Lofoten Islands, Northern Norway
Top Places to visit in Lofoten (Summer)
4. Uttakleiv Beach
Svolvær is the biggest and busiest town in Lofoten. The marina is the main meeting point; around it are regional hotel franchises, cafes, mini art galleries, and fine-dining restaurants. You can also find a dried-cod farm opposite the port which is great for pictures (indicated on map). Dried cod racks can be found throughout the island - it is probably the most important industry in Lofoten for both internal consumption and international export!
You have to try Bacalao Restaurant's kremet fiskesuppe (creamy fish soup). I must say it is one of the tastiest traditional Norwegian fish soup I've had! Also try their scampi/ paprika pasta.
My friends and I also went kayaking in Svolvær. Apparently, a licence is required if you wish to kayak without supervision in Norway - you can't just rent out a kayak and paddle around by yourself (even if you have done it before). Hence, we went for a guided kayaking tour with XX Lofoten which also provides fishing and eagle-watching tours. Our kayaking experience was not compromised even with a guided tour - you still get a lot of freedom to roam around the islands.
I stayed at Marinepollen (Lofoten Rorbuer AS), which is about a 10 minute walk away from the main town centre. It is slightly cheaper to stay in Marinepollen, relative to the main town centre. It is also close to Svolværgeita and other picturesque fishing villages and marinas.
Svolværgeita "The Svolvær Goat"
Svolvær is famous for Svolværgeita, a mountain which looks like a goat. It took me a while to make out how the mountain looked like a goat, but yes, no kidding - the mountain does look like a resting goat .
It is popular to hike up this mountain and do the 'Svolværgeita Leap', which is basically a 1.5 meter leap between two mountain peaks, i.e. the 'goat horns'. You have to book a guided hike to do this. I personally don't see the hype of doing this 'famous' leap, but I guess it's just something to enhance the tourism scene in Svolvær?!
A quiet but charming village not too far from the main town centre of Svolvær. We stayed at one of the waterside Rorbur cabins, Lofoterie (shared house with cooking amenities), and used it as a base to travel to Henningsvær and Svolvær for day trips.
I recommend a short walk through the residential area of Kabelvåg to the hill where King Oystein's statue sits. There is a really nice view of the sea on one side, and a view of another small village on the opposite side. We walked towards the village around midnight (bearing in mind that you get 24 hours of daylight in summer) where we got some pretty good shots of a village that seemed like it came straight from a mythical film set.
Tjelbergtinden (sometimes also spelt kjellbergtinden) provides a short and manageable hike with beautiful panoramic views of Svolvær and Kabalvag. It takes about 1 hour to get to the peak of the mountain. It is located between Svolvær and Kabelvåg. Don't forget to pack your Kvikk Lunsj (i.e. Norwegian Kit Kat) - it is a Norwegian tradition to pack this local confectionary on a hiking trip!
I call Henningsvær the hipster hideout of Lofoten. It is a small island that is connected to the mainland by bridges. Henningsvær iis filled with bright and colourful houses built around a beautiful port with a mountain backdrop. Home to lots of creatives, this island boasts cafes, independent art boutiques and lots of street art. We stopped at a cute and artsy cafe called Kafe Lysstøperiet for coffee and kakke.
Henningsvaær is also popular for hiking and kayaking.
4. Uttakleiv Beach
Uttakleiv is a beautiful arctic beach tucked away in a little corner of Leknes. Apparently, the beach is only accessible through a tunnel or by boat. The tunnel was only built in the 70s or 80s (from my weak memory of reading a description of a plaque at the beach entrance). We sighted porpoises and orcas alongside another avid whale-watcher whom we met at the beach.
Interacting with Uttakleiv's community of little sheep (as weird as it may sound) also made our beach day a little more interesting.
Flakstad beach is the perfect location to watch the midnight sun. The beach opens up into the wide ocean with no blocking mountains, making it a popular site for landscape photographers to capture the midnight sun's trajectory across the sky.
Another popular beach not too far from Flakstad beach.
Hands down the most picturesque of all of Lofoten. At one point during my trip, I turned to my friend and said, " FUCK... I CANNOT UNSEE WHAT I HAVE SEEN." We had just had a nice dinner of homemade Bak Kut Teh (A Singaporean/ Malaysian dish of pepper pork rib broth), and we were chilling out outside our rorbur accomodation during dusk. There were the most saturated layers of pinks, purples and blues in the sky reflected on the still water where more rorbur huts sat. Reine ruined life for me as this must be one of the most picturesque fishing villages on this planet!
We stayed at Møller's Rorbu, which I highly recommend. While it is (only) a 1-2 min drive away from the main island village of Reine, its location gives you a perfect view of the island since Møller's Rorbu sits directly across the water from it.
Reine Village Centre is located on a tiny island and has a few restaurants, bars, a convenience store and post office, petrol station, and other rorbur accomodation. You'll find many tourists and locals here and it's probably the busiest the south part of the island can get.
Reinebringen was especially challenging to climb in the springtime due to the rocks that were coming loose due to melting winter ice. The view made the hike so worth it though. It took us 3-4 hours in total, including a long stop for sandwiches and pictures at the peak.
Å, (funny enough) prounced 'ohh', is located at the end of the main E10 road that runs through the Lofoten Islands. In other words, it's the most southern point you can get to in Lofoten by car. You will see a few traditional fisherman villages on the way to Å. While at Å, you can do a short walk to the sea where there are some good fishing spots by the rocks and bird cliffs for bird-watching.
This itinerary could not have been possible without my dedicated Lofoten tour guide, Adam.... cuz Lofoten is practically his backyard (how unfair is life?!) Thanks boo! x
I hope these recommendations help! Enjoy Lofoten! x
Access my Lofoten Google My Map here.