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Visiting Lofoten in Summer: A Perfect 7 Day Lofoten Itinerary


Jess Wandering sitting on a rock overlooking the Reinebringen hike in Norway
Soaking in the midnight sun from the top of the famous Reinebringen hike.

Visiting Lofoten in the summer had been on our bucket list for a long time, and it’s safe to say it did not disappoint.

The Lofoten Islands are a series of islands that form an archipelago off the northwest coast of Norway, inside the Arctic Circle. Famous for dramatic mountains and hiking trails, stunning scenery, charming fishing villages, and beautiful beaches – this is an outdoor lovers’ summer paradise.

Lofoten is also famous for the Northern Lights in winter and the midnight sun in the summer. Between the end of May and mid-July the sun does not set – making it the perfect destination for maximizing your time outdoors on hiking adventures and excursions.

This 7 day Lofoten itinerary will help you find the best things to do in Lofoten in summer, including the best hikes in Lofoten, the best towns and villages to visit and base yourself in, plus what to pack for Lofoten in summer and how to get around.

Looking for more tips on the Lofoten Islands in Norway? Don’t miss my full list of the best hikes in Lofoten.

***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.

7 day itinerary lofoten in summer pin with images of Jess Wandering on various hikes in Lofoten
drone shot of lofoten soccer field on an island

How Many Days Do You Need in Lofoten?

When planning how long to spend in the Lofoten Islands, I found most people recommended 3-5 days, but I’d recommend at least a week – if not longer. We knew we had several bucket list hikes we wanted to complete, as well as visiting famous spots like Reine and Henningsvaer. How many days in Lofoten really depends on how many hikes or excursions you want to include.

If you’re visiting in the spring or early autumn with less daylight hours, you might have to consider an extra day or two, or consider reducing the number of hikes in this itinerary.

What to Pack for Summer in Lofoten

While most people think of summer in Europe as hot and sunny, Lofoten really doesn’t get that warm! I know I’m often colder than most people, but even in July, average temperatures in Lofoten only get up to around 60F during the day and around 50F at night.

This also feels a lot colder if you’re hiking on some of the more exposed peaks and trails where wind chill can make it seem a lot cooler.

Norway Summer Packing List Essentials:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Hiking pants and shorts
  • Base layer
  • Tank tops
  • Light sweater – layering is key for the cooler temperatures and wind on some of the trails
  • Rain jacket – the weather can change quickly in Lofoten (even in the summer!)
  • Insulated Jacket – even in the summer temps can get very chilly
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap or wide-brim hat
  • Sunscreen and SPF lip balm
  • A watch – so you don’t lose track of time without sunrise or sunset to guide you
  • GARMIN inReach Mini 2

Getting Around the Lofoten Islands

Reinebringen hike in Lofoten islands
There are 360 degree views from the top of Reinebringen.

The easiest way to get around the Lofoten Islands is by renting a car or campervan when you fly into either Svolvaer or Bodo airport.

We used a car to get around, and you can easily use this guide as a Lofoten road trip itinerary, especially as driving conditions are easy and far more predictable in the summer than in the winter.

A 7 Day Itinerary for Lofoten Islands in Summer

fishing village of hamnoy on lofoten islands with red rorbu houses
The picture perfect fishing village of Hamnøy on Lofoten Islands, with its red rorbu houses.

Day 1: Arrival and Acclimatization

After picking up our rental car, we drove to Reine – our base for the first half of the week. Settle into your accommodation before heading out to explore Reine.

You’ve probably seen the postcard-perfect village of Reine on Instagram: a fishing village with traditional red houses on stilts, backed by dramatic mountain scenery.

Located on the island of Moskenesøya, this is the perfect starting point for several hikes, ferry trips, and excursions.

Spend the rest of your first day exploring the area with a scenic drive through the picturesque villages of Å, Moskenes, and Hamnøy.

In the evening, head out on a sunset hike to Reinebringen.

We actually did this hike twice to see it in different lighting because we loved it so much and the trailhead was only half a mile from our Airbnb in Reine.

With 1978 steps, Reinebringen is a short but steep hike leading to the most unbelievable views of the islands, bays, jagged peaks, and dramatic landscapes.

The first time we did this hike was around 2 am (thanks Midnight Sun!) and the second time we did it at around 10 pm. The second time, we were rewarded with the most beautiful golden light and low clouds rolling through the emerald green mountains; it looked like golden waves flowing over the mountain peaks.

Day 2: Ryten and Reine

If you did a sunset hike the night before, take this chance to sleep in before heading out on the next day of adventures.

We drove from Reine to Ryten which took around 30 minutes. Parking at the trailhead is around 100NOK where there are also bathroom facilities and drinking water.

wildflowers and Lofoten beach views from top of Ryten hike in Norway with Jess Wandering sitting on a rock enjoying the view
Wildflowers and beach views from the top of Ryten.

Ryten is a 543m (1,782ft) mountain peak with a well-established trail to follow. It’s a moderate 3.5km (2 miles) out-and-back trail with stunning views of the mountains and fjords. It’s hard to capture the sheer scale of the scenery – it is just huge!

From the summit, you can see Kvalvika Beach which has unbelievable turquoise blue waters. 

Later in the day, make time to explore Reine and the iconic traditional red wooden cabins called “rorbuer”. From Reine, there are fishing excursions, sea kayaking and boat tours available so you can experience Reine and Lofoten from the water.

Want to book one of these tours? Here are some options to consider!

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Day 3: Take the Ferry Værøy to the Island to Hike to HĂĄen – Full Day Excursion 

Day 3 was a big bucket list hike for us: Håen, which is located on the island of Værøy.

The easiest way to get to Værøy is to drive from Reine to the ferry port at Moskenes (less than 10 minute drive).

From Moskenes, you can take the Værøy Island ferry. Ferry times vary, but it usually leaves Moskenes once a day between 9 and 11 am and takes around 1.5 hours to get to Værøy.

Note that you will be stuck on the island until late at night. We found that the ferry schedule wouldn’t pick us up again until 10:45 pm – so this is a full day excursion! But don’t worry, the island is beautiful and it’s the worst place in the world to kill a few hours – or 8.

Jess Wandering sitting on the edge looking at the view from the Haen hike in Norway
Like many of the hikes on Lofoten, the view of HĂĄen isn’t visible until the end of the hike. But when it finally comes into view, it’s enough to take your breath away!

Find the ferry schedule here – the times do vary depending on the day and the season so check before you plan your trip.

This trail is open year-round, although the limited Reine ferry schedule makes summer the best time to do the hike. The summit of Håheia or Haen is 438m, and it’s another short but steep hike, 2 miles to the summit.

The views from the top don’t look real. Dramatic cliff edges drop off to stunning white sand and turquoise water beaches hundreds of meters below. We stayed at the top for a while as clouds rolled over the coastline and peaks – these are the views of Norway I’ll never forget.

After the clouds got too thick, we headed back towards town and spent some time hanging out at Nordlandshagen Beach. The water was so clear and blue but so so cold! We also had the best fish and chips of our entire trip at Lofoten Vaeroy Brugge – it was definitely on the pricer side though!

Take the Reine ferry back to Moskenes and once you’re back, make time to stop at Hamnøy Scenic Viewpoint – the evening light is perfect and it’s a famous photo spot with one of the most picture-perfect views of Hamnøy fishing village.

Day 4: Reine Ferry to Horseid Beach + Spend the Night

Another day and another ferry trip, this time from Reine to Kjerkfjorden to do the hike to Horseid Beach.

The 18-773 ferry leaves from Reine Harbour and takes just 15 minutes to reach Kjerkfjorden. Make sure to arrive early though! We got to the ferry about half an hour before departure and the line was already super long. I almost thought we weren’t going to get on.

Everchanging Horizon on a hike in Lofoten with Horseid Beach in the background
After clearing the pass, you’ll get your first views of Horseid Beach in the distance.

The ferry ride itself is just stunning – we had the calmest conditions and beautiful views for the entire crossing. 

We were dropped off at a pier in the tiny village of Kirkefjord before starting our 4.5km hike over the mountain pass to reach Horseid Beach.

Horseid Beach is the most stunning secluded white sandy beach with clear turquoise water and we had the whole place to ourselves! The water opens up into a calm, sandy bay surrounded by mountain views and you can easily spend the whole day here relaxing or exploring.

Make sure to bring a swimsuit, the water is freezing but perfect for cooling off after your hike.

Make your way back across the pass to town where you can stay overnight and enjoy the seclusion of this tiny Norwegian fishing village.

Pro Tip: We did the trip to Horseid Beach as a day trip and it’s one of my biggest regrets. If you have extra time and gear, I would highly suggest considering a camping trip to Kjerkfjorden. If you do it as a day trip like us you will only have a couple hours to enjoy Horseid Beach. This is due to the combination of the ferry schedule and the length of the hike to get there. Spending the night at Horseid Beach would be an absolute dream.

Day 5:  Ferry Back to Reine and Move on to Henningsvær

In the morning, take the short ferry ride back to Reine before moving on for the second half of your Lofoten itinerary.

We stopped at the tiny town of Nusfjord and grabbed coffee at Landhandleriet Café. This exceptionally picturesque cafe (even for Lofoten where everything is picturesque!) is perched above the water and features all sorts of fun and eclectic Norwegian goods. After our fill of cinnamon rolls we went for a wander around town. Then we headed onwards to Henningsvaer.

Note: As of April 2024, the entrance fee to Nusfjord, a small fishing village in Norway, is NOK 100. However, the fee is waived if you’re staying at Nusfjord Arctic Resort.

Henningsvaer is most famous for the soccer pitch on an island right next to the water which has to be the most scenic football pitch in the world. It’s been the subject of many iconic drone shots which you might have seen on social media. But the town also has loads of cute shops and cafes where we had some of the best pastries of our entire trip!

Henningsvær is where we found accommodation for the rest of our Lofoten Islands road trip.

aerial view of football pitch on a small rocky island in the norwegian lofoten archipelago
Famous Henningsvær football pitch. Photo by op23 on Pexels.com

Day 6: Art and Culture in Henningsvaer

We enjoyed a much slower day exploring Henningsvær’s galleries and studios, including Gallery Lofoten and Kaviarfactory. Despite the town’s small size, there’s a real hipster-vibe here which felt like a piece of the PNW in Norway. 

You can also learn about local crafts such as ceramics and woodwork as well as find some great souvenirs at the small shops and galleries like Engelskmannsbrygga.

Henningsvaer is also a great spot to try local seafood specialties, most of which are caught and prepared locally. In restaurants like Fiskekrogen, you can watch the whole process thanks to the open kitchen.

Day 7: Two Last Hikes Before Flying Out 

We decided to use our last day to squeeze in two more short hikes – made possible by the long daylight hours.

Both are steep but relatively short and with the long days, you can easily complete both in one day. 

Jess Wandering hanging over the edge of a rock on the Festvagtind hike in Norway

FestvĂĄgtind is just a 10 minute drive to the trailhead from Henningsvaer, and it’s a short, moderately difficult hike that should take about 2 hours out and back. 

The views are unreal. The water below looks like a tropical destination. We could seriously have been in Tahiti, and the sheer size of the mountains makes this a real bucket list hike in Lofoten!

There’s also a mini Trolltunga here – a ledge that juts out over the cliff face and sea below.

Our second hike of the day was Offersøykammen, which was an hour drive south. Starting from the trailhead, it’s a moderate hike again and will probably take around 2-3 hours out and back.

Jess Wandering in front of the view from the Offersoykammen hike in Lofoten islands in summer
All smiles from the top of Offersøykammen!

Similarly, the views across the Lofoten islands, the emerald green mountain slopes, turquoise bays and dramatic scenery were just breathtaking and looked like a tropical destination – something I did not expect from hiking Lotofen in summer!

Bonus: Extended Stay Options

If you have extra days on your Lofoten Islands itinerary, these are a few additional activities that I wish we’d had a chance to do if we had more time.

Munken and Munkebu Hut

Located in Lofotodden National Park, the hike to Munken and Munkebu Hut is a popular route for a full day hike – especially on a clear day.

Starting from the trailhead in Sørvågen, it’s 410m elevation to reach Munkebu Hut and an additional 380m to reach Munken hut.

Skrova Island Kayaking

Kayaking on the Norwegian fjords is a must-do and seeing the Lofoten islands from the water is a completely unique experience and the water around Skrova Island in summer looks like you’re in the Caribbean or Thailand!

You can get to Skrova Island by taking a ferry from Svolvær. Book your kayaking or canoeing tour with Skrova Kayak.

Mannen Hike to Haukland Beach

The Mannen trail is another hike we wish we’d had time to fit into our trip. It’s further north than everywhere else on this itinerary but the hike gives you the most stunning views of Haukland Beach. 

The Mannen Summit is a 400m elevation, and the vibrant blues and shocking white sand beach look like the most stunning scenic hike.

Trollfjord Cruise

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast then a Trollfjord Cruise is a must! The cruises leave from Svolvær daily and as well as stunning scenery, you also have the chance to spot Sea Eagles. They also offer fishing tours and tours on electric boats so the quieter engine means you can enjoy the scenery in complete peacefulness.

Not only is Lofoten worth visiting, but it’s absolutely worth spending a few extra days to explore the traditional villages, take ferries to some of the more remote islands and take the time to explore the incredible outdoors here with the extra hours of daylight Norway gives you in the summer!

Looking for more tips on the Lofoten Islands in Norway? Don’t miss my full list of the best hikes in Lofoten.

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7 day itinerary lofoten in summer pin with images of Jess Wandering on various hikes in Lofoten

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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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