Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Walking the Lofoten Islands Self-Guided Walking Tour
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Highlights

  • Drive the length of the Lofoten Archipelago, from Reine to Svolvær
  • Hike to summits for dramatic views of jagged islands and clear blue sea
  • Explore authentic fishing towns and visit white sandy beaches
  • Stay in unique ‘Rorbuer’, renovated fisherman’s cabins
  • Dine on fresh seafood, washed down with a locally brewed beer

Drive from Reine in the south to the island’s capital, Svolvær, in the north, taking in classic hikes, sandy beaches, and traditional fishing villages along the way. Boarding the ferry at Bodø, the silhouette of the imposing ’Lofoten Wall’ can soon be spotted on the horizon, marking the start of a trip of a lifetime. Travel around the islands by car (included) and stay in three towns; Reine, Nusfjord and Svolvær, all superb bases for exploration.

Expect moderate walks, involving an ascent up summits for far-reaching views of the surrounding towns, mountains, and on a clear day, even as far as mainland Norway. Reward yourself with a leisurely lunch of fresh prawns or gourmet fish and chips. Stay in idyllically located Rorbuer cabins, a real home from home with all the comfort and amenities of a hotel. Relax waterside with a glass of wine and watch the sun disappear behind the towering peaks, ready to do it all over again the next day!

Day 1 Arrive Bodø

Welcome to the Arctic Circle!


Bodø is easily accessible from Oslo airport by plane (approx. 1.5 hours) and is the main point of entry for those travelling to the Lofoten Islands.


The  town has a picturesque harbour, so enjoy a drink on the heated terrace of one of the waterside bars or cafés.


Overnight: Bodø


Day 2 Ferry to Moskenes

Your hire car will be delivered to your Bodø hotel today. Take a 3-hour ferry journey across Vestfjorden to reach the ferry terminal on Moskenesøya island. The ferry crossing is an experience in itself and is a great way to start your adventure. Enjoy views of the ’Lofoten Wall’, the name given to the archipelago, as it juts out of the sea like a dramatic granite wall.


Arrive in Mosekenes and drive 10 minutes to the village of Reine. Check into your Rorbuer and make yourself at home for the next three nights.


Overnight: Reine


Day 3 Reinebringen Summit, Lake Ågvatnet and the village of  Å

Start your day with a true Lofoten classic; the Reinebringen summit. Towering over the town, the view from the summit is iconic and probably the most well-known image of the islands. Descend the way you came, hop in your car and head south to the village of  Å (approx. 15 mins), the last stop on the E10 main road which snakes its way through the archipelago. Visit the Stockfish Museum or the Fishing Village Museum to learn all about Lofoten’s strong connection to fishing, and in particular, cod. Take a short walk out to Lake Ågvatnet, and enjoy a picnic on the small pebble beach. 


Reinebringen Walk: 6.5km, ascent/descent: 625m/625m


Lake Agvatnet Walk: 3km, ascent/descent: negligible


Overnight: Reine


Day 4 Kvalvika Bay & Ryten Summit, Munkan Summit

A choice of walk awaits, or both could be completed with an early start. Drive from Reine to the start of the Kvalvika Bay hike (approx. 30 min drive) in the north of Moskenesøya. Take in views of the bay, which translates as ‘Whale Creek’ and of the Norwegian Sea.


Munkan summit can be found in the south of the island (20 min drive from Reine). This hike follows good paths passing countless lakes to reach the summit of Munkan. Sitting at 769m above sea-level, the views are breath taking.


Kvalvika Bay/Ryten Summit Walk: 10 km, ascent/descent: 900m/900m


Munkan Summit Walk: 13 km, ascent/descent: 950m/950m


Overnight: Reine


Day 5 Ballstadheia Plateau, drive to Nusfjord

Check out of your Reine Rorbuer and follow the E10 road to Ballstad (1 hour 10 mins) on Vestvågøya island. The E10 is unique road linking most of the islands of the archipelago and is also a National Scenic Route. Pull into various laybys for stunning viewpoints and white sandy beaches.


Hike to the Ballstad Pleateau and Nortinden summit (459m). Follow a coastal path around protruding headlands, keeping an eye out for seals in Grænvika bay before ascending on grassy paths to the plateau. You are likely to find sheep grazing here. Continue to ascend gently to Nonstinden summit. The view really packs a punch.


Drive to Nusfjord on Flakstadøya island (30 mins); your base for the next two nights. Nusfjord is one of the best-preserved fishing villages of Lofoten, and has a shop, a cod-liver oil workshop, a sawmill and a forge.


Walk: 8km, ascent/descent: 440m/440m


Overnight: Nusfjord


Day 6 Haukland Beach Circuit, Nesheia Summit

Drive to Haukland beach (40 mins), voted the best beach in Norway, with its sandy white shores and dramatic backdrop it’s easy to see why. A relaxed loop walk takes you from the beach, over an ancient pass to Uttakleiv, another sleepy fishing village with its own impressive beach. Return to Haukland via a good coastal path which hugs the Veggen headland.


Another option is a hike to the Nesheia summit for wide open views over the Nusfjord.


Haulkland Beach Walk:  8 km, ascent/descent: 220m/220m


Nesheia Summit Walk: 8 km, ascent/descent: 450m/450m


Overnight: Nusfjord


Day 7 Tjeldbergtinden Hike

Drive to Svolvær/Kabelvåg from Nusfjord (1 hr 30 mins), your overnight location for the last two nights of your adventure. Svolvær is the capital of the Lofoten islands, and although it is the biggest town on the archipelago, it still has a charming small town feel.


Take a bus to Vagan, where today’s hike begins. Follow a trail through lakes and forests, all the way back to Svolvær. At the summit of Tjeldbergtinden (367m), enjoy beautiful views  over the Vestfjorden, and the town.


Walk: 8 km, ascent/descent 380m/380m


Overnight: Svolvær or Kabelvåg


Day 8 Svarttinden Summit

Drive to the village of Gravermarka (40 mins) for the start of the trail to Svarttinden summit (736m). A long but steady ascent rewards with the most stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Up here the terrain seems almost Alpine, and you have a real sense of being on top of the world.


Drive back to Svolvær and enjoy your final night on the Lofoten Islands.


Walk: 8 km, ascent/descent: 750m/750m


Overnight: Svolvær


Day 9 Onward Travel

Enjoy a final breakfast in Svolvær and reflect on your Lofoten adventure before checking out of your Rorbuer and starting your onward travel.


Drop your hire car off at Svolvær airport or ferry terminal and head back to the mainland by boat or plane. If you need any additional nights in Bodø we are happy to arrange this for you.

Accommodation

Spend 1 night in a 3* hotel and 7 nights in 3* standard traditional ‘Rorbuer’. These are former fishermen dwellings which have been lovingly restored and are now used as accommodation. Each have comfortable beds (normally twin beds, double beds are rare), a bathroom, a fridge, table and chairs and normally an outside seating area. Some cabins also have a kitchenette.
You will find an example of the Rorbuer we normally use below. If these accommodations are not available we will use an accommodation of a similar or better standard.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers due to the terrain encountered on some walks. Single rooms are not available on this trip


Meals

7 breakfasts are included in the cost of your trip. Breakfast is always buffet-style with various options available. Expect a continental breakfast with bread, jams, pastries, yoghurt and muesli available. Usually there are also local meats and cheeses, eggs and fruit on offer.
Dinners and lunches are not included so you have the freedom to choose from what’s on offer each day. There are plenty of options for dinner each night, most Rorbuer have an on-site restaurant and there will be restaurants near by. Lunch can be picked up from the local supermarket or bakery, and all cabins have a fridge to keep packed lunch items nice and fresh.
Food in Lofoten features fish quite heavily, although there is usually always at least one meat and vegetarian option available on restaurant menus. The restaurants on Lofoten use locally sourced and fresh produce with pride -delicious!



 

 

 




Hotel Grand Bodo

Conveniently located in the centre of Bodø, next to the waterfront and the tourist info office, a friendly welcome awaits at the Hotel Grand. Rooms are clean and comfortable. Included in your stay is a complimentary ‘afternoon tea’ of teas, coffee and cakes.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Reine Rorbuer

Each cabin at the Reine Rorbuer is uniquely decorated but all offer lovely fjord-views, wooden floors and a cosy atmosphere. Breakfast is included and served at the on-site restaurant. Wifi available in all cabins.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Nusfjord Rorbuer

All cabins in Nusfjord have a seating area complete with a comfy sofa and a handy fridge. Breakfast is served at the on-site Restaurant Karoline. After a day of hiking, relax in the wood-fired hot tub and enjoy the views. Wifi available in some cabins.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Nyvagar Rorbuer

These beautiful Rorbuer are located a ten minute drive from the centre of Svolvær, at a peaceful waterside location. The charming cabins include a kitchenette and fridge. Breakfast is served at the in-house restaurant, which also offers great, locally sourced evening meals, cocktails and desserts.

Time of Year & Availability

You can start your Lofoten adventure on any day between the beginning of June and the beginning of September. The weather on Lofoten is extremely changeable, and one should be prepared for 4 seasons in one day, at any time of the year. Generally speaking, you can expect an oceanic climate in summer, with fine sunny days with mild temperatures, combined with cold showers. June tends to be the driest period, and July and August are the warmest. The famous midnight sun (permanent light) happens from the end of May until mid July, and offers lovely long days ideal for hiking. Peak tourist season runs from mid-July to mid-August.


Grade & Terrain

This tour is rated moderate. Walks tend to be on the shorter side (longest walking day is less than 13km) but the rough, and sometimes steep, terrain can make for slow progress, so shouldn’t be underestimated. Paths are a mixture of rocky, grassy, narrow, boulder-strewn and particularly after bad weather– muddy trails. Some short sections of trail require light scrambling (not exposed), this is detailed in your daily route notes. The ascent/descent is considerable, ranging between 220-950m each day. To get the most from this tour you should be in good physical shape and be an all-weather hiker! Be prepared with the right equipment; waterproof boots, walking poles and gaiters are a necessity.



Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

Hiking trails on Lofoten are still quite primitive and way-marking is sparse. However we will provide you with turn-by-turn instructions for each walk, maps and access to our GPS smartphone navigation app, so you will have no problem finding your way.


Travel during the trip

8 days compact car hire (similar to a VW Golf) is included in the cost of this trip. You can opt for an upgrade to a larger car if desired (recommended for parties of 3+ people). Your car will be dropped off at your hotel in Bodø and you will take it on the car ferry to Lofoten. At the end of your trip, you will drop it off at Svolvær airport or ferry terminal, whichever suits your plans best. The cost of a Sat-Nav is also included in your car hire cost. 


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which ncludes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Bodø and from Svolvær

By Air: Fly into Bodø Airport. Scandinavian Airlines flies here from mnay worldwide destinations with a stop over in Oslo. We can also organise extra nights in Oslo city centre if required. 


From Svolvær, you can take a ferry (3.5 hours) or a plane (30 mins) back to Bodø. There is one boat a day, and several flights. Wideroe is the only airline operating flights between Svolvær and Bodø. From Svolvær, there are also direct flights to Oslo, although these don't operate everyday. Check www.wideroe.no/en for more information.




Included

  • 1 night in a 3* hotel and 7 nights in high-quality Rorbuer
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 8 days car hire
  • Car ferry from Bodø to Moskenes (Day 2)
  • Detailed information pack, route notes, maps and access to our navigation app
  • 24/7 support from our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Bodø and from Svolvær
  • Lunches and Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is rated moderate. Distances tend to be on the shorter side (longest walking day is 13km) but the rough terrain can make for slow progress, so they shouldn’t be underestimated. Paths are a mixture of rocky, grassy, narrow, boulder-strewn and particularly after bad weather– muddy trails. Be prepared with the right equipment; waterproof boots, walking sticks and gaiters are highly recommended.  The ascent/descent is considerable, ranging between 220-950m each day. To get the most from this tour you should be in good physical shape and be an all- weather hiker!  

Which is the best airport to fly to?

The closest airport is Bodø which is served by flights from Europe and around the world, via Oslo. 

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised. This is a very popular area with holiday makers!

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/trail shoes with a solid sole and good grip, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers a day pack and hats. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack. A detailed kit list is included in your information pack.

When is the best time of year?

The weather on Lofoten is extremely changeable, and one should be prepared for 4 seasons in one day, at any time of the year. Generally speaking, you can expect an oceanic climate in summer, with fine sunny days with mild temperatures.combined with cold showers. June tends to be the driest period, and July and August are the warmest. The famous midnight sun (permanent light) happens from the end of May until mid July, and offers lovely long days ideal for hiking. Peak tourist season runs from mid-July to mid-August.


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