The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that happens during the summer in places south of the Antarctic Circle and north of the Arctic Circle. Our Earth rotates at a tilted axis, and during the summer, the North Pole points towards the sun. That’s why, for several weeks, the sun never sets above the Arctic Circle.
Lofoten is also home to the northern lights, Aurora Borealis. Known as ‘nature’s fireworks’, these colourful lights appear in the sky when the sun releases small particles (electrons) into the air. When the particles touch the gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere, they glow bright greens and blues.
More than 1000 years ago, Lofoten’s Vikings believed the Northern Lights were the reflections of their chief God’s armour as he ruled above them in Valhalla.
The Vikings were fierce warriors who fought and plundered their way across Europe from 793AD.
Olaf Tvennumbruni was one of the mightiest and richest men of Norway and ruled as a Viking Chieftain in Lofoten. He was described as a “hamram” which means that people believed he could shed his skin and transform himself into an animal! Today in Lofoten, you can visit Olaf’s house which is the biggest Viking Age longhouse in the world.
Lofoten isn’t only well-known for its Vikings. During the summer, Lofoten becomes a major feeding ground for sperm whales with tourists flocking to the sea to spot the gentle giants. In addition to whales, you can see dolphins, porpoises and otters enjoying the icy waters.
On land, moose, reindeer and even puffin colonies can be spotted on the Lofoten Islands. The Rost Islands in Lofoten are home to the largest colony of puffins in all of Norway.