Best months:
July to October


LAST UPDATED 28/02/2008
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Michael Haferkamp: Reine, Lofoten; 2005

The Lofoten in Norway lies on the bleeding edge of northern hemisphere, extreme cold water surfing. The pros of 14-hour midnight sun surf sessions are tempered by the blackest of winters and water that rarely rises above 10 degrees C. If you can manage to leave all of your warm water baggage behind though and open your mind to surfing in the Artic Circle, you are in for a great ride.


Gallinago: Vestvagoy Island, The Lofoten, Norway; 2005

The Lofoten is a thin peninsula of land and clustered mountainous islands in the far north of Norway. The island group sits far enough from the coast to act as a veritable swell magnet for anything passing by in the swirling North Atlantic. Much of the region consists of plunging mountains that drop almost vertically into the dark Artic Ocean but a small collection of beaches; points and cold-water bomboras have drawn a lot of recent interest worldwide.

Still, surfing this far north is not for the faint hearted. Even in Norway, which has a high rural population, the settlements in this area really consist of a collection of fishing villages and towns. Help can be a long way away, especially in the more remote stretches of the western reach.

Summer is the main surfing season; this is driven by available daylight as much as prevailing conditions. Bring all of your rubber gear for this trip. Hoods are often relaxed in the summer but if you have limited experience surfing in extreme cold water you will want one on. The shale and stone beaches require a decent pair of booties to negotiate, so think of practicality as well as warmth when choosing them for the passage. Make sure you surf in them a few times before you arrive, it can take a little getting used to wearing thick booties but one thing is for sure, you wont be taking them off in the water up here.


Gustavf: Norwegian small car ferry; 22 July 2003

You can travel by bus or by car - both options will give you an opportunity to see the islands. Just note that the roads are usually quite narrow. Also to get to the southernmost islands of Lofoten, i.e. Værøy or Røst, you will need to take a ferry from Moskenes.

where to stay

David Cross: Svinøya Rorbuer; May 2003

If you are going to Lofoten, consider visiting Svolvær, that has lots of different kinds of accommodation: hotels are very common, camping can be an option as well. You can even get a rorbu - a traditional fisherman's cabin. Just make sure that you are prepared for low temperatures if you decide to camp, as it can be freezing even in summer.

Svinøya Rorbuer is a very good rorbuer and restaurant on a separate island connected by a long bridge.

what to pack

Pupils info-Some folded scarves, 20 December 2005

Bring lots of warm things. All the gear if you plan to camp: a good sleeping bag and tent that are good for very low temp; special gas container u can use for heating food and water; a sturdy backpack or a cargo pack with a good daypack. Invest in a portable water filter or at least take some puri-tabs or boil the water.

Take along some sunscreen and sunglasses. Better take your medicines with you, as the brands can be unfamiliar. Pack some basic toiletries so that you do not need to spend unnecessary money to purchase these basics. You may want to just buy a travel pack and bring it.

And of course, bring a camera, there're plenty of photo opportunities here to impress your mates with back home. And take a good protection for your camera from the sand.

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