Lofoten (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈluːfuːtən]) is an archipelago and a traditional district in the county of Nordland, Norway. Lofoten is known for a distinctive scenery with dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands. Though lying within the Arctic Circle, the archipelago experiences one of the World's largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to its high latitude.
The sea is rich with life, and the world's largest deep water coral reef, called the Røst Reef, is located west of Røst. Lofoten has a very high density of sea eagles and cormorants, and millions of other sea birds, among them the colourful puffin. Otters are common, and there are moose on the largest islands. There are some woodlands with downy birch and rowan. There are no native conifer forests in Lofoten, but some small areas with private spruce plantations. Sorbus hybrida (Rowan whitebeam) and Malus sylvestris occur in Lofoten, but not further north.
The animals mistaken as the extinct great auk turned out to be some of the nine king penguins released around Norway’s Lofoten Islands in August 1936, there until at least 1944.
Large whales seemingly have disappeared from these waters for long, however in 2014, Heiko the minke whale swam into a shallow fjord of Lofoten to flee from whaling boats drew international interests and caused rises in public opinions to question and oppose to domestic whaling industries. As she might be pregnant, careful monitoring was conducted and Heiko was immediately beloved by locals to provide chances to witness whales at close ranges that have been a long-lost attraction in the area.
Mountaineering and Rock Climbing:
Lofoten offers many rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities. It has 24 hours of daylight in the summer and has Alpine-style ridges, summits and glaciers, but at a height of less than 1,200 metres. The main centre for rock climbing is Henningsvær on Austvågøya.
The main areas for mountaineering and climbing are on Austvågøya and Moskenesøya. Moskenesøya is the most complete area for climbing. For more information, see the books by Dyer and Webster (see references).
Unstad is one of its better known locations for surfing.