Arctic Norway – The Lofoten Islands

Amazing Lofoten Islands by Shutterstock, Hurtigruten

One of the most spectacular highlights in Norway

The amazing Lofoten Islands offers breathtaking, unforgettable scenery, impressive alpine mountain peaks, Arctic fjords and tiny fishing settlements.

Sea Eagle by Vidar Hoel, Hurtigruten

Sea eagle on Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten archipelago

is located north of the Arctic Circle in the county of Nordland, Norway. Between the mainland and the Lofoten lies the open Vestfjord. The archipelago is known for its exceptional natural beauty, picturesque fishing settlements, the Rorbu (fishermen’s cottages) and stockfish. Lofoten has a very high density of sea eagles and millions of other sea birds, among them the colourful puffin.

Due to the Gulf Stream the climate is mild, despite the latitude north of the Arctic Circle. Between May 25 and July 17 you can experience the midnight sun, and from early May the nights are bright.

Settlement on Lofoten Islands by Thomas Rasmus Skaug, Visit Norway

Small fishing settlement on Lofoten Islands

Beach on Lofoten Islands by Baard Loeken, Nordnorsk Reiseliv

Amazing white sandy beach on Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Fisheries

Even before the year 900 AD, the sagas tell about boats being equipped for the journey to the Lofoten and the winter cod fishing season, where the fishermen travelled for days and even weeks in open rowing boats and sailing boats to take part in the abundant fisheries of Lofoten, throughout the entire winter.

Rorbu: This created a need for accommodation for the visiting fishermen, setting off the building of the well known “rorbu” – now most of them refurbished into comfortable accommodations for leisure visitors.

Stockfish, produced from cod, was sold to almost all European countries, and Italy is still the most important market for the high quality stockfish from Lofoten.

Lofotr Viking Museum in Borg by CH, VIsit Norway

Meet the Vikings on Lofoten Islands

Sunset on Lofoten Islands by Alex Conu, Visit Norway

Sunset on Lofoten Islands

Scenery & attractions

The Lofoten Wall – the archipelago looks like a closed wall when seen from elevated points around Bodo or when arriving from the sea, some 100 km long, and 800-1000 m high.

The Moskenes maelstrom, considered to be one of the most dangerous maelstroms in the world.

The coastal Kollhellaren Cave with some 3000 year old cave paintings.

Vestvagoy with archeological finds from the Iron Age and the Viking Age.

The Viking longhouse (83 m) at Borg, the largest known longhouse. A reconstruction of the house is built at Lofotr Viking Museum.

The picturesque fishing villages of Nusfjord, Eggum and Unstad, situated at the foot of tall mountains, with the scenic pebbled beach at Eggum.

Henningsvaer – the most important fishing village on Lofoten.

Skomvaer Lighthouse – located on Skomvaer, the outermost island on Lofoten.

Lofoten in winter by Pixabay

Winter on Lofoten Islands

Travel tips for the Lofoten Islands – our Arctic cruise packages:

Lofoten Islands, Helgeland & Sognefjord, 12 nights
Lofoten Islands, Helgeland & Sognefjord, 8 nights
– both trips include a stay at the Lofoten Islands
Arctic Fjords and Coastal Highlights, 7 nights – trip including an amazing excursion across the islands
Highlights of Lofoten Islands, 6 nights – including a stay in Stamsund
View all our Arctic Norway tours & cruises

Arctic Nordland Line by Tore Bjorback Amblie, NSB

Arctic Nordland Line

More travel tips – How to get to the Lofoten Islands:

By air: Flight from Oslo to Bodo (Norwegian & SAS) and then Wideroe from Bodo to Svolvaer
By train & boat: The Dovre Line from Oslo to Trondheim (approx. 7 hrs), continue on the Arctic Nordland Line from Trondheim to Bodo (approx. 10 hrs), then the Hurtigruten ship across to the Lofoten Islands (approx. 3 hrs)
By boat: Hurtigruten ship from Bergen to Stamsund or Svolvaer on the Lofoten Islands (3 nights)

View all our Norway Highlights
View all our Tours & Cruises

Contact Fjord Travel Norway:
Use our contact form, send e-mail to, or
call us on +47 (55) 131-310 (Mon-Fri 09:00 to 15:30 local time)

What our customers say:

  • I wanted to thank everybody. We had a wonderful trip. Everything went well and fortunately we had the chance to see the lights while on the cruise. All my friends in Turkey would like to go on a similar trip. So I will be in touch with you. Thanks again and best wishes to all of you.

    Candan, Turkey

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    I would also like to thank Franziska and Lene, they both were fantastic in answering all my questions promptly, whilst booking the tour.
    Thank you for a wonderful and memorable holiday!

    Robert, Australia

  • Thank you for assisting us with our trip to Norway. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Kirkenes and the Snow Hotel. The arrangements you made for us were perfect. The lodging was comfortable and the excursions were fun. Tom and I rarely use the services of a travel company when we travel; you enriched our trip and made the planning easy.

    Alison, United States