Ytresand near Ramberg, © Can Stock / Harlekino
Lofoten Island by Rental Car
The Lofoten Islands are very isolated and they are north of the Arctic Circle, so you will need a rental car for your visit. If you fly in, pick up a rental car at the airport in Leknes or Svolvaer. The best way to get to Lofoten Islands is through the town of Bodø, in northern Norway. Bodø offers half hour direct flights to either Leknes or Svolvaer on the Lofoten Islands. You can fly non-stop to Bodø from Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim or Tromsø.
You can also take a rental car on the 3 hour long ferry ride from Bodø to Moskenes on the island of Moskenesøya. The ferry arrives in the most photographed and popular part of the islands. You won’t be renting a car in Bergen, because it’s a 4 day road trip one way to get to Lofoten Islands.
Hurtigruten in the Lofoten Islands
Another way to get to the Lofoten Islands is on the Hurtigruten ships that sail the 7 day one way voyage between Bergen and Kirkenes. In summer the Hurtigruten voyages offer several day trip options on the islands. Passengers leave the ship in Stamsund for their excursion and re-board at the next port in Svolvaer. These tours are about 3 hours long. You won’t see the more famous area of Reine area on a Hurtigruten cruise though. The Hurtgruten cruises are a great way to see the entire Norwegian Coast. In summer the Hurtigruten ships also travel to the popular Geiranger Fjord.
Reinebringen Viewpoint, © Can Stock / ildi
When Should You Visit the Lofoten Islands?
You can visit the Lofoten Islands any time of year, but summer is when you can enjoy the sun that never sets. Summer temperatures can reach 65 F, so it never gets hot. The seas get warmer in summer because the islands are at the end of the Gulf Stream, but a trip to the beach isn’t going to involve swimming. The Gulf Stream also helps keep temperatures from going much below freezing in winter even though you are in the Arctic. Winter isn’t a great choice for your visit though because the sun doesn’t even come up in December. July and August are likely the best time to visit the Lofoten Islands, but if you want to see the norther lights choose the winter.
Reine, Lofoten Islands, © Can Stock / Harlekino
Find you Favorite Villages
Once you arrive on the Lofoten Islands by rental car, it’s time to find your favorite villages. Study the islands in advance because you have lots of options. You can travel across the islands on the E10 highway, which has many bridges that join the isolated islands and communities. You can even drive the E10 all the way from Moskenes to Narvik on the mainland of Norway in about 5 hours.