Vesterålen is the ideal location for observing the northern lights, since the so-called aurora borealis oval runs along the coast of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark counties. In the centre of this oval are the Vesterålen islands. Breathtakingly beautiful colours shimmer across the sky and create a bewitching spectacle. Steep snow-covered mountains are reflected on the ocean surface, along with the sparkling colours from the heavens. Read more about the northern lights.
The various summits facing the open ocean on the outer side of the islands of Vesterålen are certainly suitable for off piste skiing. If you are a dedicated telemark-, rando- or snowboard-enthusiast, you will see opportunities for rapid descents everywhere you turn in the mountains. Well prepared ski trails and ideal terrain make cross-country skiing one of winter's greatest activities. Åndstadblåheia ski lift is open throughout the winter season. This is also the venue for "The Great Blue Hipe" - an annual Big Jump contest for snowboarders and skiers.
Several local operators offer deep-sea fishing trips. For centuries, Arctic cod has been the most valuable species of fish for the people of Northern Norway, and the winter cod fishery from January to April is the most important seasonal fishery in all of Norway. It is important to distinguish between coastal cod and "skrei". When the Arctic cod set out on their annual migration to spawn along the northern coast of Norway, the fish is called "skrei" – a word that actually means "to wander", from the Old Norse "skrida".
You can mingle with reindeer and enjoy Sami culture in the company of your host Inga Sámi Siida. This is a popular winter activity for local residents as well; you can participate in reindeer herding and spend the night in a Sami tent, the lavvo.
Go on a whale safari in the realm of sea eagles and seals, and try your luck at fishing on the same trip. And if you like fishing, there are many frozen lakes suitable for ice fishing.
Enjoy the Arctic winter landscape from a kayak. If you do not have your own, or are travelling light, you can hire a kayak with all the necessary equipment from one of the following:
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Try deep sea fishing under the northern lights this winter. This is one of several exciting activities you can enjoy in the Vesterålen Islands.
Winter in Vesterålen
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