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Lofoten Photography: Spectacular Images From Northern Norway

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Photographers from across the world head to Norway's Lofoten islands for the incredible landscapes. Here's a selection of some of the best Lofoten photography.

Norway is one of the world's top destinations for landscape photographers. But one place stands tall above all others.

Lofoten islands photo with a red sky
Sakrisøy, Lofoten

The Lofoten islands of Northern Norway offer steep mountains, rugged peaks, picturesque fishing villages and incredible lighting conditions. From the midnight sun to the northern lights, Lofoten has so much to offer keen photographers.

An important factor to bear in mind is that these islands are remote. Their location at 68 degrees north presents all kinds of challenges for those planning a photo trip, from uncertain and changeable weather conditions to the lack of charging points for your batteries!

Wrecked wooden boat in Lofoten's Austnesfjord
Wrecked wooden boat in Lofoten's Austnesfjord

This article will look at some of the top Lofoten photography locations together with some tips for capturing the perfect shot. Enjoy!

Photos from Reine, Lofoten

The stunning village Reine is one of the most recognisable locations in Lofoten. At the western end of the archipelago, Reine has mountain and ocean views in all directions.

Many photographers head for Reinebringen, one of the most famous hikes in Norway. This well-used path gives a spectacular vista not just of Reine but of this entire part of Lofoten.

Reine from Reinebringen hike in Lofoten
Reine from Reinebringen hike in Lofoten
Yellow houses on the Lofoten islands coastline in Northern Norway
Many houses and cabins in Reine sit right on the coastline
Yellow house on the coastline of Reine, Norway. Photo: Suratwadee Rattanajarupak / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Suratwadee Rattanajarupak / Shutterstock.com

Svolvær in photos

While Lofoten is known for its scenery, remote hiking trails and tiny villages, there are also a couple of towns. With a population of almost 5,000 permanent residents, Svolvær is the most notable of these.

The mix of traditional and modern architecture is a fascinating one, but this is no urban sprawl. As with everywhere in Lofoten, the natural setting is stunning.

For the absolute best view of the town, climb to the Goat's horns of Svolværgeita. This is no simple hike, however. It's a rope-assisted mountain climb that requires a professional guide. But the views are well worth it.

Svolvær in the morning light
Svolvær in the morning light
The Goat's Horns in Svolvær, Lofoten Islands
The Goat's Horns above Svolvær
A misty morning scene in Svolvær, Northern Norway
A misty morning in Svolvær

Lofoten photography in the winter

Most people choose to visit Lofoten in the summer. That's perfectly understandable. The weather is much better and 24-hour sunlight provides many more photographic opportunities.

But there is something very special about this scenery when the snow falls and the winter light descends. From the blue hour of the polar night to the northern lights, winter in Lofoten is a truly unique time.

For lighter skies and snow on the ground, visit later in the year. February and March are popular times, as they offer sunlight in the daytime and the possibility of northern lights displays by night.

Winter view of Reine in Lofoten
Reine in the winter
Northern lights display above Hamnøy island in Northern Norway
The northern lights above Hamnøy
Nusfjord village in the winter
Nusfjord in the winter
Yellow cabins and a pink sky in a Lofoten winter
A winter scene from Moskenesøya

Beach photography in Lofoten

Photos of beaches are often featured in holiday brochures from the Caribbean and Mediterranean. The sandy stretches of Lofoten are some of Norway's best beaches, although they tend to attract photographers and surfers more than sun-seekers!

Some beaches can be reached by car, but others–the quietest–require a hike. Overnight camping is permitted on the grassy banks next to most of the beaches.

Kvalvika beach in the Lofoten Islands of Norway
Kvalvika beach
Haukland beach in Norway's Lofoten
Haukland beach
Uttakleiv beach in Lofoten
Uttakleiv beach
Hiker at Bunes Beach in Lofoten
Hiker at Bunes beach

Stamsund photos

The small village of Stamsund is well known among passengers of Hurtigruten ships as one of the handful of stops in the Lofoten and Vesterålen islands.

For photographers, the yellow wooden buildings, fishing boats and tall jagged mountain backdrop provide plenty of opportunities.

The coastline of Stamsund. Photo: hal pand / Shutterstock.com
The coastline of Stamsund. Photo: hal pand / Shutterstock.com
Hurtigruten vessel sailing into Stamsund port, Norway
Hurtigruten vessel sailing into Stamsund

Photos from Å: The end of Lofoten

Although many travellers drive west to Reine, fewer continue a few miles on the literal end of the road. The fishing village Å is now mostly a living museum, with many opportunities for photography.

The museum collects together many historic buildings, while the pathways lead down to multiple spots by the coastline with everything from tiny fishing boats to traditional red rorbuer (fisherman's cabins) ready and waiting for your camera.

Å in Lofoten
Red rorbuer fisherman's cabins in Å in Lofoten, Norway
Red rorbuer (fisherman's cabins) in Å
A group of tourists at the end of the Lofoten islands
A group of the tourists at the ‘end' of the Lofoten islands in Å

If you're planning a trip to Lofoten or simply want to find out more, check out episode 9 of the Life in Norway Show. American photographer Cody Duncan makes a living leading photo tours, selling ebooks, and taking photos in Lofoten. He joined the podcast to tell all about why Lofoten is such a good photography location.

Have you been on a Lofoten islands photography trip? What's your favourite spot on the islands for a photo walk?

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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