The Lofoten Islands in Norway, comprised of Austvågøy, Flakstadøy Vestvågøy, Moskenesøy, Gimsøy, and many smaller islands, has been a dream travel destination of mine for as long as I can remember. From the moment I heard of Lofoten, this archipelago in the Norwegian Sea known for its dramatic scenery, incredibly cute fishing villages, pristine waters, Viking history, and friendly locals completely captured my heart.
Being on the tourist trail but still relatively untouched as far as its natural beauty goes, these islands are perfect for adventurous travelers and photography enthusiasts!
12 Reasons To Visit Norway’s Lofoten Islands
It’s no secret that The Lofoten Islands are home to seriously incredible scenery. The fjords jutting up dramatically into the sky, the crystal clear turquoise waters, and the sheer expansiveness of the Nordic wilderness make these islands a sight to behold.
It’s Easy To Navigate
The best way to truly experience Lofoten is by car and, luckily, the road’s leading into and around The Lofoten Islands are very easy to navigate. For the most part, driving around Lofoten means driving on one stretch of highway — the ease of which means the destination is great for solo travelers!
Because the Lofoten Islands lie above the Arctic Circle, travelers to the area will be greeted by the midnight sun should they visit between the months of May and July. The midnight sun is like a gorgeous sunrise and sunset all at once, casting beautiful colors every which way.
Read more: How to Plan a Trip to Norway’s Fjord Region
While summer is known for the midnight sun, winter in The Lofoten Islands brings with it a special sight, the Northern Lights. The best season in which to catch a glimpse of this spectacle is from September to March, although any good viewing relies on it being a clear night.
Amazing Sunrises and Sunsets
Along with the Northern Lights and midnight sun, The Lofoten Islands offer awesome light shows in the form of sunrises and sunsets. However, due to Lofoten’s locale above the Arctic Circle, sunrise and sunset times vary wildly depending on the time of year. Watching the sun rise and set with the mountains, fjords, and sea as a backdrop is not to be missed, so be sure to research the sunrise and sunset times during your visit.
Traditional Fishing Villages
A big draw of The Lofoten Islands is that they are home to the most colorful fishing villages, as cod is a big deal in this neck of the woods. The red and white huts that make up these villages are known as rorbuers, and can even be rented out as accommodation!
Read more: What to Pack for a Trip to Norway
As mentioned earlier, The Lofoten Islands are home to numerous fjords; some of which jut up into the sky up as high as 3,300 feet! To see these fjords up close and personal, consider hiring a boat for an afternoon or jumping on a short cruise.
The Lofoten Islands present many awesome hiking trails that are great for any level of difficulty and expectation. From beach walks, mountain treks, and backcountry jaunts, hiking in this area will guarantee you spectacular scenery every time.
White Sand Beaches & Turquoise Water
When you think of the Lofoten Islands, do pristine beaches and glassy turquoise waters spring to mind? Well they should, as Northern Norway is home to these attributes in spades.
Read more: The Best Travel Cameras of 2018 (And How to Choose One)
While The Lofoten Islands may not invoke thoughts of catching a wave to the casual traveler, to the surfing enthusiast, this is a dream destination. Off the shores of Lofoten’s white sand beaches you’ll be able to find some world-class waves, especially off the coast of Unstad. While not an activity for the faint of heart, riding a wave with Lofoten’s epic scenery in the background is an unforgettable experience!
Like other parts of Norway, the Lofoten Islands are home to an idea known as “allemannsretten”, or “every man’s right”. This essentially means that almost all uninhabited pockets of land are available for dispersed camping. When doing so, always make sure that you have permission to be where you plan to camp and, as always with camping, follow a leave-no-trace rule of thumb.
The Lofoten Islands are home to some of the friendliest locals you will ever meet. Whether you take a tour of a farm or fishing village, or stop in at a local café, the people of Lofoten will treat you as a guest and will love to show you their way of life and culture.
Read more: How to Travel in Norway on a Budget
Lofoten Islands Packing Essentials
The key to a comfortable trip in Northern Norway is to layer up. Be sure to bring fleece-lined leggings, thermal tops, a light down jacket, and some hiking socks.
If you plan on visiting Norway during Northern Light’s season, then be sure to pack appropriately with a beanie, scarf, and snow pants.
Norway is a destination where the weather can change from a sunny day to a rainy one in an instant. Come prepared with rain boots or waterproof hiking shoes, a waterproof jacket, a backpack cover, a dry bag, and a travel umbrella.
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