Person standing on top of a mountain and looking out over Lofoten

Things to do in Lofoten

Go hiking in the midnight sun or experience Lofoten on horseback. Lofoten offers unforgettable nature experiences. We’ve put together our best tips for experiences and activities you can do during your visit.

  • Food and drink

Food and drink

Visit Henningsvær – Norway’s oldest fishing village

Henningsvær is about 30 minutes’ drive from Svolvær and is one of Norway’s oldest fishing villages. The village is situated at the far end of the ocean gap and is surrounded by high mountains and beautiful nature. Here you’ll find charming narrow streets, small local shops, cosy eateries and a harbour full of fishing boats. Henningsvær is also known for its excellent fish soup and delicious cinnamon buns.

Anitas Sjømat on Sakrisøy

If you want to taste the world’s best fish burger, you must visit Anitas Sjømat on Sakrisøy. The burger is topped with prawns and salmon and can be enjoyed in the seafood bar with fantastic views in warm and cosy surroundings. Anitas Sjømat also offers a large selection of locally produced seafood – everything from stockfish, clipfish, smoked salmon and caviar – that you can buy to take home.

  • Museum and attractions

Museum and attractions

Art in Lofoten

With galleries, art exhibitions and craft shops on each headland, Lofoten is a treasure trove for art lovers. The magnificent nature has long been a great inspiration for artists and craftspeople all over the world. It is said that Lofoten is one of the most artistic places in Norway per capita, which is reflected in the place’s many galleries, workshops and outlets. Many of these are open to the public and it is not unusual for you to meet the artist yourself. Choose a gallery to visit or use the day to visit several different galleries, art exhibitions and workshops. How about visiting the Kaviar Factory in Henningsvær, or perhaps Galleri Lofoten, Nordnorsk Kunstersenter or the Galleri Dagfinn Bakke could be something for you?

Viking Museum

At Borg in Lofoten, you can experience the Viking Age in a living environment.You will find the world’s largest Langhus (longhouse) from the Viking Age here. The longhouse was hidden and forgotten for more than 1,000 years, until a farmer by chance found beautiful shards of glass and rare ceramics in the plow furrows behind the tractor in 1981. Since then, the longhouse has been reconstructed in its full size and is open today to anyone who wants to see craftsmanship, decorations and architecture from the Viking Age.

Farm visit

Cheese production in Lofoten is world-famous and several of the cheeses have been on the podium in the World Championship Cheese Contest. If you want to experience cheese production up close, Aalan Gård and Lofoten Gårdsysteri are great options. At Aalan Gård you will find a diverse farm with cheese production, herb garden and various animals. You can also buy the products in the farm cafe as well as eat here in the summer. Lofoten Gårdsysteri is organic and is beautifully located at the foot of a Lofoten mountain. The farm welcomes guests who want to buy cheese, sausages and goat meat.

  • Mountain hikes

Mountain hikes

Peak tour on skis

The mountains in Lofoten are a popular destination for ski enthusiasts – and with good reason. The views from the peaks and descents are fantastic and you can almost ski to the water’s edge in many places. The mountains in Lofoten are also not the highest, making them perfect for both beginners and more experienced skiers. However, we recommend using guides that are familiar with the conditions and know where to be safe and secure.

Mountain hikes in the summer

Lofoten is an Eldorado for those who like to hike in the mountains. The view is fantastic and the mountain peaks line up – one finer than the other. A mountain hike in Lofoten goes mostly from the sea level and "straight up". Many hikes are not long in terms of kilometres, but they make up for it in steepness. Close to Svolvær, there are several hikes within walking distance of Thon Hotel Svolvær and Thon Hotel Lofoten.

Sherpa steps in Svolvær

The Sherpa steps were completed in the autumn of 2019 and have become very popular with both the city’s population and tourists. The steps are built into the mountainside, just behind the churchyard in Svolvær. At the top of the steps you are rewarded with a great view of Svolvær.

Djevelporten and Fløya (590 m above sea level)

If you want to take a longer hike than to the top of the sherpa streps, you can continue on the path over the heath towards the Djevelporten (Devil's Gate) and the mountain Fløya. The Devil's Gate is a large boulder wedged between mountains on either side. From the Devil's Gate you can continue up to "Fløya". At the top of this mountain ridge you have a 365 degree view as far as the eye can see.

Skrovafjellet (258 metres above sea level)

From Svolvær there is a ferry to the island Skrova. Located in the middle of Vestfjord, Skrova is a charming little community and worth a visit. Here you will find some of the finest white beaches and from Skrovafjellet, the only mountain top on the island, the view is fantastic. The ferry ride from Svolvær takes about 30 minutes.

By car you have easy access to great mountain hikes throughout the archipelago. Here are some of Lofoten’s classics:

Festvågtind (541 m above sea level)

The hike up to Festvågtind starts a short distance before crossing the first bridge to Henningsvær. A steep and airy hike with great views of Henningsvær and westward.

Mannen (499 m above sea level)

Mannen is right by Hauklandstranda, which has been voted Europe’s finest beach by Lonely Planet. The hike is at times steep and slightly exposed, but it is one of Lofoten’s most popular hikes, so there is a clear path all the way up. The view is sfunning like a beautiful postcard with green water, white beaches and mountains.

Ryten (543 m above sea level)

Ryten is one of the most visited peaks in Lofoten and can be reached from several starting points – either by going over to Kvalvika and then from the beach in Kvalvika to the top. You can also start in Indresand, a short distance from the Fredvang Bridges. The view from the top of Ryten is spectacular, with views of Kvalvika, the open sea and pointy mountains.

Reinebringen (448 m above sea level)

Reinebringen has the most iconic and photographed view of Lofoten and the peak everyone dreams of standing on when they visit. Up to Reinebringen, beautiful Sherpa steps have been built with around 1,600 steps. From the top, the view is magical across the Reinefjord, Reine and further out over the mountains and sea as far as you can see. The steps go up on the "back" of the mountain, but you park in Reine.

  • Water activities

Water activities

Kayaking

A couple of minutes’ walk from our hotels, along the quay promenade in the centre of Svolvær, you can join an unforgettable paddling tour. From the water you can really see the beautiful scenery Lofoten has to offer. Enjoy the fresh air as you paddle to where you want to go.

Rib safari

If you love speed and excitement, take a trip out with the ribs. See the majestic Trollfjord, the whaling island of Skrova and the many chalky white beaches in the area around Svolvær. If you’re lucky, you may see a sea eagle up close. 

Surfing

The beaches in Lofoten have long been a favourite among professional surfers as well as beginners. The most popular beaches can be found at Unstad and Flakstad, surrounded by famous mountain peaks. If you’re a beginner, you may want to visit the beaches during the summer months, as the midnight sun makes the days longer. You can rent equipment and get the training you need here. For more experienced surfers, the period from August to November is the best time to surf. 

Skrei fishing

Fishing is an important part of the history in Lofoten and an absolute must if you are in Svolvær. The town offers a number of organised fishing trips, and at Thon Hotel Svolvær you have the opportunity to catch your own fish, as well as learn how to gut and fillet the day’s catch at the hotel’s own fish farm. As if that weren't enough, you can choose whether the fish should be vacuum packed, frozen and taken home with you or cooked there and then. The hotel offers cooking classes where you can prepare your own food.

  • Activities on land

Activities on land

See Lofoten on horseback

Ride along chalky white beaches and enjoy the beautiful scenery on horseback. Hov Gård on Grimsøy, which is about 45 minutes by car from Svolvær, offers horseback riding in Lofoten all year round – whether you want to ride under the midnight sun in the summer or the Northern Lights in the winter. How about experiencing Lofoten on Icelandic horses, or a full day trip to Vinjedalen sounds more tempting perhaps? At Hov Gård, they adapt both horses and rides to your skills.

Play golf in the midnight sun

Do you want to play golf with an unobstructed view to the north and the midnight sun? At Lofoten Links on Grimsøy you can do just that. The course was previously mentioned by the New York Times and has been voted one of the best golf courses in the world. Here, the sea is used as a water barrier, while the sandy beaches function as natural sand bunkers. Because of the midnight sun, the course is open 24 hours a day from mid-May to the end of July. As a bonus, the golf course is one of the best places to experience the Northern Lights at the end of August.

Northern Lights Safari

Lofoten is under the Northern Lights oval and you can be lucky to see the Northern Lights even with very low activity here. The Northern Lights season in Lofoten is from the end of August to the middle of April. During this period, you will see the Northern Lights in Lofoten on clear, fine evenings and nights. If you stay at one of our hotels in Svolvær you will be able to see the Northern Lights from the rooms, although it is easier to see the Northern Lights if you are in places with less light pollution than, for example, in the centre of Svolvær.

Gimsøya and Laukvika are close to Svolvær where there is little light pollution and no mountains blocking the view. These are good starting points for watching the magical light dancing across the sky.

Experience the midnight sun

Lofoten has the midnight sun from the end of May to the end of July. If you want to experience the midnight sun, you must be on the outskirts of Lofoten. Here you can see the sphere of the sun get close to the surface of the sea – without disappearing – and then rise again. There are many nice places on the outskirts of Lofoten where you can experience this, both beaches and mountain peaks. From Svolvær, Gimsøya, Brenna, Laukvika and Delp are the clostest places to drive to.

  • Group activities

Group activities

Nature safari

If you love speed and excitement, you should join a rib trip through the majestic Trollfjord. Feel the sea spray on your face and get the opportunity to see the sea eagles up close. Such a trip takes about 2 hours and can be booked on xxlofoten.no.

Kayaking

A few minutes walk from our hotels, along the quay promenade in the centre of Svolvær, you can join an unforgettable kayaking trip with xxlofoten.From the water, you really get to see the beautiful scenery Lofoten has to offer. Enjoy the fresh air as you paddle to where you want to go.

As a beginner, you are also welcome to take hold of the paddles. The trip is adapted to the skill level and all necessary instructions and equipment are given before the trip starts. 

Skrei fishing

Fishing is an important part of the history in Lofoten and an absolute must if you are in Svolvær. The town offers a number of organised fishing trips for groups, and at Thon Hotel Svolvær you have the opportunity to catch your own fish, as well as learn how to gut and fillet the day’s catch at the hotel’s own fish farm. As if that weren't enough, you can choose whether the fish should be vacuum packed, frozen and taken home with you or cooked there and then. The hotel offers cooking classes where you can prepare your own food.

See the Northern Lights dance

If you’ve never seen the Northern Lights, this is an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Experience the Northern Lights on a tour with professional guides. On these trips you will be transported from Svolvær by a car in search for the Northern Lights. Tours can be booked through the hotel reception.

WANT HELP PLANNING AN UNFORGETTABLE TRIP?

When you stay at one of our hotels in Lofoten you can combine your stay with a number of unforgettable activities. We are happy to help if you have any questions or want to arrange trips. 

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