The Lofoten Islands are an archipelago in Nordland, Norway. There are just six islands and two small towns between them. With a population of just 24,500 residents, these isolated islands are just north of the Arctic Circle, and are playgrounds for all kinds of thrilling outdoor activities.

Surrounded by rocky, snow covered crags, the Lofoten Islands are one place in this region where visitors can experience the Midnight Sun – meaning that there is sunlight 24 hours a day. This unusual climate might mess up your sleep schedule, but there’s an upside: Activities like kayaking and hiking are accessible 24 hours a day. Lofoten Island hikes offer views of waterfalls and moss covered mountains.

Hikers and climbers flock to the Lofoten Islands to scale Svolværgeita mountain, and traverse less strenuous trails along the coast. Picturesque villages like Henningsvær on Austvågøya island are not just charming but offer guided trout fishing trips in highland lakes and rivers.

Don’t miss a chance to spend the day on the water if you’re planning to visit the Lofoten Islands. Boat cruises from Svolvær, on Austvågøya island, take passengers on explorations of the narrow Trollfjord, surrounded on each side by craggy mountains. Wildlife cruises search for pods of orcas in the winter, and spot seals and eagles.

If you haven’t had enough of the water, Lofoten Islands are one the best destinations in Norway for scuba diving and snorkeling. Snorkeling in particular is an easy way to explore kelp forests, and meet jellyfish, urchins, and starfish, and its family friendly.

The beaches of the Lofoten Islands offer their own adventures, from horseback riding tours on Hov Hestegård beach, which take riders past ancient Viking ruins, to surf lessons in the chilly arctic waters. If you’re interested in more Viking history, and even taking a ride on a Viking boat, check out the Lofotr Viking Museum.

For travelers seeking to check big ticket Arctic Circle, the Northern Lights are clearly visible from the islands from September to March.

The Lofoten Islands are considered a sustainable destination, which means that the local government is committed to combating the effects of over tourism.