The first people in Lofoten arrived about 6,000 years ago. Lofoten’s Stone Age inhabitants survived on fishing and hunting, in an area which provided quite comfortable living conditions. The whole of Lofoten was covered by large pine and birch woods at the time. There were deer here, bears, wild reindeer, lynx and beavers, too, and the sea was full of fish, seals and whales. Agriculture was quick to develop, and grain was harvested in Lofoten as early as 4,000 years ago.

The Viking Age saw the emergence of several large chieftain’s seats. Tofts from a Viking chieftain seat have been found at Borg in Vestvågøy, containing the largest Viking banquet hall ever found in any country. The building, which was 8.5 metres wide and no less than 83 metres long, was reconstructed and forms the core of the Viking Museum, LOFOTR, at Borg, which opened its doors in June 1995.The Lofoten Fisheries were soon to gain importance, and as early as the year 1103 King Øystein considered them to be of such significance that he built a church in Vågan, which was the centre of the Lofoten fisheries at that time. In about 1120, he followed up by building the first fishermen’s cabins (rorbu) ever mentioned in the sagas. Stockfish, produced from spawning cod, was the staple commodity, and it was sold to almost all European countries. Italy is still the most important market for high quality stockfish from Lofoten. Near Kabelvåg we find the site of Vågar, which was the only mediaeval town in northern Scandinavia.

From the 14th century on, Lofoten had to pay taxes to Bergen. This was the beginning of an economic dominance which lasted for 600 years, first implemented by the German Hanseatic League, and later maintained by their Norwegian successors. Changing times with bad years and poverty were succeeded by periods of wealth and prosperity. Following the 1860s came times of great herring migrations, which were to form the basis of growth, prosperity and immigration. The foundation stone of today’s human settlement had been laid.

CLIMATE: Due to the temperate waters of the Gulf Stream, Lofoten has a much milder climate than other parts of the world at the same latitude, such as Alaska and Greenland. The coastal climate in Lofoten makes the winters mild and the summers relatively cool. January and February are the coldest months, with an average temperature of-1°C. July and August are warmest with an average temperature of 12°C.May and June are the driest months, with an average 40 mm of rainfall

How to get there

The Lofoten Islands are reachable by car, ferry, ship, train or plane.

PLANE

The airports are called “Leknes” (LKN)and “Svolvær” (SVJ). From abroad, you will have to fly via Oslo (OSL) to Bodø (BOO) and then continue in a smaller plane to Lofoten.

You can also arrive by plane at Harstad/Narvik Lufthavn (EVE), which is 160 km and 2,5 hours drive from Lofoten. This airport has direct flights from Oslo. At the airport you can rent a car.

Visit Svolvær Airport
Visit Leknes Airport
Visit Harstad/Narvik Airport

Book flights: www.wideroe.no

http://www.sas.no

CAR/FERRY

There are two ferries to Lofoten:Bodø-Moskenes (South-West end of the islands, 3,5 hours) and Skutvik-Svolvær (North-East end, 2 hours).

Prebook ferry trip: www.torghattennord.no

HURTIGRUTEN

A famous way of travel to Lofoten, is with the passager ships called “Hurtigruten”. 12 different ships cruising from Bergen to Kirkenes and back every day. The travel from Bergen to Lofoten takes approx 3 days. But you can jump on in any harbor along the coast, for instance in Trondheim or Bodø.

Visit Hurtigruten: www.hurtigruten.no

RENTAL CAR

When in Lofoten you will need a car. The most common international rental car firms have offices here. Visit the airport pages above to see information about rental car in Lofoten. Or try this local company:

http://www.rentacar-lofoten.com/index.php/en/

WHERE TO STAY

The region of Lofoten offers a great variety of accommodations to suit most budgets, both hotels and the far more exotic fishermens cabins, the so called “rorbu”, small cottage like houses. The Lofoten Chamber Music Festival and the Piano Festival are based  in Henningsvær (Austvågøy).
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Still all the concerts are spread over all the Lofoten Islands, with concerts in Svolvær, Kabelvåg, Henningsvær, Borge, Buksnes and Flakstad. Where ever you stay you may reach the concert venues by car. If you stay at Austvågøy or Vestvågøy, you will have closest distance to most of the concerts.

Get detailed info here:

http://www.lofoten.info