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The Ultimate Road Trip Adventure To Lofoten Islands (Norway) – 10 Day Lofoten Itinerary

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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.

Sakrisoy Island in Reine, Lofoten
The picturesque Reine is one of Lofoten’s most famous places.

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.

Fantastic view from Kongstindan Mountain in Svolvaer
Me enjoying the view over Svolvær city from Kongstindan Mountain.

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

Svolvær

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.

Downtown Svolvaer
Svolvær is the capital city and “gateway” to Lofoten

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

Anker Brygge
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.
Click here to check availability and the latest prices

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. 

Day 3

Kabelvåg

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.

The lovely outdoor folk museum Lofoten Museum in Kabelvag
Lofoten Museum in Kabelvåg is one of Lofoten’s biggest attractions

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!

Feeding of seals at Lofoten Aquarium/ Lofotakvariet i Kabelvåg
Jumping seals at Lofoten Aquarium in Kabelvåg.

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

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.

Henningsvaer city in Lofoten, Norway
Beautiful Henningsvaer is Lofoten’s hippest fishing village

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.

Cozy outside seating at Klatrekafeen Henningsvaer Lofoten
Henningsvaer has some of Lofoten’s most famous restaurants and cafes, like the cozy Klatrekafeen.

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

Henningsvær Bryggehotell
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.

Henningsvaer Bryggehotel
The cozy Henningsvær Bryggehotell.

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

Gimsøy Island

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.

Shower cubicle art piece by Dan Graham in Lofoten
“Untitled” art piece by Dan Graham is fantastic

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.

The stunning white Hov beach in Lofoten
The stunning Hov Beach on Gimsoy Island.

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
    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).
Street art Butterfly by Pobel in Lofoten
You will find the street art “Butterfly” by Pøbel on Gimsoy Island.
Links Lofoten Golf course
Lofoten’s golf course is called Lofoten Links and has a stunning location on Gimsoy Island.

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 Viking Museum in Lofoten, Norway
Lofotr Viking Museum is the Lofoten’s best museum in our 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.

Going on a sailing trip with the Viking ship is great fun!

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

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.

Eggum In Lofoten
Eggum is the perfect place to go for a stroll, have a picnic, and enjoy the Midnight Sun.

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).

Midnight Sun
Me enjoying the golden lights of the Midnight Sun.

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

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 Lofoten, Norway
The cozy Ballstad is a convenient place to stay as it is in the middle 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 Lofoten, Norway
Ballstad has lots of cozy rorbuer/ fishermen’s cabins.

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.

Fishing boat entering Ballstad Lofoten, Norway
Ballstad is Lofoten’s biggest active fishing village.

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).

Solsden Ballstad Lofoten, Norway
Cozy Solsiden Brygge Rorbuer.

Where To Stay In Ballstad

Hattvika Lodge
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.

Hattvika Lodge Ballstad Lofoten, Norway
The stylish Hattvika Lodge has a sauna right on the pier.

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

Hemmingodden Lodge
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.

Breakfast at rorbu at Ballstad Lofoten, Norway
Me enjoying breakfast with a view at Hemmingodden Lodge in Ballstad.

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

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.

Surfing Unstad, Lofoten
Unstad is the perfect place to go surfing in Lofoten.

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 is the best place to surf in Lofoten
Great fun to watch the surfers (if you’re not a surfer).

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.

Cinnamon bun at Arctic Surf, Unstad, Lofoten
You find Lofoten’s best cinnamon buns at Unstad Arctic Surf’s cafe.

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.

Europes best beach Haukland Beach Lofoten, Norway
Haukland Beach is the no. 1 beach in Europe (according to Lonely Planet).

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.

Uttakleiv Beach, Lofoten, Norway
Uttakleiv Beach is Europe’s most romantic beach (according to the Times).

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.

Mannen Mountain and Haukland Beach Lofoten, Norway
Me enjoying the awesome view of Haukland Beach from the Mannen Mountain.

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!

Hike between Uttakleiv and Haukland Beach Lofoten, Norway
An easy and beautiful walk along the old sea road between Haukland Beach and Uttakleiv Beach

You can camp at both Haukland Beach and Uttakleiv Beach, with a tent or camper.

Haukland Beach Lofoten, Norway
Both Haukland and Uttakleiv are great for camping (with a tent or camper van).

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

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.

The lovely Nusfjord in Lofoten
Nusfjord is one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fishing villages.

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.

Beautiful Nusfjord in Lofoten
The narrow Nusfjord is mentioned by Unesco.

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.

Bakery at Nusfjord Lofoten
The old bakery sells bread, pastries, tea, and coffee.

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.

Nusfjord Arctic Resort Lofoten
Stay in one of the cozy rorbuer at Nusfjord Arctic Resort in Nusfjord.

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 Beach

Ramberg’s star attraction is its beautiful long stretch of white-sandy beach.

The long white-sandy Ramberg Beach in Lofoten
Ramberg Beach is stunning with its white sand.

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.

Photographing Ramberg Beach in Lofoten
Me doing some photographing of Ramberg Beach.

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.

An old shabby-chic boathouse at Ramberg.

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.

The stunning Ramberg Beach in Lofoten
Ramberg is a great place to enjoy the Midnight Sun.

Where To Stay In Ramberg

Ramberg Gjestegård
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.

Ramberg Gjestegard in Lofoten, Norway
The cabins at Ramberg Gjestegård is right by the beach

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

Sund

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).

Blacksmith in Sund, Lofoten
Tor-Vegard Mørkved is the blacksmith in Sund.

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.

Museum in Sund, Lofoten
Sund also has a museum.

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.

🚙   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)

Reine

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.

Iconic Lofoten photo - Reine, Lofoten
Lofoten’s most stunning and photographed village is Reine.

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.

Reine Rorbuer
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.

Reine Rorbuer accommodation in Reine, Lofoten

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
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.

Classic Lofoten photo of Eliassen Rorbuer Accomodation, Reine, Lofoten, Norway
The classic photo of Eliassen Rorbuer, which has a stunning location next to Reine

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
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.

Yellow rorbuer at Sakrisoy Rorbuer Accomodation, Sakrisoy Island in Reine, Lofoten
The yellow Sakrisoy Rorbuer is a great place to stay, just outside Reine village.

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. 

Day 10

Å

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.

Å in Lofoten, Norway
Å is a fantastic open-air folk museum.

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. A 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

Å Rorbuer
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.

Spectacular Northern Lights
You can see Northern Lights in Lofoten from mid-August to mid-April.

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 average 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).
  • Eggum
  • 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

By Car

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.

Unstad, Lofoten
The best way to explore Lofoten is by car. It is one of the most beautiful road trips in Norway.

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.

By Bus

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: 


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Written by Maria Wulff Hauglann

Maria is a Norwegian travel nerd who has explored more than thirty countries on four continents. She holds a master's degree in Computer Science, as well as an MBA. In 2014 while on a year-long trip across South East- Asia, Maria co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads to help others get out and explore the world. In 2018 she left her day job permanently for a life of full-time travel. See our about page for more about Maria.

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