Traveling the 977 miles (1,573 km) from Norway's southwestern fjord city of Bergen to the largest village on the Lofoten Islands, Svolvær, is an endeavor best done by a combination of flying and self-driving. However, it is possible to drive the entire way, for a longer and epic road trip.
Svolvær is the main port hub in the Lofoten archipelago and draws outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the untouched beauty of northern Norway as well as artists looking to be inspired by the multiple galleries and picturesque setting. Having a car rental to self-drive the islands is the best way to venture around. Take the National Tourist Route to hit all of the main points of interest in the archipelago. Whale watching, hiking, skiing, and cultural experiences are just some of the main offerings of this area.
By Flight and Car Ferry
Duration: 6-7 hours
A non-stop flight from Bergen will have you arriving in Bodo in about an hour and a half, where you'll then board the car ferry to the islands. The ferry takes approximately three and a half hours from Bodo to Svolvær. This option is perfect for those short on time in order to maximize adventuring on the islands.
Duration: 2-3 days
The famous Hurtigruten cruise line is a fantastic way to travel from Bergen to Svolvær, offering visitors the unique and amazing perspective of viewing the landscape from the sea. It is likely the more expensive method, but well worth the experience. Some highlights along the route will include Ålesund, adventure capital of the fjords, and Sandnessjøen, home to perhaps the best view of the infamous Seven Sisters mountain range. The cruise will make various stops at many other ports of interest along the way, eventually bringing travelers right to Svolvær.
Duration: 2-3 days
Road tripping from Bergen to the Lofoten Islands is an exploit that requires plenty of time in order to stop and enjoy everything the country has to offer along the way. Driving directly with minimal stops would take approximately 24 hours, however, it's wise to plan out several days for activities and various rest stops on the route.
Travelers will start their journey from Bergen by taking E39 north to the Oppedal-Lavik ferry (35 minutes) before continuing on E39 until Fv60 in Byrkjelo. It's possible to explore the nearby Jostedalsbreen National Park, home to the largest glacier in mainland Europe. Continuing onto E39, you'll reach the village of Stryn, where you'll embark onto Rv15. If you have extra time, a short detour (about two hours) to Geiranger is possible to view many famous natural attractions like the Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil. From Rv15, drivers will take E6 at the town of Sel, north for approximately three hours until reaching Trondheim, a northern city known for its history and culture.
From there, you'll drive on E6 for another 14-15 hours, passing by Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella National Park, a stunning region for hiking and outdoor exploits. Making your way north, you'll drive through the beautiful landscape and quaint villages. Near Røssvoll, you'll have the opportunity to view the Svartisen glacier too. In the last stretch of driving E6, you can stretch your legs in Sjunkhatten National Park with a hike up Heggmotinden for amazing views. Afterward, you're about five hours from Svolvær via E6 to Fv81 and a car ferry from Skutvik that takes approximately two and a half hours.