Lofoten Islands In Summer: A Complete Beginner's Guide
March 7, 2024
By guy yefet

A summer in the Lofoten Islands will give you a wide variety of options and activities in the mesmerizing wild nature of the islands. Hiking trails, kayaking, surfing, sailing, bird watching and more!

Lofoten Islands In Summer: A Complete Beginner's Guide

If you ask explorers and tour guides, they will most likely tell you that Norway is the jewel in the Scandinavian crown and that if there is one place you should not miss, it is the Lofoten Islands.

What is special about Lofoten Islands?

The Lofoten islands are more or less in the middle of the northern half of Norway, opposite the city of Bodø, which connects the southern side of the islands with a ferry line.

The remote Lofoten Islands were once part of a Viking kingdom.

For thousands of years, its inhabitants lived in relative isolation, exposed to harsh natural conditions, and made a living from the resources of the world's most dangerous sea.

Today, this wild and harsh nature attracts crowds of tourists from all over the world offering them a rich natural and living world that is unmatched elsewhere. One of the most fascinating places on the Arctic Circle.

The Lofoten Islands are a group of islands in northern Norway, known for their unique landscapes - mountains and dramatic cliffs rising from the sea, bays, fjords, and wild areas.

The meaning of their name, derived from the Norse word "fotr", is "foot", because, in the eyes of those who coined the name, the shape of the islands resembles a lynx's foot.

This chain of islands includes the islands Austvågøya, Gimsøya, Vestvågøy, Flakstadøya, and Moskenesøya. Farther into the sea are the islands of Værøy, and Røst, islands slightly different from the rest.

svolvaer lofoten

The islands are a chain of hundreds of small, mountainous, and densely vegetated islands, spread over an area of 150 kilometers - four larger ones, which combine with seven medium-sized islands and appear together as one big island, and hundreds of tiny islands.

The island chain is separated from the mainland itself by the vast Vestfjorden, and from the Vesterålen islands by the Harpsund strait known for its beautiful bays.

The total area of the Lofoten Islands is 1,214 km. The Lofoten Islands are full of small settlements, the number of inhabitants in each of which is several hundred.

The Lofoten Islands are the main source of cod fish exports to the rest of the world and this industry is the main source of livelihood for the islanders.

The long way from the Lofoten Islands to Europe did not allow history to deliver fresh fish from Lofoten to Europe.

Therefore, the fishermen found a way to dry the fish in facilities they built in the open air. And only after drying them could they transport them by ship to Europe to sell their produce.

lofoten islands travel

Why visit Lofoten islands in summer?

The main reason for visiting the Lofoten Islands lies in the fact that the place combines everything beautiful in Norway itself: high and spectacular mountain cliffs, snowy peaks, a variety of colorful flowers, impressive flocks of birds, and a multitude of villages with a unique vibe, which is simply a shame not to see.

In Lofoten islands, you will see an impressive wall surrounding a large part of them. This is the Lofoten Wall, a completely natural rock wall, which rises to 1,000 meters above sea level.

You can also see beautiful cliffs with triangular peaks, many valleys of glaciers, impressive and gushing waterfalls, and lush vegetation, which combine and create a stunning picture of wild nature.

Tourists who come in the summer can engage in a variety of activities such as sailing, fishing, cycling, kayaking, climbing, and trekking.

The beaches are beautiful and tempting, but the sea water is cold.

If you have Viking blood, I would recommend jumping into the water!

lofoten islands beach

How to get to the Lofoten Islands?

By ferry

There are fast passenger ships that operate daily and all year round between Bodø, and Svolvær Værøy.

There are car ferries from Bodø to certain places on the Lofoten Islands as well as between some of the islands

The ferry timetable varies based on the time of year, but you can check the current times here.

The coastal cruise ship Hurtigruten stops daily in Stamsund and Svolvær on its way to northern or southern Norway.

By train

Train lines run all year between Oslo, Kiruna, and Narvik. From there, you can continue by bus to other destinations in the Lofoten Islands.

There are trains from Oslo via Trondheim and Fauske to Buda. The trip from Trondheim to Buda takes about 10 hours and it is recommended to keep up to date on the website of the Norwegian Railway Authority.

Bodø is the northernmost station in Norway so there is no fear of missing it (there is a more northern train line that connects Narvik to Sweden, but it has no connection to the national railway).

There is an information station for tourists at the station and there are lockers that can be rented by the hour. The ferry terminal is a short walk north of the train station. In the summer months, a ferry leaves every few hours between the islands and Buda.

By car

You can rent a car and drive to the Lofoten Islands from the north via a new road system that does not require ferries.

That's how I ended up in Lofoten because I combined the islands with Northern Norway. I flew from Oslo to Tromsø and from there I rented a car.

I always find the best deals on Rentalcars.com because they compare the various well-known car dealerships.

I have personally rented a car in many places in Europe, whether it is in Sicily, Norway, Scotland, I have always booked over the years through Rentalcars.com so my personal experience with them is great.

By bus

There is a daily public bus service from Narvik, Bode, and Hårstad to Svolvær.

By flight

The flight between Oslo and Bodø takes about an hour and a half. Traveling by car from Bodø to the Lofoten Islands takes about 3 hours.

There are frequent and regular flights between major cities in Norway and the airports on the Lofoten Islands: Bodø, Harstad/Narvik as well as Svolvær, Leknes, and Røst. There is also a helicopter service between Bodø and Værøy.

guy standing on a cliff svolvaer

What not to miss in the Lofoten Islands

It's worth seeing everything, but if you need to be a little more specific, this is what you really shouldn't miss:

Viking villages

The Vikings settled in the Lofoten Islands already 4,000 years ago, and to this day some villages preserve their special culture.

Two such villages are Nusfjord and Sund - UNESCO-protected sites, which, although they have become touristic and commercialized, still retain their traditional Viking character.

reine lofoten


The Fjord of the Trolls. The most famous trip in Lofoten is a cruise to Trollfjord.

A cruise to this lovely fjord must be part of a trip to the Lofoten Islands. Trollfjord is a fjord where all the mountains around it are named after the forest creatures that in the past represented man's strongest fears and today have become cute and lovable.

It is a beautiful fjord, which is highly recommended to sail to with an organized trip and hear the fairy tales from it.

One of the most beautiful and famous fjords is in the southwest of the country, and relatively close to Bergen. But, if you come to the Lofoten Islands, which are beautiful in themselves, then why not go on a fjord cruise? Trollfjord is relatively short, only 2 km long. But the fact that it is a canal almost hidden among the snowy mountains in one of the most beautiful areas in Norway (and the competition is tough) makes the cruise along it particularly experiential.

The coastline is also called the "Lofoten Wall", a rocky wall that rises to a vertical height of 1,000 meters above the surface of the water. The wall is considered a geological phenomenon - the glaciers slid over the cliffs and gave them a smooth appearance over hundreds of years.

Stay in a Rorbu

Recommended accommodation in the Lofoten Islands is in traditional fishermen's cabins, called Rorbu.

The Solsiden Brygge cabin complex in Ballstad is located by the sea and is suitable for those looking for accommodation in Norway, in a beautiful and quiet place, which includes 17 warm and modern cabins, and the possibility of using a washing machine and dryer.

Even if it's just for one night, it's a unique experience!

RORBU in lofoten islands

Do some hiking

In Lofoten Islands, there are dozens of different hiking trails that are suitable for every age, some are more youthful, and some less so.

Perhaps the most famous hike in Lofoten leaves from Reine to a spectacular viewpoint. However, it is also the most popular route with tourists so it can be busy.

There are a lot of spectacular viewpoints in Lofoten. Check the excellent Norwegian website that maps all the different itineraries and their difficulty levels.

hiking in lofoten

Watch the midnight sun

Jaw-dropping sunsets and 24 hours a day there is sun and light, a beautiful phenomenon, in addition the sun sets at midnight, and the sunset itself is very long and reaches about an hour or two, after which the sun rises again.

Colors that you can only imagine (powerful red and orange). And in general, being a whole day 24 hours with light is an abnormal experience.

We camped on the beach, and at 00:30, you can see how the sun started to set, and then right before it touched the water line it rose again.

It's such a cool phenomenon that I've never seen anything like this in my life, so I think it's worth staying up and watching it at least once.

lofoten midnight sun

Visit Reine

The village is considered one of the most beautiful villages in the world and looks as if it came out of an imaginary postcard or a fairy tale book. The village was founded in 1734 and only 350 residents live there.

Tourists come here to enjoy the natural beauty, the surreal landscapes, and especially the rare silence.

Camping on the beach

Imagine finding a perfect spot on a stunning beach that reminds you of tropical places like Thailand.

There are many beautiful camping spots like this in Lofoten, wild places where you can set up a tent and wake up to a mesmerizing primordial landscape.

In Norway, there is a law that is allowed to camp 150 meters from an inhabited place. If you are camping, follow the rules and respect nature.

camping in lofoten islands beach

Best time to visit the Lofoten Islands

June-July is the warmest period, and therefore ideal for visiting Lofoten.

Between the end of September and the end of March, northern Norway is dark from early afternoon to late morning, so the natural phenomenon of the northern lights can often be seen.

Another reason to visit in summer is the midnight sun, which is also considered an attraction for the residents of the cities in the south. As we know, in this region, the sun does not set at all between the end of May and the middle of July.

During these months the sun is visible at night as a red ball sailing near the sea. The sight is especially beautiful towards midnight, when the sun resembles the fireball of Mars and goes, sailing through the sky glowing with gold, approaches the water like a pinkie, and begins its slow way up.

The winter nights are first of all long and dark, but on the other hand, they are famous for the aurora borealis, which appears in the sky on particularly cold and clear nights.

Although the Lofoten Islands are in the Arctic Circle, on the same line as Greenland, and therefore are in Alta most of the winter, the temperatures there are relatively pleasant, dropping to about 2 degrees below zero on the coldest days.

This is because of the warm currents in the sea surrounding the islands, a phenomenon that also exists in Iceland and Ireland.

I visited the Lofoten Islands in the summer at the end of June.

man on the road in lofoten island

Getting around Lofoten Islands

The best way to get around Lofoten is by car or campervan.

You can travel around the islands using local transport along the E10 road, the main road that connects the Lofoten Islands.

If you intend to deviate from the E10 road, check the local transport schedules in advance.

You can read about it in detail in the blog I wrote on how to plan a road trip in Norway.

car at lofoten islands

How many days to spend in Lofoten islands

As someone who travels slowly and prefers to experience every place without running and rushing, I think the minimum to visit the Lofoten Islands is 5 days.

Things you should know before visiting Lofoten in summer

The weather is relatively warm.

The Lofoten Islands benefit from the Gulf Stream and have a high temperature relative to your latitude - which means that they have an abundance of animals (some of them are particularly surprising, like corals).

You probably won't be there alone.

Until a few years ago the Lofoten Islands were unknown, but in recent years (and thanks to social media) they have become attractive. They are not yet a tourist destination like the fjords in Norway, but it is still recommended to book accommodation and flights in advance, especially if you are planning a visit in the summer.

Get ready for adventures.

Although Norway is seen as a sleepy destination, the Lofoten Islands are ideal for the young in age and spirit thanks to the fact that they can be visited all year round.

These islands have unique attractions that you can't find in most of Norway: the midnight sun in the summer, the northern lights in the winter, artists' towns, Viking museums, spectacular hiking trails, fishing villages, and more.

Bring a camera.

In the Lofoten Islands, you cannot help but take pictures and if you are into photography - you cannot afford to miss the Lofoten Islands. And don't worry, every photo you take here will look like a postcard thanks to the unique lighting conditions.

lofoten drone shot

In the Lofoten Islands, it is important to observe the following rules. Exceeding them may result in fines or more severe sanctions from the authorities.

/ Do camping only in designated areas at least 150 meters away from populated areas. Camping in a populated area is only allowed after receiving permission from the landowner.

/ Do not leave garbage or leftover food in the area. Do not create new trails, but stick to the existing hiking trails. Use the garbage cans. If you are expected to travel in an area without trash cans, stock up on bags and take the trash with you to the nearest trash can.

/ Do not invade areas that may be private.

/ Consider the rights of other drivers. The roads in the Lofoten Islands are narrow and crowded, so it is necessary to drive with extra care. Special attention should be paid to cyclists, especially in tunnels. In most places, there are no sidewalks, so there are also pedestrians on the narrow road.

a man sitting on big rock

Frequently asked questions about lofoten islands in summer

Travelers often have questions about visiting Norway during the summer months. Here are some answers to common questions:

Is Lofoten Norway expensive?

Norway can be quite expensive compared to other countries, especially during the summer when it is the peak tourist season. Prices for accommodation, food and activities may be higher during this period.

What kind of clothes should I pack for my summer trip to Lofoten?

Be prepared for changing weather conditions by packing layers, including a waterproof jacket, warm clothes for cooler evenings and comfortable shoes for outdoor activities. Don't forget a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

What's the best way to travel around Lofoten in summer?

Norway offers a wide range of transport options, including trains, buses and ferries. Renting a car is another popular way to explore the islands at your own pace.

Do I need to book accommodations and activities in advance?

It is highly recommended to book accommodation and popular activities, such as fjord cruises, in advance, especially during the peak tourist season in July and August. The sooner the better.

What are some must-try foods when visiting Lofoten in the summer?

You can choose from fresh seafood, locally grown berries and traditional Norwegian cuisine, such as Rakisk, Klippfisk and Bronost.

How safe is Norway for tourists?

Norway is considered a very safe country for tourists. However, it is always essential to follow common safety practices such as not leaving valuables unattended and being careful in crowded areas.

The advantage of visiting the Lofoten Islands in summer

Summer in the Lofoten Islands has many benefits for travelers to enjoy, making it a popular time to visit this beautiful country.

Moderate temperatures: the comfortable climate with average temperatures between 10-20 degrees Celsius allows for various outdoor activities and exploration.

Long daylight hours: The unique phenomenon of the midnight sun provides long daylight hours to tour and experience the natural wonders of Norway.

Open Attractions: Most tourist sites and attractions are open during the summer, giving you a better chance to explore Lofoten's rich cultural heritage.

Outdoor activities: With warmer weather and stunning views, summer offers a great time for hiking, camping, kayaking and exploring the majestic fjords.

Lively festivals: Summer is a time for local celebrations in small villages, where you can immerse yourself in Norwegian culture and traditions.

The Lofoten Islands are more accessible in the summer months, due to the milder weather conditions.

Imagine spending your summer days surrounded by majestic fjords, breathtaking views, and experiencing the magic of the midnight sun.

The Lofoten Islands in summer is truly a dream come true for any traveler looking for an adventure unlike any other. With perfect temperatures, endless outdoor activities and awe-inspiring natural phenomena, there's no better time to explore this Scandinavian gem.

sitting on a cliff


These unspoiled islands in northern Norway are suitable for those looking for unforgettable experiences, for example, fishing, kayaking, bird watching, watching the northern lights and the midnight sun, and even surfing waves at the world's northernmost surf spots.

This is an area where you can easily spend a month of travel.

There's a lot to see in the Lofoten Islands. Sometimes all you need to do there is to get lost.

If you are a true wild nature lover, one that preserves the landscapes of Genesis - you should make your next trip to the Lofoten Islands!

Thanks for reading!

My Travel Resources

Here are some websites I use whenever preparing for my next journey anywhere around the world.

  • Book affordable flights on Expedia, a great website that show the best routes and flight deals to your destination.

  • Find a budget-friendly deal on all sorts of accommodation types on Booking.com.

  • Buy the most flexible and budget-friendly travel insurance at SafteyWing.

Read My Other Blogs:

Annapurna Circuit Solo: The Detailed Itinerary

The complete guide to solo travel in nepal

3 Days In Kathmandu: The Ultimate Kathmandu Itinerary

12 best reasons to visit nepal

Scotland road trip Itinerary for 14 days

How to plan the ultimate norway road trip

15 most amazing places in Norway

2 days in bergen norway

8 most scenic routes in norway

3 Day Madrid Itinerary

how to spend weekend in Amsterdam

2 weeks in sicily: the perfect sicily road trip

how to spend 3 days in prague

Disclaimer: some links on my site are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. By using these you are directly supporting Guy On The Road to remain an independent travel blog. Thank you!