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The Lofoten Islands belong to Norway and form an archipelago 300 km to the north of the Arctic Circle. The archipelago extends from the 67th to the 69th parallels and is roughly 150 km long. It is about fifty km west of mainland Norway.

(©norkart AS -
The archipelago is made up of seven main islands that are permanently inhabited and connected to the mainland by bridges. On the other hand, Værøy and Røstland to the extreme south can only be reached using the regular ferry services. 

The archipelago is separated from the Norwegian mainland by Vestfjord, a gigantic fjord (90 km wide at the mouth) which ends in Narvik 300 km further north. The widest part of Vestfjord to the south of the Lofoten Islands resembles an inland sea.

(©norkart AS -

Despite being relatively close to the mainland the archipelago has always been isolated from the rest of Norway due to its location in the extreme north of the country, which is barely inhabited,  but also because the storms in Vestfjord, which are both violent and unpredictable, make access difficult. For the last ten or so years the Lofoten Islands, other than Værøy and Røstlandet, have been connected to the mainland via bridges and tunnels. Kong Olavs veien (or E10 road) has been the focus of a huge building project that has maintained the economic development of the islands, thereby preventing rapid depopulation while being environment friendly because much of the road goes underground or under the sea!
There are also three small airports with regular flights to and from the mainland as well as regular ferry and boat services that operate between the islands and the mainland every day.

(carte aéroports et lignes de ferry © -

area  1 227 km2
coordinates  68° 10" 00" N 13° 45" 00" E
population  24 000 hab. approximately (in 2012)
population Density  19 hab./km2
main islands  Austvågøya, Gimsøya, Vestvågøya, Flakstadøya, Moskenesøya, Værøy, Røstlandet
administrative capital  Svolvær (Austvågøya)
language  Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk)
foreign language  English


Svolvær (Austvågøya)