Paradise in the Arctic

I have just returned from a week long trip to the Lofoten Islands in Norway.   The Lofoten Islands are a chain of islands up at North West Norway well within the Arctic circle.    It was the most breath-taking scenery I have ever laid eyes on.  A landscape of steep mountains rising from the sea, fjords and narrow coastal strips.   The landscape was formed by glaciers and natural forces and is one of Norway’s most interesting areas.

I travelled with fellow photographers, Michelle Hughes Walsh and Marek Biegalski . To get there we flew from Dublin with Norwegian airlines to Oslo..  We then flew from Oslo to Narvik in the north of Norway .  After that it was a 5 and a half hour journey in the car to our destination.

We stayed in an idyllic location at Eliassen Rorbuer near the fishing village of Reine.  Reine is in the middle of a fjord and between our accomodation and the village of Reine was one of the most spectacular stretches of scenery ( Main image )

Norway-20-ElliasenRorbuer-SMALL-IMG_1337 Eliassen Rorbuer , where we stayed.

There were many beaches to visit and enjoy.   Flakstadoy, Skagsanden, Ytresand , Hauklandstranda  and Uttakliev to name but a few.  It was wonderful to see the waves washing over snow covered beaches !

Norway-1-HauklandstrandaVestvagoy-21Mar2016-SMALL-IMG_1933Snow-covered beach at Hauklandstranda.

We also witnessed the incredible sight of the Northern lights in the sky.   The dance of the northern lights was a magical sight and the jagged icy peaks rising from the sea provided a spectacular backdrop… the iconic peak of Olstind being the most memorable.

Norway-7-MountOlstind-March2016-SMALL-IMG_1597Northern lights dancing in the sky over Mount Olstind.

There are lots of tiny traditional villages dotted around the islands. The Lofoten islands depends on the sea for its livelihood.   In the winter the warm gulf stream water  flush schools of cod up here to the Lofoten islands..  keeping the local fisherman very happy.   Rickety looking cod-drying racks are everywhere.   The Arctic cod is hung out to dry and had been done so for over a thousand years .  Lofoten dried fish is famous.  The fish is gutted before being hung out to dry and the heads are dried separately.

Norway-28-March2016-SMALL-IMG_1246Cod hanging out to dry on wooden racks

The fishermen live in pretty Rorbu ( Fishermans cabin ).  Which are precariously built on stilts on rocky outcrops.

Norway-29-March2016-SMALL-IMG_1331Traditional fisherman’s Rorbu

This trip to the Lofoten Islands hugely exceeded my expectations.  I had drooled over images for a few weeks beforehand … and in reality it was even more spectacular than I had imagined.

Norway-25-SkagsandenBeach-March2016-SMALL-IMG_0659Northern Lights at Skagsanden Beach.

If you are interested in visiting the Lofoten island and seeing some of these incredible sights for yourself, Marek will be running photography workshops there in the very near future.  Having attended 2 of Mareks workshops in the past, I can highly recommend them .

Norway-2-March 2016-Highland Cattle-SMALL-IMG_1671Some highland Cattle posing for us !

Norway-22-YtresandBeach-March2016-SMALL-IMG_1443Moonlight at Ytresand beach.

Norway-14-March2016-FlakstayodaFrozenLakeSMALL-IMG_1063Flakstayoda Frozen lake


Norway-13-March2016-SMALL-IMG_0964Eliassen Rorbuer.

Norway-11-March2016-SMALL-IMG_1718Traditional church

Norway-17-YtresandBeachMarch2016-SMALL-IMG_1452Ytresand Beach


Norway-27-Flakstadoy-March2016-SMALL-IMG_1016Flakstadoy Beach


Norway-34-March2016-SMALL-IMG_1264Eliassen Rorbuer

Norway-32-March2016-SMALL-IMG_0972Eliassen Rorbuer

Norway-35-March2016-SMALL-IMG_1224Fishing village of Reine.


19 Replies to “Paradise in the Arctic”

  1. Wonderful read Eimhear, your words and photos really give u a great feeling for the place. Looks amazing.

  2. What stunning scenery – beautifully captured, Eimhear. One of my dreams is to travel through Norway and having read your blog, Lofoten is a ‘must’.

  3. How I envy you Eimhear. What a great experience, and to come back with these amazing images, a dream come true!! Thank you so much for sharing them with us….Amazing! What a great woman and photographer you are!

    1. Many thanks Ann.. It was a wonderful opportunity for me and I enjoyed every minute of it. I am still on a high from the trip. Much appreciate your comments , you are too kind ! :))

  4. Beautifully written Eimhear you managed to transport me back to this magical place that I hope to revisit again sometime soon. Without ever writting a word you fantastic images tell a thousand tales. Michelle xx

    1. Thank you so much Michelle for your very kind words…. Means alot. It was thanks to yourself and Marek that the trip was as enjoyable as it was. I too would like to revisit soon as it was such a magical place 🙂 xxx

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