Lofoten are true hiking paradise with dozens of hiking routes spread all over islands. Many of them are quite demanding, leading to the tops of steep rocky hills, but awarding those who climb all the way up with spectacular views. In winter it is one of the popular destinations to observe northern lights. I spent a week in Lofoten – driving around islands, hiking and exploring its nature and wildlife.
Getting there and around
We took a flight from Oslo to Evenes, which is close to Lofoten. We rented a car at the airport and drove to the islands. More convenient is to fly directly to Svolvaer airport, depending on price of tickets and your budget. You can also take a ferry from Bodo to A and start exploring islands from the west. Most convenient way to get around the island is renting a car. Many people are cycling around the islands, too.
I walk a lot and hike time to time, but never hiked in northern Europe or place like Lofoten. Many hikes are quite steep, sometimes the routes are not very well signed, good thing is to buy a map or to visit website rando-lofoten.net that provides online maps and information on all the hikes. Wear hiking boots and windproof-waterproof jacket, weather in Lofoten changes quite often. Bring water and some food and always assume you will have to walk the same way back, especially if you leave your car at point A whilst going to the point B. When we walked from Eggum to Unstadt we planned to take a bus back from Unstadt to Eggum, but when we arrived, there was no bus operating, so we had to walk back. So be ready for everything 🙂
Places to visit
There are many fishing villages around the islands. In most of them you can spend only an hour or two, unless you want to do a hike that could be nearby or take a boat trip for example. Most known villages are A in Lofoten, Henningsvaer, Nusfjord and Reine.
Lofoten offer many outdoor activities, especially boat trips that include whale watching or bird watching. There are also museums like Viking museum or Codfish museum. Lofoten island themselves are basically natural museum and if the weather is nice and you are into nature, you can just go with waking and hiking. If the weather gets really nice you can hit of its sandy beaches, but don’t expect to be swimming, water is really cold 🙂 Many people also opt to wander and sleep in tents. You can choose between sleeping in camps or in nature. We would rent a rorbu – typical red fishing cottage. One of the activity you will also do a lot is photography. Lofoten are full of picturesque landscape, so bring your camera and if you are there in winter for northern lights, do not forget a tripod.
Food, drink and prices
It’s Norway, one of the most expensive countries in Europe, so prices are in accordance with that. For accommodation in a very simple cottage you will pay at least 100 euro per night per two persons. Meal in restaurants start at 15 euros for soup or pasta. Large beer costs around 10-12 euros. One of the things worth having in a local restaurants is a typical creamy shrimp soup, it is really tasty. Most of accommodation facilities enable self-catering and there are supermarkets in towns around the islands, where you can buy all you need.