Winter is creeping in - and we love it! Some people might think we go into hibernation during these dark winter months, but it´s actually the opposite. Different seasons offer different opportunities with the period from January to April bringing endless variations of activities and impressions.
What´s an Arctic winter like?
The winter starts dark and beautiful. We usually get the first big snowfalls during December, and the snow covers the mountains until May. It may or may not be snow at sea level during this period, and the temperature averages around 0° celcius throughout the winter. Note that it may be much colder in certain periods. Luckily it´s warm inside!
One of our favourite days of the year is the 5th of January, when the sun returns after hiding for 4 weeks. Around this time we get 5 hours of daylight and an hour of sun. It stays quite dark until February when the sun returns in full power. The contrasts are quite dramatic, and throughout the the winter we get up to 8 minutes of extra daylight per day. That adds up to almost 1 hour of daylight extra per week - with the night disappearing totally when April arrives.
While December is often categorized by snowfalls and storms, January and February is usually quite dry, clear and crisp with low winds and blue skies. March and April is the snowy season and the mountains fill up with fresh powder.
Recharge your batteries and get some work done
The dark period of the year is a great time to recharge your batteries while awaiting the endless daylight. It´s nice and cozy inside, and drinking a hot beverage while looking out on the snowy mountains/and or the northern lights is definitely a favorite within the Arctic Coworking family.
There is also many indoor activities to be done - with the indoor climbing gym being our go-to. Located in Leknes, 15 minutes away from the lodge with a car, it´s the place to be. You can rent gear if you don´t want to bring your own, and there is different routes suitable to any skill-level.
You can also blast out a ton of work. For us this is the most productive part of the year. The seasons change from dark to light, and the extra 8 minutes of daylight every day gives you an immense energy boost. Combine that with awe-inspiring office window views, fresh-ground coffee and our weekly masterminds sessions, and you are ready to complete that project that´s been stressing you out!
Northern lights season
While sun-flares is a regular occurrence all year, getting all the variables you need for northern lights is much rarer than you would think. For northern lights you need a KP-rating of at least two (the higher the better) and a clear, dark night with as little moonlight as possible. If you want to maximize your chance of seeing the northern lights, January and February is your best bet. During this period of the year, the lakes usually freeze up, which means you can go ice skating under the northern lights. For us this a great way to make the northern lights feel even more special.
If you are an experienced surfer, and have thought about checking out the icy barrels of Lofoten, winter is the time to be here. Although it might seem cold, winter is without a doubt the best time to go surfing in Lofoten. Crowds are hard to come by, the predominant wind is offshore, and the North Atlantic is pumping out swell after swell. The water is around 4° Celcius, but come prepared with a good winter suit and it will feel tropical. Although you will find no palm trees here, the mountainous scenery makes surfing in Lofoten an experience to remember. If you are willing to put in the extra effort, you can also surf under the northern lights, just like Mick Fanning.
If you don´t have any surfing experience, Unstad Arctic Surf and Lofoten Surfsenter got you covered with both rentals and lessons. Learning to surf on a snowy beach automatically translates to bragging rights for the rest of your surfing career.
When march hits - the powder snow really starts dumping. This lasts throughout april, and is in our opinion the best time of year to go skiing in Lofoten. Mix freshies with almost unlimited daylight and this place is paradise. Here is a few of our favorite peaks to ski from:
Ryten in Flakstadøy - Looking down on Kvalvika Beach, this peak certainly is spectacular. Possible to end the run on the sand!
Småtindan in Vågan - Perhaps the most trafficked tour in the Lofoten area, and for good reason. Beuatiful views and great skiing with relatively easy access.
Himmeltinden - Our next door neighbour and our favourite peak. Very steep all the way, so often a good choice when the conditions are safe.
Be aware that the Lofoten mountains can be quite scary in the winter - send us a message and we can arrange guided ski tours! And if backcountry isn´t your thing, there is two small ski resorts in the area which brings the same view without the struggle.
We also have cross-country trails reachable in skiing-distance. It´s a great winter activity that really gets your blood pumping! If you don´t have any skiing experience, you are free to explore the area with snowshoes (we have 2 pairs available for guests).
This period(march-april) of the year is great for exploring and still getting work done, as you don´t need to worry about the daylight disappearing. Contrary, if you want to experience the northern lights you better make it here before april!
One thing is for certain, while summer and fall makes the area easier to explore by foot, winter is amazingly beautiful. The mountains of Lofoten, roaring high up from the ocean, really suits some snow. The snow reflects any light thrown at them with full power, and any clear night can be spent outside without head-torches. While summer is by far the most visited - there is not a doubt in our mind which season we enjoy the most (hint - it´s winter)
Unsure what to bring? Check out the Arctic Packlist