Escaping to Norway's Lofoten Islands - Photo Epic

Jan 2, 2016
by Jaakko Posti  
Riding Lofted Norway

With much of the northern hemisphere shrouded under winters somewhat dreary cloak of rain and snow, it can be a challenging time of year for many mountain bikers. Although winter leaves a lot to be desired, it does however serve as the best time of year to procrastinate and plan for the adventures of 2016 and beyond. Conveniently, Finnish photographer, Jaakko Posti, has one good option to offer you and that is the Lofoten Islands of Northern Norway...

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

On the Summer of 2015 I visited Lofoten with my fellow mountain biker, Juho Pusa and while I had visited Lofoten before, it was during the winter, so we didn't have any expectations about the level of mountain bike riding on offer, other than that the area would be quite beautiful. Thankfully a friend of mine advised us to contact Bjørn-Ståle Larsen - an avid mountain biker living on the small city of Leknes in Lofoten. Bjørn was more than happy to show us around the islands where we had the opportunity to ride some of his favourite trails, which really didn't disappoint.

bigquotesBut honestly, how bad can a place be if one of mountain bikings greatest heroes, Mr Steve Peat, decided to film his retirement anousment video in Lofoten? - Jaakko Posti

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway
There is plenty of options for places to stay in Lofoten, but we decided to stay in Unstad Camping - not the least because of the freeride line from 'The Lines Of Lofoten', which was filmed just above the Unstad village.

The Lofoten Islands are located at the 68th and 69th parallels north of the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. The main islands, Austvågøy, Vestvågøy, Flakstadøy and Moskenesøy, are separated from the mainland by Vestfjorden, but all are connected by road bridges and tunnels, making getting around easy. Although Cod stocks have dwindled dramatically in recent years, fishing still vies with tourism as Lofoten's largest industry with wooden drying racks for fish that lattice nearly every village on the islands. If you want to get the most out of your stay here, I think you should have a car at your disposal. You can check some more information about the Islands from here: visitnorway.com

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway
If you're not biking or surfing, there is another activity to do in Ustand and that is to stroll on the beach and watch the surfers out on the ocean. With luck you can spot some otters or even some drunk Finnish dudes.

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Too bad that the freeride line from 'The Lines of Lofoten' wasn't rideable anymore, but this is where it once stood - check the video below!

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway
Lofoten is one of Norway's best sites for surfing, and one of the world's northernmost spots for the sport. Unstad Arctic Surf is great location to visit if you have surfing on your mind...

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
You really don´t need any paintings on your wall when you have a house here, just make sure you have enough windows in your home and you're set!

Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
The midnight sun means that the sun, when at its lowest point in the course of a single day, does not disappear below the horizon and is visible for a full 24-hours a day.

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway
In addition to the local riders, this particular ride saw riders from Finland, South Norway and Switzerland out on the trails.

Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
Riding Lofted Norway

Riding Lofted Norway
This was a great ride to finish our trip on, ending up just below the beach of Kvalvika where the guys from North of the sun surf documentary lived and filmed their movie.

If the photos weren't enough to convince you to visit Lofoten:



I would like to say a huge thanks to Bjørn-Ståle Larsen, Tommy Amundsen and everybody else who helped us on this trip. Thanks to Sony Nordic for the support with the cameras and Hi5bikes.fi with the bikes.


@JaakkoPosti



39 Comments

  • 79 0
 The photos are convincing me to go Lofoten, the bank statement is convincing me to the nearest forest...
  • 15 1
 Any place is more beautiful on a mountain bike. Just ride Smile
  • 3 0
 classic dilemma,Extremmist..
  • 2 0
 I doubt I'd have this dilemma with a Danish salary...
  • 9 0
 New Zealand, Iceland, Alps, and now Norway... I just hope I have enough money to ride these places before I'm too old to ride.
  • 2 0
 You firgot Chile
  • 1 0
 BC... Smile
  • 2 0
 @mrpilsen Yes Chile! I still remember how stoked I was when I first saw the photos from EWS in Chile!. @Latitude I went to Whistler last year and had a GREAT time there riding and hanging out with nice people, local or international. Sure I will go there again, and looking forward to exploring more of the beautiful BC.
  • 1 1
 And Ireland!
  • 8 0
 I've always wanted to go ski touring in Lofoten. Mountains next to sea always look stunning. Some of the photos are reminiscent of Skye.
  • 5 0
 I have been to Tromso last year in January and I always wondered if there were trails on those hills under the snow. The landscape is amazing in the summer !!
  • 4 0
 Did you find any Tirpitz remainings?
  • 2 0
 yeah, they found an old NSU with the original 26+ wired-edge rims :-)
  • 3 0
 It should be restored and named Tallboy:-)
  • 3 0
 I rode a lot of those trails this summer and had to say, the trail quality was dissapointing.
World class views and scenery, 10 out of 10!
But most mtb trails were little more then choppy sheep trails, although it got better in parts.

Maybe I'm just spoiled here in the southwest?
  • 4 0
 Strongly agree with this. Vids and pics from Lofoten can be quite deceiving when it comes to riding.
Like in the Hans Rey vid from last year they ride a bit of Reinebringen, probably Lofotens most famous and most well visisted peak, and what the story doesn't tell is that there's only like a 100 rideable meters at the top and maybe a 100 more further upwards after a little climbing section (as in with hands and feet, not with your bike). Except for those two parts that trail is only very steep hiking and unrideable all the way from the sea to the top.

Sure I haven't been everywhere on the islands and and there are a few trails suitable for riding. My advice though for anyone planning a trip there is to see it as a combined hiking/bike trip. Ride a couple of trails just because, well, we all want to ride bikes right but you'll get the most of Lofoten if you see it mainly (or even only) as hiking trip. This way you'll get to see the truly dramatic and steep sceneries, and I promise they're worth seeing even if it means leaving your bike in the car.
The beauty of it is that you can hike one peak in the morning, drive 20min and take another one in the evening and then enjoy the midnight sun from a perfectly white beach. There are hiking trails everywhere, and most of them starts just at the side of the road going uphill right away.

Weather there can be a bitch but if you're lucky you get warm nights with 22 centigrade at 04.00 since the sun doesn't set, warm days and the only problem is sleep since you both can and want to do stuff 24/7.
  • 2 0
 Don´t know the kind of trails you guys usually ride but I can honestly say that I enjoyed the trails I rode in Lofoten. On mountains like Smørdalskammen, Justatinden, Brattflogan, Helfjellet, Ryten/middagstinden there were really nice trails on all of those mountains.
  • 3 0
 @JaakkoPosti Absolutely, I just wanted to point out that considering the incredible amount of mountain peaks and trails not that many are actually great riding wise so it's best to go there with an open mind. And it's such a special place that many peaks are worth just hiking. However, with views like that it's easy to enjoy riding no matter what and I truly recommend everyone who have the possibility to go there.

And my compliments on the photo epic and words man, loved it!
  • 5 0
 @bicyclerider "My advice though for anyone planning a trip there is to see it as a combined hiking/bike trip. Ride a couple of trails just because, well, we all want to ride bikes right but you'll get the most of Lofoten if you see it mainly (or even only) as hiking trip. "

So true for any riding in the tundra and far north riding. Thanks for the words of reality
  • 1 0
 When you rode there, are there rental opportunities or did you just fly your bike over? I am going to be in the area on vacation and want to get at least one day on the bike because....well because its mtn biking in Norway for lack of a better reason.
  • 2 0
 @ianswilson815: www.lofoten.info/en Some general info and when it comes to biking www.yellowtravel.net/home.html or try to contact Tommy Amundsen who works in this store www.lofotsport.no/display.aspx?menuid=-80012 and also does MTB guiding on the area. He was guiding Steve Peat there on last summer
  • 6 0
 Are you telling me you went to Lofoten... and it didn't rain... once?
  • 3 0
 Really cool, I love to go to Norway! Hafjell and Geilo are my avourite bikeparks. I've been to lofoten before but never ridden this trail! Someday I'll ride the Lofoten trail! Awesome pictures
  • 3 0
 Just wanna put my bike in the car and go. Only about 20-24 hours drive away (In the summer. Might be a little bit more in january...). Too bad it is pitch black all day around this time of the year. Best wait for the summer!
  • 4 0
 Thanks for a great Photo Epic. I want to visit the Lofted Islands so much. Awesome looking trails and views.
  • 1 0
 I want to do this. But I don't even know where to begin when it comes to travelling, let alone with my bike to a small part of a country that doesn't speak English mainly. Hell I've never even been on a plan.

How do you begin planning something like this... is there even hotels there?
  • 1 0
 www.lofoten.info/en Some general info and when it comes to biking www.yellowtravel.net/home.html or try to contact Tommy Amundsen who works in this store www.lofotsport.no/display.aspx?menuid=-80012 and also does MTB guiding on the area. He was guiding Steve Peat there on last summer
  • 4 0
 Cool to pictures from the local trails!
  • 4 0
 Windows wallapapers everywhere Outstandig...
  • 2 0
 Guess i need to go visit my families "home land". Looks sick as hell(also a norwegian town)
  • 2 0
 Actually had my honeymoon in Lofoten, tropical temperatures 20-28 centigrades for two weeks, 4 degrees in the water...
  • 3 0
 That superman tailwhip looks so sick!
  • 2 0
 That is some beautiful looking scenery. Wow.
  • 2 0
 Awesome pics! but oslomarka is fine for me,Lofoten is so far away..
  • 1 0
 He must have put some massive pedal strokes in to get off that big ass rock like that. Impressive
  • 2 0
 Awesome!
  • 2 0
 Cool to see*
  • 2 0
 Outstanding Photo Epic!
  • 2 1
 Yet ANOTHER reason I wish I were a Scandinavian......sigh>......

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