10 Best Things to Do on The Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands are honestly one of the most incredible places we have ever been to in the whole world. As you drive through the islands the dramatic scenery is so out of this world it just doesn’t even seem real, we struggle to find words to describe it.

The Lofoten Islands really have the best of everything, the best scenery, the best mountains, the best beaches, the best hikes and the best activities to do.

We could have spent months here exploring these islands, there was so much more for us to see and do that we didn’t get the chance, so it’s high on our list to come back to.

We had the very best time in the 5 days that we spent on the Lofoten Islands, and we wanted to share with you what we thought were the best things to do in this spectacular little part of the world.

Svolvær

Svolvær is one of the first cities that you will come across if you drive onto the Lofoten Islands like we did. It’s a fantastic place to start Lofoten adventures. There are tonnes of activities to do here including kayaking, fishing and sea-eagle safaris. You won’t be stuck for things to do in Svolvær and it’s also a really lovely city to walk around and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding scenery.

Lofoten Sauna

Saunas are a major part of life in Scandinavian culture, so we knew we had to try one out whilst we were in Norway. They are a fantastic way to relax with the added bonus of health benefits such as detoxification, skin rejuvenation and stress management.

Lofoten sauna is the first floating sauna on the Lofoten Islands, located in Svolvær harbour.

The views surrounding the sauna are absolutely incredible, some of the best we have seen.

It is available for drop-in sessions or for pre-booking. The link to the booking website is – Lofoten SAUNA – Flytende Badstue i Svolvær havn – Svinøya Rorbuer (svinoya.no)

It cost around £35 in total for us both to attend the sauna for an hour and we thought it was well worth it, we really enjoyed it, it was so relaxing, and we felt so refreshed after.

The sauna has men’s and ladies changing rooms, a sauna room and then an outdoor deck where you have the possibility to swim in the Norwegian sea. You can even dive into the sea from the top deck!

Henningsvær

Henningsvær is a fishing village located on several small islands in the Lofoten archipelago and it is the most famous fishing village in the Lofoten Islands. Henningsvær is famous for its cod industry and in the Winter, it is right at the centre of the world’s greatest Cod industry.

Fish drying racks can be seen all over Henningsvær.

Henningsvær is very small with a population of around only 400 people.

Henningsvær is so picturesque, with a colourful mix of house, shops and cafes set against a backdrop of some of the best mountains we have seen.

Lofoten Islands
Henningsvær Harbour
10 Best Things to Do on The Lofoten Islands
Henningsvær Harbour

Henningsvær Football Stadium

Henningsvær Football Stadium has to be the most spectacular football stadium in the world. It is something you just do not expect to find in this tiny fishing village and looks so out of place yet so amazing against the stunning natural backdrop.

Surrounded by mountains, islands and the blue Norwegian Sea, we couldn’t think of a better place to play football if we tried!

To get the best view of the football pitch and its gorgeous surroundings, it’s best to get a drone up for some photos and video footage if you can, as you don’t get the true feel of how great it actually looks when you stand on the pitch.

10 Best Things to Do on The Lofoten Islands
Henningsvær Football Stadium

Haukland Beach – Uttakleiv Hike

Haukland Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach with bright blue crystal-clear sea, surrounded by rugged mountains. There is a wonderful family-friendly coastal loop walk that you can take from this beach around to Uttakleiv beach which is equally as beautiful.

We followed this All-Trails route – Haukland – Uttakleiv | Map, Guide – Nordland, Norway | AllTrails

it’s a just under 8km loop and takes roughly just over 2 hours to complete. There were some steep uphill parts after Uttakleiv but overall, it was generally a nice easy loop to do which makes a nice change from a lot of the challenging uphill hikes on the Lofoten Islands.

The beach is stunning, and it would be lovely to spend a day there on a warm summer’s day.

10 Best Things to Do on The Lofoten Islands
Haukland Beach

Kvalvika Beach – Ryten hike

Kvalvika Beach is a secluded bay only reachable by foot, and the Ryten Hike gives an amazing view of the beach from high above.

We followed the following 7.4km hike on our favourite hiking app, All Trails – Topptur til Ryten | Map, Guide – Nordland, Norway | AllTrails

The views on this hike are spectacular and Kvalvika Beach looks like paradise from the viewpoint of Ryten.

It’s a steep hike and it was extremely muddy when we did it in September. There are some rocky bits that require a little scrambling too, so this hike may not be for everybody, but if you do think that you can manage it, then the views are extremely rewarding.

Reinefjorden Kayaking

Reine is one of the most photographed villages in all of Norway. With the famous red fishing huts and the picturesque harbour against the rugged mountains in the background, it’s easy to see why.

The Reinefjorden is one of the most spectacular fjords in Norway and kayaking is one of the very best ways to see the best of it.

We booked our kayak guided tour through Reine Paddling and it was absolutely fantastic, one of our favourite things that we did on the Lofoten Islands. The scenery was just amazing, and our guide was so lovely and friendly and had great knowledge of the area. We even got to try some truffle seaweed!

We couldn’t recommend this kayak tour enough. It’s a must-do if you visit Reine – Summer Kayaking in Reine – Explore kayaking in Reine Lofoten (trekksoft.com)

10 Best Things to Do on The Lofoten Islands
Kayaking in Reinefjorden

Northern Lights

Norway is one of the best places in the whole world to see the Northern Lights, and the Lofoten Islands are up there as one of the best places to see them in Norway.

We saw the Northern Lights several times whilst we were in the Lofoten Islands in September, they never ever get less special when you see them.

The further north you are, the better chance you have of seeing the incredible phenomenon that is the aurora borealis. Some of the very best spots in Norway to see the Northern Lights are –

  1. Tromso
  2. Lofoten
  3. Svalbard
  4. Kirkenes
  5. Bodo

The best time of year to see the Northern Lights in Norway is September – March. There are several conditions that you need in order to get a good view of the Northern Lights. You need dark clear skies and high solar activity to get the best chance.

10 Best Things to Do on The Lofoten Islands
Northern Lights in Norway

Where are the Lofoten Islands in Norway?

The Lofoten archipelago is located in the North of Norway, north of the Arctic Circle. The archipelago consists of 7 main islands.

Are the Lofoten Islands worth visiting?

The Lofoten Islands are absolutely worth visiting, yes. We loved it here and had the very best time, we didn’t want to leave. We couldn’t recommend a trip to the Lofoten Islands enough.

What is the best time to visit the Lofoten Islands?

We visited the Lofoten Islands in late September, and we thought this was a great time to visit. Autumn has begun which generally brings with it rainy weather; however, we were so lucky to have lovely sunshine for the whole 5 days we were there.

Also, because the main summer season was over, nowhere was too busy and we managed to get parked anywhere we wanted to in our motorhome.

We also were not having to queue on any hikes that we did to get the perfect Instagram shots, which does happen in the busy summer season!

The Lofoten Islands become more and more popular all the time due to the increased exposure they get on social media, and with good reason, they are simply one of the most stunning places in the whole world! This does however bring many tourists in the summer and the islands can be extremely busy.

It really depends what you want to do on the Lofoten Islands also. Summer is the best time to get out exploring and hiking. The winter brings lots of snow which can make hiking impossible, however, everywhere looks like a complete winter wonderland, so all seasons have their pros and cons.

What are the Lofoten Islands famous for?

If you have seen photos of the Lofoten Islands on social media, then you will no doubt have seen how absolutely out of this world the dramatic scenery is, and this is by far the thing that the Lofoten Islands are most famous for. With colourful fishing villages, mighty mountains, arctic fjords and pristine beaches, the scenery is unbeatable in our opinion.

They are also famous for their midnight sun in the summer months between May and July. In the winter, the Lofoten Islands are famous for their spectacular Norther Light displays, some of the very best in the world.

The Lofoten Islands are famous in the fishing industry and in the Winter, they are right at the centre of the biggest cod fishery in the whole world.

The Lofoten Islands are also famous for all of the exciting activities on offer such as hiking, climbing, kayaking, fishing and many more. There is something for everybody.

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