The Northern Canary Islands
Me and my family love to travel, especially if there's hiking involved. If we can have a long, cross-countries road trip to our desired hiking spot, that's even better. We love adventures and are always ready to go for one. So, this is just one of my families adventure stories.
Our journey began as usual by waking up at around 5 a.m., jumping into our minivan full of stuff, like our hiking gear and food (because food in Norway is pretty expensive) and excited for what the journey brings us this time. Going on a trip every summer is our family’s tradition. At least it was before Covid. This time our destination was Lofoten Islands, a magical place in Northern Norway behind the Arctic Circle.
First we went to Tallinn, Estonia to take a ferry to Helsinki. As I am terrified of ferries, we decided to take a 3-hour ferry to Helsinki, not an overnight ferry to Sweden, which we took last time when we went to Norway. Although at first my family wasn’t really enthusiastic to take the long ride through Northern Finland and Sweden, they were glad that we did when we first saw reindeers after crossing the Arctic Circle. Plus, we got the opportunity to fulfil our childhood wish and see Santa Clause at his official village in Rovaniemi in Finland. We weren’t even bothered that it was in the middle of summer! At least it was less touristy around the time we went. After crossing the Arctic Circle, we suddenly felt like we were in a different world. Reindeers running next to our car became a normal thing. Cars on the road appeared less and less and nature looked a bit like tundra. The evenings started to become brighter and on our first night in Norway, in a small camp just a few kilometres after crossing the border, we experienced another “first in a lifetime”- midnight sun. We again were truly stunned by Norway’s nature because last time we were here three years ago we experienced the miracle of northern lights. That night, after enjoying the midnight sun for a couple of hours, we came to reality because as it turns out, you cannot sleep normally in a tent when the darkness never comes. Some of my family members didn’t get used to it and were glad to go back home to normal and dark nights. But I cannot imagine how it is for them to live in darkness all winter. Therefore, I understand their need for light in the summer.
We started our first morning in Norway with a truly freezing but refreshing swim in a nearby mountain river. After visiting some beautiful gorges, dozens of waterfalls, mountaintops, and some cute, little Norwegian villages, we finally came to our main destination-Northern Canary Islands-or, as locals call it, Lofoten Islands. Coming here was our dream for a long time and we were so blessed that the weather was amazing for the whole week we stayed there. We started our week in Lofoten by checking into one of the coolest camping places I have ever been. We built our tent nearby a huge cliff and a stunning view of the mountains and ocean.
As we are hiking enthusiasts, our must-have places in Lofoten included mostly indescribably beautiful mountain tops with a view on an ocean and paradise beaches. First we started with a challenging climb to Svolvaergeita, where we experienced how it is to be on a cliff where underneath you is a free fall. Also, we saw one of the must-see views from the top on Lofoten “capital” Svolvaer. Our next hike was in a more touristy spot in Lofoten-Reinebringen. As you have to climb up the stairs to get to the top this was a relatively easy one. Another must-see mountain top was Ryten, where you can see a paradise-like beach on the one side and endless ocean on the other. This was a longer hike through mountains, fields and glorious views all around us.
Best Lofoten towns, that are more like villages, includes Svolvaer - the biggest city in Lofoten with luxury hotels, shopping malls and everything that belongs in bigger cities. The village Reine is the best place to explore small troll’s houses, which are built on wooden blocks well above the water on tiny islands, which are connected with long bridges. Also, worth visiting is a town called Å. Yes, that is the real name of the town. It is the last town in the Lofoten Island archipelago, where you can drive by car. After this town there are just mountains, cliffs and the sea of course. Lofoten charmed us with the troll houses, where the grass grows on the roofs, and incredibly happy and helpful people live in this place. They are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
No doubt, Lofoten Islands are not full of palms trees and constant +30 degrees, but amazing beaches and small islands between gorgeous mountain tops will definitely take your breath away. I truly recommend everyone to visit Lofoten and its magical villages, but really the nature there is something else. The feeling of being at the very edge of the world, where everything around you feels different than at home is magical. Maybe that is why the trolls settled there. Go there in the middle of summer it is highly likely that you will experience the most beautiful trip you ever had.
Thank you for reading about Lofoten by Edite Ozolina.
It's a story that will make you day-dream about far out places we sometimes forget about but need to explore because of how magical they are.
Her Instagram @ozolinaedite is full with stunning pictures not only from Norway, but from all around the world. She has had some great trips, however, if you want a great picture guide through Scandinavia and the Baltics - you need to follow her !