What to expect on a Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway

Mar 02, 2016 BY Paul McWilliams

Discover a magical world of pristine mountain islands lit by the midnight sun on an incredible Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway. Located inside the Arctic Circle, around 50km off the coast of the mainland, this stunning chain of islands is about 500 miles north of the capital in Oslo.

Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway image courtesy of Velvet Adventure Sailing Holidays

With limited options to sail here, eight and ten night sailing adventures in the Lofoten Islands are in high demand. Traverse narrow fjords, sail through some of the world’s richest cod ground, and anchor in picturesque fishing villages nestled at the foot of 1000m high mountains. This isn’t any ordinary summer sailing holiday.

The route for your Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway

Most Lofoten sailing trips start off in Bodo. From here you’ll sail across a vast bay to the western side of the archipelago, stopping near the villages of Reine and Hamnøy. Head east along the beautiful southern edge of the island chain before cutting through the fjords to the northern side of the Lofoten.

Anchor in secluded coves, spear fish for your dinner in the rich waters, and marvel at the sheer magnificence of the mountain scenery glowing in the midnight sun. The sun never sets here in the summer, with 24-hour daylight a real highlight. Watch as the sun hovers just above the horizon, before it starts to make its way back up into the sky again.

Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway image courtesy of Velvet Adventure Sailing Holidays

Climate and scenery

In the summer months, Lofoten can be hot and sunny for weeks on end. But the weather can be a little unpredictable, with brooding cloud fronts moving in quickly. However, these can create some dazzling skyscapes, with the low sun picking out deep purple intermingling with shades of black.

The birch-covered mountains that rise up dramatically out of the water are home to eagles and other soaring birds. It’s a landscape you’ll have all to yourselves on a Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway with Velvet Adventure Sailing. 

Top sights, destinations and activities 

One of the real highlights of the trip is squeezing through the towering granite walls of the Trollfjorden on your way to the northern side of the islands. It’s an imposing bottleneck, where you’ll feel the vast rocks walls almost crumble down on top of you. Nudge your way into pristine bays, where it’s possible no other boat has ever anchored.

Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway image courtesy of Velvet Adventure Sailing Holidays

Along the way, keep watch for some of the islands’ stunning wildlife. You’ll more than likely see minke and sperm whales, along with puffins and the aforementioned sea eagles.

Once you’re anchored for the night, you can head ashore to explore some of the islands. There are countless ridges and summits to tackle. Pack a bag and head up through the chest high ferns and undergrowth to summits where few people have ever set foot.

Sailing ability levels

Although some of the fjord sailing will be tricky and intricate, a Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway is suitable for all levels, from beginners to experienced sailors. With 24 hour daylight and little tide to worry about, even some of the tightest squeezes in the fjords are manageable.

Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway image courtesy of Velvet Adventure Sailing Holidays

You’ll be coached in sailing skills along the way, and the trips make a great place to build on your skill set acquired from Day Skipper courses or previous flotilla sailing experiences. And, of course, the spectacular surroundings only enhance the learning experience. All sailing plus the choice of routes and anchor points are dependent on the weather during the trip.

Getting there and back 

Obviously, this is perhaps not the easiest place to get to. Fly into Oslo from all over Europe and then catch an internal connecting flight to Bodo. From the airport it’s just a 20-minute walk to the marina (or five in a cab). Return flights for one way sailing excursions, and some connecting flights, are from Stokmarkness.

If you’re feeling more adventurous or want to extend your stay, catch the train to or from Oslo, complete with stunning scenic views, or even hop on the Hurtigruten coastal steamer for a more relaxing ride.

Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway image courtesy of Velvet Adventure Sailing Holidays

A Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway offers one of the most unique experiences in European waters. Few people get the chance to sail this far north in such dramatic and exhilarating landscapes. Although there are some cruises that pass through this part of the Arctic Circle, there is nothing quite like getting up close and personal with the vast fjords and mountains of the Lofoten.

For more information or to book a Lofoten Islands sailing holiday in Norway check out Velvet Adventure Sailing: www.velvetadventuresailing.com

Arctic, Bodo, Europe, Hamnoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway, Reine, Stokmarkness, Trollfjorden
Arctic Circle, Bird of Prey, Coastal Skipper, Day Skipper, Eagle, Midnight Sun, Whales
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