Ten reasons to start planning a trip to Lofoten

Visit the most beautiful islands in the world

lofoten northern lightsVisit Lofoten

Lofoten is an archipelago in northern Norway known for its dramatic scenery.

The scenery is dramatic with peaks like the Svolværgeita jutting up into the sky. Himmeltindan Mountain sits on Vestvågøya Island.

The nearby Lofotr Viking Museum features a Viking longhouse reconstruction.

Bicycle routes cover the islands, passing through fishing villages like Henningsvær, which has colorful buildings lining its waterways.

These are only a few highlights. The world’s most beautiful islands have a lot to offer. Here are 10 reasons why you should plan a trip to Lofoten.

1. The sea

The Lofoten Islands are many small islands like pearls on a string far out at sea connecting the Barents Sea to the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Stream causes a milder climate than other places located north of the Arctic Circle. The inhabitants of Lofoten have for centuries harvested from what the ocean has to offer of fresh ingredients. The winter fishery of cod in Lofoten has helped to build Norway’s wealth.

Photo: Alex Conu

2. The mountains

Among the oldest mountains in the world, you can find the chain of mountains in Lofoten that shoots up from the sea! When you reach Lofoten by boat you will see what we call the wall of Lofoten, which is the chain of magnificent mountains that gives you countless hikes with wonderful views.

Lofoten mountains ocean

Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen / nordnorge.com

3. The fjords

Lofoten is islands and fjords! One of the fjords is the Trollfjord, which is magical and beautifully located between the highest mountains in Lofoten. The mythical area can be reached by boats departing from Svolvær several times a day in the summertime. Farther south, you can enjoy Reinefjorden on the local route from Reine, or you can explore it in a slower pace in a kayak.

Lofoten fjord mountains

Photo: Alex Conu

4. The beaches

The Haukland beach has been nominated as the most beautiful beach many times not only in Norway but in all of Europe! There are countless white sandy beaches in Lofoten you can explore. Most of them are easy to get to, but others are more hidden gems. We suggest you try to find your own favorite!

Lofoten beach

Photo: Bard Loken / nordnorge.com

5. The people

The locals in Lofoten are known as being open, honest, and warm. The people, the fish and the nature are closely connected and make the locals feel a strong connection to this place and therefore make Lofoten a good place to live. Maybe that is why tourists also feel so welcome when they visit us.


Photo: visitlofoten.com

6. The food

We are lucky to have wonderful local food, which we can harvest right outside our doors. The taste of Lofoten is fish, lamb, cheese, and herbs, which you can try at our restaurants or buy at one of the local farm shops. You will notice that this is the taste of pure, fresh, and natural ingredients

food plate

Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen / visitlofoten.com

7. The history

Home to the world’s largest cod fishery, Lofoten has helped to build Norway. Visit the interesting museums in Lofoten that tell the stories of the Vikings—or the fishermen—and learn about how they lived their lives here throughout different eras.

fishery Lofoten

Photo: Lofotmuseet

8. The art

Lofoten has always attracted artists from all over the world and has a rich cultural life. It is easy to understand why so many artists have painted this beautiful landscape and found inspiration to create art here. You will find galleries and art halls filled with impressive content all over the islands.

art sculpture

Photo: Ai WeiWei

9. The activities

The Lofoten Islands offer different activities for every season in the world’s best playground. Whether you want to take a peaceful walk on the beach or try a more demanding hike on one of the summits, you will find a lot of options, in both summer- and wintertime. If you like the sea life, you can find both full-speed adventures or quiet moments in different boats in beautiful surroundings.


Photo: visitlofoten.com

10. The feeling

When many people arrive in Lofoten, they begin to chill out. It might be the feeling of being close to the elements of air, earth, and water. The fresh and clean air does something to body and mind. It is the same as when you are on a boat trip, surfing the waves, or relaxing on a white sandy beach and listening to the sea. We cannot explain it any better, you simply must experience it!


Photo: visitlofoten.com

This article originally appeared in the February 2024 issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.