A curious cluster of islands off the coast of Norway, Lofoten has become a popular destination in the summer in the last couple of years. Despite being above the Arctic Circle, the Gulf Stream provides this archipelago with pleasant weather in the summer, while the crystalline water and powdery sand make a plunge very tempting. In the winter, the temperature falls accordingly, and the elements set in. But that doesn’t mean that the islands are closed for business. This is the best time for surfers to ride the waves. There is also the Northern Lights phenomenon, which can be seen here on clear nights. Hiking trails abound, as well as opportunities for off-piste skiing. Even if you’re not an adrenaline junkie, winter lets you immerse in the communities better because there are fewer tourists. These images from Visit Norway should awaken the desire to visit these picturesque islands.