Summer is coming and you may be thinking of escaping the summer crowds of the riviera for desolate, white sand beaches and epic mountain landscapes. The Lofoten Islands, which have probably been filling up your Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest feed is the place to go.
While it may seem like one small, quaint town, The Lofoten Islands are a large chain of islands along the Northern Norwegian coast where the weather can be ever changing, and the drives between cities can be long.
We are here to help you plan the ultimate Lofoten summer journey so you can be prepared on what to do, where to stay, how to pack and what to expect from this stunning chain of islands in the Arctic. Let us begin.
Lofoten is located at the 68th and 69th parallels north of the Arctic Circle in North Norway, Lofoten is formed by a group of islands located in the region of Nordland county, connected by the road E10, or the King Olav V route (that sounds more Viking, if you know what we mean). The road stretches 186 miles and links these islands to the mainland, and the smaller islands are only accessible by ferry.
You might be thinking to yourself Lofoten is like any other destination where there is a small local airport and everything is within a relatively short drive. That is actually not particularly true. Lofoten is big, the distances are long, and it is important to plan ahead before venturing to the far North.
Summer in Lofoten is simply breathtaking. With the midnight sun in full effect for nearly 2 months (late May to late July), it is easy to take each day as it comes considering you do not have to worry about driving or traveling in the dark. There is always time to explore.
The melting period usually lasts until June, where snow may cover the peaks until mid-June. By July, the color green will take over, and the islands become lush with fields of flowers and grass. The weather in Lofoten during the summer is unpredictable. Where it can be rainy one minute, and sunny the next. That is why it is important to always have a backpack filled with a few layers to stay dry!
First thing is first, let us put things in perspective. Below is a map with all of “Lofoten’s” airports and nearby airports to fly into, along with the distances. We have also listed out the airports from “closest” to “furthest” (closest being to the center of lofoten, Svolvær” – where all of our day trips leave from). When researching flights to the following airports, keep in mind if you are flying from outside of Norway, you will most likely have to connect in Oslo.
Other nearby airports:
Airlines that fly within Norway: SAS, Norwegian & Widerøe
Many people say the ferry is the most exciting way of getting to Svolvær because the excitement builds as the ferry gets closer and closer to the mountains. The ferry takes around 3 hours. The ferry is operated by Torggattan Nord. This is an express boat from Bodø to Svolvær. The express ferry terminal is near the tourist information center/bus station in the center of Bodø. Ferry information can be found on the Torghatten Nord website: Torghatten Nord
Renting a car & driving to Svolvær: We recommend you rent a car at the Narvik, Bodø or Tromsø airport. Keep in mind, if you rent a car in Bodø, you will have to make sure the ferry you take over has space for your car, along with buying the ticket which includes a space for your car. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore Lofoten. Keep in mind that it is difficult to find parking in many cities, hiking spots and there are only narrow, 2 lane roads along the water which can make driving dangerous, especially if there is snow or ice on the roads.
Public Transportation/Bus: There are no train connections to Lofoten, and no direct bus connection from the South. Though there are bus connections from the North (Tromsø). Which run 2-3 times per day. Buses do drive all the way to the end of the road at Å in Lofoten, though a change or two will be necessary.
All bus information in Nordland country can be found at: 177nordland