Blessed with the picture perfect fishermen’s villages, tall mountains and alluring landscapes, Lofoten will make you use the superlatives of word “wow” more than you are used to. Located north of Norway, it is an archipelago of several islands, the most notable being Hinnoya (southwestern part), Austvagoy (southern part), Gimsoy, Vestvagoy, Flakstadoy, Moskenesoya and Væroy. Planning a trip to Lofoten is no joke, especially if you have limited time and money.
Lofoten is a hikers haven. From intermediate to super challenging ones, there are endless hikes you can enjoy for days. However, exploring the islands at your own pace will make you fall in love with Lofoten Islands. There is no end to the places you can visit at Lofoten. However, following are the main towns/villages which can make your itinerary:
A: Pronounced “Aw,” A is the southernmost tip of Lofoten Islands where the highway E10 ends and is definitely worth spending an evening. From the port of Moskenes, this village is about 10 km south and the charm of the village lies in the beautiful sunset. The place offers picturesque fishing huts and beautiful landscape.
Reine: If you have Lofoten as your next travel destination, it is most likely that you saw the photo of Reine. Yes, it is this cute little village that is located on multiple small islands connected by arched bridges — top this with red dots in the form of rorbuers, and you got yourself a typical Lofoten keepsake photo. One of the most famous hikes of this area is to the top of Reinebringen.
Sakrisoy: Nestled between Reine and Hamnoy, this place is called village of yellow huts. The village is famous for fish drying racks and stunning mountain cliffs in the background.
Hamnoy: Next to Sakrisoy is the town of Hamnoy. The photo of Hamnoy bridge is in almost every article concerning Lofoten Islands. Just after crossing the Hamnoy bridge, take a detour (road Fv808) to village of Fredvang. You will pass by two iconic bridges, which truly mark the charm of the Atlantic highway and will take you to the Yttersand beach. This white sand beach will offer you different hues of blue water and has couple of hikes in the nearby mountains offering even better panoramas of the area.
Ramberg: Nearly 20 km north of Hamnoy is the village of Ramberg. Ramberg Beach is one of the best surfing beaches of Lofoten, and one of few beaches that allow camping. The hike to Nubben is short but rewarding.
Leknes: The administrative hub of Lofoten, Leknes is one of the biggest towns where you should fuel up. It has some amazing restaurants and a big supermarket in case you want to stock up on food.
Haukland & Uttakleiveien Beach: Barely 15 minute drive from Leknes are two white sand, picture-perfect beaches — Haukland and Uttakleiveien. The two beaches are separated by a mountain. Haukland beach is also a popular camping area for hikers. You have two amazing options to either do a three kilometre hike to Uttakleiveien Beach from Haukland or hike up to Mount Mannen. It will take you nearly 1.5 hours to reach to the top but the views are stunning. The hike to Mannen can be a little challenging if it has rained because trail gets slippery. So take a check on the weather.
Nusfjord: Nusfjord is a cute little fishing village that has museum, old-fashioned village store, a hike to a lighthouse and a workshop of making cod liver oil. This village is situated perfectly by the sea with cliffs on the backdrop and colourful huts that make you click hundreds of photos. You can definitely spend couple of hours exploring this village.
Henningsvær: Henningsvær is a small , charming fishing village located on several small islands off the southern coast of Austvagoya. The drive to this charming port town is as beautiful as the town itself. Take some time and stroll through the village. It has some amazing restaurants and cafes. To get an aerial view of two bridges connecting the small dots of lands, hike up Mount Festvagtind.
Svolvaer: From historical sites to cultural attractions, Svolvaer has a lot to offer. Explore this place at your own pace as it is one of the closest cities to the mainland. You will find the most economical accommodations in this area. It has plenty of supermarkets, restaurants and cafes. If you plan to explore Lofoten from North to South — Svolvaer will make for a great base to stock up all essentials. For adventure seekers, try hiking up Svolvaergeita — one of the most popular hikes of the area.
Lofoten has this energy that brings you close to nature. You can enjoy Lofoten for both midnight sun and northern lights. Both sights are spectacular. If you are planning a visit to Lofoten, plan to go in summer July-August, the days will be long and you will get more time to explore.
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