Nowhere epitomises the great outdoors quite like Northern Norway, with its jagged mountains, gleaming fjords and vast swathes of lush woodlands. The air is so crisp and clean you feel as if you’ve been transported to another time. It almost makes you believe that Middle Earth was real.
Our journey through Northern Norway took us to the mountainous region of Vesteralen and the archipelago of Lofoten, known primarily for its scenic islands.
Observe sperm whales in the wild in Andenes
If you have watched the mesmerising Blue Planet II, you may already be aware that Northern Norway is home to several species of whale. Some, such as whales and humpback whales, only spend certain parts of the year on the coast of Norway. However sperm whales can be spotted in Andenes throughout the year thanks to deep sea levels only a short distance from the coastline.
We saw them on eight separate occasions. Witnessing these colossal creatures in the wild, particularly when they exhibit their characteristic tail flukes as they dive into the deep sea, is a magical experience.
Explore the beautiful village of Nyksund
Nyksund is a small coastal village on the northern part of the island of Langoya. Multi-coloured houses on stilts provide an impressive backdrop to the vast Norwegian Sea. The residents have transformed this once abandoned ghost town into a close-knit community. There’s a charming complete with eccentric décor (including a chair made of whale bone) and some impressive artworks. There’s also a church, antiques and the Holmvik Brygge that serves delicious bowls of bacalhau – salted cod in a tomato-based stew.
While very popular in the summer (there’s a spot on the bridge that provides a near-perfect view of the midnight sun), few people visit Nyksund come October. This is the best time to meet the friendly locals and experience all the village has to offer.
Visit Hurtigruten Museum at Stokmarknes
Hurtigruten Museum takes you on a century-long journey of cruise voyages along the Norwegian coastline. The museum features a rich display of photographs, paintings, model ships. The museum has also rescued, preserved and restored the original MS Finmarken cruise ship, which was built and held up to 425 passengers. Visitors can step on board MS Finmarken and explore the ship at their leisure .
Go on a Northern Lights Hunt
The Northern Lights perform their merry dance through the sky on a pleasingly regularly basis in Lofoten. They are at their most impressive when the sky is dark and totally clear, but don’t fret if it’s looking distinctly cloudy. The weather is very changeable here so you may be pleasantly surprised.
One of the most enjoyable and satisfying ways to experience this phenomenon is to go on a Northern Lights hunt. Lofoten Aktiv offer a 3-hour hiking tour through the wilds of Vagan, an area almost completely of light pollution. Before the tour begins, Northern Lights and will also help you change the settings on your camera so you can take some truly spectacular.