Lofoten islands are one of the most popular tourists destinations in all of Norway, thanks to its scenic mountains and beautiful beaches. This area is extremely crowded during the summer months, so it’s next to impossible to find a room to stay at unless you are very early with your booking.
This leaves the option to go wild camping on Lofoten islands, but the laws for wild camping in these islands are stricter than in other parts of Norway. Let’s take a closer look at how you can go wild camping with your tent on the Lofoten islands!
Lofoten islands has several “no camping” zones close to the popular destinations on the islands. This makes it illegal to go wild camping there even though you fulfill all the requirements for wild camping. Even though there are some “no camping” zones, most places still allow you to set up a tent and wild camp. Here’s a map over all “no camping” zones on the Lofoten islands.
On the map, all the red zones are “No camping” zones. You are not allowed to set up a tent, park your RV or stay overnight at these zones. All green zones and unmarked zones are OK for wild camping, but still requires you to follow the laws for wild camping in Norway.
In short, this means that you must stay at least 150 meters away from houses and cabins, stay on “unfenced land” and only stay a maximum of two nights in the same place.
Read more about wild camping in Norway by clicking here. As long as you stay outside the red zones, all the same rules as the regular wild camping rules apply in Lofoten as well.
Why Lofoten made “no camping” zones
You were free to wild camp anywhere on Lofoten islands just like the rest of Norway until 2020, but the six municipalities that are in Lofoten agreed to a new set of regional regulations that would prevent tourists from camping at certain places.
The regulations made it illegal to camp in the most popular natural areas in Lofoten. While this might seem like a bummer to some, the reason is because there could often be hundreds of tents in these places, which made it somewhat unpleasant to visit, so these new rules have actually helped Lofoten feel like a nicer place to visit.
Some of the most popular beaches were filled to the brim with tents before the regulations that prohibited this, and it could at times be difficult to even get down to the beach without tripping on a tent or a camp chair.
The new regulations seem to work fine, and the areas just above the beaches are now much less crowded, and it’s an overall nicer experience to visit it as a tourist.
How to go camping on the Lofoten islands
The red “no camping” zones might look like you cannot wild camp at all in Lofoten, but when you look at the numbers, only 0.3 % of the area is actually in the no camping zone. So there are still plenty of places to set up your tent, and you will quickly get to a good camping spot if you walk a few hundred meters away from the most popular tourist areas.
Basically the recipe for wild camping on Lofoten islands is to find a place in nature a bit away from the popular beaches. Double check with the interactive map to make sure you are in the clear, and put your tent down.
There are also several campsites and designated camping spots where you can set up your tent. The designated camping spots are free, but are usually occupied unless you are lucky. The campsites can also often be crowded or even full, and you will also need to pay around 300 NOK per night to stay at these.
You will save some money if you decide to go wild camping or using a designated camp spot, especially if you’re staying for 4 – 7 days like most people do in Lofoten.
The “no camping” zones in Lofoten are highly controversial
The freedom to roam is very highly valued in Norway, so when a region implements regulations that interfere with these rights, many Norwegians gets upset. When the regulation became a fact in 2020, lots of people voiced their concerns, and there was a lot of debate in social media and in the national newspapers.
Despite this, the regulation is still in place, and the people who are living in Lofoten are generally happy with it since it makes the beaches much more welcoming. It seems unlikely that this no camping zone will be removed again, since the locals are happy with it.