The word is out on the Lofoten Islands, especially in summer. Traveling in the off-season is an ideal option to bypass the crowds—and luckily, it's easy to go at any time of year. Here's what you can expect to find September through May.
Best of Lofoten Islands
Previous kimkim travelers have kept their eyes out for wildlife on silent tours aboard a hybrid boat or while peacefully paddling a kayak on a half- or full-day kayak tour to explore Lofoten by sea. Sail through the fjords to Skrova Island, which is inaccessible by car, to explore galleries and the local way of life. Or stay terrestrial on a hike and bike tour or fishing village walk that will teach you about Lofoten fiske, the archipelago’s main source of income after tourism.
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Lofoten Islands Essentials
The Lofoten Islands is one of the most popular destinations in Norway. The moment you arrive, you'll understand why, as this stunning archipelago features jagged mountain peaks, colorful hamlets that cling to rocks, and a coastline dotted with islands. If you're looking for outdoor adventures, this is the place for you! Enjoy scenic drives, kayaking, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, sailing, and more.
Norway is one of the most scenic countries in the world, with over 60,000 miles of coastline, towering mountain peaks, incredible fjord landscapes, endless islets, and a mix of marine wildlife. So if you're looking for a trip that will take your breath away, Norway is it. Discover the unique beauty of the Arctic Circle, explore the dense forests and tall cliffs of the fjords, and embrace some of the country's famous scenic viewpoints.
Norway is an outdoor paradise, and one of the most popular activities is hiking through the lush forests, jagged mountain peaks, and rocky fjords. From Troll's Tongue to Pulpit Rock, Norway is home to famous hikes that offer outstanding views of the country's iconic landscapes. You don't have to be an experienced trekker to enjoy the scenery, either. You'll find various trails, ranging from beginner to advanced, for all interests.
Norway has a unique culture, influenced by its centuries-old history and distinct geographic location. You'll find bustling cities with fascinating origins, a quaint culture in fjord villages and coastal fishing towns, and unique customs like dogsledding and reindeer rearing, and mountainside farming. Not to mention, a thrilling Viking history that ties it all together.
It's no secret that Norway is an outdoor oasis offering every type of recreation you can think of! From climbing some of the most famous trails in the world (like Troll's Tongue) to kayaking through the iconic fjords, there's an outdoor adventure in every corner. And since the entire landscape changes with the seasons, you have a new set of active experiences for each visit.
Chasing the Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something that draws many travelers to Norway's upper reaches. The country is the perfect setting to spot the colorful aurora borealis. This bucket-list experience can be easily combined with snowshoeing, dogsledding, reindeer feedings, cultural activities, or simply relaxing under the polar night sky.
Lofoten Islands Itineraries
This 15-day Norway road trip explores the most beautiful fjords, mountains, and ocean scenes between Bergen and Ålesund before crossing the Arctic Circle to the Lofoten archipelago. Spend over two weeks hiking, boating, kayaking, wildlife-spotting, and feasting as you explore cool and creative cities and quiet fjord-side villages across Norway. This relaxed-pace itinerary is best in the summer months.
This fast-paced—and very active—winter tour in Norway is not for the faint of heart. Starting and ending in Tromsø, the gateway to the Arctic, you'll set course on a 15-day itinerary partaking in horseback riding, dog and reindeer sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cruising the water by kayak, speedboat, and Hurtigruten. Of course, each night provides an opportunity to see the northern lights to round out your arctic adventure.
This lightly-trafficked, summertime road trip is a great way to experience Northern Norway's stunning coastline from late May to early September. The adventure starts with a half-day in Tromsø—"Paris of the North"—before you continue to Sommarøy, the first of many islands. You'll then take car ferries to Senja island and Andoya island to enjoy remote nature where fewer travelers venture. Finish the adventure in Lofoten's stunning, and yes, more popular, islands for hiking and kayaking while based in the charming village of Reine.
This epic trip through Norway's wintry north includes an array of activities unique to the Arctic. Each day presents another opportunity for great views and local culture. Snorkel with whales, dogsled with a team of huskies, and best of all, get multiple chances to see the Northern Lights—including on horseback.
Ready for a wintry Northern Norway adventure? On this 11-day itinerary, you'll dogsled in the mountains, visit Røros and Trondheim, and stay overnight at a local farm. Then, take a coastal steamer to the dramatic Lofoten Islands where you'll snorkel with whales (yes, even in winter) and see the Northern Lights by horseback.
This epic trip through Norway's wintry north includes a mix of travel modes and activities unique to the Arctic. Your adventure begins in the exciting capital of Oslo followed by the UNESCO-listed village of Røros where you'll dogsled in the mountains. From here, head to the historic city of Trondheim followed by a flight to Tromsø for an overnight in the wilderness. Cap it off with a coastal steamer ride to the Lofoten Islands to snorkel with whales and see the Northern Lights by horseback.
This self-guided summer road trip travels at a relaxed pace through gorgeous scenery above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. Explore two distinct archipelagos offering hiking trails, peaceful beaches, guided excursions, and a seaside teeming with whales—not to mention constant daylight hours during the 'Midnight Sun' to soak it in. Start and end the trip in Bodø, a cool little city with street art and a charming harbor.
In less than a week, experience snow-covered scenery and the Northern Lights with this photogenic road-trip through the Lofoten Islands. The trip begins with a car ferry from Bodø, where you'll drive across the coastline at your own pace and explore some of Norway's oldest and most colorful fishing towns hugging the shore with traditional red 'rorbu' (fishermen's huts). Conclude the adventure with an overnight coastal steamer to Tromsø for a slice of Northern Norway's biggest city.
This autumn-themed trip for two explores Norway's snowy Arctic with a variety of travel modes and cozy accommodations. Start with great culture and restaurants in Tromsø before heading to Lyngenfjord, where you'll stay in a glass-topped igloo—prime for spotting the Northern Lights. Then, take an overnight cruise to the Lofoten Islands where you'll pick up a rental car to explore the dramatic landscapes at your own pace.
Expect continuous snowscapes and frequent Northern Lights sightings on this 13-day Arctic itinerary that includes fun modes of transportation. The trip starts in Tromsø where you'll have time to explore the 'Paris of the North' before setting sail on the Hurtigruten towards the dramatic Lofoten Islands. From here, head to Norway's third-largest city and the UNESCO-listed village called Røros for a range of activities. Wrap it up with a night in the exciting capital city—Oslo—to finish the adventure.
Expect uninterrupted snowscapes and Northern Lights sightings on this Arctic adventure. The trip starts in Tromsø, the 'Paris of the North' and your base for several snow activities. Then set sail on the Hurtigruten to the Lofoten Islands before heading to Trondheim, the UNESCO-listed village called Røros, and finally a night in cosmopolitan Oslo.
Dramatic, snow-covered mountains and the Northern Lights are highlights of this 6-day adventure above the Arctic Circle. Starting in Bodø, you'll ferry to the stunning Lofoten Islands and drive at your own pace through some of Norway's oldest and most colorful fishing towns. Then, exchange your rental car for an overnight coastal steamer where you'll travel to Tromsø for some urban culture and dog sledding.
Check off a number of stunning summer gems in southern and northern Norway with this 12-day adventure. After kicking off in Oslo, you'll take a train and ferry to Balestrand to kayak in the Sognefjord. From here, ferry to Bergen and visit a glacier before boarding a Hurtigruten cruise for several days of fjords, charming ports, and rare wildlife under long days of sunshine. Finally, make your way to the Lofoten Islands and explore a series of gorgeous islands by rental car at your own pace.
Not for the faint of heart, this epic 13-day trip through Norway's wintry north includes a dizzying array of destinations, travel modes, and activities that are highly unique to the Arctic. Start in the capital of Oslo and then take a train to the UNESCO-listed village of Røros. From here, dog sled in the mountains and walk through Trondheim before sailing to the Lofoten Islands. Finish with an overnight cruise to Tromsø for more dog sledding and sophisticated dining options in the 'Paris of the North'.
This fun and fast-paced itinerary explores the best of Norway's stunning Arctic coast. Starting from Tromsø, the 'Paris of the North', you'll head to Senja island, the Vesterålen Islands, and Lofoten Islands, respectively. Choose between a number of scenic outdoor activities as you travel by rental car and Hurtigruten cruise—all under the extended daylight hours of the 'Midnight Sun'—for the ultimate summer adventure.
This two-week adventure from late September to late March covers a great deal of Norwegian ground for an unforgettable winter trip. You'll experience snow-covered scenery as you visit Norway's lower half (Oslo, Flåm, Bergen) before flying north to the Arctic Circle. From Bodø, you'll catch a ferry to the Lofoten Islands—the southwestern point of this dramatic archipelago with granite mountains shooting up from the sea. Finish the tour with an overnight coastal steamer and enjoy unique activities in Tromsø and Alta before returning back to Oslo for one more night on the town.
Wilder, greener, and more remote than the Lofoten Islands (though you'll have a night here, too), those who come to the Vesterålen archipelago will have access to hiking trails, peaceful beaches, rock formations, and seaside teeming with whales, not to mention extended daylight hours to soak it in by land and sea. Finish with an overnight coastal steamer to Tromsø —a lively city nicknamed 'Paris of the North'.
Discover Norway's remote Lofoten Islands on this scenic 8-day itinerary. Set off from the northern mainland town of Bodø and make your way south across the magical archipelago to end your journey on the breathtaking shores of Værøy. Along the way, you'll explore the secluded beaches, rugged mountains, and charming villages of this extraordinary region. With evenings spent in cozy, traditional accommodations and days devoted to a selection of memorable hikes and excursions, this relaxed itinerary is perfect for travelers looking for an intimate, off-the-beaten-path adventure.
Take in some of Norway's most impressive natural landscapes on this two-week adventure through the country's western fjords and northern islands. You'll start with a city tour of Oslo before you venture out into nature, riding the steep and scenic Flåm Railway. Dip back into city life in Bergen, then head to the wild Vesterålen and Lofoten islands to kayak, hike, whale-watch, and more.
Cross the Arctic Circle in comfort on this unforgettable 15-day journey up the Norwegian coast. Starting in Bergen, you'll cruise north through a breathtaking coastal landscape of alpine fjords, towering mountains, and colorful fishing villages. Explore the ancient city of Trondheim, discover the magic of the Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands, and visit the "Arctic capital" of Tromsø. Your trip of a lifetime ends in the far north as you disembark at Kirkenes—the most isolated town in Europe.
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