10 Things You Should Know About The Lofoten Islands Before Visiting

Svinya Rorbuer or Anker Brygge for unique Svolvaer lodging, Nusfjord Arctic Resort for premium Nusfjord housing, Elisassen Rorbuer or Rostad Retro Rorbuer for accommodation near Reine, and Lofoten Links Lodge for finest Northern Lights accommodation.

 I don’t recommend renting an Airbnb in Lofoten because Airbnb has recently experienced a number of issues in Norway, and bookings frequently fall through.

1.Northern Lights excursion departing from Svolvr

Summer photography excursion in Lofoten

  • Lofoten Kayaking
  • Leaving for Trollfjord
  • Lofoten photography excursion with a guide
  • Car rental on Lofoten: hire from Bod here or on Lofoten here (more expensive)

Packing for Lofoten: My winter packing guide for Norway can be found here, and my summer packing advice for Norway can be found here.

Travel Insurance: It’s usually a good idea to acquire travel insurance, but it’s especially necessary if you’re going to locations with a lot of snow and ice.

I usually use World Nomads Travel Insurance since I’ve had positive experiences submitting claims with them in the past (something I can’t say for some of the other insurance companies I’ve used before them).

If you want more in-depth Norway information, I’ve compiled all of my best recommendations for arranging an excellent journey across both Southern and Northern Norway in two 95-page booklets that cover all you’ll need to know to organise an unforgettable Norway vacation. My Norway travel guides are available for purchase here.

2.The weather will be erratic.

The good news is that if the weather appears to be poor, you may usually wait 10 minutes and it will change.

So, the bad news is that the nice bright weather you’re experiencing won’t stay long. However, Lofoten’s weather is renowned unpredictable, so perhaps it will surprise you with some constant sunlight!

Bring rain gear and warm layers that you can remove if the sun comes out, regardless of the weather prediction. And, if you want to do a lot of walking or trekking, bring some really nice waterproof pants with you. For this type of gear, I usually suggest Backcountry.

3.The Lofoten Islands’ tourism industry has lately boomed.

While only a few years ago, most of the people I’d tell about Lofoten had never heard of the islands, they’re now very much on people’s radar, due in large part to Instagram. But just because Lofoten has a good reputation doesn’t imply it’s a popular tourist destination (at least not yet).

That means you’ll need to book your accommodations well in advance, especially if you’re travelling during the summer, because it’s not uncommon for all of the islands to be fully filled. More information about when to visit Lofoten may be found here.

Svinya Rorbuer (my top choice, plus their restaurant Brsen is amazing! ), Eliassen Rorbuer in Reine (probably the most famous place in Lofoten), and Lofoten Links Lodges (off the beaten path and the BEST for seeing the Northern Lights!) are the three best places I’ve stayed on Lofoten for accommodation.

 I’m also fantasising about staying at the Nusfjord Arctic Resort, which is a bit pricey but looks great.

The large number of tourists has also surprised the residents, who may not have expected to live on the set of a picture shoot. It’s something to consider while looking for a location to set up your tripod, pitch your tent, or park your car.

In terms of tents, Lofoten isn’t the best site to pitch one. Yes, you may wild camp for free in Norway, but only in distant parts of nature, not on little islands teeming with visitors.

Because the islands can’t accommodate a large number of campers, it’s far preferable to stay in a hotel or pitch your tent at a campground here rather than go wild camping.

What I’m actually saying is, show some consideration, you know? Because many visitors, according to the folks I spoke with, do not.

If you want to travel off the usual route, bypass Lofoten and head either north to Vesterlen or south to the Helgeland shore. More information on visiting Vesterlen can be found here, and my Helgeland travel guides can be found here.

Personally, I enjoy the Helgeland coast, and the islands here are similar to those in Lofoten. With significantly fewer people, you’ll discover the same charming fishermen huts and magnificent mountain peaks towering out of the sea.

The inhabitants on the Helgeland shore are likewise quite pleasant, and unlike many Lofoten residents, they are not irritated by visitors. And yes, you can camp here – I had the finest time camping on Trna, and I was the only tent in sight!

You might also go to Senja, which offers magnificent treks and spectacular scenery, but it’s gradually getting overrun with tourists. Dyry, a picturesque island near Senja that nevertheless feels like a tranquil hideaway, is another option.

4.Having a car will make it much easier to explore Lofoten.

That’s right, it’s a road trip! If you’re looking for a rental vehicle in Norway, I always find the greatest deals with Sixt.

You can read my comprehensive guide on organising a Lofoten road trip, including hiring a vehicle and booking lodging, here.

Lofoten’s public transportation is quite restricted, with some buses only running a few of times each day.

In reality, I’ve picked up a few hitchhikers on Lofoten who stated they had meant to take public transportation but were delayed in small communities for hours and had no choice but to hitch rides.

If you do wish to hitchhike here, keep in mind that there are a lot of hitchhikers here, especially in the summer, so you may have to compete for rides.

5.Lofoten is ideal for outdoor activities.

I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me whether Norway is merely a place for old retirees to go on fjord tours.

While some of the larger cruise ships do come through Lofoten, the majority of visitors are youthful explorers.

Lofoten is a hiking, climbing, fishing, kayaking, skiing, Arctic surfing (both in summer and winter), and cycling paradise. There is a really fresh air to the tourist sector there, with a lot of inexpensive lodging and even premium hotel that caters to adventure seekers.

While Lofoten is becoming increasingly touristic, this is really a positive thing in terms of activities, since it is one of the locations of Norway with the greatest alternatives for outdoor excursions and activities.

Many lodgings assist in the organisation of excursions, or you may check out some Lofoten tours and activities here, as well as some Lofoten adventure trips.

Again, I can’t emphasise this enough: Lofoten is the ideal location for a variety of exciting activities and trips, and I strongly advise you to take advantage of this while you’re here!

A sea eagle RIB safari to Trollfjorden is perhaps my favourite thing I’ve done on Lofoten. The vistas are spectacular, and I spotted SO MANY eagles. You may read more about my safari adventure here.

Oh, and in Lofoten, you can also go horseback riding beneath the northern lights! If you go in the summer, you may see the midnight sun.

 I went horseback riding in Hov, which is also known as the greatest site in Lofoten to watch the Northern Lights (which I did see!). More about my experience horseback riding in Lofoten may be found here.

6.Winter hiking in Lofoten may be hazardous.

Okay, I just said that Lofoten is fantastic for explorers, but try not to be too daring. While you may trek in the winter with snowshoes, skis, or even regular hiking boots, you must be especially cautious of the weather.

Inquire with locals about the finest areas in Lofoten for winter walks, since certain paths are safer than others in the event of an unexpected blizzard.

Many people locate famous Lofoten trails on Instagram and come ready to do them. Please do not be one of these individuals.

You should never plan your hiking routes based on photographs you find online. To begin with, these well-known walks are frequently quite crowded and not particularly enjoyable. But, more significantly, you should always, always plan your walks around the weather.

And in order to accomplish so, you must first ask locals what is safe for the current conditions.

If hiking is your main goal in Lofoten, try to visit in the summer (June onwards). And if you’re a newbie, I definitely recommend travelling with a guide for your safety – also, you’ll learn more about the local culture!

7.Lofoten is a photographer’s paradise.

If it seems like your Instagram feed has been overrun with Lofoten photographs recently, that’s because it has.

And if it appears like all of the photographers are present right now, that’s because they are. It was surreal how many people I follow on Instagram were present at the same moment as me.

And you know what that means: if you like photography, you should go to Lofoten! If you’re not sure where to go or how to get there, you can even schedule a photography trip here.

In Lofoten, your chances of witnessing the northern lights are slim.

Lofoten is located beneath the Auroral Oval, thus your chances of witnessing the northern lights should be quite great.

This, along with Lofoten’s mild temperature due to the Gulf Stream, should make Lofoten a perfect location for viewing the Northern Lights.

The weather is the only issue. Lofoten has a lot of rain because it’s near the coast, thus your odds of seeing bright night skies in Lofoten aren’t great.

Of course, when the skies clear, the lights dancing above Lofoten will be spectacular, but if you really want to see the aurora, try going somewhere with cleaner sky, such as Abisko in Sweden.

I’ve been to Lofoten four times in the winter and have only seen the northern lights once. But when I did, it was incredible!

So, while it is possible to view magnificent aurora on Lofoten, be aware that the weather makes it more difficult here, so don’t come with your heart set on seeing the aurora. Plus, seeing the northern lights will be a wonderful extra to your journey!

8.Northern Lights Travel Guide!

I’ve also written an in-depth ebook about planning your Northern Lights trip, including the best places in the Nordics to see the Northern Lights, the best time to see the Northern Lights, my top accommodation choices, tour options, how to chase the Northern Lights, how to photograph and film the Northern Lights, what to pack for your trip, and other exciting Arctic activities to try on your trip up North.

You may get the booklet here if you want to make sure you have the finest Northern Lights trip possible.

9.The boat ride from Bod to Lofoten might be challenging.

The boat ride takes roughly four hours, and while my return trip was uneventful, my trip there was not. Though, according to reports, it wasn’t even that horrible by Lofoten standards.

Just something to keep in mind if you’re debating whether to bring those seasickness medications – or my personal favourite, Sea Bands. They genuinely do the job.

10.You may also drive or fly to Lofoten.

Don’t worry, you’re not required to ride the ferry. There are several daily flights into Svolvr in Lofoten, or Evenes in the north of Lofoten – check current fares and flight schedules here.

Alternatively, you may simply drive to Lofoten! The islands are linked to the mainland in the north, so there is no need to take a ferry. You may learn more about driving from Narvik to Lofoten by clicking here.

Thanks to the delicious scent of fresh fish in the air, I pretty much spent my whole trip in Lofoten hungry. Of course, it is possible that it will have the opposite impact on certain persons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.