Lofoten is one of the most beautiful places in all of Norway, and it’s unsurprisingly one of the most popular tourist attractions. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit this island group every single year, but how many days in Lofoten should you stay to get the most of the experience?
Most people who visit Lofoten for a short stop should plan for roughly 4 days, but you might want to plan for 7 days if you want some time to just relax, enjoy life and explore at your own pace. There’s plenty to do in Lofoten, and the longer the stay, the better.
The Lofoten islands are big, and there’s always another hike, another small village, another secluded island or another amazing beach to discover, and you will want to stay for at least 4 days to be able to really experience it. Anything less than that and you will only get a small and rushed glimpse of the island group.
Stay for as long as you can in Lofoten
I have never hard of anyone telling me that they stayed too long in Lofoten, and most people are on the other side of the spectrum. They wished they had another few days in Lofoten, and are already looking forward to returning at another time!
Some might think that a full week in Lofoten is too much, but it’s really not. There’s a lot of things to do in Lofoten, a huge number of beautiful beaches to go swimming at, plenty of hikes to lead to amazing views, and dozens of small, cozy villages that all offer unique experiences.
Some people enjoy staying for a few weeks on the Lofoten islands every year, but that is typically combined with renting a cabin to be the base for the vacation. You can easily go on day trips from the cabin every day for a few weeks, because there’s just so many different beautiful places to see on Lofoten.
It takes around 4 hours to get from one end of Lofoten to the other by car, and you can spend many days crossing the island group if you want to stop by all the beautiful places you see from the road.
When should you visit Lofoten?
The most popular season for visiting Lofoten is in the summer, and it’s very crowded with tourists from early June until the end of August. This is a good time to visit Lofoten as long as you are OK with sharing the beauty with a lot of other tourists. The crowds are a bit less intrusive after the new wild camping ban in Lofoten, so you won’t have to climb over many rows of tents to get to the beaches any longer.
That said, it’s also perfectly fine to visit Lofoten from early spring until late fall. It depends a bit on what type of visit you want. If you want to go on snowless hikes and chill on the beaches, then summer is your only option. However, if you want to just enjoy Norwegian nature at its finest without big crowds, spring or fall is just as good. The biggest “problem” with visiting in spring or fall is the increased chance of rainfall and windy weather.
I advise to stay away from visiting Lofoten in December or January due to the polar nights. This only gives you a few hours every day when it’s visible outside, and there’s not even any sun during this period. The further away from December and January you are, the more light and longer days you will get.
It’s a bit of a hassle getting to Lofoten
One of the reasons why you will want to stay at least 3 – 4 days in Lofoten is that it’s both expensive and a bit difficult to get there. Most people who get to Lofoten do it by bus or rental car from Harstad/Narvik airport Evenes, but you can also access it by ferry from Bodø.
There is no direct flights to the Lofoten islands themselves, so you need to fly to either Harstad/Narvik or Bodø. Most airports in Norway have flights to depart to either of these destinations.
No matter which option you choose, you are looking at a multiple hour ride that can be a bit of a hassle at times. So it’s not really possible to do a single day visit to Lofoten, unless you want to spend 90 % of your time on public transport that is.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.