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Discover Lofoten, Norway
Could you imagine a place located well within the reaches of the Arctic Circle where average temperatures barely drop below freezing?
The Lofoten islands are a natural Norwegian beauty situated between the 67th and 68th parallels. The mild temperatures in the winter are warmed by the Gulf Stream, making it inhabitable year-round.
While fishing and agriculture is a main industry in that region, tourism is also a large industry. Although the population of Lofoton's largest city, Svolvær has a population of 4,290, approximately 200,000 tourists visit each year!
Svolvær began as a transit harbor, and continues to be a major stop along the Hurtigruten cruise route. Just some of the activities can include kayaking through the archipelago, wave surfing, fishing, hiking, catching a glimpse of the northern lights, experiencing the Midnight Sun or Polar Night, biking, shopping, viewing one of many art galleries, and visiting the largest house discovered from the Viking Age, at 275 feet long, which has been reconstructed as a living museum with findings reconstructions, exhibitions and domestic animals.
125 miles southwest of Svolvær, on the steep and towering islands southwest of the populated island of Røstlandet you will find the "home" to the largest number of nesting birds across Norway – with approximately a quarter of the country's seabird population. That is about 2.5 million adult birds! Scientists, Ornithologists and bird lovers travel from all over to regularly visit this region with average temperatures that remain above freezing all year round.
Traveling to Lofoten has gotten much easier in the past few years. The most popular route for tourists is commonly the Hurtigruten Cruise Line. Also popular is via airplane - the Lofoten area has three small airports in Leknes, Svolvær and Røst. If driving from the mainland, prepare for a lengthy drive, but it is now possible! In 2007, highway E10 finally connected Lofoten with the mainland for the first time via roadway. Ferries are also available and public bus transportation as well.
For any additional information, please visit Lofoten's official website at http://www.lofoten.info/