Vestvågøy, Austvågøy, Flakstadøy, and Moskenesøy are four main islands collectively known as Lofoten Islands, including several small islands located closely together and form the one mountain range from afar.
Several rocky islets cover these islands and indented by several fjords and inlets with 1005m long rock walls. There are also 1266m high alpine mountains with snow-capped, steep summits.
The cliffs in Lofoten are an ideal home to seabirds and other wildlife species. Some other attractions are migrating killer whales and other marine species for Lofoten sightseeing.
Tourism plays the leading role in the overall economy of the Lofoten Islands all year round. Summer is the peak season as its secluded beaches, and fishing harbors attract kayakers, campers, and sightseers for different activities in Lofoten.
Lofoten is located in the Arctic Circle and still experiences one of the largest higher temperature changes in the world due to its latitude.
This Nordland archipelago in Norway receives warm summers and mild winters due to the Gulf Stream.
Unlike other northerly regions, the weather does not go much extreme here. In this Lofoten travel guide, we will uncover some of the best things to see in Lofoten.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Quick information and Lofoten Islands travel tips
- 2 Experiences and top things to do in Lofoten Islands
Quick information and Lofoten Islands travel tips
- Currency? Norwegian krona
- Languages? Norwegian and English
- Where is this place? Located in Southern Norway
- What is Norway famous for? Skiing, The Royals, fjords, and architecture.
- Best time to visit Stavanger and Norway? All year round. But if you’re not a fan of winter, come in summer, spring, or autumn. The weather won’t be extreme but mind that spring and autumn might be wet from the rain. Just make sure to bring a good winter jacket and travel shoes with you!
- Other famous places in Norway? Oslo, Tromsø, Åleslund, Trondheim, Svalbard, Bergen, West Fjords, Bodø, Fredrikstad, Alta, Røros, Helgeland, and Jotunheimen National Park. You can check all the top places to visit in Norway, click this to read the post.
- Famous neighboring countries? Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland
Do you need a visa for Norway?
Norway is part of the Schengen area and citizens of EU group of countries can freely enter this Baltic state while citizens of USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days.
You can check our guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry – read it here.
Where to book your flights to Norway?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need insurance?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Experiences and top things to do in Lofoten Islands
Largest town in Lofoten, Svolvaer lies on the southernmost coastline of Austvågøy. It is easily accessible by cruise ships and ferries from the mainland.
It is a major fishing port and the best tourist attraction in Lofoten where many tourists start their adventure. Especially across the harbor with its several bars, cafes, and restaurants, Svolvaer is such a great place.
You should also visit the Lofoten War Museum to check out the collection of artifacts and uniforms in the era of World War II.
If you love climbing, you will be rewarded with a view of a twin-peaked and unusual rock outcrop, Svolvær Goat, which can be seen from the town with serene views. It dares you to perform the well-known “Svolvær Goat leap.”
It also houses Magic Ice where you can explore its lifestyle in ice sculptures, along with constantly changing the artwork in North Norwegian Artist’s Centre.
A small fishing village, Kabelvåg is located in Austvågøy Island where you can learn the significance of fishing in Lofoten Islands.
You may visit the Lofoten Museum where you can see exhibits dated back to 1800s, collection of Nordic boats, history of fishing, and original cabins of fishermen in Lofoten.
You should also visit Lofoten Aquarium where you can learn about the marine life of the area, including sea creatures and fish.
It is accessible from a rocky and steep opening from the straits of Raftsund. It is one of the well-known excursions for the boat tour.
The snow-capped Higravtinder, as well as Trolltinder mountains, are towering atop the fjord rising above Trollfjord.
This mountain lake usually remains frozen and is spread over 3.2km. You can take a bus to Stokmarknes from Svolvor for a day trip and get back by express boat.
You can enjoy watching cruise ships sailing in the summer months.
Å i Lofoten
Å (pronounced as ‘aw’ and refers to ‘stream’) is the most westerly point where all roads intersect. Along with its breathtaking views, the village on Moskenesøy Island houses the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum.
Some of its exhibits are stone oven bakery and working forge, traditional boats, an old home of a fisherman, and gift shops offering locally made items like cod liver oil produced at the museum.
Later on, you may head to the Lofoten Stockfish Museum devoted to the 1000-year-old and most popular export in Lofoten. It is made of cod which spawns across the shallow waters in Lofoten.
Lofotr Viking Museum
Located at Bøstad, the Lofotr Viking Museum lies on Vestvågøy Island. It is a excellent chieftain’s house standing 272 ft., which was rebuilt and dated back to around 500AD.
It offers great Viking exhibits as well as short film regarding chieftain’s lifestyle and his family, along with innovative tours and artifacts explored on the site in archaeological digs.
Later on, you may walk through the connected lake and see the samples of vessels used by Vikings.
You can access these pristine islands only by boat. It is around 99 km from the mainland and houses a huge colony of seabirds to explore, including around 3 million puffins.
The high crags of the islands – Storfjell, Nykan, Stavøy, and Vedøy – are house to several rare species like lesser and greater storm petrels due to their remote locations.
The islands are inhabited by a quarter of seabird population in Norway. It is still worth to explore Røstland by boat.
Built in the year 1887, Skomvær Lighthouse is worth visiting as it is the last Atlantic outpost in Lofoten.
Also known as one of the most beautiful Lofoten landmarks and beautiful village in Norway, Reine is a picture-perfect fishing village located on Moskenesøy.
It is a well-regarded tourist attraction which has always been a popular haunt for climbers and painters because of its exotic mountain views and the spectacular fjord.
It offers rewarding views from the high ground above a maelstrom, Moskenesstrømmen, described by Edgar Alan Poe and Jules Verne. It is world’s one of the strongest whirlpools.
You can take a fantastic boat trip across the Moskenstraumen for close-up views of the maelstrom.
Explore the Fishing Huts of Rorbuer
Be sure to stay in one of the iconic red fishing huts of Lofoten for a fantastic experience. It is perched high atop the tidal waters in several fishing villages of Lofoten.
Most of these sjøhus have been turned into home stays to explore the landmarks. It was built to offer overnight stay for the visitors and fishermen.