The season of Colour - Lofoten "Dark season"

There is a saying in Lofoten, “It is in the dark the light shines brightest”. There is no better season to understand the saying than the “dark season” in Lofoten. There is light even when you cant see the sun.

2020-12-0414:56 Vegeir

Not total darkness

Often mixed with the “polar night” the dark season in Lofoten is between the 6th of December to the 5th of January. What is the difference? Well a polar Night has 24 hours or more without any sunlight, direct or indirect. The dark season in Lofoten is without direct sunlight, however we have indirect sunlight.

The colour season

The phenomenon dark season often creates hours of amazing lights and colours, like the last few minutes of a sunset. Another highlight is “the blue hour”, where the blue sea and the blue sky colour the mountains in a blue tint. It is truly hard to explain, it is something you need to experience and feel yourself. The locals often visit the fisherman’s village Henningsvær and the “Førjulseventyret” (Pre Christmas adventure)  to experience the blue hours.

An exploding sky

One benefit in the “dark season” is the added hours of darkness. Being an archipelago consisting of very small communities, Lofoten has very little light pollution. This and the added element of microclimate adds up to the perfect conditions to experiencing the northern lights or aurora borealis.

The light dances in the sky in between September to March in Lofoten, but in the dark season there are more hours to hunt for the lights. The contrast between the not seeing the sun and the extra hours of darkens somehow enlightens the aurora experience. If you are lucky enough to experience a full eruption the sky explodes in colours and the light dances in a life changing way.


As Lofoten consists of several big and small mountain and islands reaching out into the sea, you can experience something called microclimate. This means that you can go from one side of one island to the other side of the mountain or on the next island, and experience different weather conditions.

Rain and wind on one side, and blue sky and cam winds on the other, maybe only a short drive away.

The sky is just 2/3 of the picture

Seeing the aurora borealis is truly spectacular, it is an experience that stays with you, often also in pictures taken. This is one of the reasons why photographers love aurora hunting in Lofoten. The frame of the mountains, the fjords, and the nature crates something too extraordinary good to explain, you must see it in pictures or even better in real life.

Mountains, fjord`s and nature

The geology of Lofoten is truly spectacular, dating up to 3,5 billion years back. The mountain rage might be one of the oldest in the world. The secret behind the spectacular nature is linked to the ice ages. The glaciers were not as big in Lofoten as in the mainland. Preserving the mountain peaks form the erosion of the glaciers.  

Inspired the Vikings

We can only imagine how the Vikings of Lofoten where inspired by the dark season and how their beliefs and life where shaped by nature. If you ever experience the season yourself, you will know that it certainly must have. The world biggest Viking long house was found in Lofoten and the Vikings experience the changing seasons from the dark season to the midnight sun season. From no direct sunlight in a month to 24 hours of direct sunlight. It still affects the way we live in our islands.


What to do in the "dark season"