Lofoten - the world's most beautiful archipelago offers spectacular nature experiences, charming fishing villages, a rich cultural life, great people, and so much more. With all that Lofoten has to offer, you are guaranteed to find some great experiences, whether you travel by yourself, with friends or family. With only a selected amount of time, it can be hard to prioritize what to see and do while in Lofoten. To help you out, we have gathered top 5 summer experiences that you should not miss during your Lofoten holiday. Check it out!
With its 448 masl Reinebringen offers a fantastic panoramic view, and is among one of the, if not the most, popular hiking destination in Lofoten. At the top you get a great view over the fjord, the mountains, islets and reefs, and the surrounding archipelago. If you only gonna go on one hike in Lofoten, this is the one!
In 2016, Sherpas started working on building the sherpa staircase up Reinebringen, and now the stone staircase reaches almost all the way up to the top. The steep hiking path has transformed into 1600 stone steps, and it is only the remaining 100 meters that still consists of the old path. On your way up you will also see several nice benches made of stone, here you can take a little break in between the hike and enjoy the fantastic view that reveal itself.
Despite the steep climb all the way up, the Sherpa stairs make it accessible for most people to get to the top. The time spent getting to the top will vary depending on physical fitness, but most people will use approximately 1 hour. Although the trip can be somewhat demanding, you will be rewarded for your efforts when you reach the top, the spectacular view will make you forget all about the tiredness. For both good view and walking conditions, it is recommended to that you hike on days when the weather is nice and the conditions are dry.
At the end of the hike, Reine, one of Norway's finest fishing villages and small communities, awaits. With its colorful fisherman's cabins in spectacular surroundings, it's no wonder that the little village reigns supreme in listings of beautiful destinations in the world. Reine is full of experiences and works well as a starting point for many outdoor activities.
2. White Sandy beaches
White sandy beaches may not be what you associate with the Arctic region, but in Lofoten you will find world-class beaches. In beautiful surroundings, between spectacular mountains and the blue sea, lie white sandy beaches. A trip to the beach is the perfect activity on sunny days during the summer, but can also be a great nature experience under other weather conditions and seasons.
Hauklandstranda is one of Lofoten's most famous beaches and has been voted by Norwegians themself as the most beautiful place in the country, while the neighboring beach Uttakleiv has been named the world's most romantic beach in Europe by the British newspaper The Times.
Hauklandstranda has become a popular hiking destination in the summer, and it is easy to understand why. Here you can enjoy Caribbean vibes, idyllic waves, and a cold dip in the sea for those who dare. While Uttakleiv with its beautiful location and surroundings has become a favorite among photographers, and is also one of the finest places in Lofoten to experience both the midnight sun and the northern lights.
If you want to go on a hike, there is an old coastal road between the beaches of Uttakleiv and Haukland where you can walk in the most scenic scenery. The hike is around 4 km long and take about an 1 hour to hike one way. If you want a longer hike, it is also possible to go back and forth or do a round trip by going through the tunnel.
Both beaches are easily accessible by car and have parking spaces. From Leknes, the drive to Hauklandstranda takes approximately 10 minutes and to Uttakleiv approximately 20 minutes.
3. The fishing village Henningsvær
Henningsvær, is an exciting little fishing village in Lofoten with narrow roads, fishing boats, small local cafes, shops and restaurants, and the world's finest football field. In Henningsvær you get a good combination of culture, food and nature - and it definitely worth exploring.
The small town is a traditional fishing village with approximately 500 permanent residents, and is spread over several islands. Here, the harbor is the main street in Henningsvær, which is surrounded by fish farms, fishermen's cabins and piers. Henningsvær has had a long tradition of fishing, and still has an important foothold in fishing to this day. But the place has also undergone major changes over time and has gradually been joined by art, culture and outdoor life.
Henningsvær has a number of galleries and arts and crafts shops, such as Engelskmannsbrygga, where you will find the art of glassblowers, a ceramicist and a photographer. You should also visit the Caviar Factory where caviar production has been replaced with a large collection of Norwegian and international contemporary art, and Galleri Lofoten which houses Norway's largest collection of paintings from the golden age in northern Norwegian painting.
In Henningsvær you will also find a number of restaurants where you can enjoy the freshest seafood, or for the less hungry a cup of coffee and a pastry at one of the cozy cafes along the seaside. We can also recommend a visit to Full Steam which houses a combination of restaurant and museum.
So for those who want to experience an idyllic, vibrant fishing village, Henningsvær is the place.
4. Farm visit
Visit one of Lofoten's farms for a real and natural experience. In Lofoten you will find a diversity of farm with everything from Viking sheep to horses, pigs, chickens, goats and cheese production. Get up close to the animals, ride into the sunset, learn about cheese production and maybe even try to milk a goat.
At Aalan farm you can get an insight into their everyday life on the farm. The farm is run by a family where all family members have to actively participate. Here they run a cheese production, herb garden and houses various animals. Around 200 dairy goats can be counted on the farm, and in addition they have cows, chickens, a dog, a cat, and a pig.
Aalan farm is known for its herbs and cheeses, and has won several awards for their products. Among other things, they have been awarded the norwegian "Spesialitet" label for their Capra goat cheese. They focus on growing organically and all the products are locally produced on the farm. From the milk of the farm's 200 goats they make brown cheese, white cheese, blue and gray cheese, fresh cheese and feta cheese. Remember to secure some edible memories from the farm shop before you go!
A visit to Hov farm is also recommend where they have around 50 Icelandic horses. On the farm is also the restaurant Låven, an old barn from the 50s that has been restored with a modern twist with large windows to the fantastic view of the sea and the mountain covered islands. Hov Farm is worth visiting just for the restaurant itself, but only a short walk across the road is a beautiful little beach with sea as far as the eye can see. Rustic and cozy restaurant at Låven, almost 50 Icelandic horses, beautiful white beach and midnight sun - the place is magical!
5. Water activities
In Lofoten there are many activities you can take part in, and many of them take place at sea. With water activities such as snorkeling, surfing, kayaking and SUP (stand up paddling) you get the opportunity to explore Lofoten from a different perspective. You can either rent equipment if you dare to venture out on the water on your own or take part in an organized activity with a guide.
The Lofoten archipelago offers many opportunities for spectacular nature experiences, and from the sea you can really breathe in the fresh sea air. Lay out from the dock or the fine sandy beaches on a stand up paddle board or in a kayak, and paddle around between the islets and reefs. With SUP, you also get to test your balance while exploring the idyllic archipelago. Stand up paddle board has become a very popular and fun activity for everyone, regardless of age and athletic form.
Unstad in Lofoten offers waves for both beginners and the more experienced surfers. Unstad is located on its own on the outer coast, and surrounded by large mountains and open sea, the place has become a surfers paradise. At the camp they offer training, courses and rental equipment. Or you can also take the trip to just enjoy the sight of the waves from the ocean rolling in.
6. The world's best cinnamon bun
The world's best cinnamon buns are served at Unstad Arctic Surf. In addition to fresh cinnamon buns, Unstad offers fantastic nature experiences. The whole place is worth experiencing - the village, the beach, the sea and the cinnamon buns!