Hiking on the Lofoten Islands

Trail guides and maps

Hiking Festvågtind. Photo: Samuel Taipale

Where to hike

The entire Lofoten archipelago is filled with peaks worth climbing. Choosing just a handful can feel a bit challenging, so we have some tips and suggestions for picking the right hikes for you.

The good news is that there are no bad views in Lofoten and any hike or viewpoint will make a mighty impression.

Terrain and difficulty

Since Lofoten is packed with mountains lined up along the sea, most of the popular hiking trails are to summits. That means tackling a lot of ups and downs on dirt and stone trails.

In addition to the total distance, check the elevation gain on a trail to get a good understanding of how tough it is. Some trails have exposure (steep drops) and there are no safety railings.

There are also routes for casual hikers and families. An easier summit is Nubben, by Ramberg Beach. The coastal trails and sandy beaches are also good options. See Bunes Beach, Nusfjord to Nesland, or some of the other trails around Nusfjord.

Download our Lofoten hiking guide, including all trails and maps, in the Outtt app.

Suggested itineraries

If you plan on exploring the length of Lofoten, allocate at least four days. If you’re not traveling further in Northern Norway, such as to Senja or Tromsø, try to spend at least a week in Lofoten.

Start in Svolvær for Djevelporten and Fløya. Then head towards Henningsvær for the hike to Festvågtind. If you have some extra time, hike Glomtinden and on your way through Gimsøya island, trek up its lone peak, Hoven.

Near Leknes, hike Himmeltinden, Vestvågøya Island’s highest peak. Visit Haukland and Utakleiv beaches. With more time, consider Justadtinden. Moving west to Flakstadøya Island, pop in to Nusfjord. Then hike Ryten and visit Kvalvika Beach.

On Moskenes Island, take the ferry across the Reinefjord and hike to Bunes Beach. Trek up to Helvetestind for a bird’s eye view if you have the energy. With an extra day (or two) hike Munken and visit the Munkebu cabin.

For a shorter stay in Lofoten, consider using Reine as a base. Reine is on Moskensøya Island at the western end of Lofoten and has good facilities available, including popular rorbuer accommodation.

Most importantly, it provides easy access to hikes like Bunes Beach, Helvetestind and Munken. It’s just a short drive to Flakstadøya Island for more hikes and historic village of Nusfjord.

Reinebringen

The trail up famous Reinebringen is currently closed while important conservation work is completed in the area. Increased traffic in recent years has caused problems with erosion and stone steps are being built by sherpas to help the landscape cope.

While people still hike the trail, it is dangerous and strongly discouraged. It is anticipated the trail will reopen in 2019. In the meantime, there is no shortage of peaks to tackle for stunning panoramas and that top-of-the-world feeling.

Get this guide as a PDF

Download a PDF with trail descriptions for all 27 Lofoten hiking trails.

Get this guide as a PDF

Download a PDF with trail descriptions for all 27 Lofoten hiking trails.

27 hiking trails in Lofoten

Festvågtind

Middels
2.9 km · 2.5 – 3 t

Kvalvika

Middels
6.7 km · 2 – 3 t

Helvetestind

Krevende
8.4 km · 3 – 4 t

Bunesstranda

Enkel
5.4 km · 2 – 3 t

Volandstind

Middels
4.5 km · 2 – 3 t

Munken

Krevende
12.2 km · 6 – 8 t

Mannen

Middels
3.9 km · 1 – 2 t

Djevelporten og Fløya

Middels
3.4 km · 3 – 4 t

Tjeldbergtind

Middels
3.8 km · 2 – 3 t

Flakstadtind

Krevende
2.5 km · 2 – 3.5 t

Stornappstinden

Middels
4.3 km · 2 – 4 t

Nubben

Enkel
1 km · 1 – 2 t

Himmeltinden

Middels
7.6 km · 4 – 6 t

Offersøykammen

Middels
2.7 km · 1 – 2 t

Holandsmælen

Middels
4.2 km · 1 – 2.5 t

Ryten

Middels
7.4 km · 2.5 – 4 t

Hoven

Middels
3.5 km · 1.5 – 3 t

Justadtinden

Middels
11.7 km · 4 – 6 t

Glomtinden

Middels
5.6 km · 2 – 4 t

Nusfjord to Mellavatnet

Enkel
1.3 km · 0.5 – 1 t

Nusfjord Lighthouse

Enkel
2.2 km · 0.5 – 1 t

Nusfjord til Nesland

Middels
7.9 km · 3.5 – 5.5 t

Horseid Beach

Enkel
8.5 km · 3.5 – 5 t

Tønsåsheia

Krevende
7.2 km · 3 – 6 t

Vågakallen

Ekspert
7.6 km · 5.5 – 6.5 t

Unstad - Eggum

Middels
13.3 km · 4 – 6 t

Hellostinden

Middels
7.5 km · 4 – 5 t

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Getting around

Many excellent hikes in Lofoten can be accessed using public transport. Buses, express boats, and ferries navigate around the islands. Driving provides the most flexibility, particularly if you want to explore all the branches of Norwegian Scenic Route Lofoten.

Route E10 runs the length of Lofoten, finishing in Å on Moskenes island. This road forms the backbone of the 230 kilometer scenic route, with detours to Nusfjord, Vikten, Utakleiv, Unstad, Eggum, and Henningsvær.

Car

The roads through the islands are narrow and windy and can be daunting for drivers used to large freeways and wide open roads. During the summer, the roads get busy with large buses and campervans.

Due to the narrow roads, there are frequent meeting points which provide extra space for passing. In wintertime, the roads are snowy, icy, and slippery. Only drive if you have experience in those conditions as the roads are pretty unforgiving.

Major car rental agencies operate in both Svolvær and Leknes. It’s also possible to take a car on the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes. Alternatively, it might be cheaper and easier to rent from the small agency next to the Moskenes ferry terminal.

Check prices for car rental in Svolvær or Leknes.

Public transport

If you‘re traveling for more than a couple of days, the easiest way to travel around Lofoten by public transport is to pick up Travel Pass Nordland. The pass allows for unlimited travel for seven days and includes buses and express boats in Lofoten, as well as in Vesterålen and further south in Bodø and Helgeland.

The pass costs 990 NOK for adults and 495 NOK for children up to 15. The pass can be purchased in the Billett Nordland app, onboard buses and boats, or in the local tourist offices.

The Lofotenekspressen bus line runs the length of the islands from Narvik to Å along route E10. The bus stops in Svolvær and Leknes. There are usually two buses running in each direction every day. See an example of the route.

There are also local bus routes which run a few times per day. These routes are sometimes connected to school days so they may run less often on weekends and in summer. Use the Entur website or app to check the times.

The express boats accessible using the pass include the route from Bodø to Svolvær and the boat across the Reinefjord for Bunes Beach. Ferries, including the boat from Bodø to Moskenes are not currently included in the pass.

When to go

As in most of Northern Norway, the best time to go hiking in Lofoten is in July, August, and September. In these months, the trails will be clear of snow and the days are long. The average high temperature in this period is between 10 and 15°C, but high temperatures over 20°C do occur in July and August.

If you’re happy to stick to lower ground (and avoid the crowds) good hiking can be had from May. There are no hard and fast rules though and the true beginning and end of the seasons varies depending on snowfalls and general weather conditions.

The midnight sun arrives in Lofoten in late May and stays until mid-July. Very long days last into August meaning “night” hiking under the glow of the low-hanging sun is a fun option.

The white sandy beaches of Lofoten are without a doubt one of the scenic highlights. Swimming in the water though, is only for the brave. In July and August, the water temperature at Unstad Beach, a popular surfing spot, averages just 12°C.

Prepare for crazy weather

It’s important to remember though that even in summer, the weather is unpredictable. You can start a hike in warm sunshine and reach the peak in driving rain. Entire days can foggy and wet. Ferries might be cancelled. Building in flexibility to your itinerary, as well as having some activities in mind for bad-weather days, is key to having an enjoyable and safe experience.

Trying to tick off a hike on a rainy day is rarely worth it. Not only will the trail be wet and slippery (and possibly dangerous), there won’t be much of a view, and all your gear will be soaking wet. Dealing with soggy clothes and hiking boots when camping is not ideal.

The Norwegian national weather service provides detailed weather reports and forecasts for Lofoten in English. These forecasts are also included within each trail description in the Outtt app.

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