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Baltic Travel Blog

All About the Lofoten Islands

Posted on April 30th, 2019.

The Lofoten Islands are a small archipelago in the far north of Norway but are perhaps the most beautiful destination in the country. Lofoten is remote, but it’s a truly dramatic location with tall mountain peaks, spectacular fjords and stunning scenery.

The islands are home to an array of wildlife, from puffins and eagles to whales and dolphins. If you love the great outdoors, then Lofoten is the place to visit on your next Scandinavian holiday.

Be dazzled by the Midnight Sun in summer, be mesmerised by the Northern Lights in winter, and be welcomed all year round by the charming hospitality of the Lofoten islanders.

To help inspire your trip to Norway, here’s our guide to the Lofoten Islands.

Where Are the Lofoten Islands?

The Lofoten Islands are in the far north of Norway, hundreds of kilometres inside the Arctic Circle. The islands are separated from mainland Norway by the enormous expanse of the Vestfjorden, which has kept Lofoten isolated throughout its history. To the north, is the equally dramatic and remote Vesteralen region.

Roads, bridges and ferries connect the Lofoten Islands to the mainland. There are also three airports: Harstad/Narvik Airport at Evenes and Bodo, both on the mainland, or Svolvaer on Lofoten, which has flights from Bodo. Many people choose to fly into one location and out of another, particularly in summer when there are more scheduled flights. You can pick up a rental car in Bodo for instance, drive through Lofoten, and return it in Evenes.

See our popular North Norway Fly-Drive package, which allows you to explore the stunning north of Norway including the Lofoten Islands.

Road Trip Lofoten

Lofoten comprises many islands of differing size, but the largest are connected to each other and to the mainland by road. Spectacular bridges span fjords and allow you to drive from Lofoten to Vesteralen and to the mainland, making this the perfect road trip country.

Due to their proximity, you can include Vesteralen in your itinerary, and take your car over the bridges or use the local ferries to get around. You’ll be stunned by the sheer beauty of Lofoten, as you drive along rugged coastal roads in the shadow of tall mountain peaks. You can stop off in remote villages, uncover hidden communities in the fjords, and really get off the beaten track if you have your own vehicle.

To find out more about touring this stunning region, see our Lofoten and Vesteralen Islands package.

The Best Time of Year to Visit Lofoten

Visiting Lofoten can be a very different experience, depending on the time of year you travel. This is Arctic territory, making it a land of extremes. Surprisingly, given how far north the islands are, a unique micro climate keeps them warmer than most of the nearby mainland and other parts of Norway that are similarly deep inside the Arctic.

Winter though, is still cold, with long nights and almost no sunlight. It’s a brilliant time to see the Northern Lights, however, and a chance to experience life in the Arctic and see how locals live. Summer is the best time for hiking and enjoying the outdoors, with pleasant weather and almost perpetual sunlight. Between May and July, you can enjoy the strange phenomenon of the Midnight Sun. If you’re looking to spot whales offshore, then it’s possible any time of year.

Hiking

One of the best things about Lofoten is its scenery, and the best way to experience this is to go hiking. In summer, with hours of daylight, there are endless opportunities to explore.

There are great hiking locations across the archipelago, but some of the most impressive spots include the viewpoint at Reinebringen and the beaches at Bunes.

Kayaking

It’s Lofoten’s coastline and fjords that really make the islands breathtaking. While you can enjoy the panoramic views as you drive along the coast, the best way to enjoy it is to take out a kayak.

You can paddle in gentle waters between sheltered bays from one remote fishing village to the next, as you’re immersed and surrounded by the glorious nature of the Lofoten Islands.

If you want to enjoy summer in Lofoten see our North Norway Adventure tour, which combines outdoors adventures in Lofoten with a city break in trendy Tromso.

Whale Watching

The Lofoten Islands are world renowned for their whale watching opportunities. The area is rich in marine life, and the feeding opportunities attract a wide variety of whale species all through the year.

You can spot sperm whales in any season, but in summer, you also have many migratory whales such as the humpback or minke moving through the waters.

It’s possible to see whales all along the coastline, however the whale watching capital of the region is the town of Andenes, in the Vesteralen Islands. There are plenty of ferries across though, and it’s worth staying in Andenes for a few days for whale watching.

Snow Sports

In winter, outdoor activities are more limited by the weather and the lack of sunlight, but instead of hiking, you can do as the locals do! People have lived this far into the Arctic Circle for centuries, and winter doesn’t stop anyone from getting around.

You can join dog-sledging trips, strap on some skis and go cross-country skiing, or hire fast-paced skimobiles to explore Lofoten.

If you want to enjoy a great range of snow sports and experience the Northern Lights, see our North Norway Winter Adventure package or New Year in the Lofoten Islands trip.

Local History

The Lofoten Islands are steeped in history, and there are plenty of chances to learn more at local museums throughout the archipelago. If you start or end your trip in Bodo on the mainland, you can visit the excellent National Norwegian Aviation Museum, which will take you through the intriguing local history, and help you to understand the importance of aircraft in such a remote region.

On the islands, you won’t want to miss the Lofotr Viking Museum, one of the best Viking museums in Norway. Here you can delve into Norse history, as you explore recreations of Viking villages and see reconstructed long boats up close.

To find out more about travelling in the Lofoten Islands or to book one of our great packages, contact Baltic Travel Company today.

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We never allow third parties to use your data and we do not keep financial information. We protect your data as if it was our own, because we're people too!


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