Reaching the Lofoten archipelago from Oslo—a distance of 743 miles (1,195 km)—is relatively easy with various transport options. Flying is by far the most convenient and quickest way to reach the Lofoten Islands with flights available on multiple carriers. Driving and taking the train is a scenic adventure requiring sixteen hours to reach your destination.
If you want an insider's knowledge of the islands, this 14-day Winter Wonderland tour is designed for you with a boat tour, sea kayaking, and dogsledding before ending in beautiful Oslo.
By Plane/ Ferry or Express boat
Duration: 1.5-5 hours by plane, 2-5 hours by plane + express boat
Air travel is the fastest and most efficient way to reach Lofoten. Several airlines offer daily departures to the town of Bodø with a flight time of an hour and a half. Bodø is considered a gateway town to reach the various islands and from here you can choose a connecting flight or catch a ferry or express boat to one of the islands.
Some airlines fly to Leknes, Narvik, Røst, and Svolvær, usually with a stopover of 30 minutes to 3 hours in Bodø. Flight times to these destinations vary from 2 to 5 hours. On a clear day, you’ll want to choose a window seat for fabulous aerial views.
By Car/ Ferry or Express boat
Duration: 16 hours
Going by car takes around sixteen hours to drive 743 miles (1,195 km). When you set out from Oslo, you’ll take the E6—the highway that goes from Southern to Northern Norway—making the drive straightforward. This route takes you through mountain passages, lakes, rivers, and fjords. After 6 hours on the road, you’ll likely want to stop to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat and the city of Trondheim is a great place to stop.
Shortly after you pass by the city of Trondheim, you’ll see the Trondheim fjord. Later on your journey, you’ll pass by Ranfjorden fjord, both spectacular and worth a pit stop to enjoy the views.
You can drive directly to the Lofoten islands thanks to the E10—a road that was created specifically to connect the islands to the mainland through a series of tunnels and bridges.
Like most highways in Norway, this route has tolls.
By Train/ Ferry or Express boat
Duration: 18 hours + ferry or express boat
Traveling by train is comfortable and scenic, albeit a long journey from Oslo. Trains depart a few times a day. The route goes from Oslo to Trondheim-6.5 hour ride—where you’ll transfer trains to continue on to Bodø—around 10 hours, with a total journey time of around eighteen hours with transfers included. It is recommended you book a sleeper car on the leg that you travel at night to ensure a good nights’ rest.
Traveling inland, you’ll see mountain passages, lakes, and rivers with many landscapes that are usually not seen or accessible by car. The train passes through the Arctic Circle, however, there isn’t a stop to visit the area. There is a restaurant carriage that serves hot meals, sandwiches, snacks and offers an array of drinks. You are also welcome to bring your own meals. Wi-fi is provided and outlets are available to keep your devices charged.
Once arriving in Bodø, you can catch a ferry or the express boat.