Your Guide to the Lofoten Islands
Wild and untamed, The Lofoten Islands are known for distinctive landscapes, fishing heritage and picturesque villages full of character. Nestled in an archipelago high above the Arctic Circle, Lofoten is a wonderful place to explore, with a wide range of activities to suit those looking for something a bit different. Hiking, photography, kayaking and road trips are all popular activities for visitors who want to discover this unique part of Norway.
Here, we will answer a few questions about Lofoten and how you can enjoy a self-drive holiday with a difference.
Where are the Lofoten Islands?
Located off the northwest coast of Norway, Lofoten is a collection of islands that jut out from the most narrow part of Norway, far into the Norwegian Sea. At 68°14′ latitude, high above the Arctic Circle, it might surprise you to know that the climate is actually relatively mild. This is due to the Gulf Stream bringing warm water all the way from the Gulf of Mexico. This unique set up means the temperature rarely dips below freezing and with the midnight sun bringing perpetual daylight from late May to mid-July, it’s a place less ordinary.
Is Lofoten worth visiting?
If you’re travelling around Norway, Lofoten is a must-do stop on your journey. The scenery is breathtaking, with some spectacular panoramic views across the islands and the surrounding sea. Some of Lofoten’s most beautiful beaches can only be reached by foot, giving visitors a chance to carve their way down the mountains to remote and deserted coastal spots.
Photography is another reason many people are attracted to Lofoten. The weather is varied and the sky and light conditions can change rapidly, giving both amateur and professional photographers a wealth of scenes to capture. Lofoten is a hikers paradise and is a great way to immerse yourself in the local nature. Plentiful trails seem to offer breathtaking views at every turn, while off-the-beaten-track paths lead to tranquil beaches, perfect for relaxing.
How do you get to the Lofoten Islands in Norway?
There are two airports on Lofoten with flights coming in directly from Oslo. However, flights are somewhat irregular hence visitors often choose to fly into Harstad Evenes and make the three and a half hour journey to Lofoten by car.
Can you drive to Lofoten Islands?
One of the best ways to take in Lofoten is by hopping in a car and exploring at your own pace. It is a relatively simple drive from mainland Norway to the Lofoten Islands as you can stick to one road, E10, for the entire journey from Harstad.
Our Around Lofoten self-drive itinerary, for example, will have you fly into Evenes via Olso to pick up your hire car. You will then take the 45-minute journey to Harstad to stay for an overnight stay before making the journey to Svolvaer in Lofoten.
Do you need a special license to drive in Norway?
No, you don’t need a specific driving license for Norway. You are allowed to use your valid driving license from the UK for up to three months. Driving on Lofoten is as safe as anywhere else as long as you obey the laws of the road including keeping your dipped headlights on at all times, which is a legal requirement. With open, traffic-free roads and spectacular scenery, driving should be a pleasure rather than a chore.
How many days do you need in Lofoten?
Lofoten has so many activities that are available all year round, from hiking and cycling to fishing and kayaking. Enjoying everything the islands have to offer should take a good few days; our holiday itineraries offer many opportunities to explore Lofoten as well as the surrounding attractions. Explore Vesteralen, Henningsvaer, and Lofoten on a seven-day journey. Or, speak with our Travel Specialists who can put together a bespoke itinerary for you.
How far is Oslo from Lofoten?
Oslo is around two hours and twenty minutes from Lofoten by plane and a distance of around 900 km. You can fly via Oslo to Evenes which is the closest airport to Lofoten that offers regular flights.
How far is Tromso from Lofoten Islands?
The distance from Tromso to Lofoten is approximately 250 km and takes around seven hours by car or just 50 minutes by plane.