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December 07, 2010

Move Over Italy, I Have a New Love—Norway's Lofoten Islands



By Guest Blogger
12/07/2010

comments Comments (1)

Reine, Lofoten, Norway(Keenpress,Nat Geo,Getty)
Lofoten, Norway (Keenpress)

I am a lover of places. Ever since I started to ride my bike long distances I felt myself drawn to certain views, towns, and the overall spirit of a place. It happened in the Monadnock Region where I grew up, the Finger Lakes area where I went to school, Ireland where my father's roots are, and Italy where I traveled and started my 21-year-old company Ciclismo Classico. In Italy I have even refined this love to two particularly beautiful places: Tuscany, where I lived for three years, and the island of Sardinia, where I have cycled all over and savored its beautiful warm sea.

This past summer I added the first non-Italy, non-New England place to my "places I love" list. My family and I traveled to Norway's Lofoten Islands above the Artic Circle, and I fell in love all over again. This incredible group of islands is simply one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. The green, sculpted soaring mountains, tiny fishing hamlets, abundant museums, winding roads, serenading sea birds, 24-hour light, and an ever-changing coastline has rooted itself in my heart forever.

I felt completely energized by the sun that never slept. It was an environment that fit my non-stop curiosity and love of the outdoors. I never felt rushed to get anywhere or do anything, since we literally had all day and night to experience the endless sights and sounds.

As a family cycling and multi-sport destination, Lofoten is perfect. The island is physically small, the cycling is rolling, and the distances between villages are short. The magical islands are full of beaches, quiet coves, wildlife, interesting sights, and fascinating fishing hamlets. In addition to cycling, families can hike, kayak, snorkel, and go deep-sea fishing. The Gulf Stream keeps the temperatures just right, not too cold or hot, allowing for frolicking outside, 24-hours a day.

I loved Norway's Lofoten Islands so much that upon my return to the United States, we at Ciclismo Classico created an eight-day cycling trip to Lofoton that covers more than 200 miles by bike. The itinerary ventures over the Arctic Circle, and riders are able to soak up everything that my family and I experienced on our epic vacation, and then some, all under the glorious light that glows and shines into the night.

Director and CEB (Chief Executive Biker) Lauren Hefferon founded Ciclismo Classico in 1988 with a dream to combine a passion for her bicycling, her Italian roots, visual arts, and outdoor education. Lauren drives all visionary aspects of Ciclismo Classico, from itinerary design and tour-leader training to marketing and company strategy.

Lofoten Hi res #6
Lauren Hefferon and her family (Lauren Hefferon)


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Related Topics: European Travel

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Wow. I have always fantasized about cycling these islands. It's nice to know that Ciclismo is now offering a trip. Get ready Lofoten, here I come!

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