Lofoten Islands in Norway: 9 Things to Do & Planning Tips

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Located in Northern Norway and known for the breathtaking landscapes of imposing mountains, secluded beaches, and deep fjords, the Lofoten Islands are a Norwegian piece of heaven for both travelers and locals alike.

This spectacular archipelago is a perfect destination for people who are eagerly looking for a tranquil vacation, far from the bustling cities and busy lives.

Yet, this is also an amazing choice for those who want to have memorable outdoor experiences.

Lofoten is a great spot for surf aficionados, but, depending on when you plan to visit this small paradise, you can also adventure into skiing, hiking, scuba diving, ocean rafting, and, of course, fishing.

Not to mention that photography aficionados of all levels flock to the picturesque islands to capture images from all perspectives imaginable.

So, if you want to have a thrilling vacation surrounded by natural beauty, check out this guide to Norway’s Lofoten Islands.

Don’t forget to pack: Lonely Planet Norway (Travel Guide

Plan Your Trip to the Norway Lofoten Islands

Reine and Hamnøy in the Lofoten Islands
One of the most picturesque spots on the Lofoten Islands

When to Visit the Lofoten Islands in Norway

First things first – When should you visit the Lofoten Islands?

The answer to this question depends on how you want to spend your vacation, what you plan to do, and which things you want to explore.

For instance, if you are interested in experiencing the midnight sun, you should visit Lofoten between late May and mid-July.

Despite being located above the Arctic Circle, the area experiences pleasantly warm weather in the summer.

However, travelers who are looking forward to admiring the northern lights should go from September to mid-April.

Red houses of Lofoten Island
The Lofoten Islands are home to the most colorful fishing villages.

How to Get to Lofoten Islands

The delightful Lofoten Islands can be easily accessed by car, airplane, and ferry.

The islands are connected to the mainland and many people prefer traveling by car to enjoy a great road trip filled with picturesque landscapes.

In case driving on vacation is not your cup of tea, taking the ferry from Bodø is a great option.

There are also daily flights to Lofoten, so you can choose flying to your destination, as well.

Lofoten Islands Homes - Where to stay.
The Lofoten Islands are home to some of the friendliest locals you will ever meet traveling.

Where to Stay in the Lofoten Islands

Lofoten is now a very touristic destination. This means you must book your accommodation in advance, especially if you want to have the ultimate summer vacation.

The truth is that during the summer everything is usually fully booked so, start searching a few months before you visit the islands.

There are many touristic apartments, guesthouses, hotels, and even campsites where you can stay and have an amazing time.

However, this small Norwegian paradise is known for its fishing traditions and has turned its old fishermen’s cabins into accommodations for travelers.

So, if you want to get really close to the soul of the Lofoten Islands, you should rent a traditional Rorbu cabin.

A great fishing village where you can have an authentic experience is Nusfjord.

This charming place is surrounded by splendid landscapes offering visitors the chance to admire the imposing natural beauty while sleeping in traditional fishing cabins.

David Stock Jr in Norway
The Lofoten Islands are very easy to navigate.

Hot Tip: Rent a Car

The archipelago is filled with fascinating spots but some are not easy to access by foot or using public transportation.

It will be a lot easier to get to know this spellbinding place and discover its hidden beauty if you have your own car.

Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

9 Popular Things to Do in Lofoten Islands

David Stock Jr in Norway
When in Norway, you got to become a fishing caption.

Visit the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum

If you want to learn more about daily life at the Lofoten fisheries, you must visit the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum.

Wander around this interesting museum, admire the exhibitions, and visit the different buildings available such as boathouses, fishing cottages, storehouses, and farmhouses.

In addition, expect a diversity of demonstrations and interesting activities. And if you travel with your little ones, you are in luck!

There is an activity room specially created for children.

Svolvaer War Museum
Norway is filled with many great museums.

Explore Svolvaer and Visit the War Museum

Svolvaer is the largest town in the archipelago and a very important fishing port.

Wander around its beautifully arranged streets, explore its vibrant port, check out the inviting cafes and the traditional restaurant, and admire the superb landscapes surrounding it.

If you want to have a special encounter with history, catch a glimpse of the small, but interesting, Lofoten War Museum.

Norway landscape
The Lofoten Islands are home to seriously incredible scenery.

Check Out the Curios “Magic Ice”

Those of you who want to do something unique must-visit Magic Ice. Have a drink in an ice glass and chill for a while in a completely restored fish-freezing plant.

Does this sound strange? It might be, but it is also something interesting and popular to do.

Magic Ice is a small ice bar and a very interesting exhibition of sculptures carved from huge blocks of ice.

Yes, you will be surrounded by ice, but they will offer you warm clothing at the entrance so nobody freezes to death!

Fish hanging in Norway.
Fish hanging up in a village.

Learn about the History of Fishing in the Archipelago

If you want to get closer to this beautiful destination, you must learn about its past. And the history of Lofoten is strongly related to fish!

Visit the charming Kabelvåg, a small fishing village that will instantly conquer your soul with its particular beauty.

Stroll the lovely streets, admire the buildings, and enlarge your knowledge at The Lofoten Museum.

Afterward, visit the Lofoten Aquarium and gather interesting information about marine life in the area.

Lina Stock of the Divergent Travelers
Norway is filled with many great adventures.

Adventure into Exciting Outdoor Activities

As mentioned above, Lofoten is a great destination for people who want to relax, indulge in long, romantic walks, and admire the beautiful nature.

But it is also perfect for those of you who want thrilling outdoor adventures.

Whether you love climbing, surfing, skiing, fishing, kayaking, or cycling, the incredible archipelago offers you great adventurous surprises.

There are some things you can do only during the winter or summer. Surfing is not one of them.

You can enjoy surfing year-round. However, if you prefer hiking, for instance, keep in mind that winter hiking is considered quite dangerous.

Lofotr Viking Museum
Handmade shoes – How the Vikings would make them at the Lofotr Viking Museum.

Don’t Miss the Lofotr Viking Museum

Travelers who are passionate about history will love exploring the Lofotr Viking Museum.

The museum offers visitors the chance to step back in time and catch a glimpse of the Vikings’ lives.

Expect to join fascinating tours, to be guided by costumed professionals, and to have fun while learning so much about the life of the Vikings.

If you visit the archipelago in early August, you can attend the Viking Festival hosted by the museum, or at least, join one of their Viking feasts.

These are available only during summer.

Don’t forget to pack: Lonely Planet Norway (Travel Guide)

Nusfjord Norway - Located in the Lofoten Islands
Nusfjord is one of the best-preserved fishing villages in the Lofoten Islands.

Take Amazing Travel Photos

With so many magnificent landscapes, Lofoten is a dream for every travel photographer or Instagram enthusiast.

Therefore, if you are passionate about photography, you better take your equipment with you so you can end up with many amazing photos.

Even if you are not a professional photographer, bring your camera, wander around, and capture the most beautiful moments on your trip.

Curious what kind of gear we carry? Check out our Ultimate Photography Gear List.

Nusfjord Norway - Fishing Village
Nusfjord is surrounded by impressive mountains and crags.

Join One of the Thrilling Tours Available

The archipelago became a favorite destination among travelers who are passionate about natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

There are many interesting activities and tours available to cater to these desires.

You can rent a car and explore the Lofoten Islands all by yourself, but you can also join one or more exciting tours and take advantage of the activities put together by locals.

With so many available it could be difficult to choose just one tour! However, some of the most popular are those involving the midnight sun.

For instance, you can enjoy a relaxing and very romantic “Horseback riding under the Midnight Sun in Lofoten” tour.

You can also enjoy this magical archipelago in a different manner. “A Cruise & Kayak Trip in Lofoten’s Little Hawaii” or an unforgettable “Cooking Class” might be exactly what you are looking for.

These are just three examples of the organized tours you can take in this Norwegian paradise, but the list is long and the activities depend on when you plan to visit the Lofoten Islands.

Fish heads on a dock in the Lofoten Islands of Norway.
Exploring A Rustic Fishing Village in Lofoten, Norway 

Taste Your Way Around Lofoten Islands

Whether a foodie or not, indulging in the local food is key to having an authentic vacation.

Begin by tasting your way around the dramatic Norwegian archipelago with the most important local product – fresh fish.

Though things have changed, fish used to be the main food for all people living in this area.

A large amount of fishing villages on the islands is proof of how much fish the locals like to eat.

So, if you want to experience the local taste, stay in an old fisherman’s cabin as advised before, and begin your culinary experience with a big portion of Stockfish made from spawning cod.

Some people say that all the history of Lofoten is based on the Stockfish!

A great restaurant where you can spoil yourself with some delicious local dishes is Fiskekrogen.

Located in the charming fishing village of Henningsvaer, the restaurant welcomes foodies with paradisiacal views, fresh local fish, and many other local specialties.

In addition, the service is flawless and the staff is very friendly.  

Maren Anna is another restaurant where you can indulge in mouth-watering traditional food when in Lofoten.

Located in beautiful Sorvagen, this restaurant has romantic waterfront views and is quite famous in the area for its fish dishes, especially the divine cod.

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Disclosure: Our cruise on the G Expedition was in partnership with G Adventures. However, all opinions, stories, and experiences are 100% mine. As always. This post contains affiliate links, meaning we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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About David Stock

I have always been an outdoorsman so becoming an adventure traveler was just the next natural step. I love nature, I love to get off the beaten path and I like to explore. I enjoy scuba diving and cars. And yes, Lina and I have a naked dog.

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