Norway

Lofoten Islands Adventure

Kabelvag Cathedral, Lofoten IslandsYou might wonder why, in the name of all that is holy, I would want to go to a small, hard-to-get-to group of islands off the west coast of Norway. I would have to say that, first of all I'd heard that the scenery in the Lofoten Islands was stunning and, secondly, that it was a great place to see the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, which was actually my main reason for going there.

There are a lot of things you have to consider when trying to see the Northern Lights in Lofoten. I say trying because there are no guarantees of seeing them, no matter what time of year you go or how many preparations you make. The best time to see them is between October and March. October though, is apparently the rainiest month of the year in Lofoten, and the chances of seeing the lights are much higher during the polar nights in December and January when the days are darker. But in February and March, however, the days are longer and there's plenty of snow, which offers up the combination of being able to see stunning landscapes during the day and greater potential of seeing the lights at night.

I decided to go in March because of the drier weather and the longer days, but if you’re not a big Aurora Borealis chaser, or they fail to show or you see them early on in your journey, not to worry: there's still plenty to see and do all over the Islands in March. It is true that this is the off peak period, with limited public transport services and some attractions and galleries closed to prove. But there are still quite a few options to keep you busy.

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 Full name: Kingdom of Norway

 Population: 4.7 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Oslo

 Largest city: Oslo

 Area: 323,802 sq.km. (125,020 sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Bokmal Norwegian,  Nynorsk Norwegian, Other

 Major religions: Evangelical Lutheran,  Christian (Other), Muslim, Other

 Monetary unit: Norwegian Kroner

 GDP per capita: US $53,300

 Internet domain: .no

 International dialling code: +47

 Source: CIA World Factbook