Category: Norway

Røst, Lofoten

I recently added some photos of Røst and Værøy, two island groups in the southern Lofoten (North Norway) to my photo gallery.

Although the Lofoten archipelago in northern Norway is one of its most famous island groups, few people visit the two outer islands: Værøy and Røst. Værøy is a single, rugged island, while Røst is a small archipelago, consisting of the main, inhabited island of Røst (highest point: 12m), and several smaller islands, called Nykene. These are famous for their puffins and several other seabird species, including petrels.

People have lived on these islands for over a thousand years, fishing for cod, grazing sheep, and collecting bird eggs. The history of these islands is fascinating. For example, the life in the village of Mostad on Værøy,  abandoned in the last century, was very harsh. Many men would perish at sea, while fishing for cod, while many women fell to death off the cliffs while harvesting birds’ eggs.

The cod were dried and shipped as far south as Portugal, while supplies used to be brought up from the south of Norway once a year. if the supply ship sank, many would starve in the brutal winters. Røst is known around the meteorological world for its mild climate: it is the only place north of the arctic circle where average winter temperatures stay above zero. However, the winter storms are brutal.