#Lofoten Islands Norway
Lofoten is located at the 67th and 68th degree parallels North of the Arctic Circle in North Norway. It is well known for its exceptional natural beauty within Norway. Lofoten encompasses the municipalities of Vågan, Vestvågøy, Flakstad, Moskenes, Værøy and Røst. The principal islands, running from north to south, are
Southern tip of Hinnøya.
Austvågøy (526.7 km² 68°20′N, 14°40′E),
Gimsøy (46.4 km² 68°18′N, 14°11′E),
Vestvågøy (411.1 km² 68°10′N, 13°45′E),
Flakstadøya (109.8 km² 68°5′N, 13°20′E),
Moskenesøya (185.9 km² 67°55′N, 13°0′E),
whilst further to the south are the small and isolated islands of Værøy (67°40′N, 12°40′E) and Røst (67°37′N, 12°7′E). The total land area amounts to 1,227 km², and the population totals 24,500.
Lofoten and Vesterålen
Many will argue that Hinnøya and several hundred smaller islands, skerries and rocks to the east of Austvågøy are also part of the Lofoten complex. Historically the territorial definition of Lofoten has changed significantly. Between the mainland and the Lofoten archipelago lies the vast, open Vestfjord, and to the north is Vesterålen. The principal towns in Lofoten are Leknes in Vestvågøy and Svolvær in Vågan. The Lofoten Islands are characterised by their mountains and peaks, sheltered inlets, stretches of seashore and large virgin areas. The highest mountain in Lofoten is Higravstinden (1,161 m / 3,800 ft) in Austvågøy; the Møysalen National Park just northeast of Lofoten has mountains reaching 1,262 m. The famous Moskstraumen (Malstrøm) system of tidal eddies is located in western Lofoten, and is indeed the root of the term maelstrom. The sea is rich with life, and the world's largest deep water coral reef (Røst Reef, 40 km long,) is located west of Røst. Lofoten has a very high density of sea eagles and cormorants, and millions of other sea birds, among them the colourful puffin. Otters are common, and there are moose on the largest islands. There are some woodland with Downy birch and Rowan. There are no native conifer forest in Lofoten, but some small areas with private spruce plantations. Sorbus hybrida ("Rowan whitebeam") and Malus sylvestris occur in Lofoten, but not further north.
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