Every March, the Lofoten Islands are home to the World Championship in Cod Fishing. It’s a time when the islands shake off the long Arctic winter sleep, with parties, music and good food.
The Lofoten Islands have a long history of fishing. For more than a thousand years, the archipelago has been a hotspot for cod fishing, or Lofotfishing (Lofotfiske) as it’s also called.
During winter, there is especially lots of fish in the sea. Every March, huge cod populations travel southwards from the Barents Sea, and stay at the Lofoten Islands to spawn. Every year, they unleashed a fishing bonanza among the Norwegians living on the barren islands. The fish was dried and transported to Bergen, where it was traded with the rest of Europe. To Portugal, for example, where it was used to make their famous bacalao. This brought trade and welfare to the far-off islands.
No surprise, March is the perfect time to visit the Lofoten Islands. The islands are still covered in snow, revealing their Arctic beauty. At the same time, the sun has returned after the long Polar Winter, which makes it easier to explore the region by daylight. And, last but not least, it’s still possible to observe the Northern Lights at night. During summer, when the Sun doesn’t set, they aren’t usually visible.
The epicenter of the World Championship is in the town of Svolvær, 19-21 March. Expect large crowds, hundreds of boats, and good atmosphere. There will also be concertes and festivities in different locations. But also in other towns, you will probably notice the electricity in the atmosphere.
We have two hostels in the Lofoten that are opened during March: HI Lofoten Stamsund and HI Lofoten Å. Both are situated right next to the sea, and offer a magnificent seaside stay for all the guests, in beautiful wooden buildings and small cabins.
Book your stay on hihostels.no!
Text: Robin Van de Walle
Photo top: Tommy