Vårmarihånd er en av de tidligst blomstrende orkideene om våren.

The beaches

Along the beach is where we find the richest natural environments. These are places where there traditionally has been settlement, grazing animals and human cultivation.

Old pastures and sandy beaches with calcareous shell sand form the basis for a number of lime-demanding and rare species to thrive here. In bloom, the dune meadows are a beautiful and colorful sight, with species such as eightpetal mountain-avens, velvetbells, field gentian, bird’s-foot trefoil and a variety of orchids. Along the streams you will find marsh-marigold, purple saxifrage and yellow saxifrage. In the more open dune landscape closer to the sea, diversity is not as prolific, with lyme grass, sea sandwort and silverweed.

Stortveblad er en av mange orkideer man finner i nasjonalparken
Issoleie i blomst. Issoleie er en av de plantene man finner høyeste opp i fjellet i Norge.

In the alpine zone, the vegetation turns increasingly barren and the grey stone dominates the landscape with its vast walls and rockslide deposits. The large areas of rockfall deposits show that the eroding forces forming this landscape still are in full swing.

Species of flowers such as glacier buttercup, moss campion and silene suecica can be found here in the high mountains. During the last ice age, Lofoten became ice-free relatively early. The national park can therefore house some of the oldest occurrences of mountain plants in Norway.

Several mountain plants are threatened as a result of climate change, including the glacier buttercup. When the temperature in the high mountains rises, shrubs and eventually forests begin to creep up the mountainside and outcompete the mountain plants. The glacier buttercup must therefore ascend ever higher up towards the top of the mountain. For a species that lives on the highest mountain peaks, it is therefore difficult to find new habitats as the climate becomes warmer.

Waxcaps and grassland fungi

We have several species of threatened grassland fungi in the national park. These are small and colorful mushrooms that thrive especially well in traditional natural pastures. That is, unploughed grassland that has been mowed or grazed for a long time. Grassland fungi are important indicator species. An indicator species is a species that can provide information about the quality of the natural environment it lives in, and can indicate which other species one can expect to find in the same area.

In Norway, we see that the natural environment is changing and that grassland fungi are becoming more difficult to find. Fewer and fewer grazing animals and the absence of traditional harvesting of hay shrink these rich traditional pastures as other and more aggressive vegetation takes over. Conservation areas such as Lofotodden National Park are therefore becoming even more important in the task of preserving this rich natural environment.

Ubestemt beitemarkssopp i Kvalvika.
Teist i havet


Along the coastline of Lofotodden National Park, several species of seabirds nest. The most common and numerous of them are the European shag and black guillemot. Both species are red-listed, and the national park is an important habitat for these characteristic birds.

Along the rugged north wall of Moskenesøya, the European shag and black guillemot nest in a number of small inaccessible colonies. Some of the nesting colonies are located in steep rock walls, plunging into the wild sea beneath. Others are located inside sea caves made by the heavy winter swells through the ages.

Of the other seabirds the great black-backed gull and the red-listed European herring gull are the most common. Although the black-backed gull is the world’s largest gull, it pales in comparison to Norway’s largest bird of prey – the white-tailed eagle, called sea eagle in Norwegian. Their wingspan can be up to two and a half meters wide. Several couples of sea eagles nest in the national park. The same goes for other birds of prey, such as the golden eagle.


Mountain birds

While the sea eagle mostly feeds on fish, scavengers and the odd clumsy seabird, the golden eagle is a skilled air hunter. The rock ptarmigan is among the prey on its varied menu. Both rock ptarmigan and willow ptarmigan nest in the national park.

If you hike the mountains, you might see many of the typical mountain birds that nest here. On the mountain plains, you can meet the red-listed European golden plover. The red-throated loon nests by ponds or small lakes and up in the mountain sides, the ring ouzel thrives. This trio is very diverse, yet all three have somewhat melancholic cries, undoubtedly contributing to the unique atmosphere in the raw and majestic surroundings.

Haverten stikker hodet opp av vannet.


There is a rich population of mountain hare in the national park, as elsewhere on Moskenesøya. If you enter the national park through Vindstad – check if the old houses have any flower beds. It is said that growing flowers here is challenging, because the hare eats everything!

Among other mammals of some size, you may get lucky and spot the otter. It lives scattered along the coast, hunting for fish and crabs.

No matter how much the otter eats, it will never reach the size of its neighbor, the gray seal. The male gray seal can reach a weight of up to 300 kilos on a diet of cod, saithe and catfish, among other things.

In Norway, the gray seal prefers the outermost and most exposed areas on the coast. This is why it is so at home in Lofotodden National Park. One of the gray seals favorite areas is on the west side of Lofotodden, where there are some nice islets and rocks.