Let’s address the elephant in the room – of all the places in Norway, why are we suggesting you hike in Lofoten Islands?
While you may find majestic mountains in one spot or picturesque beaches in another, the Lofoten archipelago has it all. And some of the most scenic routes run alongside grandiose mountains before leading down to sandy beaches.
Best of all are the viewpoints that offer a bird’s eye view of the island on all sides to let you experience nature like never before. There are trails littered throughout the island; just read our guide for choosing the best ones.
Best Nature Hikes On The Lofoten Islands
As you look down on Norway from the flight, you may already be thinking about the many hiking trails to cover in Lofoten Islands. Dotted with pristine habitats and mesmerizing landscapes, some of these hikes will leave you with memories for a lifetime, given their awe-inspiring beauty.
But it’s also true that not all of them are easy, and their difficulty varies, especially depending on your proficiency. We have listed the top hikes for professionals and first-timers to help you explore Lofoten Islands like never before.
One of the best places to start your adventure is this short but challenging hike that takes 3 hours to cover. Reine offers some of the best views of Lofoten Wall and Reinefjorden with unrestricted views in all directions, as far as the eye can see.
Its highest point is 448 m which leads many people to miscalculate, and they leave with little time on their hands. We recommend starting early so you can take in the sights and sounds of nature while enjoying the steep but slippery hike.
The area is accessible by car, and you must drive through the Ramsvik Tunnelen on the E10. Leave your car in the parking spot and hike from the paved footpath that connects to the main road.
Once you reach the top, you can choose to camp there, although it isn’t ideal due to the lack of water and shelter.
2. Bunes Beach
After exploring Reine and staying in the village Å, take a ferry to Vindstad for the Bunes Beach hike. This trail also takes 2-3 hours to cover, but it’s one of the easiest hikes in our itinerary. You can book the Fjordkyss ferry, which takes around 25 minutes to reach Vindstad and from there, follow the northwest route.
The trail curves alongside the fjords, so spend some time capturing the views before crossing the ridge and descending to the beach. Best of all is that it’s the ideal trip for families and shouldn’t take more than a few hours. You will be back in time for the return ferry at 3.25 pm.
A lesser-known hiking trail in the Lofoten Islands is the Værøy island, a moderate hike that takes 4-6 hours to explore. This largely underappreciated island has remained untouched because it’s only accessible by ferry from Moskenes and Bodo.
The total distance of this hike is 10 km and covers an abandoned fishing village while curving along the northern coast. As you begin hiking just west of an old airstrip, you will come across millions of nesting seabirds which makes it a bird lover’s paradise. And the icing on the cake is the backdrop offered by the Mostadfjell Mountains for a jaw-dropping experience.
4. Horseid Beach
An alternative to Bunes Beach is Horseid Beach, provided you start a bit early. Board the morning ferry from Reine, which won’t take more than 15 minutes, to arrive at the picturesque hamlet of Kjerkfjorden. Once you step down, the trail starts from the right of the pier, and you will come across a stretch of white sand nestled amongst towering granite.
Remember to pack a lunch and have a family meal on this serene trail. It takes a maximum of 3 hours to cover and involves easy walking, so you will be back in time to board the return ferry at 3.15 pm.
5. Munkebu Hut And Hermannsdalstinden Summit
If you’re looking for a slightly more challenging hike, keep 2 days in hand and go to Munkebu Hut and Hermannsdalstinden Summit. The hike begins at Sørvågen, which lies east of Å, and traverses the Lofoten backcountry while covering 4 lakes en route to the hut. It will take around 3 hours to reach the hut and involves ascending a 450 m vertical stretch.
Once there, set up camp and rest under the stars before starting for Hermannsdalstinden Summit the next day. It is at an altitude of 1,029 m and is Western Lofoten’s highest mountain, from where you get panoramic views of the entire island. While experienced hikers can reach the summit and return in 8 hours, first-timers might take close to 11 hours.
6. Northern Lights
What better way to round off the trip to Lofoten Islands than spending a night under the Lofoten northern lights? They are visible only on dark nights with minimal light pollution, and provided you are lucky. But certain spots in the islands are more favorable for seeing the dancing lights, such as Uttakliev, Haukland, Skagsanden, and Ustad beach.
Among these, we recommend going to Skangsanden since you can take a walk on the beach while watching the lights create myriad patterns in the sky. The color of the lights even reflects off the sandy beach, which gives the surrounding area an ethereal appearance.
Or hike to any of the popular mountain spots with a guided tour for more chances of seeing aurora borealis.
Considering the hiking routes and travel itinerary, it would be best to visit Lofoten between September and October or March. There’s still sufficient daylight available during these times to cover the best hiking trails without affecting your chances of watching the northern lights.
Even though you should ideally visit Norway in winter to see the northern lights, it might be difficult to hike in the dim daylight. So, take your chances in the off-season and explore Lofoten on foot to enjoy the natural beauty of this pristine country.
Book your flight tickets, get your hiking gear in order, and set off on an unforgettable adventure!