If you are planning a trip to Scandinavia, you cannot leave without visiting the Lofoten Islands in Norway… It would be a complete and utter missed opportunity, trust me!! The Lofoten Islands in Norway are one of those places you visit and just think… Wow, how does a place like this even exists?!!! The scenery looks like a film producer has crafted this perfect world with beautiful green hills, lakes the size of oceans, mountain peaks crusted with snow, quiet winding roads, some of the most delicious food, waterfalls and adorable little fishing shacks!! Now, I am assuming you have arrived at this page because you are planning a trip to Norway and you want to know if it is worth visiting the Lofoten Islands, well the answer is YES (100 times yes!!), here is why…
Reine and Reinebrigen Hike, Moskenes
Reine is a small fishing village that has been an operating commercial centre since 1743. This adorable little village is full of traditional red and white fishing huts dotted along the coastline amongst the huge mountain peaks. It was here in Reine that my partner and I were able to see the Northern Lights so it will always hold a special place in my travel heart!! Reinebrigen is one of the most well known hikes in the Lofoten Islands and has arguably one of the best views of any hike. Although the trail itself is only 450 metres, its is extremely steep and slippery so not for the faint hearted!!
Haukland Beach and Himmeltinden Hike, Leknes
Haukland Beach is absolutely stunning and a must-see destination. The beach is surrounded by mountains, boasting clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. Its is a beautiful spot for lunch and a troll along the beach. Afterwards you could hike Himmeltinden, the mountain that abuts Haukland Beach carpark. This was probably one of the easiest hikes we did during our trip in Scandinavia, but had one of the most stunning ocean views. Once you get to the top you will be rewarded with 360 degree view of crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, farming villages and a beautiful mountain lake. After you finish the hike you could reward yourself by hiring a kayak or stand-up paddle board and appreciate those crystal clear waters up close. OH!! And the sheep, say “hi” to the little sheep families for me!!
Henningsvaer and Festvagting Hike,
Henningsvaer is quickly becoming the ‘trendy’ village to stay when in the Lofoten Islands. Made up of several small islands, Henningsvaer is bursting with cafes, restaurants and local artists. Festvagting hike will give you a spectacular view of Henningsvaer, so if you are physically able i would definitely recommend. The Festvagting hike was probably one of the most rewarding hikes we did during our travels around Scandinavia, but I will warn you it was also one of the most challenging – do not do this hike if it is raining or very windy!!
Lofotr Viking Museum, Vestvågøy
The Viking Museum in the Lofoten Island is pretty freakin’ cool guys!!! There is an actual, preserved viking-era house, this is the largest viking house found to date!! As soon as you step inside you will feel as though you have stepped back in time. The viking house has been completely recreated inside to look as though a viking family still live here today. If you are hungry after all of this time travel, join in on the viking feast including singing, dancing and some delicious food.
If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend staying in Sakrisøy. I found Sakrisøy one of the most charming little fishing village in all of the Lofoten Isalnds. We had some of the best traditional food while we stayed here – particularly traditional fish soup and whale jerky from Underhuset Restaurant (I know guys, but when in Rome?!). If you travel outside of stockfish season and want to catch a glimpse of the cod drying on fishracks, don’t worry you will be able to see them here in Sakrisøy.
Unstad Beach, Vestvågøy
Unstad Beach is the most northern surf beach in the world. If that isn’t cool in itself, the scenery is sure to draw you in!! In recent years Unstad Beach has become one of the most popular beaches in Norway with people travelling far and wide to surf here. The sleepy little town boasts two surf shops that you can hire a board and try you luck at surfing. If you are not into surfing, grab yourself a traditional (gigantic) cinnamon bun from the main surf shop and head to the beach for a stroll. The beach is absolutely stunning. Situated in a small valley framed by two mountains, rolling grassy hills and a mix of sand and boulder beach.
If you are after a quieter, less travelled fishing village then Nusfjord is for you. This adorable little village has some of the most beautiful traditional architecture and if you wanted to stay in a quite, authentic rorbuer (fishing shack) then this would be a good place to do it.
Å is located at the very southern end of the Lofoten Island. With just one letter forming its name, Å is a small fishing village with a lot to offer. Å boasts a Stockfish Museum which is one of Norway’s longest sustained export commodities. Stockfish is an important staple having fed Icelandic people for centuries. Å has a small souvenir shop – if you want to grab some ‘tacky’ gifts to give your co-workers when you return, you could do that here 😉