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The Best Day Hikes In Lofoten Islands, Norway

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The Lofoten Islands, Norway, are a place of unparalleled beauty and boundless adventure. Nestled within the Arctic Circle, this stunning archipelago boasts a plethora of breathtaking Lofoten day hikes that will take your breath away – each one more beautiful than the last. 

best day hikes in the lofoten islands with jess wandering overlooking the view at a lofoten hike in norway

If you’re seeking a quintessential Norwegian experience, look no further than the Lofoten Islands hiking trails, where each step unveils dramatic vistas of soaring peaks, pristine fjords, and charming fishing villages.

In this blog post, I’ll share the best hikes Lofoten has to offer that Quin and I did during our one week trip to Lofoten. Honestly, they were all awe-inspiring in their own way, and I’m not sure you could really go wrong with any hike in this stunning area of Norway. 

Jess wandering sitting on edge overlooking one of the best lofoten islands hikes

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature lover eager to explore the great outdoors, Lofoten’s diverse landscape caters to all skill levels and interests. From easy hikes in Lofoten following scenic coastal treks with turquoise waters as your companion, to challenging mountain ascents that reward you with the best views in Lofoten, there’s something for every hiker in Lofoten. That being said, the hikes in this post are primarily of the very steep but short variety.

So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to be mesmerized by the wonders of Lofoten as we delve into the top day hikes that showcase the pristine beauty and untamed wilderness of this Arctic gem! 

Looking for more tips on the Lofoten Islands in Norway? Don’t miss my full 7-day Lofoten Islands itinerary.

view of lofoten islands in norway in summer

***Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Purchasing or booking through them earns me a commission that helps me continue creating more guides like this one.

When is the Best Time to Hike in Lofoten?

Hiking the Lofoten Islands is a bucket list experience for many avid hikers, but the long Lofoten daylight hours between late March and July make summer the perfect time for hiking in Lofoten.

Thanks to the Midnight Sun in Norway, the sun does not set for around 2 months every year and, despite it being summer, top temperatures in Lofoten are around 60F – the perfect temperature for hiking.

Of course, the shoulder seasons in spring and autumn are also popular times for hiking Lofoten, particularly in autumn before the snow returns. 

Lofoten Hiking: Packing List

The Best Hikes in Lofoten

1. Reinebringen Hike

jess wandering standing on a rock looking at the view from the reinebringen hike in norway

Distance: 2.2 km / 1.4 miles RT (1978 steps)
Elevation Gain: 448 m
Difficulty: Moderate 
Time: 2-4 hours 
Starting Point: The trailhead is conveniently located in the charming fishing village of Reine.

Reinebringen is arguably the most iconic hike in the stunning archipelago of Lofoten, Norway. It was also the first hike that Quin and I completed on our trip.

We flew into Leknes on a stormy afternoon and drove directly to our AirBnb in Reine. By the time we arrived, it was almost 1 am, but it was also clear outside, and despite our exhaustion, we decided to take advantage of the midnight sun and clear skies to do one of the best Lofoten hikes!

Our Airbnb was located right across from the Reine visitor center, so we walked the official Reinebringen trailhead from there. From town, the official start of the trail is a little under a mile and takes about 20 minutes. There honestly wasn’t any parking much closer than that, so expect to tack on a couple extra easy miles onto your Reinebringen hike. 

jess wandering at sunset on the reinebringen hike in lofoten islands

From the trailhead, you’ll climb 1978 stairs straight up the side of Reinebringen. The stairs were put in between 2016 and 2020 to help cut down on erosion and make the trail safer to hike. While the sheer number of stairs might sound daunting, they actually made the hike exponentially easier. No tripping, no slipping, no mud – just one solid footstep after another. 

Because the trail runs up the backside of Reinebringen, its now famous view is hidden until the very last moment. But as soon as you clear the ridge, the full impact of the panorama is sure to take your breath away – if you have any left after those stairs! 

The sight of emerald mountains cradling serene fjords and the picturesque fishing village of Reine far below is better than any postcard you may have seen leading up to this point. And as my eyes wandered across the sparkling Norwegian Sea, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of connection with the beauty of Lofoten. 

2. HĂĄen (HĂĄheia)

Distance: 6.4km / 4 miles RT 
Elevation Gain: 4380m
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 4-6 hours
Starting point: Take the ferry from Reine to Værøy Island. The parking for Håen is located in the top of the valley north of the main village of Sorland.

Jess wandering sitting on a rock with arms outstretched with green mountains and blue water on the haen hike on Værøy island in norway
Iconic views from the Håen hike, on the small island of Værøy.

Hiking Haen was a bucket list hike in Lofoten for us and it’s definitely a hidden gem – thanks in part to the tricky way to get there – by ferry. The ferry itself isn’t the tricky part, but the ferry schedule means there’s one sailing in the morning to Værøy Island, and the return ferry doesn’t leave until after 9 pm, depending on the time of year.

We discovered that our return ferry wasn’t until 10.45 pm, but this was no problem – it gave us plenty of time (and daylight hours!) to complete this hike and explore more places on the stunning island of Værøy.

We took our rental car over to the island so that we would be able to explore after the hike. A large portion of the hike is actually along a paved road, but there’s still quite a bit of elevation gain over a short distance, similar to many of the other hikes we did in Lofoten.

But the views from the top are totally worth it. A narrow, emerald-colored piece of land snakes into the distance, surrounded by vivid blue sea as mist and cloud roll over the peaks.

We hung out at the top for a while just to watch the constantly changing colors and landscape while we admired the azure blue waters and white sandy beaches below.

Since we had several more hours to kill (basically an entire day), before our ferry home, we hiked back down and took the chance to visit some of those stunning beaches we had spotted from the summit. 

Jess Wandering in red bathing suit at Nordlandshagen Beach Lofoten Islands
After a hot hike up HĂĄen we took a picnic lunch to Nordlandshagen Beach to cool down.

Nordlandshagen Beach is the perfect spot for cooling off after you hike, with luminescent blue water – don’t forget your swimsuit! But if you do and end up going for a skinny dip, no worries! No one in Norway will look twice!

3. Ryten

Distance: 7.5 km / 4.7 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 600 m 
Difficulty: Moderately Difficult 
Time: 3-5 hours 
Starting Point: The trail to Ryten starts from the village of Kvalvika. We parked at the Fredvang parking lot for 100 NOK. 

Jess Wandering enjoying the view of Kvalvika Beach from the Ryken trail, one of the best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Enjoying the views of Kvalvika Beach from near the top of the Ryten trail.

If there’s one viewpoint in Lofoten almost as famous as Reinebringen, it would have to be the view from Ryten’s summit. The Ryten hike in the Lofoten Islands is one of the most famous Lofoten hiking trails: a quintessential adventure, encompassing all the elements that make this region a hiker’s paradise. 

With sweeping vistas that stretch across epic mountains and serene fjords, it offers a visual feast that’s simply awe-inspiring. The hike itself strikes the perfect balance of enjoyable challenge, making it both fun and slightly strenuous as you ascend towards the mountain peak.

This trail begins on a series of boardwalks that presumably keep hikers out of the mud during wetter times. After passing through a beautiful flower-filled field the path begins to ascend through some more rugged terrain, passing by rocky slopes and fields of vibrant wildflowers during the summer months.

There are a couple of steeper sections toward the beginning, but chains have been bolted into the rock to assist when it gets slippery. As you gain elevation, the views become increasingly breathtaking. On one side, you’ll be treated to vistas of the vast Norwegian Sea, dotted with islands and surrounded by dramatic fjords. On the other side, the Lofoten mountains stretch out as far as the eye can see. 

The highlight of the Ryten hike is undoubtedly the summit. From this elevated viewpoint, you can witness one of the most iconic and photo-worthy sights in Lofoten: the famous Kvalvika Beach. 

The beach lies nestled between two rocky cliffs, forming a natural amphitheater of golden sand and turquoise waters – a sight that seems like a postcard come to life. To add to the thrill, you’ll discover a “mini Trolltunga.” 

If your experience is anything like ours you’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the line of people waiting for this photo op. To be honest, it wasn’t our favorite view, and the number of people waiting made the experience less than ideal. We quickly took the requisite perspective photo — cropping out the ground to create the illusion of hanging over the edge of a cliff — and moved on. 

From the top of Ryten, you can also see where the trail branches off and heads all the way down to Kyalvika Beach. Quin and I opted not to add this side trip this time around. But maybe next time!

Looking for more to do in Lofoten Islands, Norway? Here are some top tours to consider!

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4. Horseid Beach 

Distance: 9km / 6 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 453m
Difficulty: Easy 
Time: 6 hours
Starting Point: Take the ferry from Reine to Kirkefjord where the trail starts

Jess Wandering swimming at Horseid Beach in Norway
Although we were only able to spend a couple of hours at Horseid Beach before we had to head back to the ferry, it was probably my favorite experience from our entire Norway trip.

Horsed Beach is a hidden gem in the Lofoten Islands. And my only regret about this beautiful place is not coming prepared to camp there. With its stunning rock formation, soft golden sands, and clear turquoise waters, it offers a tranquil escape and a touch of mythical allure that left me wanting much much more. The unspoiled beauty of the surroundings and the peaceful ambiance make it a truly unforgettable destination. 

The great news is that this is one of the best easy hikes Lofoten has to offer, with a gradual incline and plenty of time spent walking through flower meadows and undulating valleys before you’re rewarded with the expansive view of Horseid Beach.

Quin from Everchanging Horizon on the Horeid Beach trail
Once you get over the pass you’ll be able to see Horseid Beach in the distance.

Despite the frigid waters, it really is worth bringing your swimsuit to take a dip in the crystal clear waters. This is such a hidden gem and many people are put off by the need to take a ferry, so we had this paradise beach all to ourselves.

Horseid Beach hiking trail in Lofoten Islands
Once you exit the ferry, take a right on the main road and walk about 100m until you see this worn arrow and a trail headed up through the pass.

5. FestvĂĄgtind hike

Distance: 2.4km / 1.5 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 500m / 1670 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 2 hours
Starting Point: The trailhead is just off the main road about 10 minutes north of Henningsvaer 

view of Lofoten Islands from top of FestvĂĄgtind hike
As you climb steeply up FestvĂĄgtind, a beautiful string of small islands will start to dominate the view below.

The Festvagtind hike is a short but steep out-and-back hike which we managed to squeeze into our last day in the Lofoten Islands, along with another short hike.

This is a short hike but the views did not disappoint. Once you reach the summit, you’re rewarded with 360-degree views of the archipelago and the chains of islands, connected by winding roads that look like ribbons. The water is marbled turquoise and deep blue, in contrast with the emerald green mountain slopes – we could easily have been in a tropical destination like Tahiti!

This hike is best done on clear days and with good weather, wet conditions or unsuitable shoe choices could make the hike up unnecessarily unsafe.

6. Torsketunga hike

Distance: 2.6km / 1.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 500m / 1670 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 2 hours
Starting Point: The trailhead is just off the main road about 10 minutes north of Henningsvaer (Same as Festvagtind)

Jess Wandering standing on a rock overlooking the blue water and islands from Torsketunga hike in Norway
Torsketunga is really just an alternate viewpoint that takes a bit of extra scrambling to get to from the main FestvĂĄgtind trail.

The trek up to Torsketunga is essentially just a short extension from the top of the well-known FestvĂĄgtind hike. Nevertheless, it remains a lesser-known treasure with few visitors. This is likely because reaching the viewpoint requires some scrambling and is not for those with a fear of hights.

To reach Torsketunga, first hike up to the ridge of FestvĂĄgtind. At the ridge, you’ll find the FestvĂĄgtind viewpoint on your left and the trail to Torsketunga on your right. From this point, it’s less than a kilometer to reach Torsketunga. But over that distance, you will be required to downclimb and scramble across some large boulders with quite a bit of exposure.

We saw two different groups decide to turn around before the viewpoint. So I would suggest only attempting Torsketunga if you are comfortable with a bit of exposure and have some scrambling experience.

Torsketunga hike view in Norway

7. Offersøykammen hike

Distance: 3.4km / 2.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 440
Difficulty: Easy 
Time: 2 hours
Starting Point: The car park and trailhead is just off the E10 road near Leknes

Jess Wandering sitting down and enjoying the view from Offersøykammen hike in the Lofoten Islands
We ended our trip to Lofoten with the Offersøykammen hike. It was late afternoon, and the light wasn’t great. But the views didn’t disappoint!

This is the second hike we did on our last day, together with the Festvagtind hike. This is another of the Lofoten hikes that is considered easy; however, it is steep and sturdy footwear is a good idea.

Although you do see plenty of people of differing abilities and even trail runners on this route – so it’s a great option for a short day hike in Lofoten with spectacular views as a reward.

Located on the western side of Vestvågøya, this trail is open all year round but a clear day in summer is the best conditions for hiking and epic views of the rugged mountains and shades of blue sea.

More hiking trails in Lofoten that I didn’t get to check out this time around:

  1. Munken and Munkebu hut 
  2. Haukland Beach (Mannen Hike) 
  3. Hermannsdalstinden 
  4. Helvestestinden 

Leave No Trace 

Like many locations known for their natural beauty, the Lofoten Islands have experienced a surge in tourism over the past few years. While it’s not hard to understand the growing popularity, many of the small communities and outdoor recreational opportunities were not built to support the influx of people. For this reason, practicing the Leave No Trace principle is particularly important when exploring the pristine landscapes of Lofoten, Norway. 

The desire to experience this remote and breathtaking corner of the world must be balanced with outdoor ethics that protect its fragile ecosystem for generations to come. I hope that by reading this Lofoten hiking guide and practicing Leave No Trace principles, we can all ensure that our impact on the environment is minimal, allowing us to enjoy the beauty of Lofoten without leaving a detrimental mark. 

Some of the best ways to practice Leave No Trace in Lofoten include staying on marked trails to prevent trampling delicate vegetation, properly disposing of all waste, including biodegradable items like fruit peels, and packing out all garbage.

Norway was such a memorable trip for Quin and I, the views, landscapes and nature in every direction were breathtaking and the best part is that the best hiking in Lofoten doesn’t have to mean challenging, multi-day hikes. You can experience the amazing Norwegian landscape yourself with these day hikes around the islands.

Looking for more tips on the Lofoten Islands in Norway? Don’t miss my full 7-day Lofoten Islands itinerary.

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best day hikes in the lofoten islands with jess wandering overlooking the view at a lofoten hike in norway

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Hi, I’m Jess, an outdoor enthusiast based in Seattle. I grew up exploring the Pacific Northwest, and early on was infected with the travel bug. I tried to suppress my wanderlust in pursuit of a traditional career path, but after a short stint as a lawyer, I left the confines of my office to get back in touch with my roots. Now, I wander the world taking photos, making memories, and sharing my love for travel with others!

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