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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > October 2018 > THE GLORY OF THE SEA

THE GLORY OF THE SEA

Sam Mould travelled with SwimQuest to the Lofoten islands, a wilderness outpost in the Arctic Circle
Swim wild and free

We flew to Svolvær via Bodø in a tiny Cessna; its twin propellers roaring us towards Lofoten.

Located in the Arctic Circle, between the 67th and 69th parallel north, this 62-mile chain of islands is undoubtedly one of the world’s most spectacular archipelagos.

In summer, now that the snow drifts on the peaks have gone, the islands become verdant and lush with gneiss grey rocks emerging as outcrops with faces to be ascended; not by the faint hearted. The imposing sharp peaks and knife-edge ridges decorate the horizon against a clear azure sky. It is a landscape so pristine that I feel as though I’ve walked into a dream.

Lofoten (Lófót) is Old Norse for lynx’s foot, originally the name for just one of the isles now called Vestvågøy, because it looks like a splayed big cat footprint. The big wild cats haven’t been seen now for many years and bears are long extinct, but moose, reindeer and elk hide in the trees and the sea is brimming with fish. Lofoten’s other name is “Lofotveggen” or the Wall of the Lofoten, because from certain vantage points the island chain appears as a complete wall – a 3,760 foot elevation splintering down into the turquoise and ultramarine waters.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

In our October issue we look at the hot topic of cold water swimming and whether it can help beat depression and find out how to get back your swim mojo if you need a motivation boost. Plus we test all the latest pool training gear; swim in wild waters in Norway, the Bahamas and Italy; and delve into the swimming history of America's smallest state. And we share more of your inspiring stories, photos and swimming adventures.