A Closer Look at Lofoten
Who doesn’t dream about going to Lofoten? If you don’t, then you should be. In this article you will certainly find some inspiration for visiting Lofoten, even though you might be waiting on the green light to travel again.
Lofoten is an island archipelago located off the west coast above the Arctic Circle at 67 and 68 degrees latitude, the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia. The warm Gulf Stream that sweeps past makes the climate considerably better here than in other equally northern regions.
Lofoten is home to around 24,000 people with the main industry traditionally being fishing. Tourism however is definitely accelerating in the area and likely to soon surpass fishing as the main source of income for locals. The capital Svolvær, under the famous "Svolværgeita" (a rock formation likened to that of a goat), is becoming a mecca for travelers from home and abroad.
The archipelago that got the mainland connection in 2007 has a total area of 1227 square kilometers. Although it only takes a day to drive through Lofoten and its 1227 square kilometers, we recommend around five days to be able to experience and really soak in scenic Lofoten.
You can experience Lofoten on our Lofoten in a Nutshell tour.
Allow yourself enough time for hiking and exploring the mountains as well as the white sandy beaches below, Mannen being one of our favorite hikes, and Haukland one of our favorite beaches.
Even when traveling in the summer, both the days and nights in Lofoten can be cold, windy, and rainy. We, therefore, recommend packing both shorts and woolen underwear for your Lofoten adventure. Other things that are absolutely essential to bring when traveling to Lofoten are hiking boots, fishing pole, and camera!
Biking in Lofoten
As big advocates of greener travel, we will also recommend pedal power over petrol where possible, feel the sea and smell the seaweed! Once in the archipelago, it is just as popular to cycle around rather than drive, this way you can reach some of the less busy hidden gems.
In this case, we recommend an extra few days to avoid rushing and missing the good stuff especially if you wish to reach the southern tip of Å (a village with a single letter name). Fjord Tours also offers more ways to travel sustainably in Norway.
Around the islands, there are many opportunities to “wild camp” in tents or use the facilities at campsites. You can find hotels, hostels, and homestays all pretty easily. In peak months it is recommended to book well in advance before you travel.
We have compiled a pretty comprehensive bucket list below to whet your appetite, check it out!
- Visit the ‘Venice of Lofoten’ at Henningsvær including Henningsvær Football Stadium, The Kaviar Factory, Galleri Lofotens Hus, Codstock Festival
- See the Cod Fish Drying Racks
- Explore Svolvær, the Capital of Lofoten
- Hike up Svolværgeita, Reinebringen, Ryten or Mannen
- Visit a museum: Lofoten Krigsminnemuseum (War Memorial Museum), Norsk Fiskeværsmuseum, Lofotr Viking Museum or the Tørrfiskmuseum
- Take a Silent Trollfjord Cruise
- Go kayaking in Reine
- Bike & Sail Tour on the Arctic Haute Route
- Visit Skrova Island, Norway’s "Little Hawaii"
- Take a Midnight Sun Safari
- Visit Kvalvika Beach or Sandbotnen Beach
- Experience the sunrise or the sunset at Haukland Beach in Vestvågøya
- See the sunset at Uttakleiv Beach
- Go Arctic Surfing at Unstad Beach
- Visit Möller’s Tran Tasting Depot in Ballstad (cod liver oil)
- Visit Buksnes Church in Ballstad or Flakstad Church (Flakstad Kirke)
- See the 19th-century Rorbuer at Nusfjord
- See the Iconic Red hut at Rambergstranda (Ramberg Beach) in Flakstad
- Cross the Fredvang Bridges
- Have a snack at Gammelgården Bakery
- Try your hand at glass blowing in Vikten
- See Millions of Puffins in Værøy, Måstad and Måstadfjell
- Visit Røst, the most southerly inhabited island in Lofoten and visit Å, the "last village in Lofoten"
- Swim with Orcas in Andenes
- See the picturesque village of Reine
- Wander around the yellow cabins on Sakrisøya
- See the Northern Lights
How to get to Lofoten
There are several ways to get to Lofoten, by car, boat, and air. Car hire is available across the country regardless of where you are starting your trip from, the closest areas to rent are Bodø, Narvik, Svolvær, Leknes, and Tromsø.
When traveling from Trondheim or below by road or rail, Bodø acts as the gateway to Lofoten from the mainland and is the most Northern point you can travel to by train in Norway.
If you can get to Bodø, we would definitely recommend our Lofoten in a Nutshell tour. On the tour, you will experience beautiful Arctic Lofoten in a simple, comfortable, and easy way, without the need for your own car!