Arctic Paradise: Lofoten Norway

As winter approaches our thoughts drift to warm tropical Caribbean getaways. The sound of the Beach Boys’ Kokomo playing softly in the background…

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you,
Bahamas, Bermuda, c’mon pretty mama…

…as we dream of golden beaches and translucent blue waters. From December 2011 to March 2012, more than 7 million tourists visited these island paradises*. Others imagine themselves taking advantage of the winter weather and escaping to snowy mountain ski resorts, slushing downhill at daring speeds. See our blog post, National Geographic: World’s 25 Best Ski Towns.

The island chain must have looked like a paw to early settlers as its name translate to ‘foot of the lynx.’

But what about something altogether different? A place far north in the Arctic Circle? Too cold? Too frozen? Think again! The Lofoten region in Norway is the largest ‘weather weird spot’ on Earth and despite its location temperatures rarely drop below freezing, even in the winter. Lofoten is a polar archipelago and has the unique characteristic of being the meeting place for three underwater currents (Gulf Stream, North Atlantic Current, Norwegian Current) thusly creating its very mild weather.

There is plenty to do while visiting including fishing, rafting, skiing, kayaking, hanggliding, caving, wildlife viewing and much more. Visit The Lofoten Islands official tourist site for more information and stunning pictures.

Winter at Sakrisoy in Lofoten, Norway. Photo: Robert Walker

* Based on Tourist Arrivals for the following destinations as reported by
Anguilla • Antigua & Barbuda • Aruba • Bahamas • Barbados • Belize • Bermuda • British Virgin Islands • Cayman Islands • Cuba • Curacao • Dominica • Dominican Republic • Grenada • Guyana • Jamaica • Martinique • Montserrat • Puerto Rico • Saint Lucia • St. Maarten • St. Vincent & the Grenadines • Suriname • US Virgin Islands