Lofoten with a low winter sun in Norway, glowing on the snow covered mountains and the traditional fishing village with red wooden houses

Best Lofoten Tours And Adventures From A Native (2024)

The Lofoten Islands are among the most popular destinations in Norway. They are situated above the Arctic Circle and have a unique location, nature, and culture—even particularly beautiful for the north and is a perfect starting point for epic Lofoten tours.

I have visited a number of times over the years while I lived in Tromsø attending the Arctic University, and I can assure you that just being here or going hiking, canoeing, and rock climbing, to mention a few really cool Lofoten activities is soothing for the soul.

Lofoten stretches from north to south, shaped like a pointy peninsula that is actually an untidy chain of islands connected by bridges. Starting from the Ofotfjorden Fjord, which is home to Narvik town, it reaches out into the North Sea before it tips southwards.

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Welcome To Lofoten Norway!

Incredible scenery with the blank fjord in the foreground, a small village with red and white wooden houses in front of majestic mountains with snow covered peaks in the low glowing winter sun

The exceptional scenery consists of islands interconnected by bridges, with chains of steep mountains that never get completely clear of snow, falling straight down into the sea on all sides.

It is a super popular destination for adventure travelers for its myriad of exceptional adventures, both summer and winter. (Even if you like a more mellow and relaxing holiday, Lofoten has options for that, too, so don’t worry).

You can get here by flying to Leknes or Svolvær or taking the speed ferry from Bodø on the mainland and arriving in the beautiful Svolvær village, home to the famous Svolværgeita peak (The Svolvær Goat).

You can also opt for visiting as part of a coastal cruise, with Hurtigruten or Havila Voyages, or find your own way on a road trip.

📍 Quick facts about Norway:

  • Population 5 million
  • Capital city: Oslo
  • North Cape: northernmost point in Norway & Europe
  • Language: Norwegian (most people speak English)
  • Currency: Norwegian Krone (currency calculator)
  • Coastline: 62000 miles
  • Has territory in the Arctic region
  • Midnight Sun in summer and Northern Lights in winter

10 Top-Rated Lofoten Tours

Canoeing in Lofoten on blank water under the midnight sun

Below are 10 of the best-rated adventure tours you can do in Lofoten that I have researched thoroughly.

If any of them attract your interest, you can click through to learn more about each tour to see if it is right for you.

If you want to know more about Lofoten and the different villages and islands, read on, and I will share the most popular and spectacular Lofoten destinations that I love and thousands of native and international visitors with me.

Other Activities in Lofoten

If organized tours are not what you are looking for, there are activities that do not require a guide as well.

Although, I do recommend that if you are going out on the water or into the mountains by yourself, I suggest you consider your level of skill and experience in the outdoors, and take into consideration that you are in the Arctic.

It is easy to underestimate the elements up here (especially in the summer because “summer” is not necessarily 25 degrees Celsius). Every year, Norwegian rescue services step in to help people who have gotten into a bit of trouble alone in the challenging and ever-changing Norwegian elements!

In Lofoten, you can do hikes yourself, including summit hikes, but always ask the locals for advice and inform someone about where you are going and when you expect to be back.

On calm, sunny days, you can rent a kayak and get up close and personal with nature, and you can fish safely from shore almost anywhere.

Charms of Lofoten: Must-See Destinations From Svolvær to Å

Views of Svolvær village from the surrounding mountain under a pale blue sky with rugged rocks in the distance

Lofoten officially starts around Raftsundet in the Tengelfjorden Fjord, close to the mainland, and stretches island by island to a small place called Å (which is the last letter in the Norwegian alphabet).

The total distance from start to end in Å in Lofoten is 178 kilometers (110 miles), and traveling here is a popular journey for thousands of people in the summer doing road trips, biking adventures, and even hiking.

There are lots of little villages along the way, but to narrow it down a bit, the most popular places to visit in Lofoten are Svolvær (with the famous Svolværgeita Mountain), Kabelvåg, Henningsvær, Stamsund, Ballstad, Nusfjord, Reine, Sørvågen, and lastly, Å.

Map of Lofoten

Svolvær: The Beating Heart with a Rocky Edge

Welcome to Svolvær, the bustling metropolis of Lofoten (if you can call it that). This town is your gateway to adventure and culture, where modern vibes meet rugged natural beauty.

Don’t miss the famous Svolværgeita Mountain – it’s not just a hike, it’s a climb up a goat’s horn! If you’re brave enough to conquer this rocky peak, you’ll be rewarded with bragging rights and an Instagram story that’ll make your friends green with envy.

Svolvær isn’t just about outdoor thrills. This town knows how to cater to the culture vulture in you. Explore local art at the Lofoten War Museum, and the numerous galleries dotted around town.

And when the sun dips, dive into the lively nightlife where you can sip on local brews and dance under the midnight sun. Svolvær is where Lofoten’s pulse is most palpable, making it the perfect first stop on your Arctic escapade.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Svolvær:

Kabelvåg: History and Heritage by the Sea

Step back in time in Kabelvåg, a quaint fishing village with a rich history that whispers through its picturesque streets.

This charming destination was Lofoten’s first town, and you can feel the legacy in every cobblestone and ancient wooden building.

Visit the Lofoten Museum to get the lowdown on the archipelago’s fishing heritage, and don’t skip the majestic Vågan Church, also known as the Lofoten Cathedral.

But Kabelvåg isn’t just about looking back. This village knows how to balance old-world charm with contemporary cool.

Hit the Magic Ice Bar for a drink in sub-zero surroundings, or take a scenic walk to Storvågan for some stunning coastal views. Kabelvåg will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into a living postcard, blending history with the breathtaking beauty of the Norwegian coastline.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Kabelvåg:

Henningsvær: The Venice of Lofoten

Henningsvær fishing village in Lofoten on a sunny summer day with blank water in the harbor in front of colorful houses and majestic mountains

Ah, Henningsvær. This picturesque fishing village is often dubbed the “Venice of Lofoten” – and for good reason.

Spread across several small islands, Henningsvær is connected by a series of bridges, offering enchanting waterways and harbor views at every turn.

Explore the vibrant art scene here in Henningsvær, and you should definitely pop into the KaviarFactory – an old caviar factory turned contemporary art gallery.

Henningsvær is not just about visual delights. For the adventurous, it’s a rock climber’s paradise with numerous routes to conquer.

If scaling heights isn’t your thing, try your hand at fishing or take a boat tour to witness the majestic sea eagles. This village perfectly captures the essence of Lofoten – rugged yet refined, historic yet hip.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Henningsvær:

Stamsund: Where Tradition Meets Tranquility

Stamsund, the serene fishing village that seems like a place time forgot. This quiet corner of Lofoten is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

Here, you can enjoy the simple pleasures of life – like taking a stroll along the docks, chatting with local fishermen, or just soaking in the breathtaking fjord views.

But don’t be fooled by its sleepy demeanor; Stamsund has a vibrant side, too. It’s home to one of Norway’s oldest fish processing plants, and the annual Stamsund International Theatre Festival adds a touch of cultural flair to this otherwise tranquil setting.

Whether you’re here to unwind or immerse yourself in local traditions, Stamsund offers a slice of authentic Lofoten life.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Stamsund:

Ballstad: A Fisherman’s Haven with a Creative Twist

Next on our Lofoten tour is Ballstad, a charming fishing village with a contemporary edge. Known for its bustling harbor and colorful rorbuer (fishermen’s cabins), Ballstad is the perfect blend of tradition and innovation.

This village is a living gallery where the old-world charm of fishing heritage meets modern art and gastronomy.

While you’re here, don’t miss a visit to the Hattvika Lodge, where you can indulge in some fine dining with a view.

If you love local, unique art, the annual Ballstad Art Festival is a must-see for you. This festival is turning the village into a vibrant hub of creativity that art enthusiasts will probably love.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Ballstad:

Nusfjord: Living History in a Perfect Package

Old fashioned shop near Nusfjord in Lofoten, with a wooden counter, antique cash register, cupboards and sign posts.

Welcome to Nusfjord, one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fishing villages.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is like stepping into a time machine, with its charming yellow and red wooden buildings that have stood the test of time.

Wander through this living museum, and you’ll feel like you’re walking through a history book, with each corner telling a story of the fishing industry that built Lofoten.

But it’s not all about the past in Nusfjord. The village is also a hub for outdoor adventures. Take a kayak out on the crystal-clear waters, hike the surrounding trails for panoramic views, or simply relax in the local sauna.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Nusfjord:

Reine: The Poster Child of Lofoten

If you’ve ever seen a postcard from Lofoten, chances are it was of Reine. This village is the epitome of scenic beauty with its dramatic peaks rising straight out of the water and its idyllic red cabins dotting the shoreline.

Reine’s stunning vistas have earned it a reputation as one of the most photographed spots in Norway – and it’s easy to see why. But – Reine is more than just a pretty face!

This village is a hub for adventure. Hike up Reinebringen for a view that will take your breath away (literally, it’s quite a climb), or take a boat tour through the fjords to spot wildlife and marvel at the rugged landscapes.

Reine is where you go to fill your camera roll and your soul with pure, unadulterated beauty.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Reine:

Sørvågen: The Gateway to Wild Adventures

Sørvågen is the perfect base for exploring the wild wonders of western Lofoten. This charming village offers more than just stunning views – it’s the starting point for some of the best hikes in the region.

From here, you can trek to the summit of Munkebu, where the panoramic vistas will reward every step of your journey.

But it’s not all about the trails. Sørvågen is also home to the Lofoten Stockfish Museum, where you can dive deep into the history of Norway’s iconic dried fish.

And for the tech enthusiasts, the Telecommunication Museum provides a fascinating look at the evolution of communication in these remote islands. Sørvågen blends natural splendor with intriguing history, making it a must-visit on your Lofoten itinerary.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Sørvågen:

Å: The End of the Road, But the Start of an Adventure

Lofoten tours: Å in lofoten on a dark night with light sifting through the cloud cover at the calm water and red wooden cottages

Last but certainly not least, we arrive at Å – yes, that’s its full name. This village marks the end of the E10 road and the Lofoten archipelago, but it’s where your adventure truly begins.

Å is a living museum of fishing history, with the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum offering insights into the traditional coastal lifestyle.

But Å isn’t just for history buffs. This village is surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes in Lofoten, perfect for hiking, photography, and just soaking in the natural beauty.

Don’t miss the chance to walk the scenic trail to Lake Ågvatnet or enjoy a boat trip in the nearby fjords. Å may be the end of the road, but it’s the perfect place to wrap up your Lofoten adventure with memories that will last a lifetime.

📍 Top-rated places to stay in Å in Lofoten:

FAQ Lofoten Tours

How Do I Get To The Lofoten Islands In Norway?

📍 TravelToNorway Tip: When in Lofoten, stay in a rorbu, an old fisherman cottage retailored to suit visitors, with modern amenities while keeping the traditional charm!

You have several options to get to the Lofoten Islands in Norway. You can fly from Oslo to Svolvær or Leknes airports in Lofoten. It is also possible to fly to Bodø on the mainland, and drive from there if you want to visit as a road trip.

From Bodø, you can also take the 3.5-hour ferry across the water to Moskenes or the Nordlandsekspressen bus from Bodø to Svolvær (3 hours 45 minutes).

You can also choose to take the Hurtigruten or Havila coastal cruise lines, which starts in Bergen and travels all the way up past the North Cape.

These cruise lines dock at Svolvær almost every day between them.

What Is Lofoten Known For?

Lofoten is known for being an absolute eldorado for outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers in the northern Arctic part of Norway both summer and winter.

Is It Always Light In Lofoten?

In the summer, yes, it is always light in Lofoten. The midnight sun season starts on the 27th of May, and lasts until the 17th of July every year.

What Is Normal Lofoten Tours Price?

As Norway, in general, has rather high price levels, and the Arctic region, in particular, is a challenging place for tours with weather, elements, and terrain, guided Lofoten tours are generally somewhat costly.

This is often to ensure that you have skilled guides who also have security training, as well as sturdy and safe gear and equipment.

Can I Do Lofoten Day Tours?

Yes, there are a variety of day tours and excursions you can join in Lofoten.

You can book online before your arrival if you prefer to plan your activities. You can also ask for assistance in the destinations you visit, and ask the locals and hotel or rorbu fisherman cabin staff for advice.

Quaint village with colorful wooden houses below majestic mountains with snow covered peaks in golden light from the low winter sun
Infinite views from the top of a mountain in Lofoten, Norway, of the mountain ranges and the vast sea bathed in sunlight under a pale blue winter sky

Wrap-Up Best Lofoten Tours & Activities

If there is one place I recommend you visit in Norway, it is Lofoten.

Famous among both locals and international travelers for its incredible scenery and adventures, it has a unique ambiance as an Arctic island community with wildlife, history, art, and even culinary experiences loved by everyone who visits.

Lofoten in summer vs Lofoten in winter will give you two very different experiences, so have a think about what you want to see!

Do you want the magic midnight sun in the summer, or the wild cold winter chasing the northern lights, the Aurora? Do you want wild adventures in the sea or the mountains, or try the cinnamon rolls in the bakery in Å, visiting art galleries and drive comfortably in a car?

Whatever holiday you want, you can have it in Lofoten. The only thing unavailable here is a big-city holiday; for that, you need to head further south!

Related blog posts:

9 Best Places To Stay In Lofoten Islands From A Native

Arctic Paradise Sands – Have You Heard About Utakleiv Lofoten Beach?

113+ Incredible Things To Do In Norway By Destination!

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  1. Nusfjord looks like a wonderful combination of history and outdoor adventures, definitely adding this to my list.

  2. It is stunning. Norway is on my bucket list. There is so much to do I’m going to need a lot of time there!

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