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The well-known and popular group of islands that stretches out into the sea was called the Lofoten Wall by the old fishermen. And if you come sailing north, you can understand exactly this, because you meet a mountain range that appears on the horizon and only grows higher and higher the closer you get. The rich fishing has attracted people in hundreds of years, and fishermen from all over the country have traveled north to join the rich winter cod fishing. This is the species of cod we call skrei, which comes swimming south from the Barents Sea to spawn. Lofoten fishing is still today one of the most important activities and sources of income for the people out here in the sea. Where it was possible, and preferably close to the best fishing spots, people went ashore and set up rudders and racks for drying the cod. Some of the places have since grown larger and become fishing villages and in our time also some into towns. From early on, Lofoten has attracted artists who were inspired by the spectacular peak landscape, but also the people, the culture surrounding the fisheries and the magical light. Today, Lofoten is one of Norway's most popular tourist destinations. Many hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world come here every year to experience the nature, go on top hikes, climb, surf, ski, fish and preferably also swim from one of the many chalk-white beaches. Lofoten and Vesterålen are the archipelagos along the coast of Norway that are closest to the gulf stream. This provides a mild climate all year round, and green mountains. The archipelago is also north of the Arctic Circle, which provides bright summers with the sun above the horizon for almost 2 months (28 May - 17 July). During this period, on fine summer days, you can experience the midnight sun on the outer side of Lofoten. In winter it is dark. Or color time, as many call it. The sun dips below the horizon at the beginning of December and returns at the beginning of January. This time is in many ways a festival of light, with magical twilight light - the blue hours - in the middle of the day, and at night often starry, beautiful moonlight and dancing northern lights.

Vågakallen (942 m)

Vågakallen is the most famous mountain on Aust Vågøy, close to Henningsvær. The mountain, which plunges steeply down towards the sea in the south, was first climbed around 1885 by Martin Ekroll from Skrova. It is a well-known landmark, and tradition demanded that the Lofoten fisherman had to take off his hat and show respect to the mountain when the boat he was in approached the mountain after a perilous journey across the Vestfjord
Foto: Peder Pedersen >>> 

Lofoten and the dried cod 

The history of the Lofoten fishery begins around the year 1000, and is a commercial seasonal fishery for the cod named Skrei, which has played an important role for the Norwegian economy up to modern times. Skreien was dried on kilns, and for many hundreds of years was Norway's largest export item.  The dried fish was taken by sailboat to Bergen where it was sold to many countries in Europe. This trade made Bergen a very prosperous city with a rich cultural life, and the city was one of the first in the world to have its own symphony orchestra as early as 1765. 

We can also thank the dried fish from Lofoten for Edvard Grieg. His great-grandfather Alexander Greig moved from Scotland to Bergen in 1770 precisely to trade in dried fish. He became a Norwegian citizen in 1770 and then took the name Grieg. 

Even today, dried fish is made in the same way, and is still a very important part of business life in Lofoten. 

Photo: Peder Pedersen >>> 


Beautiful Svartsundet lies to the south of Raftsundet, which was an important thoroughfare when going north by boat to Vesterålen or Senja. In the background sits the mighty Trolltinden with the Trollfjord as its nearest neighbour. Lofoten green is a separate term and describes the color the mountains in this island kingdom get due to the mild and humid climate, which in turn is a direct cause of the warm ocean currents all the way from the Caribbean.

Photo: Peder Pedersen >>>  

Lofoten Cathedral

Lofoten has many beautiful church buildings, and several of them with an exciting cultural history. The most famous is Vågan Church, also known as the Lofoten Cathedral, was inaugurated in October 1898, and is located immediately by Kabelvåg. The church replaced an older church from 1799 that had become too small and is now the largest church in northern Norway.

Read more about the Lofoten Cathedral >>>

Photo: Peder Pedersen >>> 


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