Lofotens Best Beaches Travel Guide

Kvalvika beach panoramic lofoten islands norway

Photo: Kvalvika Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

I’ve written a new article over at 68north.com about the best beaches on the Lofoten Islands. If you’re interested, they are: Kvalvika, Bunes, and Horseid.  All my personal opinion of course, but I’ve you’ve been there, I think you’ll agree.  And if you haven’t been to any of them yet, head over to the website for more detailed info about getting to them and a few more photos…

–CLICK HERE– to check it out.

Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Mountain reflection on Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Lofoten Islands Autumn Photo Gallery

Offersøykammen, Vestvågøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Sunset from Offersøykammen, Vestvågøya, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  October 2012

–CLICK HERE– To view Lofoten Islands Autumn 2012 gallery.  50 images.

As promised yesterday, I have a new gallery online from Autumn on the Lofoten Islands.  While I didn’t do any camping on this part of the trip, I did find myself waiting around for sunset from the tops of mountains on numerous occasions.  Often I wasn’t very successful and clouds rolled in, but I always find being in the mountains during the day’s last light to be a peaceful experience.   So even if my camera never comes out of the backpack, as longs as I’m not getting rained on, it’s worth the effort…

Of the three Autumns I’ve now traveled to Lofoten to photograph, this year was the most colorful and mildest.  Though this also meant the light was often quite flat, with the cloudy haze that I usually associate with summer occurring on many days.  It’s good weather for going out hiking, but not for brilliant photos.   Last year was also warm, but quite stormy, meaning most of the leaves were blown off the trees soon after my arrival on the islands.  But that stormy weather usually brings crisp, clear air, ideal conditions for Lofoten.  The Year 2009, my first Autumn on Lofoten, was cold and turbulent. The combination of snow covered peaks and the bright colors of Autumn was a amazing one, but weather conditions made photography quite difficult; this was when I came up with my ‘5 minute rule’ about shooting on Lofoten.

Overall I would say Autumn is my favorite season on Lofoten, as the islands really are amazing with so much color around.  For a rough Idea of dates, September 15 – October 10, are when the peak color usually occurs.  Though from my experience, many of the trees get blown leafless by the beginning of October as a big gale will usually have passed through by then.  I think this year I got quite lucky and had no strong winds.  The smaller foliage and grasses keep their color well into October, so even if the trees are gone, there is still some color about.

Himmeltinden lofoten islands norway

Photo: Dark skies over Flakstadoya from summit of Himmeltindan, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  October 2012

Lofoten Autumn Coming Soon

blueberry bush in Autumn, Norway

Photo: Blue berries, red leaves, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  October 2012

Tomorrow (Monday) I should have a new gallery online from the two weeks of Autumn during this years Lofoten travels.  If it wasn’t for the color of the foliage, when compared to my images from Summer, one could easily think I had the two galleries reversed as I had far better weather during October than I did in August.  Lofoten’s version of an Indian Summer I guess.  Not that I’m complaining or anything!

I’m also putting the finishing touches on a couple more articles for 68north.com.  The first will probably be for Lofoten’s three best beaches (Horseid, Bunes, and Kvalvika – if you are new to my blog and haven’t seen many photos yet).  And then also sometime next week will come just a hiking/travel/getting there guide for Horseid beach.

Tent camping at Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Camping at Horseid Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Kvalvika Beach Hiking Guide

evening twilight at Kvalvika beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Late summer twilight, Kvalvika Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Over at 68north.com I’ve written a new hiking and camping article for Kvalvika Beach -CLICK HERE-  to check it out.  I intend to put a fair amount of effort into 68north.com over the next few months.  I’ll still probably cross post some stuff here on this blog (otherwise I’d have nothing to post), but I hope things start to pick up a bit over there and I intend to make it the best English language guide for Lofoten photography and travel – if it is not already despite the fact that it gets no traffic.  I still have plans to write an eBook or two for Lofoten, but I’m sure as soon as I do someone will come out with something better anyhow as it seems Lofoten is starting to get on the radar of quite a few more photographers latelty.  Maybe it’s time to go buy a horse and wander around Kazakhstan for a couple years…

Kvalvika beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Group of Three, Kvalvika Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

Lofoten Islands Summer Photos

Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Horseid beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012

–CLICK HERE– To view Lofoten Islands summer 2012 photo gallery.

I’ve uploaded the first 50 images to my archive from part 1 of my Lofoten travels this year – August/September.  Click on the above link to go to the gallery.  As seems to be normal for me with Lofoten, a majority of the images come from only a few different days at a couple locations.  Overall, it seemed to be a cool and somewhat stormy summer this year.  Lots of wind and clouds on most days, though still a few perfect calm days here and there as well. I think overall I managed a decent variety of images.  And when combined with what I shot earlier in the year in February and what I got in Autumn (I’ll post in a couple more weeks), it was a pretty good year on the islands.

I was happy to finally make it to Horseid beach, which may now be my new favorite place on Lofoten.  It is absolutely stunning out there, especially if you have to whole place to yourself.  Another highlight of the trip was a journey up Ryten for the views back down to Kvalvika beach.  Again, absolutely amazing and I’m not sure why it took me so long to get up there – though this being the first time I’ve been to Kvalvika when it actually wasn’t raining might have had something to do with it.

Ryten silhoutted against evening twilight at Kvalvika beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Summer twilight silhouette of Ryten from Kvalvika beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012


Stamsund, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Stormy sky over coast, Stamsund, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  August 2012




Leaving Germany

Steinerne bruecke regensburg germany

Photo: Steinerne Brücke, Regensburg, Germany.  Oct 2012

I’m heading to Berlin this afternoon for my last night in Germany before flying to Wales tomorrow morning.  Hopefully my bank account still has enough money left to make the UKBA agent happy when I tell them I’m planning on staying until March (not counting a Lofoten trip, probably sometime in February).  After being on the road for 10 weeks, I’m tired and looking forward to being in one place for a while – though I’m sure I’ll be bored after two weeks and head up to Scotland or something.  Orkney and Rackwick Bay has been on my mind a bit lately.  The thought of waiting out winter storms all alone in a small stone shelter with no electricity that sits on the edge of the sea surrounded by cliffs seems to be a nice one.

The last two weeks have seen me criss crossing Germany; east to west to east, and south to north.  After a long weekend in Regensburg, even getting a little snow, I headed north to Bonn to stay with a friend whom I’ve traveled with on Lofoten several times.  And having the good timing of showing up for halloween, I even got to cook some pumpkin seeds (one of my favorite foods that I can only get once a year) and attend a pretty good party which didn’t see my head hitting the pillow until 6 am.  I guess I’m not getting too old after all.  Although a few nights later in some Cologne disco at 2 am and surrounded by 19-20 year olds all seeming to have the same haircut I knew I was a bit out of my element.  For the last week I’ve been up in Rostock staying with another old friend.  A good place to relax and focus my thoughts on what lies ahead in the next months.

My first priorities are to get the blog slightly back on track.  I’ve never been good at the blogging while traveling thing, which is probably the reason that even after 7 years, my readership is still abysmally low.  I’m always amazed at the people I see blog about going on their first trip and 6 months later they are making a living off it.  Perhaps if I were some cute blond chick posting pictures of myself in a bikini while partying on the beach, or, if I actually had even some minimal talent at writing I could be doing better.  Though I’m supposed to be a photographer anyhow, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Speaking of writing, I also have a number of articles to write for 68north.com.  Hopefully I can get one done per week, which will see new content added until sometime into the new year and possibly even until I’m back on Lofoten again.  While on the Kungsleden trail in Sweden I also took some footage and shot a few time-lapse sequences.  Hopefully this will turn into a short video clip, but it’s sort of a low priority behind all the images I have to process.  Not to mention that I have to re-learn how to use Final Cut and edit video.  All and all, hopefully I can keep myself busy and finally get some shit done!  I think I’ll have some pretty good images to show…

And finally, my fingers are crossed for a cold winter in south Wales.  My ice tools are are ready for some action and I need to get in a bit of training before heading Lofoten.  I don’t want to be stuck pulling on plastic in the climbing gym all winter.

Berchtesgaden – Germany

Watzmann, Berchtesgaden national park, Germany

Photo: Dawn light over Watzmann from Jenner, Berchtesgaden national park, Germany.  Oct 2012

After a few nights in the Allgäu region, and without having any sort of plan or maps, I headed to Berchtesgaden, a place that I’m at least a bit familiar with.  It was still sunny when I arrived in mid afternoon, but I knew the fog would be arriving so I wanted to get up into the mountains to escape the gloom.  I headed up to Stahlhaus, dropped off my backpack, then immediately hiked up Schneibstein.  I wanted to wait around on the summit until sunset, but the hut warden lady didn’t want me back too late, so I had to go down a bit early that desired.  But it was still amazing to be sitting at 2200 meters in the late afternoon, in October, and only wearing a t-shirt.

In the darkness of the following morning I hiked from the hut to Jenner, hoping to get an interesting photo of Watzmann at sunrise.  Wasn’t the best sunrise ever, actually was pretty boring the whole week with the almost perfectly clear skies, but the valley fog covering Königsee and Berchtesgaden was quite nice.  I wish I’d had a second camera so I could shoot some timelapse sequences of the fog as it moved around.

Schneibstein, Berchtesgaden national park, Germany

Photo: Afternoon light from summit of Schneibstein, Berchtesgaden national park, Germany.  Oct 2012

Allgäu – Germany

forggensee, allgaeu, germany

Photo: Twilight over Forggensee, Allgäu, Germany.  Oct 2012

After picking up my car in Munich I headed straight to perhaps my favorite region in Germany, the Allgäu.  Where rolling, cow filled pastureland meets the vertical wall of the Alpine foothills, the Allgäu is a magical place.  Combined with a late October Indian Summer, the region was bursting at the seams with tourists looking to escape the fog that cloaked the rest of Bavaria. Though despite the fullness of the parking lot as I arrived at noon, I did find myself a peaceful night as the only guest at the Ostlerhütte on Breitenberg one night.  Actually felt a bit awkward really, but I managed, helped by some good food filling my stomach and amazing views right out the door.

Allgäu sunset from Breitenberg, Germany

Photo: Sunset from Breitenberg, Allgäu, Germany.  Oct 2012