Road trip Lofoten in Norway 🇳🇴
With the road trip Lofoten you will discover the most beautiful places of the Lofoten archipelago in the north of Norway! Read all about the route, highlights along the way and which sights there are near the road trip route.
About the road trip Lofoten
The road trip Lofoten is located on the famous Lofoten archipelago in Norway. When one thinks of Norwegian islands, Lofoten quickly comes to mind. The islands are known worldwide for their breathtaking scenery.
The special route is 142 miles (230 kilometers) long and runs from Raftsundet to Å, the place known for its name with only one letter. The route runs across the entire Lofoten and takes road users past the highlights of the archipelago. Unlike many routes, it is not one through route, there are several side routes to highlights. Along the way, the route passes by Reinehalsen, Nusfjord, Eggum and Austnesfjorden.
The Lofoten islands are known for being beautiful in every season. So whether it’s summer, fall, winter or spring, the Lofoten are always breathtaking. The road trip Lofoten is therefore accessible all year round, unlike various other tourist routes. Those routes are closed in the winter months due to snowfall, but because the island route consists of local roads, it remains passable. After all, the inhabitants of the islands also have to make use of it. In the winter months, the Northern Lights are also visible over the islands.
The Lofoten archipelago is known worldwide for its untouched and varied nature, fishing waters and beautiful fishing villages. The archipelago consists of 80 islands and covers a total of more than 464 square miles (1200 square kilometers). Despite the many islands, Lofoten only has a little less than 25,000 inhabitants.
With over 202 square miles (525 square kilometers), the island of Austvågøy is the largest island in Lofoten, but it is also part of the Vesterålen archipelago. A trip to Lofoten can therefore easily be combined with Vesterålen, which is seen as a less touristy alternative.
The Lofoten is also known for its good fishing waters. In the months of February, March and April, huge amounts of cod migrate to the archipelago to spawn. For centuries, cod fishing has also been an important source of income for the inhabitants, the Lofoten is also known for the many fishing villages. Caught cod was also Norway’s first major export product.
Norway’s most special routes
The road trip Lofoten is one of the most special and most beautiful routes in Norway. The Norwegian government has selected a total of 18 routes that best showcase Norway’s beautiful and diverse landscape. These routes have been labeled National Scenic Routes, Nasjonale Turistveger in Norwegian, and are officially Norway’s 18 most scenic routes.
Due to the special status, extra money is also invested in the routes. The roads are extra well maintained and various rest areas and sanitary facilities are being built along the routes. With 13 points of interest along the route, the road trip Lofoten has a lot to offer along the way. In addition, the archipelago offers a lot of beautiful nature and special fishing villages to admire.
Walking and cycling
The Lofoten is also known for its many beautiful hiking trails. Most hiking trails led hikers to the many mountain peaks that dot the islands. From the mountain tops there is a wide view over the Lofoten and the ocean. There are shorter, but also steeper, hiking routes to the peaks of Nubben and Festvågtind. There is also a longer hike to the Munken mountain peak, which is considered the heart of the Lofoten Mountains. You can also spend the night in a public cabin along the way. The coastal path between Unstad and Eggum is also recommended. During the midnight sun you could also take the beautiful walking routes late at night or at night.
It is also a popular destination for cycling. Cyclists can use the road trip Lofoten, which consists of local roads. There are no separate bike paths. In the summer months it is therefore important to be careful, because there is a lot of traffic on the roads. In high season, you can choose to go for a bike ride early in the morning or in the evenings or to travel to the Lofoten before or after the high season. Another option is not to cycle the route, but to cycle on other local roads on the archipelago.
The road trip Lofoten is also part of the National Cycle Route 1, this is a cycle route that goes along the entire coastline of Norway. In addition, it is also part of the EuroVelo1. The cycling routes are signposted.
The Lofoten archipelago is not only easily accessible by road, but also by water. There are several ferry connections between the archipelago and the mainland, but also between the islands.
The main ferry runs between Moskenes and Bodø. This is a direct connection, it is also possible to sail between Moskenes-Vaerøy, Vaerøy-Røst and then Røst-Bodø. This will of course take longer, but you will see a lot more that way.
Route and highlights of the road trip Lofoten
The road trip Lofoten is 142 miles (230 kilometers) long and connects Raftsundet to Å. The route has several side routes, to ensure that you get to see as many highlights of the Lofoten archipelago as possible. The places of interest are listed below from Raftsundet to Å.
Resting place and viewing point Grunnfør
On the island of Austvågøy, a facility has been built at Grunnfør between Fiskebøl and Vestpollen. This building is specially made for cyclists, so that they have a place to pause and enjoy the beautiful view over the ocean on the first floor. From here you also have a view of the Vesterålen archipelago and the mountain peaks it counts.
Resting place Austnesfjorden has been realized at Sildpollen Bay. It consists of a wooden walkway that leads you to the Austneset promontory. From the footbridge you have a wide view of the landscape, the mountain peaks and the headland where the village of Sildpollneset is located.
There are sanitary facilities at the resting place, which are open all year round. The rest area is partially accessible for wheelchair users.
Gimsøystraumen is the 11 mile (18 kilometer) long coastline between the islands of Vestvågøy and Vågan. On the way it is definitely worth making a stop here to enjoy the beautiful view. At the bridge between the two islands, a building has been realized that has the shape of a large rock. It is a community building with a rest area and parking for travelers. The building is wheelchair accessible.
Birdwatching at Skjærpvatnet, Gårdsvatnet and Storeidvatnet
The Lofoten is home to many bird species. In the northwest of the island of Vestvågøy are wetlands, where many birds live. At the lakes Skjærpvatnet, Gårdsvatnet and Storeidvatnet special towers have been built so that you have beautiful views over the lakes, wetlands and surroundings and can watch the birds quietly. Due to the clever construction, the birds are not disturbed during the breeding season.
Resting place Torvdalshalsen
Resting place Torvdalshalsen has been realized along the road trip Lofoten. The resting place is located on top of a hill on Torvdalsvatnet Lake and offers the best view of Vestvågøy Island. Because it can be quite windy, special screens have been installed so that you can sit quietly protected against the wind at the resting place.
The rest area is wheelchair accessible and has sanitary facilities. The facilities are open all year round.
Fishing village Eggum
Fishing village Eggum attracts many tourists every year who want to experience the midnight sun here. The village is seen as the best place to experience the midnight sun after the North Cape. The village is located along the coast of the island, between the mountains and the ocean. Nowadays, not many fishermen live in the village.
To visit Eggum you have to take a side route, after which you drive back to the main road. A special resting place has been built near the village, in the form of an amphitheatre. You can sit here and look out over the mountains and the ocean or sit with your back to the ocean and enjoy the view over the mountains. A building with sanitary facilities has been realized in the middle of the amphitheater. The facilities are wheelchair friendly, but not open all year round. The facilities are closed from October to early May.
A special work of art can be found at the parking lot of the resting place, namely a sculpture by Markus Raetz. The special work of art has the shape of a head, but depending on where you look at the sculpture, the head is upright or upside down. Walk around the artwork and watch the head turn.
Skreda resting place
Resting place Skreda was created along the road trip Lofoten, in a place where you have a beautiful view. Picnic tables have been placed along the water. Take a seat and look across the fjord towards Gravdal, Offersøystraumen, Nappstraumen and the mountains.
The rest area is wheelchair accessible and has sanitary facilities. These facilities are open 365 days a year.
Old and well-preserved fishing village Nusfjord
The Lofoten is known as a fishing region, so it is not surprising that it has one of the oldest and best preserved fishing villages in the entire country. Nusfjord was home to many fishermen for many years and today the village gives visitors an idea of what life was like, as it has become a museum. The museum village has a shop, cod liver oil workshop, sawmill and a blacksmith. There is also a restaurant and overnight accommodations have been made in former fishermen’s huts. The museum is wheelchair accessible.
Experience the beach Rambergstranda
Ramsberg is located on the bay of Jusnesvika and has a special beach, the Rambergstranda. The Rambergstranda is known for its beautiful sand, green grass and azure blue water. What makes it extra special are the many mountain peaks that you have a view of.
Resting place Akkarvikodden
Resting place Akkarvikodden is located directly along the road trip Lofoten. This resting place has been realized on the island of Moskenesøy and offers a beautiful view over the ocean towards the southeast. Sanitary facilities have been built at the resting place, these are open from the beginning of May to the beginning of October. Resting place Akkarvikodden is wheelchair accessible.
Take a picture at Reinehalsen
If you’ve ever seen a photo of the Lofoten, chances are that photo was taken at Reinehalsen. It is one of the most photographed places in all of Norway. Reinehalsen is located near the mountain Reinebringen, in front of which the village Reine is located. From Reinehalsen you can take a beautiful picture of the village, the mountain and the Reinefjord.
The quay of Moskenes
Almost at the end of the Lofoten route is the town of Moskenes. From here ferries go to Bodø, among other places, making Moskenes an important place on the Lofoten. For many tourists, this is also the start of their travel adventure in Lofoten, as they arrive here by ferry.
A special rest building has been erected on the ferry quay. Overlooking the sea, it is a place to rest comfortably or wait for the ferry. The building is accessible for wheelchairs and has sanitary facilities.
Highlights near the road trip Lofoten
Norway is very large and has countless places of interest. A tip is therefore to prepare a trip to the country well, so that you can admire as many highlights in the area as possible during a tour. The road trip Lofoten and the archipelago are a destination in themselves, but there are also several highlights in the area that are definitely worth a visit.
With a length of 1 mile (2 kilometers) and a width of only 100 meters at the mouth, the Trolljord is not the largest fjord in Norway, but it is one of the most beautiful fjords in the country. The fjord is famous for the large mountains that surround the Trollfjord, with peaks up to 1100 meters high. The fjord can only be visited by boat or a 6-mile (10-kilometer) hike over rugged terrain. The well-known Hurtigruten boat also always sails into the fjord to let passengers enjoy the view.
The Trollfjord is located on the island of Austvågøy, which is part of Lofoten and part of Vesterålen. Both archipelagos claim that the special fjord is part of their territory.
The Vesterålen archipelago is located above the Lofoten and has 4 large islands and thousands of small islets. Vesterålen is seen as an alternative to Lofoten because of its untouched nature and because it is a lot less touristy.
You can also partially discover the archipelago from the road. The road trip Andøya is located on the island of the same name of the Vesterålen. Like the Lofoten route, this is also a National Scenic Route, officially one of the most beautiful roads in Norway. From Andøya you can easily extend your adventure by going to Senja, the neighboring island offers the beautiful road trip Senja.
See the Northern Lights over Lofoten
The Lofoten is a popular destination all year round. In summer you can experience the midnight sun, in winter the breathtaking landscape covered with a layer of snow. In the winter months, the Northern Lights can also be seen over Northern Norway, including over the Lofoten.
The Aurora Borealis, as the Northern Lights are officially called, is a natural phenomenon in which a ‘dancing colored curtain’ can be seen in the sky. It cannot be seen every evening, the weather conditions also play a role. With a multi-day tour, there is a reasonable chance that you can admire the light spectacle.
The city of Bodø
The town of Bodø is easily accessible by ferry from Moskenes. The city with almost 50,000 inhabitants is one of the largest cities in northern Norway and is known for its combination of nature, culture and hospitality. The city has developed considerably in recent years and offers various sights and cultural activities. The area is also known for beautiful hiking trails and the Saltstraumen, which is the strongest tidal current in the world.
Anyone who makes a round trip by car and loves long and special routes can take the route to Sweden from the Lofoten. The European highway E10 starts in Å and runs over the Lofoten towards the mainland. The largest part of the Lofoten route consists of the E10, the two routes are therefore easy to combine.
Arriving on the mainland, the route of the European highway E10 first goes up, to the city of Narvik. At Narvik the route heads towards the border with Sweden, to continue at Riksgränsen in Sweden. Riksgränsen is a popular ski resort in the far north of the country. The E10 then cuts across the country and descends to the east coast. The terminus is located at Töre, where the highway joins the European highway E4. From Töre it is easy to drive on the E4 to Finland, which is more than 46 miles (75 kilometers) and an hour away.