Lofoten Islands is one of the most scenic places I have ever seen. Until a few months ago I didn’t even know a place like this existed. Thanks to social media, I came across a picture of Reine and I knew I had to plan a trip to this lovely place. We had such an awesome time, and I highly recommend this place to everyone. Here’s a guide on how to plan a perfect trip to the Lofoten Islands:
Best time to visit Lofoten Islands
June through August is considered the best time to visit Lofoten Islands due to good weather and long days. But to avoid the crowds, still get fairly warm temperatures and long days, middle to end of August is ideal. If you get lucky, there is also a possibility of seeing the Northern lights at the end of August.
How to get to Lofoten Islands
The easiest way to get to the Lofoten Islands is to fly to Bodo from one of the bigger cities in Norway (Oslo or Bergen) then taking a ferry from Bodo to Moskenes. There are plenty of flights from Oslo to Bodo with multiple airlines including SAS, Wideroe and Norwegian. Check for flight availability and prices here.
The ferry from Bodo to Moskenes is about 4 hours long. There are different schedules depending on the day and time of the year. Check the schedule here. Price per person is about $25. You can also take a car on the ferry for about $90 including the driver. The ferry is very comfortable, equipped with reclining seats, big windows for great views of the water, play area for kids, and a great cafe serving hot dogs and burgers. The ocean can get a little rough towards the middle of the journey and on the approach to Lofoten but overall it is a very pleasant ride. You can reserve online or on site. I would recommend booking prior to getting there if you have a car or are travelling during the busy season.
Another option is to fly to either Leknes or Svolvaer from Oslo or Bodo. There is only one direct flight to Leknes per day from Oslo, operated by Wideroe that flies early in the morning. All other flights stops over in Bodo. Check for flight availability and prices here.
Where to rent a car from
Best way to see and get around the Lofoten Islands is to rent a car. Lofoten has great paved roads all over, sometimes one lane but still pretty easy to drive. There is a public bus that runs throughout the island but isn’t very frequent. My recommendation is to rent a car since this will give you the flexibility of getting around at your own time and pace.
If you are taking a ferry to Lofoten Islands ‘Rent a car Moskenes’ is walking distance from the ferry port in Moskenes. You have to email the company to check availability and prices.
At Leknes and Svolvaer airports there are multiple rental agencies to choose from. All of them have a limited inventory of automatic cars so reserve few months ahead if you are travelling during the busy season i.e. June to August and like us can only drive automatic.
Another option is to rent from Bodo airport and take it to the Lofoten Islands on a ferry. There are a few rental companies to choose from at Bodo airport. We rented from Budget and got an almost brand new Honda Civic with all of the bells and whistles. It’s about $100 to take the car on the ferry from Bodo to Moskenes, including the driver. Depending on the time and length of your stay, this option might actually be cheaper than renting a car in one of the towns in Lofoten. Check for car prices and availability here.
Where to stay in Lofoten Islands
Sørvågen INN- If you are looking for a clean and reasonably priced place, you will love this hotel. Prices range from $100-$150 per night. It is in a great location, between Reine and A, in a small town called Sørvågen. It has private restrooms and a small shared living area with a microwave and stove. Basically everything you need for a comfortable stay. Make sure you reserve way ahead of time because it gets sold out pretty quickly during the peak season. Check availability and price here on Booking.com. Reserve early, especially since the hotel offers free cancellation/changes.
Best Western Leknes- Best Western Leknes- This hotel is a good base since it is right in the center of the Lofoten Islands. You could stay here and make day trips to Reine and Svolvaer. This hotel is also in a lower price range compared to other hotels in Lofoten. Price ranges from $115-$200 per night, with clean rooms, friendly staff and a free breakfast. This hotel also sells out pretty quickly so reserve early. Check price and availability here on Booking.com.
Tobiasbrygga- Located in the fishing village of Henningsvær, this apartment hotel is a great value for its price. Prices range from $200-$250, has private bathroom, kitchen, balcony with great sea/mountain view, free wifi and is very clean with friendly staffs. Henningsvaer is about 30 mins from Svolvær, so this is a great option if you are flying in and out of Svolvaer. Check price and availability here on Booking.com.
Thon Hotel Lofoten- This stylish luxurious hotel is located in the heart of Svolvaer. It has a great free breakfast, free wifi and access to a nice gym. It is waterfront, has amazing views and is walkable from the harbor and city center of Svolvaer. Prices range from $300-$350 per night. Book here.
Rorbuer- If you want to embrace the Norwegian lifestyle, this is the place for you. Rorbuers are small red fishing huts that is all over Lofotens. Not the cheapest option, but they give you a feeling of being embedded in Lofoten culture. I highly recommend the Rorbuer in Reine. It has the most amazing views in Lofoten, right on the water and walking distance to the restaurants and bars. Check availability and rates here on Booking.com. The town of Hamnoy just a few miles away also has tons of Rorbuers. Again great location, amazing scenery, few minutes drive to the restaurants and bars. Check availability and rates on Hamnoy Rorbuers on Booking.com.
How many days do I need in Lofoten Islands
We were in the Lofoten Islands for a week and it felt just about right. Lofoten Islands are considered a hikers paradise and we are not the biggest hikers but we do enjoy easy to moderate hiking here and there. So if you are like us, looking for some amazing scenery, couple days of easy hikes, and some days of strolling around and relaxation then a week will be enough to see most of the attractions Lofoten has to offer.
Where to eat in Lofoten Islands
In Reine, Krambua Restaurant serves an authentic Norwegian creamy fish soup that you have to try when in Lofoten. They also serve great fish and chips and many other options.
Circle K– This little all in one store has gas pumps, a little fast food restaurant, some groceries and souvenirs. The restaurant here has chicken, beef, fish burgers, sausages, hot dogs, fries and pizza. Being fast food, the prices are at least four times less expensive than other restaurants in Lofoten. Burger price ranges from $9-$14. There’s a Circle K in almost every town in Lofoten.
In Leknes, Kan Thai restaurant has authentic Thai food at a very reasonable price if you’re looking for something different than the usual Norwegian fare. Their Tom yum soup, chicken fried rice, and chicken satay were all really good. There is also a pizza and chicken kebab place right next to this Thai restaurant which is very reasonably priced and serves great food.
In Sorvagen, Marian Anna is one of the most popular restaurants that boast a great ambiance. The prices are a bit on the expensive side but that’s how it is everywhere in Lofotens.
What to pack for Lofoten Islands
All of Europe has two holed round electric outlets. So don’t forget to take some adapters with you to charge your devices. TESSAN Grounded Universal Travel Plug Adapter USA to Europe Travel Prong Converter Adapter Plug Kit for Europe(Type C) – 3 Pack is a good one sold on Amazon.
Long sleeved raincoats/jackets are a must have.
Make sure you have good water proof hiking shoes. Try Columbia Redmond waterproof hiking shoes
Water bottles to always stay hydrated while hiking in Lofoten Islands.
Hiking poles- I recommend BAFX Products – 2 Pack – Anti Shock Hiking / Walking / Trekking Trail Poles – 1 Pair, Blue, Royal Blue on Amazon.
Weather can be very unpredictable in the islands, so carry clothes for all seasons and dress in layers. Duofold Men’s Mid Weight Wicking Crew Neck Top for Men, Duofold Women’s Mid Weight Wicking Thermal Shirt is great to keep you warm.
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Plan a trip to the Lofoten Islands