Every year in early August, Vikings from Norway and across Europe gather at the Lofotr Viking Festival in the far north of Scandinavia.
The festival takes place at the Lofotr Viking Museum in the magical Lofoten Islands which are located in the far northwest of Norway, 200km above the Arctic Circle. The museum is centered on an epic reconstruction of an enormous Viking longhouse which was discovered nearby. At 73 metres long it is the largest Viking longhouse ever discovered!
The festival is busy with Viking traders, battle re-enactments, live music and performers, as well as lots of handmade crafts and craftwork demonstrations.
In the evenings Viking men and women gather around cosy camp fires, are entertained by fire shows and of course have feasts in the magnificent Viking longhouse!
All of this is set within the beautiful and magnificent landscape of the Lofoten Islands with its breathtaking scenery!
The Lofoten archipelago consists of five large islands and many smaller islands, pointing out like a finger into the Norwegian Sea. The wild and rugged landscape of mist-covered mountain peaks and hidden fjords is very sparsely populated, and maintains a very traditional Nordic atmosphere with wooden Norwegian houses painted in their traditional red and white colours.
It has a surprisingly mild climate for its extreme northern latitude, due to the warm Gulf Stream ocean-current, so even in the Dark Ages Vikings would have been able to sail their longships through its fjords and settle here quite comfortably, feasting in their magnificent longhouse just as our modern day Vikings are able to do today!
My visit to the Lofoten Islands was a unique experience I shall never forget!
All photos and text by Rob Wildwood
For more information, visit the Lofotr Viking Museum website below at www.lofotr.no