12 of the Best Things to Do in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Located inside the Arctic Circle, these scenic Lofoten islands along Norway’s northern coast are incredibly scenic – with white sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains and pretty wooden fishing villages.

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And it’s not just the views that attract: there are also plenty of things to do in the Lofoten Islands. You can take a Lofoten tour around fjords and fishing villages, take a boat trip, climb a mountain and even go surfing.

So read on to discover our top 12 things to do in Lofoten.

1. Take a cruise around the fjords and Lofoten Islands

The best way to see the Lofoten Islands, coves and fjords is from the water. This boat trip departs from Hamnøya, then crosses the beautiful fjords of Kjerkefjorden and Reinefjorden, passing pretty fishing villages and spectacular mountain scenery.

Take a boat trip around the beautiful Lofoten Islands in Norway
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The tour has multiple departures per day, so you can arrange with the captain to hop off along the way, hike, and then pick up a boat later.

2. Kayaking in the Lofoten Islands

If you prefer to explore the waterways and islands at your own pace, a kayaking trip is a gentle and calm way to experience the surrounding natural beauty.

You don’t need any previous experience to take this full-day kayaking tour around the islands of the archipelago with a professional guide.

A picnic lunch and afternoon tea are included so you can paddle to a secluded beach and take in the views.

3. See the spectacular Northern Lights

Since the Lofoten Islands lie entirely above the Arctic Circle, they have long hours of darkness in winter, making them an ideal destination for viewing the Northern Lights.

And with no large settlements nearby, there’s very little light pollution to dull the spectacular view.

If you are staying in the Lofoten Islands in winter, chances are you will see the light show yourself, but if you want to go with an experienced guide who will take you to the best viewpoints and tell you all about the phenomenon, try this Northern Lights tour from Svolvær.

4. Be a beach bum

The Lofoten Islands are known for their stunning white sand beaches with clear blue waters, which could almost be in the Caribbean if it weren’t for the freezing sea!

stein egil liland (CC)

But even if you’re not Wim Hof ​​enough for an icy swim, beaches such as Haukland, Kvalvika and Horseid are lovely places to explore, picnic or build a bonfire BBQ and watch the sunset. Sun.

5. Go surfing in the Lofoten Islands

You might not think of Norway as a big surf country, but secluded Unstad Beach on the island of Vestvågøy is a popular destination for savvy surfers.

Home to the northernmost surf school in the world, Unstad offers surfable waves all year round, although summer surfing under the midnight sun is hard to beat.

Surfing is popular in the Lofoten Islands in Norway.

Unstad Arctic Surf Lodge has wooden cabins with sea views and a communal hot tub. He can arrange lessons, hire boards and provide the high-tech wetsuits you’ll need to surf these waters.

6. Watch out for wildlife in the Lofoten Islands

There is no shortage of wildlife living in the waters of the Lofoten Islands and around.

The real big ticket is the whale watching you can do from Svolvær on this full-day tour, which takes you on a scenic drive to Andenes, then a RIB excursion in search of sperm whales, whales humpback or minke whales.

Or watch out for sea eagles and seals on this RIB ride through the Trollfjord.

7. Take a Hike

There are lots of great hikes in the Lofoten Islands, especially in the summer, including the spectacular hike to Reinebringen which offers great views of Reine and the islands below.

Or, for a gentler walk through classic Lofoten countryside with an expert guide, why not try this nature walk on Austvågøya and learn all about the islands’ geography and geology, flora and fauna.

8. Stay in a rorbu (fisherman’s huts) by the water

The Lofoten Islands are known for their pretty wooden fisherman’s huts converted into bed and breakfasts and lodges.

Stay in a rorbu, a wooden fishing hut, in Norway's Lofoten Islands.
Aline (CC)

Often painted the traditional red, these atmospheric buildings dot the Lofoten coastline and range from simple, basic wooden cabins to elegant hotels in former fishing communities.

Located directly on the seafront, Lofoten Rorbuer in Svolvaer offers self-catering apartments, double rooms and rooms with bunk beds, all with wonderful sea views.

Alternatively, the comfortable and well-equipped Eliassen Rorbuer in Hamnøy offers pretty wooden cottages with terraces over the water and a well-regarded Italian/Norwegian fusion restaurant.

9. Perfect your photos

With its pristine beaches, rugged mountains and clear blue waters, the scenic Lofoten region is a great place for photography, especially in winter.

And if you need help getting your Insta shots of the perfect island, this two-day tour takes you around the five main islands with a professional photographer who can show you how to capture the sunsets and snowy landscapes. more spectacular.

10. Go fishing in the Lofoten Islands

The clean waters around Lofoten are known for their fish, and the islands have been home to fishing communities for hundreds of years.

Try your luck at catching mackerel, saithe, haddock or even cod on this traditional fishing boat.

11. Taste the local delicacies of Lofoten

Of course, fish is the food Lofoten is most famous for – and indeed the fishing industry is so important to the islands’ economy that there’s even a museum dedicated to it.

But it’s not just the fish that’s popular here – fresh sea urchins, crabs and kelp are all local specialties.

There are many things to do in the Lofoten Islands in Norway.
Christopher Michel (CC)

This sunset cruise gives you the chance to sample a tasting platter of traditional and local seafood dishes that is served as you cruise along the beautiful coastline.

12. Snowshoe up a mountain

Climb to the top of Ryten Mountain on Moskenes for a fantastic view of the icy landscape and snowy slopes. An experienced guide will equip you with snowshoes and poles, then lead you up the mountain, pointing out sea eagles and grouse along the way.

When to go to the Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands are an interesting destination in both winter and summer.

Obviously you need to be well equipped if you are planning a winter visit – warm clothes, raincoats, a woolen hat, sturdy boots and snow chains on the car are a must.

Explore the Lofoten Islands in Norway on a guided tour or by boat.
Aline (CC)

Even in summer, you have to be prepared for rain, and keep in mind that the sea temperature here never exceeds around 12°C!

What to do in Lofoten in winter?

But if you venture this far north in winter, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular snowy scenery, cozy cabins with crackling fires, and a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

You can even take a winter Northern Lights tour on horseback.

And the best surfing conditions in Lofoten are from November to March, so winter is the perfect time to put on your thickest wetsuit and get out on the water.

What to do in Lofoten in summer

Summer, of course, has long days, warmer weather, and the midnight sun — perfect for hiking, boat trips, and beach bonfires.

We especially love this Midnight Sun Kayak Tour, where you hit the water around 10 p.m. and kayak around the islands with the sun above the horizon surrounded by spectacular color and eerie light. of the midnight sun.

And if you want a taste of the real Lofoten, this three-day trip takes place on weekends in the summer.

You will stay in a traditional, relaxing house on the edge of the fjord with mountain views, with breakfast, dinner and packed lunch included, as well as a guided snowshoe walk or hike.

See also:
9 incredible islands in Norway
Where to see the midnight sun in Norway
See the Northern Lights in Norway

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