Photo: Chris Craggs /Www.Nordnorge.Com
Fjord Tours Articles / 26 Jan 2022

Guide to Svolvær

When planning a trip to Norway, many people immediately think of cruising through the fjords or experiencing big cities like Oslo or Bergen. Though the charming town of Svolvær may not be at the top of your list of places to visit while in Norway, this definitely needs to change!

With incredible natural scenery, rich historical significance, and friendly locals, Svolvær is likely to become a key Norway tourist destination in 2022.


Where is Svolvær?

Located in Lofoten in Northern Norway, Svolvær is situated above the Arctic circle. Svolvær is a town run on fishing and tourism, with a rich history. Just 5 kilometers south of the city is the city Kabelvåg in Vågan – also known as the first settlement in Norway to be granted town status. The gateway to the Lofoten Islands, Svolvær city is the largest urban settlement in the region with a population of just over 4700 people.

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Photo: Go2Lofoten AS

What is there to do in Svolvær?

Svolvær is known for its beautiful scenery, but that’s not all it has to offer – the biggest city on the Lofoten archipelago has some fantastic history and culture to become acquainted with on your visit. From the freshest food to the quintessential northern lights chase, there’s something for everyone to get involved in this beautiful place.

If you’re keen to test out some of the local cuisines, Svolvær is a fantastic place to try Scandanavian fine dining. Some of the freshest seafood in Norway comes from this ocean-side city, so you’d be remiss not to sample it! We would recommend trying some stockfish – this local delicacy features among some of the most popular dishes in Norway. If you’d like to learn about the strong fishing history in the local area and catch your own fish, join local fishermen on a fishing trip in the Lofoten archipelago!

For urban explorers interested in the region's history, visit the Lofoten Krigsminne Museum in the city center. Focusing on Norway’s involvement with WWII, the museum details the Nazi occupation of Lofoten, and even contains a painting made by Hitler. If you’re after something more contemporary, explore the Gallery Espolin for a modern look at the people and wildlife who call Lofoten home.

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Photo: Terje Rakke Nordic Life/ Www.Nordnorge.Com

How to get to Svolvær

Svolvær is the central transport hub of the Lofoten region. There are daily flights to and from major cities such as Bodø, Oslo, and Trondheim. However, you can also drive or catch a train to Svolvær if you’re traveling from a major city. If you’re coming from Oslo, the journey is approximately 1,189 kilometers and will take about 16 hours to drive. Consider splitting your trip up into two days: stop at Trondheim to enjoy a city brea, or catch the car ferry from Bodø.

The journey by train takes around 18 hours, so it is recommended to save on a nights’ accommodation and book a sleeper berth. If you decide to catch a train, you’ll be stopping in Trondheim and changing carriers, so make sure you don’t miss the station!

However, the fastest option is to fly – Svolvær airport is the busiest in the region, and flights are the best option for time-poor travelers. If you’re worried about getting around, car rental businesses are located in and around the airport.

If you do not have a car, but want to experience Svolvær and Arctic Lofoten in an easy, comfortable and efficient way you can take our Legendary Lofoten tour!

Melissa Olsen

Where to stay in Svolvær

Of all the towns in Lofoten, Svolvær has the most accommodation options – from premium hotels to quaint camping, there are options for every budget and taste. Hotels in Svolvær are usually fairly expensive. However, if you’re happy to live as the locals do, there are some beautiful little Airbnbs and homestays available both inside and just outside the city limits.

A lot of people visit Svolvær to be closer to nature, so it’s worth taking advantage of the several camping and caravan grounds during the warmer months. While it may be cold, there’s nothing quite like waking up amongst the fresh greenery and wildflowers blooming during July and August!

If you’re planning your Norwegian holiday for 2022, be sure to consider adding Svolvær to your list of must-see places. Whether you enjoy Viking history, or simply wish to lose yourself in the natural majesty of Lofoten, this is one location you won’t want to miss!

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Photo: Stockshots