View of Kvalvika Beach from Ryten
Hiking in Lofoten
The best hiking routes in Lofoten
Travelers flock to Lofoten to take in the dramatic scenery and hike the trails. The most popular hike is arguably Reinebringen, and its trail has been recently upgraded with stone steps. It’s popularity though, has resulted in parking chaos, queues up the mountainside, and some dangerous situations.
To have a pleasant experience, try and hike early in the morning or later in the day. Even better, choose a different hike for a quieter trail and more unique experience. 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.
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.
With an express boat connection from Bodø, Svolvær is a great starting point. From there, you can work your way through the islands and finish in Reine. From there, nearby Moskenes has a ferry connection back to Bodø making it an easy round trip.
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.
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.