April 15, 2015

Lofoton Islands

Images and words by Marilar Irastorza

There is a place in Northern Europe where nature does not give up. Located above the Arctic Circle in the Norwegian province of Norland with a population of less than 25,000, the Lofoten Islands’ stunning beaches, mountains, quaint fishing villages, crystalline lakes, fjords, and magical light are a dream for any landscape photographer.

I fell in love with these Norwegian islands three years ago when I traveled there for the first time to photograph landscapes with the midnight sun, and have since returned every year.

On my most recent trip this past March, I arrived with the intention of discovering new locations, but striking memories of the islands drew me to revisit many of them again. Connecting with a photographer friend, we stayed in the beautiful village of Reine in a “rorbu,” the traditional wooden cabins built for fishermen, now converted into accommodation for travelers. Although bad weather was with us throughout the trip, we enjoyed a wonderful aurora on the Skagensanden beach in Flakstad. Upon returning to our cabin we could still see some vestiges of the northern lights over Mount Olstinden.

The islands’ coastlines are spectacular with summits plunging directly into the sea. Dramatic coastlines are juxtaposed by serene sparkling lakes in the islands’ tranquil interiors. Here above the Arctic Circle, you can go fishing with local fishermen, taste the best cod in the world, and kayak among orcas, seals and hundreds of birds. Year after year, these photogenic landscapes draw me to them, and I cannot wait to return.

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