It’s no wonder that the Lofoten Islands is often described as one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. It truly is spectacular! Lofoten is a nature lover’s dream destination with tall peaky mountains going straight down into the fjords lined with white-sandy beaches and the shoreline dotted with picturesque red fishermen’s cabins.
Not only is the landscape stunning, but add in Northern Lights (from September to April) and Midnight Sun (from May to July), and you can hardly find anywhere with a more excellent photo opportunity. Who would have thought you would find the number 1 ranked beach in Europe (by Lonely Planet) in Lofoten – Haukland Beach.
The Lofoten archipelago consists of seven islands connected by bridges and tunnels and is the perfect place for a road trip. Everything is within easy reach, and in fact, you can drive from the northern end of Lofoten (Svolvær) to the southern end (Å) in just a few hours. And yet you could spend weeks exploring the small villages, hiking in the mountains, surfing, or simply relaxing on Norway’s finest white sandy beaches.
Lofoten is all about outdoor adventures, and it is an eldorado for hiking, kayaking, fishing, climbing, skiing, biking, surfing, and kitesurfing. So why not try surfing in the Arctic Sea under the Northern Lights or horseback riding along a white-sandy beach in the Midnight Sun.
And if you are not the sporty type, you will find several excellent museums (the Lofotr Viking Museum is fabulous), art galleries, historic regions, and craft shops in Lofoten. A cruise to Trollfjord is also a must when visiting Lofoten.
Lofoten has some of Norway’s best hiking with mountains that give you spectacular panoramic views. On two of Lofoten’s mountains, Sherpas from Nepal have built stone steps to the top – the mountain Djevelporten (420 m tall) in Svolvær and the mountain Reinebringen in Reine (448 m tall).
Lofoten has so much to offer and has something for everyone. Read our ultimate Lofoten Guide for a complete overview of the Lofoten Islands with everything you need to know to have a fantastic Lofoten adventure.
Lofoten Islands Itinerary
– The Best Of Lofoten In 10 Days
Here we give you what we think is the best Lofoten itinerary with all the highlights and attractions these arctic islands have to offer. On this 10 day Lofoten Island road trip I hope you have an amazing ten days in Lofoten. We hope you find it helpful when planning your trip to the Lofoten Islands! ♥
What To Do In The Lofoten Islands – The 15 Top Places
Our recommended Lofoten itinerary takes you to what we think are the 15 best places to see in the Lofoten Islands. You will cover Lofoten from its eastern-most city Svolvær, to the road’s endpoint – Å. A total drive of 230 km (143 miles).
You can do the drive from Svolvær to Å in just a few hours, but that would obviously be pretty pointless. You will, of course, want to stop and visit the sights and attractions. We think this itinerary is best done over ten days, but it can easily be expanded or reduced to suit your trip.
Summary of the ultimate 10-day Lofoten itinerary:
- Day 1 & 2: Svolvær (2-3 nights in Svolvær or Kabelvåg)
- Day 3: Kabelvåg
- Day 4: Henningsvær (1-2 nights)
- Day 5: Gimsøy Island, Lofotr Viking Museum, Eggum (midnight sun) & Ballstad (2 nights in Ballstad)
- Day 6: Ballstad, Unstad & Haukland/ Uttakleiv
- Day 7: Nusfjord (1 night)
- Day 8: Ramberg, Sund & Reine (2 nights in Reine)
- Day 9: Reine
- Day 10: Å
Lofoten is best explored by car as public transport is minimal. There are no trains and only a few buses that often just run one or two times a day. If you wonder where and how to find a rental car in Lofoten, you can find rental car prices and deals here (rentalcars.com), which compare prices from the biggest rental car firms like Hertz and Avis.
Feel free to adjust this itinerary to match your number of days and interests. Leave a comment in the comment area (at the end of this article) if you have any questions about this itinerary. We’d love to help you find your ultimate Lofoten itinerary. ♥
Day 1 & 2 // 2-3 nights in Svolvær or Kabelvåg
Svolvaer is the capital city of Lofoten and the gateway to Lofoten. Therefore, it is the first city you meet when driving into Lofoten and also the transportation hub. There is an airport (Svolvær Airport Helle, one of three airports in Lofoten), and the Hurtigruten stops here every day (both the southbound and northbound route) as well as ferries and speed boats.
Even though Svolvær is the biggest city in Lofoten, it is quite small, with 4736 inhabitants. The town is surrounded by a beautiful landscape, tucked between tall mountains and the fjord and sea right in front of the city center.
There are plenty of things to see and do in Svolvær, as well as the neighboring Kabelvåg (only a 10-min drive from Svolvær), making it a great place to spend a couple of nights while exploring the surrounding areas. The most popular tour to join in Svolvaer is a boat trip cruise to Trollfjord. It is a spectacular trip which I highly recommend. You should also go for a walk on the small island Svinoya in Svolvaer.
Svolvaer has more accommodation options than anywhere else in Lofoten, with several hotels, rorbuer/ fishermen’s cabins, and hostels. And the city has some of Lofoten’s best restaurants, making it the perfect place to try out some of the local dishes and specialty of Lofoten, like grilled stockfish.
You should stay at least two nights in either Svolvær or Kabelvåg.
Where To Stay In Svolvær
Scandic Hotel Svolvær
With a fantastic location on the small Lamholmen islet right by the sea and harbor of Svolvær, Scandic Hotel is a great place to stay in Svolvær. Here, you stay in standard hotel rooms with a balcony with a sea view. The breakfast is excellent with the most spectacular scenery, right by the seashore.
Click here to check availability and the latest prices
Next to Scandic Hotel, you find Anker Brygge, where you get to stay in cozy modernized fishermen’s cabins (called rorbuer in Norwegian) right by the sea. The cottages can house up to 4 people and have a patio or balcony, kitchenette, bedroom, living room, and private bathroom.
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Thon Hotel Lofoten
Located right by the harbor and downtown of Svolvær, Thon Hotel is just a few steps away from the Hurtigruten terminal and all of Svolvær’s restaurants and shops. The rooms are huge and modern with a great design and interior. In addition, guests of the hotel can use the neighboring fitness center for free.
Click here to check availability and the latest prices
⇒ Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Svolvær (The Capital Of Lofoten) – What To Do In Svolvær
🚙 From Svolvær, drive south along road E10 to Kabelvåg.
Total drive Svolvær – Kabelvåg: 10 min.
Only a 10-min drive (5 km) from Svolvaer, you will find the small and cozy village Kabelvåg – the oldest town in Northern Norway dating back to the Viking Age.
Kabelvåg has some of Lofotens most popular attractions: Lofoten Museum, Lofoten Aquarium, Art Gallery Espolin, and the spectacular Lofoten Cathedral.
Lofoten Museum is an open-air folk museum where you get the chance to see walk around and visit an original manor house, fishermen’s cabins/ rorbuer, and boathouse of the old Vågar town. It has all been preserved much like it was in the 1800s. I particularly love the old shop that is kept just like it was but now you can buy souvenirs there.
At the Lofoten Aquarium, you get to see and learn all about the Arctic sea and fjords surrounding the Lofoten Islands. For me, the highlight was the huge outdoor pool where you can see seals and otters. Great fun!
Lofoten Glass and Little Kabelvåg Art Gallery are also worth a visit.
Since Kabelvåg and Svolvær are so close, they can almost be considered one city. Therefore, you can easily stay in either Kabelvåg or Svolvær and visit them both.
Where To Stay In Kabelvåg
Nyvågar Rorbu Hotel
Just a few steps from Lofoten Aquarium, Lofoten Museum, and Art Gallery Espolin, you find the cozy Nyvågar Rorbu Hotel tucked in between the fjords and mountains. Their 30 rorbu/ fishermen’s cabins are modern 50 sqm apartments with two bedrooms (4 beds), a private bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen.
Nyvågar Rorbu Hotel has Kabelvåg’s finest restaurant, the Lorchstua, where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch, and dinner with local dishes. The hot tub and sauna are a huge bonus.
Click here for availability and the latest prices
Lofoten Vandrerhjem Kabelvåg Hostel
The hostel Loften Vandrerhjem Kabelvåg lays right by the sea on a small inlet. Here, you can stay in dormitory rooms (rooms with four bunk beds, female-only or men-only), single rooms with shared bathrooms, twin rooms with shared or private bathrooms, and big family rooms.
In addition, the guests of the hostel can use the sauna, bbq area, laundry facilities, and the shared kitchen and living room (with a fireplace).
Click here for availability and the latest prices
⇒ Read More: Top 7 Things To Do In Kabelvåg (Lofoten) – Kabelvåg Travel Guide
🚙 Either you can drive from Kabelvåg to Henningsvær in the afternoon/ evening on day 3, and spend two nights in Henningsvær. Or you can stay three nights in Svolvær/ Kabelvåg and only one night in Henningsvær.
From Kabelvåg, drive along E10 until you get to the intersection with road 816 and the yellow sign “Henningsvær. Turn left and drive south to Henningsvær.
Total drive Kabelvåg – Henningsvær: 25 min.
Day 4 // 1-2 nights in Henningsvær
Henningsvær (a 25-min drive from Svolvær) used to be a thriving fishing village and is today Lofoten’s hippest village with its cafes, restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries.
You cannot visit Henningsvær without setting your foot at Trevarefabrikken, a cafe, restaurant, bar, hotel, yoga center, sauna, and concert arena. Trevarefabrikken is like taken out of Williamsburg in New York or Shoreditch in London; that’s how hip and cool it is!
Klatrekafeen (the climber’s cafe, restaurant, shop, and bar) and the two art galleries Kaviar Factory and Art Gallery Lofoten, must not be missed.
Henningsvær’s most famous attraction is (believe it or not..) Henningsvær Footbal Field! The football field is a huge Instagram hit and a great photo spot; I’m sure you have seen pictures of it on social media.
Even though you can do Henningsvær as a day trip, it is a cozy place to stay at least one night to enjoy an evening with a nice dinner and some drinks at one of Henningsvær’s excellent restaurants.
Where To Stay In Henningsvær
With a fantastic location right by the sea and harbor with a beautiful fjord view, Henningsvær Bryggehotell has a central location where you can easily walk to all of Henningsvær’s attractions.
The rooms are nicely decorated with comfortable beds, and the breakfast buffet served in the hotel restaurant was one of the best we had on our Lofoten trip.
Click here for the latest prices
⇒ Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Henningsvær (Lofoten’s Hippest Village) – What To Do In Henningsvaer
🚙 From Henningsvær, drive back on road 816 until you reach the intersection with E10. Turn left onto E10 and continue north along E10. After you have crossed the bridge “Gimsøybrua,” turn left in the junction with the yellow sign “Barstrand/ Vinje” onto road Fv861. Follow this road that takes you along the seashore of the island Gimsøy – an incredible road trip!
Total drive Henningsvær – Gimsøy: 40 min.
Day 5 Morning // Daytrip
The road trip on the outer side of the island Gimsøy is a small detour and can be skipped if you are short on time. This roundtrip around Gimsøy takes less than one hour (30 km). It is a stunning drive as the road goes along the seashore with a lovely view of fjords, islands, tall mountains, and beautiful white-sandy beaches. So if you have the time, I recommend that you do this drive.
On your way from Henningsvær to Gimsøy, make sure to make a stop at the art piece “Untitled” by Dan Graham (it is on the left side of the E10 road, just before you reach the bridge Gimsøybrua). The art piece is shaped like a giant shower cubicle, which is also the locals’ nickname. The cubicle is made of mirrors and reflects the light and surrounding fjords and mountains. This gives for a great photo opportunity.
Gimsøy Island has the first settlements in Lofoten, all the way to the Iron Age (500 BC – 800 AD), due to its central location to good fishing fields. Several essential archeological items have been found om Gimsøy, with the gold ring at the Hov of which only three have been found in the world (you can see this gold ring on display at Tromsø Museum in Tromso). Archeological findings suggest that the area around Hov was a religious offering site.
There are several exciting sights at Gimsøy Island well worth a stop:
- Gimsøy Church (Vågan)
The beautiful bright white wooden Gimsøy Church has a fantastic location right by the sea. The church was constructed in 1876.
- Lofoten Links Golf Course
Lofoten’s only golf coars is the Lofoten Links at Gimsøy. Here you can have a round of golf in a beautiful landscape under the midnight sun or the northern lights.
Hov has a beautiful long stretch of white sandy beach. Here you find the farm “Hov Gård,” which has an excellent restaurant (Låven Restaurant) that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, accommodation, camping facilities, and offers horse riding.
- Hoven Mountain
To get the best 360-degree panoramic view of Gimsøy and its beautiful landscape, you should hike up to Hoven Mountain (360 m high). It is an easy hike suitable for everybody, and it takes about 1 hour up to the top. The walking path up to Hoven starts at the parking lot at Lofoten Links Golf (follow the sign).
- Street Art Butterfly by Pøbel
On the outside wall of an abandoned house, you will spot the street art “Butterfly” by the artist Pøbel (painted in 2006).
Where To Stay In Gimsøy
Lofoten Links Lodges
The new and modern cabins at Lofoten Links Lodges have a fantastic location right by Hov Beach. The lodges are beautiful with huge floor-to-roof panoramic windows from where you get a spectacular view of the beach, sea, and mountains with the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights. The lodges have a fully-equipped kitchen, living room with a TV, and a fireplace. You can also use the outside hot tub.
Click here for the latest prices
🚙 Drive back on Fv861 until you reach the intersection with E10 (just before the small bridge “Sundklakkbrua”). Turn right onto E10 and continue on E10 until you reach Lofotr Viking Museum at Borg (on your left-hand side).
Total drive Gimsøy Island – Lofotr Viking Museum: 3o min.
Day 5 Midday // Daytrip
Lofotr Viking Museum
The most incredible museum in Lofoten and Lofoten’s biggest attraction is the Lofotr Viking Museum. It is not like any other museum that you have visited, and it is a must-visit in my opinion.
Lofotr is like an experience park. Here you get to visit a real Viking house and see how the Vikings lived and worked on arts and crafts.
Then, on the museum grounds, you get to sail a Viking ship, eat Viking food, drink mead (the drink of the gods), and try your Viking skills like axe throwing and archery.
⇒ Read More: A Complete Guide To Lofotr (Lofoten’s Viking Museum) – Ready For The Vikings?
🚙 From Lofotr Viking Museum at Borg, drive back along E10 until you reach the intersection with the road “Hovdveien” and the yellow sign “Eggum 10”. Turn left and drive north along “Hovdveien” and “Eggumsveien” to Eggum.
Total drive Lofotr Viking Museum – Eggum: 13 min.
Day 5 Evening // Daytrip
Eggum lies on the outer side of the island Vestvågøy and is the perfect place to watch the midnight sun as the sun does not get blocked by any mountains.
Park your car at the big parking lot and go for a walk over the green grass-covered fields where you most likely will meet some friendly sheep (if you are visiting during summer).
Next, visit the old fort that stands on the small hilltop (a modern toilet and kiosk/ cafe is built inside the hill). The most famous attraction at Eggum is the art piece “The Head” by the artist Markus Raetz (1941 – 2020) from Switzerland.
“The Head” art piece (from 1992) is an iron and granite head where the profile changes based on your point of view. Walk around it, and at some point, the head flips upside down! Try it, and you will see what I mean; it is pretty cool.
Bring some food or snacks and a thermos with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, find a nice picnic spot, and enjoy the panoramic view of the open sea. It is breathtaking! There is a small kiosk at Eggum, open in the summer.
There is no place to stay in Eggum, so we recommend driving to Ballstad (a 40-min drive) and spend two nights there making day trips to Unstad and Haukland/ Uttakleiv from Ballstad.
🚙 From Eggum, drive south on the road “Eggumsveien” until you reach the intersection with E10. Turn right onto E10, and continue south along E10 until you reach the junction with road 818 “Buksnesveien” with the yellow sign “Ballstad.” Continue straight forward on the road towards Ballstad.
Total drive Eggum – Ballstad: 40 min.
Day 5 & 6 // 2 nights in Ballstad
Ballstad is located right in the middle of Lofoten and is a convenient place to stay as you can easily get around and explore much of Lofoten.
Ballstad is also located just next to Leknes (a 10-min drive) with shopping malls, restaurants and cafes, convenience stores, and an airport. Leknes is one of only two places to buy wine as it has a Vinmonopolet (Svolvær also has Vinmonopolet).
If you prefer staying put in one place for your entire time in Lofoten, then Ballstad is a great choice, since you can make day trips to the rest of Lofoten from here and there are some great places to stay. However, Lofoten has so many cool places to stay that in this itinerary we recommend spending two nights in Ballstad to explore the region before traveling further south.
Ballstad is Lofoten’s biggest active fishing village with a beautiful landscape of several small islands, fjords, and mountains. Go for a walk on the pier in Ballstad and have a look at the fishing boats heading in and out of the harbor. There are many activities to participate in here, like kayaking, snorkeling, diving, and boat and fishing trips. In addition, the fish oil factory Möllers Tran (established in 1852) is in Ballstad, and you can head here for a fish oil tasting tour.
A nice hike in Ballstad is to the mountain Ballstadheia/ Nonstinden (450 m high). This is an easy hike with spectacular views. The entire walk takes 3-4 hours (7 km). Start the hike from Kræmmarvika (next to Kræmmarvika Rorbuer Accommodation) and follow the path (it is easy to spot). A more challenging hike is the mountain Skottind (671 m high).
Where To Stay In Ballstad
The ten cool designer cabins at Hattvika Lodge have giant windows that give you a panoramic view of Ballstad, the fjord, and the surrounding mountains. If you are lucky, you can lay down in your bed and watch the Northern Lights dance outside the windows. You can also stay at more traditional red fishermen’s cabins/ rorbuer (the oldest is from 1860), which have been modernized and have all the modern comfort that a modern traveler needs. I love the stylish Scandinavian design of the rooms.
This is a family-run accommodation, and the fishermen’s cabins have been in the family for six generations. However, the real star of Hattvika Lodge is the sauna and hot tub, which are located down at the pier with a fantastic sea view.
Click here for the latest prices
Solsiden Brygge Rorbuer
At Solsiden Brygge Rorbuer, you can choose to stay in an apartment or a renovated fishermen’s cabin with up to three bedrooms (can accommodate up to six people). They all have a kitchen, a private bathroom, and a flat-screen TV. We had dinner at their restaurant “Himmel og Hav Restaurant,” where we had grilled stockfish and hamburger, which both were delicious.
Click here for the latest prices
We stayed three nights at the Hemmingodden Lodge in one of their rorbuer/ fishermen’s cabins and had a great stay. We stayed in the cabin called “Linbua,” a traditional and cozy rorbu with a rustic touch. Be aware, however, that the beds in Linbua are on an open loft where you must climb a ladder to get to the bed. But they also have more modern cabins.
We particularly loved that the cabins are located right on the pier just next to the sea. We had a private patio where we could sit outside and enjoy the sea view. The cabins have a fully-equipped kitchen.
Click here for the latest prices
🚙 On day 6, make a day trip from Ballstad to Unstad and Haukland/ Uttakleiv Beach. From Ballstad, drive north along road 818 until you reach the intersection with E10. Turn right and drive north along E10 until you reach the junction with the road “Steinfjordveien” and the yellow sign “Unstad 9”. Turn left and drive to Unstad.
Total drive Ballstad – Unstad: 35 min.
Day 6 Morning // Daytrip
Unstad is all about a white sandy beach, turquoise water, waves, and surfing. Surfers worldwide head here to catch the perfect Arctic wave accompanied by the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun. Although your shorts can stay back at home, cause the water is so cold that you need a 6 mm wet suit.
You can rent a surfboard and suit at Unstad Arctic Surf or join one of their courses if you want to learn how to surf.
If you are not a surfer, Unstad is still a nice place to visit with its spectacular landscape of the stunning white-sandy beach curled up between dark grass-covered mountains. Go for a walk along the beach and look at the surfers trying to catch the perfect wave.
Unstad Arctic Surf also has the most fabulous cafe and restaurant with Lofoten’s best cinnamon rolls (trust me, I have tasted all of Lofotens cinnamon rolls, and this is the best). The Unstad Surf Burger is also fantastic.
On your way out to Unstad, make sure to stop at the farm Lofoten Gårdsysteri where you get to meet the cute and friendly goats and have some delicious cakes, cheese, sausages, tea, coffee, drinks, and lunch-dishes in their cozy farm cafe. They also have outdoor seatings where you can enjoy the beautiful landscape if the weather permits it.
Where To Stay In Unstad
Unstad Arctic Surf
The only place to stay in Unstad is at Unstad Arctic Surf (you can stay here even if you don’t plan on surfing). Here you can stay in bungalows with 1-2 bedrooms (up to 6 people) with a shared or private bathroom. All cabins have a patio where you can sit outside and watch the midnight sun or northern lights in magnificent surroundings. In addition, you can enjoy a sauna, hot tub, and a shared kitchen.
Click here for the latest prices
🚙 From Unstad, drive back on the road “Steinfjordveien” until you reach the intersection with E10. Turn right in the junction and onto E10. Drive south along E10 until you reach the intersection with road “Leiteveien” and the white sign with “Haukland 8” on and the yellow sign with “Uttakleiv 11”. Turn right and drive to Haukland and Uttakleiv.
Total drive Unstad – Haukland Beach/ Uttakleiv: 30 min.
Day 6 Afternoon // Daytrip
Haukland Beach & Uttakleiv
Lonely Planet has a list of the 20 Best Beaches In Europe, and guess which one is on the top? Yep, Haukland Beach (or Hauklandstranda in Norwegian)! With its fine-grained white sand and turquoise blue sea, Haukland Beach winds itself up between majestic peaky granite mountains.
Uttakleiv Beach is also beautiful and was named Europe’s most romantic beach by the Times in 2005 and the world’s third most beautiful beach by Sunday Times Travel in 2010.
Although Haukland Beach and Uttakleiv Beach are just as stunning as any tropical beach paradise, the water is freezingly cold (around 15 C/ 59 F), but jump in and go for a swim if you dare. 🙂
Haukland and Uttakleiv are fantastic places to enjoy the Midnight Sun (May – July) and the Northern Lights (September – April).
Besides going for a walk and having a picnic and perhaps a swim on Haukland Beach or Uttakleiv Beach, the most popular thing to do here is hiking. The Instagram-friendly mountain Mannen (400 m high) is a short but airy mountain trip and Lofoten’s most popular hike. The hike takes about 2-3 hours (the walk starts at Haukland Beach), and from the top, you have a spectacular 360-degree view of Haukland Beach and the sea and surrounding mountains.
If you want a longer hike, you can hike the mountain Himmeltiden (964 m high), which also starts at Haukland Beach.
Another hike that we did was the old road between Haukland Beach and Uttakleiv. It is not as airy as the hike to Mannen, although the start of the hike follows the same track. We did a round-trip starting from Haukland Beach, where we followed that path towards the Mannen Mountain. But instead of climbing to the mountain top, we continued straight forwards in the mountain pass and down on the other side and walked down to Uttakleiv.
From Uttakleiv, we walked along the old road (outside the tunnel) along the seashore and back to Haukland Beach. This whole round-trip took 2-3 hours and is an easy hike where you walk on a well-marked path. Along the way, you find signs with QR codes that give you historical information about the area and things you see along the way. It is a fantastic hike!
You can camp at both Haukland Beach and Uttakleiv Beach, with a tent or camper.
There is no place to stay in Haukland nor Uttakleiv (unless you have a tent or camper), so drive back to Ballstad in the evening and spend the night there. Then, the next day, drive south to Nusfjord.
🚙 From Ballstad, drive back along road 818 until you reach the intersection with E10. Turn left onto E10 and continue south along E10 until you reach the junction with road Fv807 and the yellow sign “Nusfjord 6”. Turn left here and drive south to Nusfjord.
Total drive Ballstad – Nusfjord: 35 min.
Day 7 // 1 night in Nusfjord
If you are interested in glass and art, you should stop at Glasshytta (The Glass Hut) in Vikten on your way to Nusfjord. Here you can see and buy glassblowing art pieces inspired by the Lofoten nature and its colors. There is also a cafe here serving homemade cakes.
The drive from E10 and down the narrow road to Nusfjord is spectacular, with the majestic mountain Bjørntinden (565 m high) that could have been a landscape taken out from the Game of Thrones.
Nusfjord is one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fishing villages. The narrow Nusfjord was selected by UNESCO in 1975 as a place to protect and preserve its unique traditional architecture, although it is not on the actual Unesco World Heritage List.
Although it is no longer an active fishing village, the whole place has been kept as it once was, and you walk around the old houses and visit the blacksmith, fish oil factory, shop, and boathouse. Therefore, I would say that no visit to Lofoten is complete without a visit to Nusfjord.
Visit the old shop where you can buy souvenirs from Lofoten. The shop also has a super-cozy cafe serving Norwegian waffles (Espen’s favorite).
The bakery is still running, and here you can enjoy the most delicious hand-made pastries, coffee, and tea. There is also a restaurant and pub here where you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For a complete Nusfjord-experience, you should stay the night in one of the cozy traditional fishermen’s cabins/ rorbuer at Nusfjord Arctic Resort. The cabins are spectacular, and we loved our stay there.
If you are interested in art, visit the Salteriet Gallery, an art gallery in collaboration with the Queen Sonja of Norway, who is also an artist. Her paintings were on display at this gallery when we visited Nusfjord, and the queen was there in person! We did get to say hi to her as we walked past her in the tiny Nusfjord. One of her paintings, the lithograph “Green Gaze,” hung on the wall of our rorbu.
Where To Stay In Nusfjord
Nusfjord Arctic Resort
I simply love the fishermen’s cabins at Nusfjord Arctic Resort, from the huge comfortable beds to the chic and hip interior design, to the breakfast served in the cozy Restaurant Karoline; everything was fantastic!
It was the best place we stayed in Lofoten, and we were so sad to leave after just one night. Unfortunately, we did not get to try the wood-fired hot tub by the pier, but it looks lovely. All cabins have a private bathroom and a kitchenette.
Click here for the latest prices
🚙 From Nusfjord, drive north along E10 outside the island Flakstadøya until you reach Ramberg.
Total drive Nusfjord – Ramberg Beach: 20 min.
Day 8 Morning // Daytrip
Ramberg’s star attraction is its beautiful long stretch of white-sandy beach.
Go for a walk along the beach or walk up to the small hill Nubben (240 m high, a 45 min hike up) for a spectacular panoramic view of the beach, ocean, and the surrounding mountains. This is an easy hike, suitable for everybody of all ages.
However, if you want a longer and more challenging hike, you should go along the same path as Nubben and up the mountain Moltinden (696 m high). Both walks start at the house belonging to the sports association UL Lysbøen. From here, follow a well-marked path for about 200 m, where the path splits in two. Take the one to the right to just walk to Nubben as the one to the left takes you up to Moltinden.
Ramberg is also the home base of kite surfing in Lofoten, with Schibevaag Adventure offering courses and equipment rental for kiting, kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). The adventure center is run by the former world champion in kitesurfing, Kari Schibevaag.
This is also the place to stack up on food, drinks, and whatever else you need as Ramberg has a shopping center, gas station, a restaurant and bar, and several accommodation options.
Ramberg is one of the best places in Lofoten to watch the Midnight Sun as the sun does not get blocked by the mountains. My family used to come here in the summers when I was a kid and we stayed for weeks.
Where To Stay In Ramberg
At Ramberg Gjestegård, you get to stay right by the beach in cabins with a kitchenette, private bathroom, seating area (with a TV), and a patio where you can enjoy the fabulous sea and mountain view.
You also get to see the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights (depending on what season you are visiting). Ramberg Gjestegård has a restaurant and bar where you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Click here for the latest prices
🚙 From Ramberg, continue south along the E10 road for about 10 min until you get to the crossroad with the yellow sign “Sund.” Turn left here, onto the Fv810 road. Drive for another 5 min, and you will reach your next stop on this itinerary – Sund.
Total drive Ramberg Beach – Sund: 15 min.
Day 8 Afternoon // Daytrip
Lofoten’s most famous blacksmith is located in Sund and goes under the nickname “Smeden i Sund” (meaning the blacksmith in Sund). This is one of Lofoten’s oldest tourist attractions, founded in 1947 by the blacksmith Hans Gjertsen (although it was officially opened in 1964).
Here Hans built a forge and a museum – the Sund Fishery Museum. The museum’s primary focus is on old boat engines from 1901 to 1970 that you can both see, hear and smell as they are all working and running. Hans has been in the news and on TV in Norway many times.
Today, Tor-Vegard Mørkved is the blacksmith in Sund. Although he started as a blacksmith in Sund back in 1987, he is still called “the new blacksmith.” 🙂
Sund is a unique place where the blacksmith Tor-Vegard himself is the main “show.” Here you are invited into the forge where you can see the production of the blacksmith’s specialty – the iconic cormorant in all shapes and sizes made of black iron. The cormorants are for sale in the small shop just next to the forge and make a wonderful souvenir and gift to bring back home. In addition, the blacksmith tells funny stories about Lofoten and the people and culture here.
There is also a kiosk and a small cafe in Sund. When we visited, a local glass artist from Sund (who now lives in Berlin) had a shop and gallery on the opposite side of the road from the blacksmith. I bought some lovely glass earrings from him.
- Opening hours: 15th of May – 1st of September, 10:00 – 18:00/ 6 pm
- The blacksmith in Sund’s Facebook page
- The blacksmith in Sund’s Official Webpage
🚙 From Sund, drive back to the E10 and turn left in the intersection to continue on E10 south to Reine.
Total drive Sund – Reine: 25 min.
Day 8 & 9 // 2 nights in this area (Reine, Sørvågen, or Å)
Lofoten’s most scenic and photographed fishing village is, without any doubt, Reine. With its idyllic location, tucked in between fjords and tall mountains, with a shoreline dotted with red and yellow fishermen’s cabins, Reine is a must-see when visiting Lofoten.
Reine is a cozy little town with excellent restaurants, cafes, and good hiking options. You should consider doing a fjord cruise on Reinefjorden, either a private fjord cruise tour or taking the local ferry. You can, for instance, get off the boat and do some easy hikes to two of Lofoten’s most beautiful beaches – Bunes Beach and Horseid Beach.
Where To Stay In Reine
Reine is all about fishermen’s cabins. This is the place to try to live like a fisherman (although the cottages are modernized and comfortable with bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and usually a fireplace). There are three main rorbuer/ fishermen’s cabins in Reine, which are pretty much the same regarding price and standard.
Right in the middle of the downtown of Reine, you find Reine Rorbuer (by Classic Norway Hotels). The 39 bright red wooden cabins lay beautifully by the shore of Reinefjord.
The cozy cabins have a private bathroom and a fully-equipped kitchen (including a coffee machine). You can choose between 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom rorbu. Reine Rorbuer has a restaurant as well, the restaurant Gammelbua serving breakfast and dinner.
Click here for the latest prices
Eliassen Rorbuer is probably the most famous of all rorbuer in Lofoten due to its picturesque location right by the sea, surrounded by tall mountains. Just do a search for #Lofoten on Instagram, and plenty of beautiful photos with Eliassen Rorbuer in front of the sea and mountains will pop up.
Eliassen Rorbuer is located on Hamnøy Island (a 10-min drive from downtown Reine). The rorbuer is renovated and has a kitchen, living room, and private bathroom. In addition, the rorbu accommodation has a restaurant, the Gadus (serving Italian-Norwegian fusion food), where you have breakfast. You can choose between two-bedroom cabins (for four persons) and one three-bedroom apartment (for six people).
Click here for the latest prices
Sakrisøy Rorbuer is a 7-min drive from downtown Reine, just across the road from Anitas Seafood which serves Lofoten’s most famous fishburger. The charming fishermen’s cabins are renovated and have a private bathroom and modern kitchen.
Here you can choose between several sized rorbuer, from the small budget double room cabins (no sea or mountain view) to 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom cottages. In addition, Sakrisøy Rorbuer has a restaurant, the Underhuset Restaurant, where you can enjoy breakfast and delicious local Norwegian dishes for dinner.
Click here for the latest prices
⇒ Read More: The Ultimate Guide To Reine (Lofoten’s Most Scenic Village) – What To Do In Reine
🚙 From Reine, continue south along E10 until you reach its endpoint Å.
Total drive Reine – Å: 13 min.
Å is the souther-most village in Lofoten and is famous for having the world’s shortest name.
In Å, you find Lofoten’s best-preserved fishing village museum, and walking around the old houses feels like stepping back in time to 1800. Here you can visit an old authentic fisherman’s house, shop at the old shop, step inside the post office, and see the fish oil factory, blacksmith, and the boathouse with traditional wooden fishing boats.
In Å, you can also visit the world’s only stockfish museum, where you will learn all about the process of making one of Norway’s most significant export products – the high-quality Lofoten stockfish.
Besides the museums, Å is famous for its cinnamon rolls. As soon as you enter the fishing village, you can smell the freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Delicious cinnamon rolls, bread, and other pastries are baked in the old wood-fired oven from 1844, all made from old recipes. Extra cool is that you even get to bring the cinnamon roll recipe with you back home (printed on the wrapping paper), so you can make these delights at home and enjoy them whenever you want. The bakery and cafe are open in the summer (May – September).
Where To Stay In Å
Located right in the central harbor of Å, the cozy and newly renovated fishermen’s cabins/ rorbuer have bedrooms, a private bathroom, a seating area, and a fully-equipped kitchen. From your rorbu, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the fjord, mountains, and fishing village. Å Rorbuer has the only restaurant in Å – Brygga Restaurant. Here you can also choose to stay in hotel rooms (with a shared bathroom).
Click here for the latest prices
⇒ Read More: Travel Guide To Å – Lofoten’s Best-Preserved Fishing Village (Folk Museum)
When To Go To Lofoten
This Lofoten itinerary can be done the whole year round, both summer and winter. Just be aware that some of these hikes are not recommended during the winter when it’s snow and ice in the mountains.
As Lofoten has all four seasons, the time of year you choose to visit these islands determines what you will see and do.
Lofoten’s Northern Lights Season
Like Tromso, Lofoten lays above the Arctic Circle, right under the Northern Lights Oval, and is a great place to see the Northern Lights.
You can see the Northern lights in Lofoten from mid-August until mid-April. However, you need a bit of luck, as the Northern Lights do not show up every night, plus you have to have a clear sky to see it. Since Lofoten is relatively small with short distances, you can easily drive to a place with a clear sky. Plus, Lofoten has a mild coastal climate during the winter (the trrage temperature in winter/ December – March is 0 C), so you don’t have to freeze your fingers off watching and photographing the Northern Lights.
Lofoten’s Cod Season
The cod season is a big thing in Lofoten and is on from January until April. This is because the migrating cod (called skrei in Norwegian) flocks to the sea outside of Lofoten to spawn. The cod can weigh up to 55 kilos and be as long as 180 cm!
These winter months, called Lofotfiske in Norwegian, are the perfect time to go fishing in Lofoten, eat fresh cod, and try the local dishes “Mølje” (boiled cod with liver and roe) and fried cod tongues.
Lofoten’s Midnights Sun Season
You can see the Midnight Sun in Lofoten from 27. May until 17. July. In this summer months, the sun never sets, and the Lofoten landscape can be seen the whole night in a beautiful golden light. You can go hiking, kayaking, surfing, sailing, fishing, and photographing 24/7. It is our favorite time of the year to visit Lofoten.
The best place to see the Midnight Sun in Lofoten is from a beach or on top of a mountain with an open view of the northern horizon where no mountains block the sun. The places below are fantastic for watching the Midnight Sun in Lofoten (they are all a part of this Lofoten itinerary):
- Unstad Beach
- Gimsøy (several beaches in this area, like Hov Beach).
- Haukland Beach & Uttakleiv Beach (where you can hike Mannen for the perfect Midnight Sun shot)
- Ramberg Beach
So bring your camera and phone, pack a thermos with some warm tea, coffee, or hot chocolate and some snacks, and set out to one of the beaches above to enjoy the Midnight Sun.
How To Get Around Lofoten
This Lofoten itinerary is best done by car. You can also go around Lofoten on a bicycle, but it will, of course, take longer. There are no trains in Lofoten and only a few buses, so you will have difficulty getting around to all these places in Lofoten by bus.
I highly recommend that you rent a car to explore the Lofoten Islands. Check out availability and the latest prices on rental cars here.
There are parking lots in most places in Lofoten, so finding a parking space is usually relatively easy (although you have to pay). All hotels and rorbu accommodation in Lofoten have free parking.
In the wintertime, the rental cars will have winter tires with spikes. So driving around in Lofoten during winter is no problem. However, during the high season summer months (June, July, and August), the rental cars in Lofoten sell out pretty quickly, so make sure to pre-book your rental car in advance.
Lofoten islands is a relatively small and compact area. You can, for instance, drive from Svolvær (the starting point of Lofoten) to the endpoint of Lofoten (a place called Å) in only 2,5 hours non-stop. Be aware, however, that some of the roads in Lofoten are pretty narrow. Just drive slowly, especially during wintertime, and you will be fine.
There are 18 roads designated at Norwegian Scenic Routes (or “Nasjonale Turistveger” in Norwegian). One of these Norwegian Scenic Routes is in Lofoten. Artworks, viewpoints, picnic areas, and beautiful places are highlighted along this route, and you can only reach these places by car or a bicycle.
A few buses are going between the main places in Lofoten. You can check the timetables and bus routes here (reisnordland.no).
That’s it, our ultimate Lofoten itinerary, which we recommend that you do over ten days. You can do this itinerary in lesser time (you probably have to cut something) or, of course, over more days. This itinerary gives you the best places and all the highlights of Lofoten.
I hope this Lofoten itinerary can be of help to you when planning your Lofoten trip. Also, our ultimate Lofoten Guide is a great starting point for planning your Lofoten adventure.
⇒ Read next our other articles about Lofoten:
- The Ultimate Guide To Svolvær (The Capital Of Lofoten) – What To Do In Svolvaer
- DIY Walking Tour Of The Idyllic Svinøya Island (In Svolvær, Lofoten)
- Why You Should Do A Trollfjord Cruise (By Silent Electric Ship) When Visiting Lofoten
- Top 7 Things To Do In Kabelvåg (Lofoten) – Kabelvåg Travel Guide
- The Ultimate Guide To Henningsvær (Lofoten’s Hippest Village) – What To Do In Henningsvaer
- A Complete Guide To Lofotr (Lofoten’s Viking Museum) – Ready For The Vikings?
- The Ultimate Guide To Reine (Lofoten’s Most Scenic Village) – What To Do In Reine
- Travel Guide To Å – Lofoten’s Best-Preserved Fishing Village (Folk Museum)
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Which month would you choose to travel to Tromso, Lofoten Islands and Voss? February or March?
We are confused
I would choose March, as the daylight is longer in Tromso and Lofoten Islands in March compared to February.
The sun returns in Tromso at the end of January and in Lofoten at the beginning of January, but the sun is only up for a couple of minutes in January. It stays above the horizon a few minutes longer each day in February. In March you have daylight from early morning until late afternoon.
In both Tromso and Lofoten, on the 1st of March, the sun rises around 7 am and sets around 5 pm/ 17:00. While on the 1st of February, the sun rises around 10 am and sets around 2 pm/ 14:00. So the daylight is definitely shorter in February compared to March.
The temperatures are also more pleasant in March. Voss has sun all year round. You can still see the Northern Lights in March, and there is plenty of snow for activities like dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobile, skiing, and reindeer sledding.
Have a great trip to Tromso, Lofoten, and Voss!
All the best,
Wow a travel blog with a moving map on the right hand side is just an amazing concept. Saw that for the first time in a blog. Great work.
Thank you so much! Happy to hear that you noticed and liked our new interactive map! Espen has worked a lot on making the map work.
All the best,
Just wanted to leave a big compliment for this page design; the map on the right side looks really pretty cool! We currently planning our trip to norway for next year; pretty sure your blog will help us. Just got already the first ideas for our trip to Reine 🙂
Hi Patrick, and happy new year!
Thank you so much! So happy to hear that you like our map. Espen has worked quite a lot on the map, and we are so pleased to hear that you liked it. 🙂
Have a fantastic trip to Norway this year! A stop in Reine is a must when visiting Lofoten, one of the Lofoten highlights if you ask me.
All the best,
Maria & Espen
Great information and the map is great! What are your thoughts on flying into Bodo, taking the ferry, and doing the trip in reverse? We will only have about 5 days.
Thank you so much! It is an excellent idea to fly into Bodo and take the ferry from Bodo to Moskenes (Moskenes lays between A and Reine), and do this itinerary in reverse.
The ferry trip Bodo – Moskenes takes 3 hours and 15 min, and you can bring a rental car onto the ferry. The ferry costs 200 Nkr = $23 USD per passenger and 954 Nkr = $108 USD for the car (including the driver).
You can check the ferry schedule and make a reservation here (at the webpage of Torghatten Nord Ferry Company).
No problem doing this itinerary in 5 days. You can actually drive through Lofoten in only a few hours (with no stops). But you might want to skip some of the
places and activities in this itinerary. I would skip the road trip on the outer side of the island Gimsoy/ Hov Beach for instance (day 5 in this itinerary).
Have a great trip to Lofoten!
All the best,
After reading a lot about Norway, I have to say this is one of the best blog post until now! Congratulations! We are a family of four and are planning to go on July by motorhome departing from Tromso. We have 20 days. Do you think it’s ok to to Tromso – Lofoten or you have a better suggestion? Thank you! Ana
Thank you so much for your great comment! So happy to hear that you enjoy our blog posts about Lofoten! It means a lot!
Awesome that you are going by motorhome from Tromso to Lofoten this summer! We live in Tromso, and we have done the drive Tromso – Lofoten and back to Tromso several times. It is a stunning drive with beautiful fjord and mountain scenery. It is one of the most beautiful drives in Norway in my opinion.
We usually use 7-8 hours on the drive from Tromso to Svolvaer (the start and capital city of Lofoten). But it is also possible to make stops along the way and sleep a night or two in your campervan before reaching Lofoten.
You can for instance make a detour to Senja Island (is connected by a bridge) which is beautiful too. The drive Tromso – Senja takes about 2 hours. Senja is famous for its hikes (the mountains Husfjellet, Segla, and Hesten are the most popular ones), beautiful beaches (Ersfjord Beach and Bøstranda are stunning), and fishing. If you decide to drive to Senja, make sure to stop at the fantastic viewpoint Bergsbotn where there is a walking bridge with spectacular views over fjords and mountains.
There is also a lovely wildlife park a bit south of Tromso – The Polar Park (about 2,5 hours drive from Tromso) where you can see wolves, wolverines, moose, bears, and lynx.
Or you can stop by the two cities Harstad and Narvik on your way from Tromso to Lofoten (or on your way back to Tromso).
I have added these stops to a map which you can find here.
Have a fantastic trip to Norway, and enjoy your time in Tromso and Lofoten!
All the best,
We will be in the Lofoten’s (our very first trip to Scandinavia!) June 2-10. We’d like one base, so we don’t have to move around. Wondering what you think would be a good base…seems like most of the gorgeous scenery is in the south. Would Ramberg or Sund be a good base? Or maybe Gravdal or Ballstad?
Thanks so much!!
Thank you so much!
Our favorite place to have as a base in Lofoten if you want to stay in one place is Ballstad.
Ballstad is a cozy and still active fishing village with people living and working there, so you find several nice restaurants and excellent accommodations:
– Hattvika Lodge
– Solsiden Bygge Rorbuer
– Hemmingodden Lodge
Ballstad is right in the middle of Lofoten, so you can easily do day trips to the entire Lofoten from there. The longest driving distances from Ballstad are to Svolvær in the north and Å in the south, with a 1-hour drive one way.
Ballstad is located next to one of Lofoten’s biggest cities – Leknes (a 10 min drive). Lofoten only has two cities; Leknes and Svolvær. In Leknes, you find big grocery stores, Vinmonopolet (one of only two places in Lofoten where they sell wine and liquor, the other Vinmonopol is in Svolvær), shopping centers, and several cafes and restaurants. This makes Ballstad a convenient place to stay for your entire Lofoten trip.
Ramberg is also a good place to have as a base in Lofoten. It has a stunning beach, but only a few accommodation options. Ramberg Gjestegard is the biggest accommodation in Ramberg with a beautiful location right by the beach.
Ramberg is one of the best places to watch the midnight sun in Lofoten, together with Eggum and Unstad, so you should definitely do a day trip here.
Gravdal & Sund
As for Gravdal and Sund, they don’t have many accommodation options (if any at all?), so I don’t think they are that convenient for having as a base. Sund is also a bit remote and does not have anything else than the Blacksmith/ museum.
Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten in June!
What a great job on this post and the other posts to do in Lofoten Islands. It’s got us very excited. We’ve already booked the five day Hov Gard horseback riding trip for early October. After that some friends will join us and we’ll spend a week following this itinerary, probably starting from Gimsoya. We’d then spend a couple of days in Tromso, probably by flying there. We’ll do one of the minivan Northern Lights tours based on your recommendations and the waterpark looks like a great place to relax. Our friends would leave after Tromso (about 9 days for them) and we’d still have time to explore. We’re flexible at the moment and haven’t booked our flight until we figure out the itinerary.
My husband and I were thinking about taking the Hurtigruten from Tromso to Kirkenes and then maybe flying from there to however to get back to Canada. We want to see both Nordkapp and Kirkenes and the ship looks the easiest way to do it. We’ve heard that it’s better for a local agency to book it for us than for us to book it. Is that true?
We’re open to spending some additional time in the North if there’s somewhere else we shouldn’t miss. Any suggestions? We lean towards the unusual and hidden gems. We’ll be coming back to southern Norway next year with my 83 year old mother so it’s all about the North for this trip.
So far Eggum, Lofotr, Haukland Beach, and Glasshytta really appeal. With our horse itinerary we’ll be seeing a fair bit of Gimsoya, but also Austvagoya and Borg. It looks like we can do some kayaking in Eggum so that would be great.
Thank you so much for having posted all of this information. I’m getting a real handle on what I want to do. I wouldn’t have considered the fjord cruise in Svolvaer, nor would I have known about Eggum or the water park in Tromso.
Thank you for commenting! Wow, great to hear that you are visiting my hometown Tromso and the Lofoten Islands in October! My two favorite places in Northern Norway. 🙂 Sounds like you will have a fantastic trip!
The Hurtigruten trip from Tromso to Kirkenes is beautiful. I have never heard that a local agency will get the Hurtigruten tickets cheaper than you will online. You can easily book your Hurtigruten tickets here (and see the price): https://global.hurtigruten.com/port-to-port/
As for additional places to visit in the North around Tromso, some great options are (you need a rental car to do these trips):
– Senja Island (a 3-hour drive from Tromso one way, you can either drive inland or take the ferry from Brensholmen next to the island Sommaroy). There are some nice accommodations on Senja like “Hamn i Senja”. You can find the two different driving routes from Tromso to Senja here (Google Maps).
– Lyngen Alps (take the ferry from Breivikeidet to Svensby, a nice ferry trip). From Lyngen, you can take the ferry even further north (from Lyngseidet to Olderdalen), and then drive back to Tromso. It is a scenic drive through a stunning fjord, glaciers, and mountain landscape. Or you can drive even further north from Olderdalen to Nordreisa where a popular activity is to take a riverboat up the Nordreisa River, or go kayaking. You can find more info about the Lyngenfjord area here. I have put this driving route in Google Maps here.
I also recommend a drive (day trip) to Sommaroy Island, which is about a 1-hour drive from Tromso one way. On your way to Sommaroy, you should make a stop at the idyllic Ersfjord and grab a coffee and a cake or lunch at the cafe Bryggejentene. My favorite! You can find this drive in this Google Maps. Sommaroy also has a hotel if you want to stay a night – The Sommaroy Arctic Hotel.
If you are thinking about doing just a short trip from Tromso, with a night or two, you can consider taking the ferry out to Vengsoy Island. Here you find a cute little cabin accommodation called Vengsoy Rorbuer. They do fishing trips and boat rentals, and you can go for hikes on the island too.
Hope this gave you some ideas of other places to visit around Tromso. Have a fantastic trip to the Lofoten Islands, Tromso, and with the Hurtigruten to Kirkenes.
All the best,
This is an absolutely fantastic blog. The level of detail is perfect and so helpful. We’re planning to go to Lofoten in August for 3 full days. Yes, way too short but we’re thrilled that we can at least get a taste. We will fly in and out – either Leknes or Svolvaer, and we will have a rental car. What would you recommend for a 3 day itinerary? Which airport would you use? For accommodations, do you suggest basing in one village or using a couple of locations? Appreciate any guidance.
Thank you so much for your email and comment on our blog! Awesome that you are visiting Lofoten next month (August)! By then the autumn colors should be on and the hiking is great! You should definitely do some hiking, at least if the weather is ok. The newly built sherpa staircase has just been finished all the way up to Reinebringen Mountain, making this a much safer and easier hike now. You should, however, still be careful, especially if it is raining as it is a steep climb.
It sounds like a good idea to fly into Leknes and do the western part of the Lofoten islands first, and then head east and fly out of Svolvaer. That way you will reduce your driving.
A 3/ 4-day Lofoten itinerary for you could be something like this:
Day 1: Nusfjord & Ramberg Beach
Arrive at Leknes Airport. Drive from Leknes to: Nusfjord – Ramberg Beach – Reine (a 2-hour drive in total). Stay one night in Nusfjord or Reine area.
In Nusfjord I recommend Nusfjord Arctic Resort (it is amazing!).
In the Reine area I recommend:
– Eliassen Rorbuer (you have probably seen these cabins on Instagram, these rorbuer/ fisherman cabins are on most Lofoten photos).
– Sakrisoy Rorbuer (they are also very scenic). Make sure to stop here anyway to try the famous fish burger at Anitas Restaurant.
Day 2: Reine & Å
Explore Reine and Å. Hike Reinebringen (the hike takes 1-2 hours, is only 1 km but very steep).
If the weather is not that good, or you don’t feel like hiking Reinebringen, an excellent alternative is the Reinefjord Sightseeing Cruise (a 1,5-hour cruise) where you can hike to the beautiful beaches Horseidstranda and Bunes Beach.
In the evening, drive to Ballstad. Stay one night in Ballstad.
In Ballstad, I recommend staying at Hattvika Lodge, Hemmingodden Lodge, or Solsiden Brygge Rorbuer.
Total drive day 2: Reine – Å – Ballstad: 1,5 hour.
Day 3: Haukland Beach & Lofotr Viking Museum
From Ballstad, drive out to Haukland Beach/ Uttakleiv and hike Mannen Mountain in the morning.
Visit Lofotr Viking Museum in the afternoon.
After Lofotr Viking Museum, drive to Henningsvær. Stay one night in Henningsvær.
In Henningsvær, I recommend staying at Henningsvær Bryggehotell.
Total drive day 3: Ballstad – Haukland Beach – Lofotr Viking Museum – Henningsvær: 1,5 hour.
Day 4: Trollfjord & Svolvær
From Henningsvær, drive to Svolvær in the early morning (a 30-min drive).
10:00 AM – 13:30/ 1:30 PM – Trollfjord Electric Cruise from Svolvær
Explore Svolvær/ Kabelvåg area in the afternoon before flying out from Svolvær Airport.
Hope this helps a little with planning your three-four days in Lofoten. Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten in August!
All the best,
Lovely interactive site Maria. I want to cover Senja & Lofoten but cannot extend my trip beyond 6 days. Can you suggest which city would be the most economical to start on self-drive?
Thank you for your comment! Awesome that you plan on visiting both Senja and Lofoten!
With only 6 days in total, I recommend that you fly into either Lofoten or Senja, and out from the other so that you don’t have to drive back to the same airport you arrived at.
Lofoten has two airports: Svolvær Airport (in the north of Lofoten) and Leknes Airport (right in the middle of Lofoten). Svolvær and Leknes have only a few weekly flights to/ from Oslo but several flights to/ from Bodo every day. From Bodo, you can fly to/ from Oslo. Wideroe flyes to/ from Leknes and Svolvaer.
Bardufoss Airport is the closest airport to Senja (a 1-hour drive from the airport). Bardufoss has flights with SAS to/ from Oslo almost every day (except Saturdays).
A third option is to arrive or depart from Tromso Airport. It is the biggest airport in Northern Norway with many flights daily (SAS, Wideroe, Norwegian, Flyr, and Finnair), even some international. But it takes 3 hours to drive Tromso – Senja.
You can rent a car from all of these airports and go on your self-drive trip to Lofoten and Senja.
Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten and Senja!
I agree with everyone else: your blog is so helpful! I’m hoping you won’t mind with some advice: we’re planning a 3-week trip in June. Given the international connections, it makes most sense for us to fly to Trondheim, take the brain to Bodo, then rent a car for 7-10 days on the Lofoten Islands. The rest of the time I think we’ll journey down the Helgeland coast, visiting some islands or do some (carless) island hopping from Bodo. My question is which time in June is best for visitng Lopfoten, from June 20, or from June 27? I know it gets busy in July and for that reason I picked the earlier date. Would you agree, or does it not make that much difference? Thank you so much.
Thank you so much! So happy to hear that you find our articles about Lofoten useful!
So cool that you will be visiting Lofoten this summer! I would say the earlier, the better, so 20. June is better than 27. June. The school holiday in Norway starts on the 23. June 2023 (the last day of school is 22. June). So from the last week of June, Norwegians will start traveling, and Lofoten is very popular.
The main summer holiday in Norway for 2023 is between 10. July and 28. July (3 weeks), so then it will be particularly crowded in Lofoten, and most accommodations will be sold out and very expensive, and it will be difficult to find parking space for your rental car.
Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten in June! Sounds like you will have a great journey, the Helgeland coast is also stunning.
All the best,
Thanks to your help, our 8-day stay on Lofoten is pretty well planned, but we could certainly use some help with the remaining 7-8 days. (We have 3 weeks in all but transport eats up so much time). We have 4 possibilities: 1) since we’ll be travelling on Lofoten south to north, staying in Steigen on the way back for a few days but then we’ll have even less time for other places, 2) ferries from Bodo to Dønna – Træna – Lovund (or s2 of the 3), with or without car; 3) Bodø to Støtt and Lovund (without car; could be combined with Steigen??), and 4) just driving south along Kystriksveien and returning the same way to Bodo. A 5th possiblity would be to head down to Bergen since this is our first and likely (given our age) last trip to Norway. I would be very grateful for any comments/ suggestions.
Hi again Marlene!
Hmm, lots of good options. Steigen is absolutely stunning! You should definitely try and fit Steigen into your itinerary. Steigen is excellent for bicycling, kayaking, fishing, and hiking. Here you can hike one of Norway’s most famous and beautiful hikes – the Queen Route, which takes you up to Fløya Mountain with spectacular views (the Queen Sonja of Norway has hiked this). Steigen also has several museums, nice beaches, and a lovely church made of stone.
I have unfortunately not been to the islands Dønna, Trøna, Støtt, or Lovund yet. But they are beautiful, and you can hop between these islands by ferry. From Bodø, you can take the express boat NEX1 south down the Helgeland coast. The express boat NEX1 goes from Bodø to Sandnessjøen and stops at some of Norway’s oldest island communities (Lovund, Træna, Myken, Rødøya, Bolga, and Støtt). However, I don’t think you can bring a car on this express boat. So you might have to return your rental car in Bodø then.
The drive south from Lofoten to Bergen is quite long (at least 2 days just driving), but along the way, you get to see the most beautiful coastline of Norway. Bergen is also very different from Lofoten so it might be a good end to your Norway trip.
You could just wait and see what the weather will be like when you get to Lofoten and decide where to go then. If the weather is bad (lots of rain and wind), maybe it’s not that fun to go island hopping with the express boat. Then its better and more comfortable to drive down south along the coast with a car. In bad weather, it’s also more fun to visit some of the cities along the coast as there are more indoor activities and things to see in the cities. Steigen and the islands are best in good weather. 🙂
Have a great trip to Lofoten next summer!
All the best,
Lots of good ideas here, Maria! We will definitely plan on Steigen. I would love to cut down on the car rental time as well as be flexible. But since we’re travelling late-June early-July, can we really leave car rental dates and accommodation until the last minute? I thought one should book months in advance. Thanks again for your invaluable help.
For Lofoten, you should definitely book well ahead, especially accommodations and rental car. Steigen and the rest of the Helgeland coast are not as popular as Lofoten so you might be more flexible with this part of your travel. But rental cars usually sell out in July.
Wow this is exactly what we are looking for for our adventure in September 2023. We are starting to plan our trip now traveling from the North East of the uK Newcastle. Not sure if to fly to Bergen or Oslo to start our trip. Many thanks for the information.
Thank you so much! Excellent that you find our Lofoten itinerary useful when planning your Lofoten trip in September.
There are no direct flights from Bergen to Tromso, Bodo, or Svolvaer. So you have to fly through Oslo anyway. But there are many direct flights between Bergen and Oslo every day, and you can also take the train or bus.
Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten next autumn!
All the best,
I want to thank you for this incredible resource which I’m using toplan my upcoming trip in a couple of months (March 2023). I will be heading to Svolvaer from Bodo, staying 2 nights before driving down to Reine where we will spend the remaining 3 nights. It’s a short trip but Lofoten has been on my bucket-list for quite some time now 🙂
Thank you so much! So happy to hear that you find our Lofoten itinerary useful when planning your Lofoten trip in March!
Lofoten is fantastic in March, less crowded, and the sun is back so plenty of daylight to go exploring. Just be aware that some of the tours are, however, not running during winter. Also, if you want to hike the famous Reinebringen mountain, you should talk to the locals and go with a guide as it is a dangerous mountain to hike during winter.
Crossing my fingers that you will see plenty of Northern Lights!
Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten!
All the best,
Hi, thank you for sharing so many interesting information about Lofoten – I am looking forward to visit all the places you mention. Also, all your photos are really beautiful. 🙂
I have a bit weird question – are there many undersea tunnels in Lofoten? Do you know between which places? I am visiting Lofoten in April and have a stupid fear of underwater tunnels, so this info would be really helpful.
Thank you 🙂
Thank you so much! Awesome that you are visiting Lofoten in April!
Undersea Tunnels In Lofoten
There is only one undersea tunnel in Lofoten – the Nappstraum Tunnel (called Nappstraumtunnelen in Norwegian).
This tunnel is a central part of connecting the Lofoten islands together, as it connects the two big Lofoten islands Vestvågøy and Flakstadøy. The tunnel is 1,8 km long and is at its deepest 63 m below the sea.
I’m afraid you will have to drive through this tunnel to see Lofoten and do this itinerary. The tunnel cannot be avoided as there are no ferries between these two islands anymore (the tunnel opened in 1990, and then the ferry stopped running). If you follow our itinerary, you will drive through the Nappstraum Tunnel on day 7 on your way from Ballstad to Nusfjord.
There is also an undersea tunnel if you plan on driving to Lofoten (from, for instance, Bodo, Tromso, or Harstad/ Narvik) – the Sloverfjord Tunnel (or Sløverfjordtunnelen in Norwegian). It is a part of the E10 road which connects Lofoten to the mainland (called “Lofast”). The Sløverfjord Tunnel is 3,3 km long and 112 m below the sea at its deepest.
You can avoid the Sløverfjord Tunnel by flying into Lofoten (to Svolvaer Airport or Leknes Airport), by taking the ferry from Bodo (you can bring a car on the ferry), or by taking the Hurtigruten Cruise Ship to Svolvaer or Stamsund in Lofoten.
Hope you can overcome your fear of underwater tunnels so that you get to see the beautiful Lofoten. It is totally worth it, the tunnel is safe, and the drive through the tunnel only takes a few minutes.
Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten in April!
All the best and safe travels,
Oh, there is only one, I think I can handle it 😀 thank you so much! 🙂
I am Sk from Singapore. I am so happy to chance onto your blog with so much detailed and useful information. This is the best blog so far and so helpful for me to plan my trip.
My family of 4 are planning a trip to Norway in early Oct. Our plan is to go to Tromso and Lafoten. We also hope to see the Northern lights. We will be there for around 10 days and perhaps need your suggestion for our itinerary.
We are thinking to spend 2 nights in Tromso. Then drive down to Absiko for 2 nights before going to Lafoten. As advised by you , i think we will stay at Ballstad as our “base hotel”.
We are thinking to visit Hallstad, Svolvaer, Nusfjord and Reine. Please share your suggestions. Thank you.
Thank you for your comment! And thanks a million for your kind words about our blog! You made my day! 🙂
Awesome that you are visiting Northern Norway and Northern Sweden with your family all the way from Singapore! It sounds like a good plan to visit Tromso, Abisko, and Lofoten. But with only 10 days, it will be a lot of driving for you. The driving distances between these three places are:
– Tromso – Abisko: 4-5 hours
– Abisko – Lofoten (Ballstad) : 5-6 hours
Also, we don’t usually have snow in early October, but some years the snow comes early, which might affect the driving time, so then it will probably take longer. Just so you are aware that driving will take almost two days. The daylight is also shorter in October, it gets dark around 17/ 5 pm – 18/ 6 pm in the afternoon.
Ballstad is great if you want a base and make day trips from there. It is right in the middle of Lofoten, so you can easily reach the rest of Lofoten from Ballstad. Another option is, of course, to have a night in Svolvaer, one in Reine, and two in Ballstad. It is shorter to drive from Abisko to Svolvaer (instead of all the way to Ballstad), 4 hours instead of 5. So if I were you, I would have one night in Svolvaer to shorten the drive. And then the next day drive to Ballstad, with a stop along the way in the charming town Henningsvaer.
Have a fantastic trip to Tromso, Abisko, and Lofoten in October! Crossing my fingers that you will see lots of Northern Lights! Love Singapore, by the way, it is one of my absolute favorite cities.
All the best,
Thanks for you kind reply. 😊 I almost forgot about Henningsvaer
We want to experience driving a motorhome in Norway. Should we drive in Tromso, Absiko or Lafoten? Do you have any recommendations of good rental companies? We would want to pick up the motor home from Hardstad (Evens) Airport upon arrival. Should we book a hotel room on every other days for wash up and proper rest?
Awaiting for your kind reply. Thanks alot.
Lofoten is a great area to drive around with a motorhome. Exploring Lofoten by a motorhome has become very popular, so popular that most of the camping places are full in summer (especially in July). But since you plan on visiting Lofoten in early October, it will not be a problem as it is off-season.
You can park and camp with the motorhome in all public parking places. Or you can park at a camping place that has shared bath/ shower facilities. There are five camping places/ facilities in Lofoten:
– Kabelvåg Feriehus & Camping (close to Svolvaer)
– Ramberg Camping
– Lofoten Beach Camp (in Flakstad)
– Hov Camping
– Lofoten Feriesenter
Or you can, as you say, book a hotel every other day to get a shower.
For Tromso, I think it’s best to stay in the city and instead rent a car and do day trips if you want. Otherwise, most of the sights are in downtown Tromso or within walking or bus distance. In Tromso, you should instead consider joining a Northern Lights tour and a boat trip. Also for Abisko, I don’t think it is necessary to rent a motorhome as it is a small village (only 85 people live there). Abisko do, however, have very few hotels, so you should pre-book your room well in advance.
Sorry, I don’t know what companies rent out motorhomes in Harstad/ Narvik. I only know about Lofoten Vanlife (they rent out old VW motorhomes), and Arctic Campers (but I think their motorhomes are small so it might be too small for the four of you). Good luck with finding a rental motorhome!
Thank you for the information.
My husband and I are visiting Lofoten in August for 10 days and wondering if the following would be achievable so would really appreciate your comments.
3rd August – Arrive Tromso pm,
4th-5th Kvaloya (Brosmetinden and Ornfloya hike, Grøtfjord Point view, Sommarøy Island – ferry from Brensholmen fergeleie, Sandneshamn, Ersfjordbotn), 6th-7th Senja ( Hestin hike, Tungeneset viewpoint Sukkertoppen hike)
8th-9th Austvagoy (Tjeldbergtind hike, Festvågtind hike)
10th-11th Vestvagoy (Offersoykammen hike, Uttakleiv to Haukland hike, Viking museum, Unstad, Uttakleiv beach, Haukland beach, Mannen hike)
12th Flakstadoya (Nusfjord Ramberg beach, Ramberg town, Fredvang bridge, Volandstind hike),
13th-14th Moskenesøy, (Roren & Ytresand hike, Reinebringen hike, Kvalvika & Ryten hike)
15th Drive to Tromso.
Would you please recommend just 3 separate area that we can stay in whilst exploring this area.
Thank you for your comment! Your Tromso, Senja, and Lofoten itinerary looks great! Wow, you are really fit if you manage to do all these hikes in ten days (or at least you will be fit after all this hiking…. 🙂 ).
From your itinerary, it does not seem like you want to see Tromso city. But if you arrive at Tromso Airport late in the evening on the 3rd of August, it might be a good idea to stay one night in Tromso (3rd – 4th). And then in the morning of the 4th, drive to Grotfjord and then out to Tromvik to hike Brosmetinden Mountain. After your Brosmetinden hike, you can then drive to Sommaroy and stay the night there.
On Sommaroy, staying at Sommaroy Arctic Hotel will be a good choice. On the morning of the 5th (or in the evening on the 4th if you have any energy left), you can hike Ornfloya and Hillesoytoppen, before taking the ferry to Senja from Brensholmen.
But if you only want one base in Tromso/ Kvaloya (2 nights, 3. – 5. August), you can drive directly from Tromso Airport to Sommaroy Arctic Hotel in the evening on the 3rd (a 1-hour drive). And instead, drive out to Grotfjord/ Brosmetinden from Sommaroy on the 4th as a day trip.
This drive on the 3.-5. August will look something like this (Google Maps).
As for Senja, Hamn i Senja is a lovely place to stay with a beautiful location right by the sea. Sukkertoppen Mountain is located in Hamn, so to stay at Hamn i Senja is very convenient for this hike.
Your drive on Senja Island on 6.- 7. August will look something like this (Google Maps).
If you only want one base in Lofoten from where you can do day trips/ hikes, Ballstad is the perfect place as it is located right in the middle of Lofoten. You can easily drive around Lofoten from Ballstad.
In Ballstad, our favorite places to stay are:
– Hattvika Lodge
– Solsiden Brygge Hotel
– Hemmingodden Lodge
You can see all our recommended Lofoten hotels and rorbuer here: https://nerdnomads.com/where-to-stay-in-lofoten-islands
Have a fantastic 10-day trip to Tromso, Senja, and Lofoten in August! Hope the weather will be good so that you get to do all of these hikes.
All the best,
We will be arriving in Lofoten for a 10-day trip before heading up to Svalbard. Thank you for providing such an excellent resource with easy to follow tips and informative links.
Thank you so much for your kind words about our blog! And have a fantastic trip to Lofoten and Svalbard! It sounds like you will have an epic arctic adventure! Hope you get to see some polar bears.
All the best,
Thank you so much for your detailed itinerary and by far the best travel blog that I can find with informative links. It helps me in my planning indeed.
Would you be able to advice if the rental cars have GPS in English as I see some of the road turnings name that you shared are in Norwegian.
Would there be northern lights in Mid Sept ? Undecided to go in Sept or Oct.
Thank you so much for your kind words about our blog! It means a lot!
If the rental cars have GPS, I’m sure it is in English (or can be set to English). Otherwise, Google Maps is your best friend when visiting Norway, everything (restaurants, hotels, sights) is in Google Maps. We always use Google Maps on our mobile phones (put it on speaker) when we drive around Lofoten. But you can always contact the rental car companies directly and ask about the GPS.
You can see Northern Lights in Lofoten from end-August until mid-April. So yes, you can see the Northern Lights in mid-September (if the sky is clear and there is solar activity). In September, you also have beautiful autumn colors in Lofoten, with all the trees being red, yellow, and orange. By October, usually, most of the leaves are gone, and winter is just around the corner.
Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten this autumn! Crossing my fingers that you will see plenty of Northern Lights dancing across the sky!
All the best,
Hi Maria, I came across your blog and was amazed to see the level of details provided. I am visiting Lofoten with my family in early June but only for 2 days, we will be renting a car at EVE airport and would like to hike on at least 1 mountain and will be visiting Reine as well. Can you recommend where to make the base and provide feedback on which mountain to hike?
Thank you so much! Great to hear that you will be visiting Lofoten in June!
With only two days in Lofoten, and you want to visit Reine, I think you should base yourself in the Reine area. It takes about 4,5 hours to drive from EVE Airport to Reine. Our favorite places to stay in the Reine area are:
– Reine Rorbuer
– Eliassen Rorbuer
– Sakrisoy Rorbuer
– The Tide Hotel
Or you could spend one night in Svolvaer/ Kabelvag/ Henningsvaer area, and one night in Reine.
Popular hikes in Lofoten
There are so many amazing hikes in Lofoten, so lots to choose from. You don’t say if you are beginner hikers or advanced hikers, if you have children, and how old they are. But some of our favorite mountain hikes in Lofoten are:
– Reinebringen Mountain in Reine
A medium hike, 448 m above sea level, 2 km round trip, short but steep, a 1-2 hours hike, there is a stair all the way up consisting of approximately 1570 steps, check their FB-page: https://www.facebook.com/reinebringen/, not suitable for children.
– Mannen Mountain in Haukland
A medium hike, 400 m above sea level, 3,5 km round trip, a 2-3 hours hike, not suitable if you are afraid of heights, only suitable for older children.
– Festvagtinden Mountain in Henningsvaer
A medium hike, 541 m above sea level, 1,5 km, a 1,5-2 hours hike.
– Ryten in Kvalvika
An easy hike, 543 m above sea level, 5,7 km, a 3-4 hours hike.
– Floya Mountain in Svolvaer
An easy/ medium hike, 590 m above sea level, 3 km roundtrip, 2 hours one way, stairs up the mountain called Djeveltrappa («The Devil’s Stairs»).
– Kongstindan in Svolvaer
A medium hike, 552 m above sea level, a 3-hour hike, 5 km round trip.
We also love the hike to Kvalvika Beach (a 1 hour hike one way).
Have a fantastic trip to Lofoten in June! Crossing my fingers that you will have nice weather.
All the best,