Lofoten Islands

Lofoten Islands, the place on earth known for its extreme beauty, and the group of islands in Norway with the wildest rock formations! This place have scenic mountains beyond your imagination, cozy fishermen villages, and the chance of seeing the northern lights dance on the night sky multiple times! Lofoten Islands is located above the Arctic Circle, and you can therefore experience both ‘polar nights’ and ‘polar days’. 

Polar nights is the time of the year where the sun never rises above the horizon. In Lofoten Islands, which is located in the southern end of the Arctic Circle, this means that you will have constant sunset colours for approx. 4 hours straight during polar nights. This blog post is based on my trip to Lofoten Islands, which took place during ‘polar nights’ in 2022. The pictures below therefore gives you an idea of how dark it actually is when the sun does not rise above the horizon. 

Polar days on the other hand, occur during summer-time, and is where the sun remains above the horizon for 24-hours during a certain period in that time of the year.

Good to know:

  • Polar nights in Lofoten Islands (2022/23) occurred from December 7th till January 5th. 
  • Since the sun does not rise at all, you will not be able to use a weather-forecast app to see when during the day it is rather light outside. The app will of course just say that the sun does not rise. However, since Lofoten Islands is located further in the south of the Arctic Circle it is not pitch black during polar nights, like it might be on Svalbard far in the north of the Arctic Circle. Here’s the times of the day it was rather bright outside and an ideal time-frame to go hiking in:
    • It started getting bright out around 09.30/10.00 
    • It started getting dark again around 14.00/14.30
A good tip when visiting Lofoten Islands during polar nights is therefore to wake up and start driving to your desired hiking trail while it is still dark outside, so that you arrive and are ready to start the hike as soon as it is bright. By doing this you avoid a situation of having to hike down from a snow-covered mountain in the dark because you arrived too late in the day and hence had too little time to complete the hike.

Remember to always check online how long time it takes to complete the hike you are planning on doing. If the mountains are covered in snow, then it will take longer time complete, and in that case it will be wise to add some extra time to your schedule. Any hikes longer than 4 hours in total, I would not embark on doing polar nights for safety reasons, and to avoid hiking in the dark.

Now, let me show you exactly how beautiful Lofoten Islands are through my pictures and best recommendations below! In my opinion, everyone should experience a place like this on earth at least once in their lives. If you are a traveler, and loves exploring the world, I hope that I can inspire you to want to visit Lofoten Islands sometime in the future. Perhaps an idea for your next trip?

How to get there:

Flight: If you want to fly to Lofoten Islands, there is an airport in Svolvær. To fly to ‘Svolvær Airport’, you need to take an airplane with Wideroe from either Bodø or Oslo on the mainland. 

Ferry: Another option, if you want to bring a car, is to take the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes. The ferry ride is approx. 3 hours, and this is the option that might be more convenient if you example rent a car in Bodø that you want to bring the islands. However, you can also rent a car on Lofoten Islands, but this option might be more expensive. In the summer you might want to book a ticket in advance online, but in the winter you can save a bit of money by just paying at the ferry terminal. Be aware, that there is always a risk when you do not book a ticket in advance that there might not be enough space available on the ferry for your car! So, arrive well before departure if you don’t want to book a ticket in advance. The cost to bring a car is relatively high. Here is the prices we paid in December 2022:

  • Car incl. driver (price for booking in advance): 954 NOK
  • Passenger (without vehicle): 200 NOK

Where to stay:

Hotel: Skaarungen AS
City: Kabelvåg

Skaarungen is located centrally on Lofoten Islands, with only a 15 minute drive to the nearest city and short distances by car to nearby hikes and sightseeings.  What makes the location of Skaarungen the absolute best is the magical view it has of the mountains. The hotel is located in a rather isolated place in between spectacular mountains and right by the ocean. The interior of Skaarungen is architecturally beautiful and super cozy. The price for a room is rather cheap compared to other hotel with the same standard on Lofoten Islands, and the staff is super friendly and always ready to recommend their favourite hikes and places to go to in the area. Some of the hikes I did below were the favourite hikes of thes locals! If you arrive with the ferry to Moskenes, then it is a 2 hours drive by car to get to the hotel from the ferry terminal.

Breakfast: Not included. The price (as of 2022) per person is 199 NOK.
Parking: Free of charge.
Recommendation: Skaarungen spa & sauna. It is located right outside the hotel and has the best spa and sauna view in Lofoten Islands. The price as of 2022 is 350 NOK per person for 1,5 hours.

Book your stay HERE.

must visit places in lofoten islands

1. Offersøykammen

In Lofoten Islands it is hard to choose one hike over another, as they are all beautiful. Offersøykammen is one of the many hikes with spectacular views no matter which direction you look to at the summit. If you decide to complete this hike, then be prepared that it can be rather slippery getting to the top in the snow. If you are not familiar with the hike, I would only recommend you to embark on it if others have done it before you, so that you can follow their footsteps in the snow and get to the top safely. The trail start can be a bit tricky to find, as it just starts on amongst the trees, on the side of the main road. This hike was done during polar nights, and these pictures were taken around 13.00. So, even though it looks like late afternoon, it was actually in the middle of the day. We got back down from the hike at 14.16, and at 14.30 it was pitch black. So, remember to plan your hikes so that you are back down from the mountains before 14.30 at the latest.

  • Where: Vestvågøy, Nordland
  • When: All year
  • Elevation: 350 m
  • Distance: 2,3 km roundtrip
  • Approximate time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Cellular service: No
  • Washrooms: Yes, by the parking area 100 meters from the trail start.
  • What to bring: Water, snacks, spikes on your shoes if hiking during winter.
  • Parking: There is a public parking lot with a public washroom approx. 100 meters from the trail start. Then, you just walk from there along the main road to get to the trail start.

2. Glomtinden

This hike is an absolutely beautiful hike all along the trail. You have a 360 degree view of the mountains and ocean. The trail starts out relatively easy and flat, and only starts getting steeper halfway through the hike. If you do this hike during winter time, follow the footsteps in the snow. This way you will follow the trail safely to the summit. This hike is safe to complete for solo hikers, but as always when adventuring out into the wild alone, make sure to let someone know where you are and when you expect to be back at the starting point again. These pictures were also taken around 13.00 as in the previous hike.

  • Where: Kabelvåg, Nordland
  • When: All year
  • Elevation: 355 m
  • Distance: 3,4 km roundtrip
  • Approximate time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Cellular service: Yes
  • Washrooms: No
  • What to bring: Water, snacks, and when hiking during winter you will do yourself a favour if bringing hiking poles and putting on spikes on your shoes.
  • Parking: In the winter when everything is covered in snow you should take a turn from the main road and drive down the road that leads to Henningsvær. Shortly after your turn there is a bus stop on your left side, where there is a parking sign. Here, you can park for free for a couple of hours while hiking. During summer-time, there should be a parking lot right at the trail start next to the main road, in which you can park.

3. Tjeldbergtinden

This area is popular for hiking and running, and you will most likely encounter other people when hiking here. Though we did not make it all the way to the top, we still experienced some of the magnificent views that you will see on this hiking trail. Parking is free, and we easily found a free spot. However, the parking lot is small, so park smart so that there is space for other people who might arrive while you are out on the hike. These pictures were taken around 12.00, so you really constantly have the beautiful pastel colours during those 4-5 hours where it is bright outside.

  • Where: Vågan, Nordland
  • When: All year
  • Elevation: 318 meters
  • Distance: 4 km roundtrip
  • Approximately time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Cellular service: Yes
  • Washrooms: No
  • What to bring: Water and snacks
  • Parking: Free parking close to the trail start.

4. Henningsvær

Henningsvær is a small picturesque fishing village with cozy cafés and restaurants hidden down small streets and alleys. In Henningsvær you will not only experience a cozy atmosphere, but you will also find one of the most unique football fields in the world. Do you spot the football field covered in snow on the right picture? The stadium is made on solid rock layers, synthetic mantle and with side grids made up of large racks to prevent the football from ending up in the ocean. These side racks are not only built to prevent the ball from ending up in the ocean, but is actually also used for drying cod.

Parking in Henningsvær: Right after you drive over the last bridge to Henningsvær, you will find public parking on your left side. Parking is paid through the app “EasyPark”. The first two hours are free, but you still need to register your car in the app or at the ticket machine. If you are here during low-season, you most likely will not have any issues finding a parking spot. However, during the high season it can be hard to find parking spots.

5. Sakrisøya

Sakrisøya is a tiny island located in the south of Lofoten Islands. At Sakrisøya you have the opportunity to try some delicious fresh seafood at ‘Anitas Seafood‘ and get amazing views in all directions. Sakrisøya is characterised by its beautiful yellow wooden buildings, which makes a great contrast against the mountains and the ocean. A dream scenario for any photographer!

Parking: It might be hard to find public parking if you simply want to stop for pictures and a stroll around the island. The parking lots we found were private, and only available to guests of the restaurants, cafés and hotels. During low season/winter time, when most places are closed you might be able to park those places and go for a walk around the island, since the places are closed. But remember to respect the locals and their community, and do not park anywhere where you feel like you probably shouldn’t. During high season just plan a nice lunch at for example ‘Anitas Seafood’, and then go for a walk around the island afterwards, so that you can leave your car parked there with good consciousness having been a paying customer.

Good tips: During winter, at least in December, many of the places are either closed for the season due to the small amount of tourists visiting, or have limited opening hours. Planning your days is therefore essential when traveling here. For example, ‘Anitas Seafood’ on Sakrisøya was only open from 12.00-15.00 when we were there in December 2022.

Remember: Always respect the locals and their businesses. Many local business in these rural places earn their main income during high season. So, if a parking space is for paying customers only, don’t park there during high season when there are a lot of tourists, if you do not intend to support their business.

6. Hamnøy

Hamnøy is another tiny islands located right next to Sakrisøya. Hamnøy is a the oldest fisher village in Lofoten, and is characterised by its cute red buildings that makes another great contrast against the mountains and the ocean for beautiful pictures. In fact, it is such a great place for pictures that Hamnøy’s red fishermen cabins have been futured in several world-known magazines such as ‘National Geographic’ and ‘Condé Nast Traveler’. At Hamnøy you can stay in one of these fishermen cabins (rorbuer) at ‘Eliassen Rorbuer‘, and you can also find a cute little bakery called ‘Lofoten Bakeri’ if you want to try some locally baked goods. The rorbuer was used back in the days to accommodate fishermen from all over Norway, hence the it is called ‘Fishermen Cabins’. These have however been renovated completed inside to make it comfortable for tourists to stay here during their travels in Lofoten Islands.

Parking: It might be hard to find public parking if you simply want to stop for pictures and a walk around the island, so make sure to read the parking signs, so that you do not park anywhere you are not allowed to park. During off-season, when there is completely empty, you might be able to park in front of the bakery or other places.

Good tips: Plan your trip beforehand. The bakery at Hamnøy is for example closed during low season, so when we were there in December it was not possible to buy any baked goods. A good reason to come back though!


7. Reine

Reine is another beautiful fishing village, which history dates back to 1743. Before entering Reine, you will find a viewpoint over the village, the ocean and the mountains with public free parking. In Reine you will find ‘Bringen Kaffebar’, which is one of the only coffee places in the village, and they make some absolutely delicious coffee, hot chocolate and baked goods. I can highly recommend a stop here to fuel up your body with some treats.

Parking: You can park for free as a customer in front of ‘Bringen Kaffebar’.

Good tips: Plan your trip beforehand. The bakery at Hamnøy is for example closed during low season, so when we were there in December it was not possible to buy any baked goods. A good reason to come back though!



Lofoten Islands is a perfect travel destination if you want to experience the northern lights! Lofoten Islands is located right below the aurora belt, which makes this a place with some of the best chances to see Aurora Borealis (northern lights). The aurora belt is a belt of light that circles around the geomagnetic poles. A natural phenomenon that occurs in both the northern and southern hemisphere. Watching the green colours ‘dance’ around on the night blue sky is an incredible experience for the memory books. One you will not soon forget!

  • When: The northern lights season in Lofoten is from late August till mid April.
  • Where: The best locations to watch the northern lights are places that face north. 
  • How: To see the northern lights, there are three variables that must take place:
    • The sky must be clear from clouds.
    • It must be dark enough.
    • Enhanced solar activity.

Good tip: You can use a forecast app to see how big your chances of experiencing the northern lights are. There is an app called “Norway Lights“, which can be used to see the forecasts for northern lights each day in Norway.