * 3.2 Wildlife * 3.3 Climate
* 4 Sports
* 5 Transportation
* 6 In popular culture
* 6.1 Literature * 6.2 Films * 6.3 Paintings * 6.4 Music * 6.5 Video games
* 7 Gallery
* 7.1 Photographs * 7.2 Lofoten in art
* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links
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". See also Ofoten .)
"Raftsund, Lofoten, Digermulen, Norway", ca. 1890 - 1900.
"There is evidence of human settlement extending back at least 11,000
yrs in Lofoten, and the earliest archaeological sites ... are only
about 5,500 yrs old, at the transition from the early to late Stone
The town of
Vågan (Norse Vágar) is the first known town formation
The islands have for more than 1,000 years been the centre of great
cod fisheries , especially in winter, when the cod migrates south from
Lofotr was originally the name of the island of
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
Lofoten is located at the 68th and 69th parallels north of the Arctic
Circle in North
* Southern tip of Hinnøya . * Southern 60% (approx.) of Austvågøy (526.7 square kilometres (203.4 square miles ) in total 68°20′N 14°40′E / 68.333°N 14.667°E / 68.333; 14.667 ) * Gimsøy (46.4 square kilometres (17.9 square miles) 68°18′N 14°11′E / 68.300°N 14.183°E / 68.300; 14.183 ) * Vestvågøy (411.1 square kilometres (158.7 square miles) 68°10′N 13°45′E / 68.167°N 13.750°E / 68.167; 13.750 ) * Flakstadøya (109.8 square kilometres (42.4 square miles) 68°5′N 13°20′E / 68.083°N 13.333°E / 68.083; 13.333 ) * Moskenesøya (185.9 square kilometres (71.8 square miles) 67°55′N 13°0′E / 67.917°N 13.000°E / 67.917; 13.000 )
Geological map of Lofoten and Vesterålen.
Further to the south are the small and isolated islands of Værøy (67°40′N 12°40′E / 67.667°N 12.667°E / 67.667; 12.667 ) and Røst (67°37′N 12°7′E / 67.617°N 12.117°E / 67.617; 12.117 ). The total land area amounts to 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 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 .
See also: Transscandinavian Igneous Belt
Lofoten is considered part of the Western Gneiss Region
of Norway. The high relief and irregular surfaces of
Lofoten has been
attributed to etching that took place during the
The sea is rich with life, and the world's largest deep water coral
reef, called the
Røst Reef , is located west of Røst.
Lofoten has a
high density of sea eagles and cormorants , and millions of other sea
birds, among them the colourful puffin . 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
The animals mistaken as 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.
SKROVA /SVOLVæR (1961–90)
CLIMATE CHART (EXPLANATION )
J F M A M J J A S O N D
69 1 −2 53 1 −3 54 2 −2 47 4 1 39 9 4 42 13 8 57 15 11 60 15 11 86 11 8 117 7 4 87 4 1 91 2 −2
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
J F M A M J J A S O N D
2.7 34 28 2.1 34 28 2.1 35 29 1.9 39 33 1.5 48 40 1.7 55 46 2.2 59 51 2.4 58 51 3.4 52 46 4.6 45 39 3.4 39 33 3.6 36 29
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Lofoten features a subpolar oceanic climate under the Köppen climate
classification . Winter temperatures in
Lofoten are very mild
considering its location north of the
May and June are the driest months, while October has three times as much precipitation. The warmest recording in Svolvær is 30.4 °C (86.7 °F).
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 in some winters, avalanches might come down from steep mountain slopes. Two of the top ten deadliest rainstorms ever recorded passed through Lofoten.
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.
MOUNTAINEERING AND ROCK CLIMBING
A mountain massif of Flakstadøya island backgrounding the road to Nusfjord village.
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. For more information, see the walking guide by Dyer and the rock climbing guidebook by Craggs and Enevold (see references).
Unstad is one of its better known locations for surfing.
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.
The E10 road follows the archipelago southwest to Å . Late August near Eggum , Vestvågøy .
The European road E10 connects the larger islands of
bridges and undersea tunnels. The E10 road also connects
the mainland of
Lofoten is also served by a number of small airports:
Leknes Airport (84,215 passengers in 2006)
Svolvær Airport, Helle (63,787 passengers in 2006)
Røst Airport (7,755 passengers in 2006), which mainly offers
flights to Bodø.
* A heliport at
Værøy (7,923 passengers in 2006)
Stokmarknes Airport, Skagen is located in Vesterålen.
Harstad/Narvik Airport, Evenes has direct flights to
IN POPULAR CULTURE
Edgar Allan Poe 's short story "
A Descent into the Maelström "
tells the story of a man who survived his ship being drawn into and
* In the film Maelström , Lofoten is where the ashes of Annstein Karson are distributed.
The islands of the
Lofoten archipelago are known for their natural
environment. The area has rugged landscape and unique lighting.
Consequently, the islands have long served as an inspiration for
artists. 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
Adelsteen Normann ,
Otto Sinding , Christian
In 2004, Nurse with Wound broadcast 24 unexpected radio transmissions from the Lofoten Islands, whose sounds were sourced from the environment and objects found in Lofoten. These recordings are included on their three releases entitled Shipwreck Radio .
In the 2015 video game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt , a village is named Lofoten within the Norse/Celtic inspired archipelago, Skellige.
The Lofotr Viking Museum. Borg in Vestvågøy *
Ramberg beach in Flakstad . *
LOFOTEN IN ART
Lofotenlandskap Anna Boberg (1910) *
Blick von Lauksund auf Trolltinden am Raftsund, Lofoten Themistokles von Eckenbrecher (1906) *
Blick von Svolvaer nach Storemolla und Lillemolla
Fra Svolvær i Lofoten Gunnar Berg
* ^ Robert M. D’Anjou, Raymond S. Bradley, Nicholas L. Balascio,
and David B. Finkelstein. Climate impacts on human settlement and
agricultural activities in northern
Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Lofoten".
* A. Dyer et al. Walks and Scrambles in
Wikimedia Commons has media related to LOFOTEN .
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for LOFOTEN .
* The official website for Lofoten * The first