Six day Lofoten Islands road trip itinerary

If you, like me, are chasing the best and most stunning landscapes that Mother Nature has given to Earth, Lofoten islands in Northern Norway have to be on your bucket list. They are not very well known, on the one hand; on the other hand, the size of Lofoten is small, and so the number of travellers they can accommodate is quite limited. You will adore mountains growing out of the sea, awesome views from the top of Reinebringen and Ryten mountains, beautiful fishing villages Reine, Hennigsvaer and Nusfjord and much more. So book your road trip to Lofoten early and you will be rewarded with incredible sights.

94 ryten hike lofoten norway P1800547

The main islands of Lofoten are Austvågøy, Vestvågøy, Flakstadøy and Moskenesøy. The islands are connected by bridges and the E10 road that runs the length of the archipelago. The best way to explore Lofoten is by car because public transport is quite limited and also it allows you to make as many stops as you want for taking stunning shots. And trust me, you will want to stop many, many times. My trip was in late August and I would suggest you pick this month because there are fewer tourists. So here is my Lofoten island road trip itinerary for your travel inspiration.

Day 1

Arrival and overnight in Harstad

I arrived in the early evening to Harstad/Narvik airport from Oslo and took a bus to Harstad. 11 harstad norway P1790734I walked around the town and was watching the sunset at the bay and stayed at a hotel overnight.12 harstad lofoten norway P179076613 harstad norway P1790749 Why did I pick Harstad as the starting point of my Lofoten exploration? The first answer is because of cheaper car rental prices comparing to the airport, and secondly, at the end of my Lofoten trip, I was heading to Tromso by Hurtigruten cruise ship from Harstad.

Day 2

Harstad to Svolvaer

After breakfast, I picked up my car from Hertz car rental. I must say I am almost never in love with my rental cars but this time I was. My Volvo V90 D5 Cross Country was my best mechanic travel mate I ever have had. So my road trip officially started. 20 svolvaer norway P179081821 svolvaer norway P1790838Harstad is located on Hinnøya Island, which is not a part of Lofoten, so first I had to drive about 120 kilometres across Hinnøya island to get by Raftsund Bridge to the first Lofoten island Austvågøya. Make sure that on your way to the biggest town of Lofoten, Svolvær you make a stop at Austnesfjorden rest area south of Sildpollen, and stroll its wooden walkway. It offers fantastic views of the stunning mountains and the Sildpollneset chapel. 22 svolvaer norway P179089023 svolvaer norway P179087524 svolvaer norway P1790884Then, after a short drive, I was in Svolvær. Svolvær, with about 5000 inhabitants, is the administrative centre of Vågan Municipality in Nordland County. I had a walk around the town. 33 svolvaer norway P179094935 svolvaer norway P1790941As it is the centre of the municipality, you can find a shopping mall, clothing stores, supermarkets, a cinema, hotels, restaurants, and art galleries there.
I also tried to make my way to Svolværgeita but did not succeed due to poor signage. I just didn’t manage to find the starting point of the climb. 150m (490ft) tall granite Svolværgeita is one of Norway’s most popular climbing routes. It offers a unique opportunity to jump the 1.5-metre gap between the two “horns” at the summit.37 svolvaer norway P179095338 svolvaer norway P1790962 Also, it was my first stay at rorbuer in Svolvær, namely, Lofoten Rorbuer hotel with nice views and a chance to explore what rorbuer actually is. Small rooms along the corridor where fishermen stayed in the early days often come without an ensuite bathroom and with a big common dining room with cooking facilities, which is very convenient, taking into account the food prices in local restaurants.25 svolvaer norway P179092127 svolvaer norway P179090529 svolvaer norway P179091230 svolvaer norway P179091531 svolvaer norway P1790916

The total driving distance in a day was about 170 kilometres.

Day 3

An attempt of Hennigsvaer hike and visiting Nusfjord

The weather was not my best friend, so I started my drive to Henningsvær in a drizzle.40 day 3 lofoten norway P1790978 I wanted to take a hike near Henningsvær, for the coolest views from Festvågtind, one of Lofoten's most scenic peaks. Again, I was not very successful. First, it was not easy to even find the starting point of the hike. 42 day 3 lofoten norway P1800032Then, I apparently was wrong with choosing the left turn at the beginning of the hike instead of the right, so it was not even a good path, and I had to find the best way by myself. 43 day 3 lofoten norway P1800018The rain became stronger and my path, more slippery, so I chose to go back before reaching the summit, which I do not do very often. Still, I got some decent views of the Henningsvær area. 44 day 3 lofoten norway P1800011Then I continued my way to the Henningsvær village. That village, built on several tiny islands, is one of Lofoten’s best-known places. I think the village is a must-do on any Lofoten trip. It’s home to a couple of art galleries and stunning waterside views from pretty much every spot.45 day 3 lofoten norway P179099746 day 3 lofoten norway P1800048

My next stop was Nusfjord. Nusfjord is often regarded as one of the oldest and best preserved fishing villages in Norway and is situated about 6 kilometres from the E10 road. For more than 2000 years, Nusfjord was home to up to 1500 fishermen. Many of the old buildings related to the fishing industry have been renovated and taken care of, and today the fish oil factory, old smokery, blacksmith, boathouses and other buildings allow you to make a short historical tour and have a glimpse of the old Lofoten life.100 nusfjord lofoten norway P1800653101 nusfjord lofoten norway P1800708109 nusfjord lofoten norway P1800683111 nusfjord lofoten norway P1800693

Then I continued my trip to Sakrisøy Gjestegård next to Reine and, trust me, I made many photo stops on my way. 48 day 3 lofoten norway P180007349 day 3 lofoten norway P180007650 day 3 lofoten norway P180013051 day 3 lofoten norway P180014052 day 3 lofoten norway P180015953 day 3 lofoten norway P1800186Even though the address of my hotel was stated as it is in Reine, actually it was some 4 kilometres away from Reine village centre. I just saw Reine from a distance the next morning. I absolutely loved the place and the guesthouse itself as it was recently renovated while retaining the spirit of the house as it was before.54 day 3 lofoten norway P180019355 day 3 lofoten norway P180019856 day 3 lofoten norway P180020157 day 3 lofoten norway P1800209

The total driving distance in a day is about 160 kilometres.

Day 4

Reinebringen climb and visiting Å village

My main goal for the day was to make a Reinebringen climb. The weather was sunny, so I was able to fulfil my plan. It is arguably the most popular hike in the Lofoten Islands. A short but steep trail leads up the mountain to a ridge high above the Reine village. By early summer 2019, the steps were laid almost to the top, but the summit is still to be secured.60 day 4 lofoten norway P180027161 day 4 lofoten norway P180028163 day 4 lofoten norway P1800358 So be prepared for many steps, some scrambling at the end and stunning views as your reward. 64 day 4 lofoten norway P180035465 day 4 lofoten norway P180035267 day 4 lofoten norway P1800293After the climb, I decided to drive some eight kilometres more towards the end of E10 road, to the village of Å. Å, surprisingly or not, is the last letter of the Norwegian alphabet. 69 day 4 lofoten norway P1800399The small village serves a dual purpose, also being a fishing village museum. The museum's purpose is to preserve the look of the old fishing village. The old boathouse has been converted to keep the museum’s exhibits, but the real exhibition is the village itself. 70 day 4 lofoten norway P180038771 day 4 lofoten norway P180039072 day 4 lofoten norway P180040073 day 4 lofoten norway P1800394On my way back to my overnight place, I made a stop at Rambergstranda-red hut, having a walk on the awesome beach. 74 day 4 lofoten norway P180044775 day 4 lofoten norway P180042076 day 4 lofoten norway P1800421Then I drove to Villa Ballstad where I had my accommodation booked and did my food shopping on the way. 118 day 4 lofoten norway P1800479119 day 4 lofoten norway P1800476120 villa balstad lofoten norway P1800721123 villa balstad lofoten norway P1800729Since I made my next day hiking choice only at a later stage of my trip planning, staying at Sakrisøy Gjestegård next to Reine would have been more logical, but it was too late to change it. 

The total driving distance in a day was about 85 kilometres.

Day 5

Ryten hike

It was not easy to choose just one more hike for my not so long trip to Lofoten, but my final choice was hiking up to Ryten. From Kvalvika beach, Ryten appears as a massive cliff rising to a height of 543 meters directly from the sea. From above, the view to Kvalvika beach is one of the most spectacular to be found anywhere on the Lofoten Islands so it was the reason for my choice. First, I took the E10 road to the Fredvang village and crossed two bridges. 82 lofoten norway P1800131After that, I drove towards ‘Yttersand.’ When I passed ‘Frankenstein’ barn, I soon spotted a parking area on the left side of the road and parked my car there. 83 ryten hike lofoten norway P1800497A fresh-looking signposted trail started at the parking area.85 ryten hike lofoten norway P1800501 I followed the trail taking me through the meadow and towards the mountain ahead. 86 ryten hike lofoten norway P180050689 ryten hike lofoten norway P1800524In a few hours, I reached the summit, enjoying the stunning views on my way and also from the summit, including the spectacular sight of Kvalvika beach from above.93 ryten hike lofoten norway P180054594 ryten hike lofoten norway P1800547 When I returned from my hike, the weather was getting worse and I decided to have a lazy afternoon and evening at Villa Ballstad.

The total driving distance in a day was about 100 kilometres.

Day 6

Driving back to Harstad

Unfortunately, the rain was pouring all day long and I just drove back to Harstad, cancelling my plans for a few nice stops on the way. Anyway, I can say I was quite lucky in terms of the weather because it was the only day like that on my short trip. As you can understand, this kind of trip is heavily dependent on weather, so I would suggest planning one extra day just in case of such kind of travel.
The total driving distance in a day was about 250 kilometres.

Practical tips for planning your trip to Lofoten 

All in all, it was one of my most memorable trips and I suggest it to all nature lovers. As I have noted before, you have to plan and book early for that. I did it in February for my trip in late August and not all the hotels were available then. Read my other tips about planning your Lofoten adventure clicking this link.



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If you, like me, are chasing the most stunning landscapes that Mother Nature has given to Earth, Lofoten islands in Northern Norway have to be on your bucket list. You will adore mountains growing out of the sea, awesome views from the top of Reinebringen and Ryten Mountains, beautiful fishing villages Reine, Hennigsvaer and Nusfjord and more. Book your road trip to Lofoten soon.  #visitNorway #visitLofoten #Europetravel #Rorbuer #travelblog #travelphotography #bucketlisttravel #NorthernNorway

What did you think? Have you been to Lofoten islands? Or perhaps you’re thinking of visiting in the near future? Either way, I’d love to hear from you so please add your comments below.

  • Published by Anita on January 31, 2020

    Author: Anita Sane

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


    In recent years, the Lofoten Islands have become increasingly commercialized. There are more and more buildings that devastate the amazing views.
    This is GORGGGGGGGGGGGG . Wow and I ha never heard of this place! Definitely a bucketlist item!
    Thank you for the information I can't wait to do some hikes over there. Especially the Ryten hike looks soo good!
    Your photos are stunning! Norway is on my bucket list and I made a new Pinterest board to collect info. Your post inspires me to go sooner rather than later!
    This is very high up on my wish list and seeing your photos has only confirmed that I MUST go. Thanks for the tip to book as early as possible, it wouldn't have occurred to me to need to book that far in advance
    This looks amazing! I love your photos. It is definitely on my list & this post is really useful. I’m glad I’m not the only one who often has problems finding/negotiating hiking paths!
    Wow, it looks incredible! the hikes are right up my alley, I'm definitely bookmarking this to start planning a trip!
    Oh this looks absolutely stunning! You have convinced me, especially with your gorgeous photos.
    Stunning photography makes you want to go there. What a stunning amazing place it is.
    Fantastic post! Loved the photography and the great detail about what to see and places to stay (that bathroom cut into the rock is amazing!).
    Great post. I haven't been to Norway in over 20 years, at which point I only got to Oslo and STILL have the amazing Norwegian sweater I bought all those years ago, still in excellent shape after wearing it all this time. Your post makes me want to return, beautiful!

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