Lofoten Islands – Landscapes, Fishing Villages & Birds in the Arctic Circle
- Unique ambient light
- Gannet & Cormorant colony
- Sea Eagles
- Wild beaches
- Stunning turquoise fjords
- Striking snow capped mountains
- New leafed trees
- Picturesque fishing villages
- Traditional Norwegian architecture
- Boat trips
- Traditional coastal accommodation
Lofoten is an archipelago off the north west coast of Norway well known for their natural beauty, rugged landscape and unique light. Nowhere does the sun shine to greater effect than on these northern islands. Anchored above the Arctic Circle the purple mountains, green meadows, bright fishing boats and rust-red cottages on stilts are mirrored in a Caribbean-blue sea, consequently the islands have long proved inspirational for artists and photographers. May and June are the driest months and the endless daylight makes for a perfect summer photographic destination. There will still be some snow on the mountains although down by the coast spring will be under way. At this time of year the ‘golden hours’ of ambient light are extensive and we will often go out in the long evenings. There will be lots of opportunities for bird photography as Lofoten has a very high density of Sea Eagles, Cormorants, Gannets and millions of other sea birds.
We have spread the trip over two bases designing our itinerary with great care to allow participants to see as many first rate Lofoten photographic locations as possible. The distances travelled are relatively short, however, photographic stops are high on our list of priorities! Our boat trips allow for a great diversity of locations.
This is a magical trip suitable for photographers at all levels, come and see for yourself.
Day 1: Arrival in Lofoten
Participants will arrive in Svolvær during the day by plane or ferry from Bodø. The ferry takes around three hours and is very scenic. This way of travelling will mean that you arrive in Svolvær quite late on Day 1. Better to come a day earlier if this method of travel is chosen. The flight from Bodø to Svolvær takes around half an hour. On Day 1 we arrange pick-ups and transfers to our accommodation on the seafront in Svolvær. In the early evening at 18.30 we meet for introductions, a trip briefing and dinner. Following dinner we leave for an evening to midnight road trip on north side of the Austvåg Island to photograph some beautiful bays and inlets.
Hotel Svolvær ( D )
Day 2: Trollfjorden and Sea Eagles
After breakfast we board our Zodiac and head out to the magnificent Trollfjorden, a dramatic steep sided fjord.This boat trip gives us a great opportunity for photographing Sea Eagles at very close quarters! After lunch we explore Svolvær and it’s surroundings.
Hotel Svolvær ( B, D )
Day 3: Drive to Henningsvær Fishing Village
This morning we drive to Henningsvær Fishing Village. Located at the foot of Mount Vågakaillen the village consists of a group of isles and islets spread out at random in the blue waters of the Vestfjord. The combination of an active, vibrant environment and well-preserved architecture makes Henningsvær something quite unique.
Hotel Henningsvær (B, D)
Day 4: Drive to Reine
After a sunrise shoot and breakfast we drive to Reine. We include a dramatic drive through impressive mountains to the tiny and scenic fishing village at Nusfjord one of Norway’s most authentically preserved fishing villages. From here we continue the journey to our converted fishermen’s Rorbu accommodation; our base until the end of our trip
Sakrisøy Rorbu Reine (B, L, D )
Day 5-8: Reine
During the five days we spend in Reine our accommodation is at the Sakrisøy Rorbuer. All cottages have fine views and verandas that look right out over the fjord. With it’s spectacular mountain backdrop, Reine is one of the loveliest and most photographed places in Lofoten. Sunrise comes early at this time of the year and there are some spectacular images to be had overlooking Reine or indeed right from the front veranda of our accommodation! The beauty of staying in one base for five nights is the opportunity that it gives participants to re-work locations after reviewing previous images, a sure way to improve technical skills and compositional skills.
Sakrisøy Rorbuer Reine (B, L, D)
Our locations while in Reine include the following:
This is a tiny idyllic fishing village surrounded by mountains that reflect dramatically in the sea. Hamnøy is right next to a ‘drive-in bird cliff’ like a crack in the rock where the calling Kittiwakes echo between mountain walls.
We take a Zodiac Rig for an inspiring trip around the southern tip of Lofoten to photograph Gannets and Cormorants at close quarters. We get an intimate view of ‘life on the rock’ often a bit like a dramatic but comic soap opera! En route we sail through The Maelstrom, where strong currents attract whales, seals and white tailed eagles.
Boat trip across the fjord to Vindstad. Snow capped mountains rise steeply from the fjord and isolated fishing villages are reflected in glassy water. From the jetty it’s easy walking around the village or along the fjord. There are lots of traditional houses and sea birds. We return by boat to the Reine fjord in time for sunset and dinner in a local restaurant.
Flakstad comprises all of the island of Flakstadøya. This is a most striking area. Where the mountains frame the classic white sand of Skagsanden beach is of particular interest for photographers.
Often home to Black Throated Divers.
Utakleiv Beach, Vestvågøya
The left side of the beach is rocky, allowing you to get right up into the waves for some dramatic images and, more often than not, wet feet! The rocks here come in lovely smooth shapes of round or oval. En route to Utakleiv is the bright white sand Haukland Beach.
Day 9: Transfers to Airport
Following breakfast we transfer to the Leknes airport for the flight to Bodø and connecting international flights home.
- All accommodation 8 nights
- Meals 8 breakfasts, 8 dinners, 5 lunches
- Airport Transfers
- 3 Boat Trips
What’s not Included
- International flights
- Travel Insurance
- Alcohol and soft drinks
Our hotels in Svolvær and Henningsvær have double or single rooms all with private bathroom facilities.
In Reine we stay in scenic Rorbu cottages overlooking the fjord. Rorbus are traditional houses originally lived in by fishermen. Ours have been nicely restored with a cozy sitting room, and kitchen. There are normally 2 bedrooms in each Rorbu with one bathroom that is shared by the guests. Some have a wood burner. Single rooms are available without extra charge.
New improved 9-Day Itinerary for 2016
We have extended our Lofoten trip by one day for 2016 in order to make the most of our locations. We have added a Gannet Colony, plus an extra night in both Reine and Henningsvær. We have also changed our arrival and departure airports on Lofoten. On Day 1 you will fly Bodø-Svolvær and on Day 9 you will fly Leknes – Bodø. These short flights are with Wideroe and connect with international flights. SAS are great if you want your luggage booked through by Wideroe.
Complete itinerary and full details
This page is only a brief summary. A complete itinerary and full details can be found in our trip description PDF It is important that you read the full day-to-day description and further information for this holiday before making your booking.