Celebrating midsummer in the Arctic: Lofoten

I seem to have a sound tradition of celebrating the Summer Solstice and the Swedish holiday of Midsummer in the Arctic, away from the crowds, watching the midnight sun that is at its highest point in the sky for the whole year.

Here is some inspiration for midsummer (or anytime in the summer) hiking, climbing and kayaking in Lofoten, Arctic Norway. The pictures are from exactly 2 years ago, when me and a friend hit the polar regions for a couple of weeks. Since then, I have celebrated midsummer both in Iceland and on Svalbard, but this post is about the beautiful peninsula of Lofoten in Arctic Norway.

Upon arriving to Lofoten, it's a must to hike the mountains around Svolvær, and past Svolværsgeita. There are excellent views of the peninsula, the jagged mountains connecting the sky and the sea at the horizon.

Only the first stop for the ascent - but already excellent views of the city of Svolvær below.
Excellent summer weather, excellent views
If you bring some climbing gear and a buddy, you can climb the iconic pinnacle of "Svolvaer Goat". And if you also are a real adrenaline junkie, you can make the jump the 1,5 meters between the "horns" (at 300 meters elevation). In 2008, a part of the small horn fell off, making the jump even more exciting now.

Getting on top of the world 

This climb can be done as an exciting 5.5 but ranges up to 5.10d. In addition to the climbing, you can do a fair bit of scrambling and hiking in the area, visiting some more classic places.

Lena Padukova presents Google Earth - the real life edition (background)
I seldom can avoid posing! The place is full of large ans small rocks and pinnacles to get on top of. All with the best backdrops...
The peninsula and islands of Lofoten stretch out for a long distance, and it seems to be made for long-distance biking over the surreal beauty of the isles and bridges. There are options of bus, boat, ferry and even local airplanes, but getting around by your own effort beats everything.

Small fishing villages lace the coast of Lofoten, with the ever-present backdrop of sea and spiky peaks
Sea kayaking is an activity that is popular everywhere in Norway, and I definitely recommend doing it in Lofoten. There are amazing views from the water, and possibilities range to cater all from beginners to extremely advanced kayakers.

An Arctic sea kayak outing. My camelback on top of the kayak, Lofoten range in the background
Selfie from the kayak. With all the rocks at the background, you will be inspired to paddle, climb, and then paddle again
Now, there is another thing about Lofoten that is absolutely unreal. That's the amazing white sand beaches. From the look of the white sand against turquoise water, one would think they belong to Bali or at least Caicos - especially under a cloudless sky... But no; this is the Arctic. Both water and air hold just a few degrees Celsius.

The last photo is taken at ten in the evening, and the midnight sun continues to shine like this throughout the day. There are great camping possibilities. Due to the cold, there are no bugs, and the food does not spoil - it is actually often colder than in a fridge.

For the very daring, there are Arctic surfing camps on Lofoten, so you can catch some waves at nearly freezing temperatures! Together with magnificent climbing, hiking, kayaking and bathing, it's a beautiful way to spend the midsummer holidays.