We have all seen the Instagram and Facebook pictures of northern lights on snowy beaches, steep mountains rising straight up from the ocean, and picturesque fishing villages . Can Lofoten really live up to all the hype?
In our opinion, yes it really can! In this guide, we will present you with our best tips to make your vacation in Lofoten a memorable one, and indeed make it live up to the hype. We will show you how to get to Lofoten, where you should stay, what you should do, and last but not least, show you some of our favorite hikes.
WHAT MAKES LOFOTEN SO POPULAR?
There are a number of reasons why Lofoten has become so wildly popular in the last few years. To name a few; Ocean fishing, staggeringly beautiful scenery and mountains, picturesque fishing villages, amazing surfing conditions, long white beaches, midnight sun, and the last but not least, the aurora borealis(during the winter months). – And these are just a few of the wonderful experiences you can expect. In our opinion, there is also a special kind of mood, a tranquility that comes to us on the Lofoten islands. – Hiking beautiful mountains during the daytime, and enjoying the midnight sun in the summer together with good friends, or waiting for northern lights in the winter.
There is a lot to do and see in Lofoten. If you just want to cover the basics and see the places most frequented on Instagram and other social media, you can manage it in a long weekend. However, if you wish to really discover Lofoten and all its wonders, you should stay at least a week.
Reading on, you will find our suggestions for what you should do based on the length of your stay, as well as our suggestions for means of transportation and where to stay.
HOW DO YOU GET AROUND IN LOFOTEN?
There are a lot of ways to get around in Lofoten. Perhaps the most popular way, is to hire a car and drive around on your own. We recommend booking a car in advance, as Lofoten is a popular destination, especially during the summer time. You can book your car here. You can also hire or bring a caravan, as there are many nice places to park and spend the night. There are other ways to get around as well, and you don’t always need to rent a car if you don’t have one. You can stay in one of the bigger fishing villages and easily get around by bus. By packing lightly, it is also possible to cycle, paddle or even walk huge parts of Lofoten.
ONLY GOT TIME FOR A LONG WEEK END?
No worries, you can still manage the see many of the famous sights. We recommend renting a car, either in Bodø, or in Moskenes.
Start by taking the three hour ferry from Bodø to Moskenes. From Moskenes, you can drive south west, until you get to Å. Å is the furthest south you get in Lofoten by car, and is a historic fishing community with charming red fishing lodges, and a crazy amount of seagulls. Be ware in the hatching season, they can be a bit aggressive if you get too close 😉
Spend some time photographing the stockfish and the lodges in Å, before you head towards Reine. Reine is famous for the mountain Reinebringen, and you might have seen some pictures from the bridge overlooking the city. We recommend hiking to the top of Reinebringen, for an amazing view of Reine from above. You can find our guide for hiking Reinebringen here. If you are a less experienced hiker, be prepared for a slightly challenging hike. It is not a very difficult hike, but some parts of the trail is very steep, and it can be slippery after heavy rain, or periods of drought (as it gets quite sandy). We recommend staying in a rorbu in Reine, and you can book your stay here.
After enjoying Reine, we recommend driving north- west towards Ramberg, and enjoy the beautiful Ramberg beach. Maybe you even want to do some kite surfing?
Aften enjoying the Ramberg beach and area, you should head north- east, towards Nusfjord. Nusfjord is a small picturesque fishing community, with two large fishing boats still using it as their harbor. We really recommend staying in Nusfjord, and you can book your stay here.
Continuing north, you should head for Utakleiv, for a wild and sandy beach with hiking possibilities. You should also visit Haukland beach, with its small rivers flowing through the rural scenery.
After visiting the Utakleiv area, you should also concider going to Unstad beach. If you’re into surfing yourself, you should really suit up and try the waves. If not, it is a lot of fun to watch others measure their strength against the ocean 🙂 There are several surfing lodges at Unstad where you can spend the night, and a large camping area if you have a tent or a camper can of some sort.
From Unstad, we recommend heading east, towards Henningsvær. Henningsvær is a fantastic mix of small city living, combined with amazing nature experiences. Especially if you are into climbing. Eat a meal of bacalao at Klatrecaféen, and enjoy the surroundings.
Moving on from Henningsvær, we recommend heading towards Svolvær, famous for its Svolværgeita, The Svolvær goat, a mountain peak that looks like a goat with two horns. You can climb the goat by using a local guide and climbing equipment, or you can hike to the close by Djevelporten, which we really recommend.
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