Charming, fairytale, red homes on stilts contrast with the rugged landscape of the Lofoten Islands. No matter the season, the Lofoten Islands offer plenty to see, do, and explore in all types of weather.
Air travel is the quickest and most convenient way to reach the cluster of islands. Driving or taking public transportation can be an option, depending on which city you’re coming from in Norway.
If you want to spend time on the islands and get an insider’s perspective, you’ll want to sign up for this 14-day Winter Wonderland tour, where you’ll begin in Tromsø with highlights including a boat tour, sea kayaking, and dogsledding before ending in the capital city—Oslo.
Duration: 1.5 hours by plane, 10 hours by car and train
There are many ways to travel from Trondheim to Lofoten covering a distance of 435 miles (700 km). One of the main points of entry to reach the different islands is via the port town of Bodø, where you can take a ferry or express boat.
Flying is the fastest and most comfortable way to arrive. The Trondheim to Bodø route is typically a non-stop, hour-long flight. You can also fly from Bodø to Leknes, Svolvær, and Røst.
Going by car takes 10 hours without stopping so plan for a long day of driving. Departing Trondheim, you’ll take the E6 Norwegian highway and soon after, you’ll see the Trondheim fjord. Later, you'll pass by the Ranfjorden fjord.
When you reach Bodø you can take the E10 highway that connects the Lofoten islands to mainland Norway through tunnels and bridges. Another option is to take a ferry or express boat from Bodø to one of the islands.
Traveling by train is a comfortable and relaxing option with a couple of trains departing per day. The train journey is inland with incredible vistas of mountain passages, lakes, rivers, and sunsets. Keep in mind, the train crosses the Arctic Circle without stops to visit this area.
Food is available to purchase during the duration of the trip from the restaurant carriage, which serves hot meals, sandwiches, snacks and drinks. Once arriving in Bodø, you’ll need to catch a ferry or the express boat to reach one of the Lofoten islands.
Duration: 2-5 hours by plane, 16 hours by car, 18 hours by train
Several airlines offer departures from Oslo to different islands—Leknes, Røst, and Svolvær—typically with a stopover in Bodø. Direct flights from Oslo to Bodø take an hour and a half. Flying from Oslo to island towns take 2-5 hours including transfer time. On a sunny day, choose a window seat for spectacular aerial views.
Driving from Oslo to Lofoten takes sixteen hours to drive 743 miles (1,195 km) without stopping, so plan for a long day or allow for 2 travel days. Leaving Oslo, you’ll take the E6—a toll highway that crosses from Southern to Northern Norway—making the drive fairly straightforward. After 6 hours on the road, you’ll pass by the city of Trondheim, which is a great place to stop for a meal and take a stroll around this lovely city.
As you continue on your journey, you’ll pass by the Trondheim fjord and later, the Ranfjorden fjord—both impressive fjords where you’ll be tempted to stop to admire the views. You can either take a car ferry from Bodø or take the E10 highway, connecting the islands to mainland Norway.
Traveling by train is scenic, however, it’s an eighteen-hour journey from Oslo. The trip takes 6.5 hours to reach Trondheim, where you’ll transfer trains to continue on to the town of Bodø, which takes around 10 hours, plus transfer time. A sleeper car is recommended for the train journey at night so you can sleep well and wake up ready for sightseeing the following day.
There is a food car serving Norweigan specialties, light meals, and a variety of drinks to purchase. You can also bring your own food and drinks. Wi-fi is available.
Duration: 1.5-4 hours by plane
Reaching the Lofoten islands from Bergen is a distance of 825 miles (1,328 km). Direct flights from Bergen to Bodø are offered most days of the week and take an hour and a half. From Bodø, you can fly to Leknes or Svolvær or opt for the ferry or express boat.
We don’t recommend driving or taking public transportation as it requires 2 full days of travel.