Why a Wonder: The picturesque fishing villages of Hamnoy, Sakrisoy, and Reine span a series of islands guarding the entrance to Norway's extremely photogenic Reinefjord. The mountains surrounding the fjord are epic, easily making this one of the most scenic places on Earth!
Where: Reinefjord is located in Norway's Lofoten Islands. The closest airport is in Leknes, and from there it is about a one-hour drive to Reinefjord. Hamnoy, Sakrisoy, and Reine are all part of the city of Moskenes.
When: You can visit anytime of year, but winter (February and March in particular) are arguably best. Snow covers the mountains, and you have a good chance to seeing the Northern Lights. Plan to visit for several days or more if you want to optimize your chances of getting great photos, as Lofoten's weather is often cloudy and wet.
Photography: There are several parking areas in Hamnoy, Sakrisoy, and Reine, allowing you to get out and explore on foot. Be careful when walking on roads or over bridges, as the roads are often narrow with little or no space for pedestrians. Be respectful of private property.
Wide-angle lenses will allow you to take in all of the surrounding scenic grandeur, while longer focal lengths allow you to zoom in on distant features or to create abstract photos of the town pinned against craggy peaks. You probably won't need to go longer than 200mm for most scenes, but longer focal lengths will certainly expand your options.
You can take photos just of the natural scenery, but most people opt to include the colorful red and yellow cabins and boats of the fishing villages in their compositions. If you are lucky enough for a rare calm day, take advantage of the conditions and look for compositions featuring reflections.
The Hamnoy Bridge, overlooking the famous red cabins of Hamnoy, is a popular place for photography. There is a raised sidewalk on the bridge that gives photographers a safe place to stand (be careful not to step into the road when traffic is present). There is a tall railing fence on the side of the bridge, so you'll have to shoot through the spaces between the rails or set up high enough to get above the fence. Depending on the time of year, sunrise and/or sunset will light up the cabins and the dramatic mountain in the background. Twilight is a great time to photograph this scene as well, when the cool ambient light mixes with the warm village lights.
Reinefjord is also an incredible spot for drone photography. Be polite and avoid launching, flying, and landing your drone in places that are likely to disturb residents or visitors. Also be aware that flying over people, vehicles, or buildings is prohibited throughout Norway.
Learn more: Visit this site to learn more about traveling in Lofoten: https://visitlofoten.com/en/
© Ian Plant
Do you have your own photos of this Photo Wonder? Feel free to share them in the comments below!