Hiking in the Lofoten islands mean experiencing landscapes teeming with shimmering fjords, rugged mountains rising straight of sea, small fishing villages forgotten by time, picturesque green valleys, wave lashed white sand beaches, dramatic coastlines, turquoise lakes and unlimited wilderness. While it’s possible to drive the national tourist road and score lot of the scenes on Lofoten islands, we were drawn to the surrounding peaks and the secluded beaches inaccessible by road. We went hiking in the summer months when the days were long and the weather implausibly favorable. These are the best hiking trails that we found on the Lofoten islands.
Kvalvika beach and Ryten
The lofoten islands have some of the spectacular white sand beaches with turquoise green aquas that can rival the Caribbean if not for the icy water. Undeniably, the most beautiful among these beaches for us was the Kvalvika beach. The trail to the beach starts from the village of Ferdvang through open moors and then slowly climbs up a mountain pass. The beach reveals itself as you get to the top of the pass and a short but steep descent brings you to the foamy white waves of the Kvalvika beach. For a prized click of yourself dangling off the mountain ledge hike up to the peak of Ryten following a narrow stream up the hill to the right of Kvalvika beach.
Duration: 4-5 hours
Max elevation: 543 mts
Even if you are short on time, you shouldn’t miss out on hiking up to the top of Reinebringen. It gives a bird’s eye view of the archipelago of the tiny lofoten islands and the narrow E10 road that connects them like a string of pearls. From the summit ridge looking down gives is a great vantage point to see the fjords of Reine. It’s a short but steep hike to get to the top but the rewarding panorama at the top more than make up for all the hard work.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Max elevation: 448 mts
The walk to this hut starts from sea level and as you hike up you pass by lake upon lakes connected by gushing streams and waterfalls. Once at Munkebu hut the show stopper is the peak of Hermanstinden, the highest in lofoten island. It is possible to hike up to the top of Hermanstinden in one long day or camp at the hut for an early morning ascent. If you would like to camp at the hut remember there are limited spots and the keys need to be picked up at the Reine visitor center. Having said that there are many camping spots around the hut and a lot of tiny lakes that you can have all to yourself. Be well prepared though, there was snow in some sections when we were hiking even in the month of July.
Duration: 3-4 hours
Bunes beach is the one of the ideal spots to see the midnight sun caress the horizon and come back up during summers. The long streaks of golden on the water left us spellbound. The trailhead can be reached by taking a ferry from Reine towards Vindstad. This side of the Moskenesoya island is really remote except for a few houses at the ferry quay. This an easy walk with the trail gradually ascending up to a pass and then down to the beach. A great option is to skip the ferry and instead kayak from Reine and end it with this hike like we did.
Duration: 1-2 hours
The dune filled Horseid beach faces the Norwegian sea and requires hiking up a short mountain pass to the other side. The swaying tall grass on one end and the thrashing sea waves on the other and tall mountains make up for a great frame, characteristic of the Lofoten islands. There is ample flat ground to pitch a tent and experience the magical spell of midnight sun in the summers. The easiest access to the trailhead is through a ferry from Reine. We felt most desolate on this beach and appeased our tired legs walking barefoot on the soft sand.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Djvelporten translates to Devil’s window and not many hikers gather the courage to be on this stone supported by nothing but steep mountain face. The hike to see the window alone, without having to put your life at risk to climb to be on top of it is spectacular. It passes by unique Lofoten scenery and offers incredible views throughout. This trail starts just outside of Svolvaer. The initial section is very steep and there are chains to aid in the tougher section after which the trail opens up to views of svolvaer harbor. Further up you pass by the famous Svolvaer goat (Svolvaergeita) where you occasionally have the opportunity to see climber’s jump across from one of the two jutting pillars to the other. Once at the top you can see through the natural window towards the fjord on the other side.
Distance: 3-4 hours
Duration: 590 mts
Most of the the route to the peak of Justandinten follows a ridgeline and offers the opportunity to see the sea spread on both sides. Flat plains of Leknes fringed by the mountain peaks extend to the south and the dramatic Vestfjord on the other while the sea gleams beyond. A moderate walk up and over grassy fells followed by some ridge walking leads to the summit. From the top one can see the Kartfjord below, it is also possible to get to the village on Storfjorden on the other side instead of taking the same route back. This hike offers the most extensive views of the lofoten islands, its coastline and fjords.
Duration: 5-6 hours
Max elevation: 738 mts
You would need to board a ferry from Moskenes to get to this remote island. Yow know you are going to have an incredible day when the views start off from the ferry itself.. The impressive spires of the Moskenesoya island stretch across the breadth of the ship, and on clear days one can see faraway mountains of the mainland too. The entire island of Vaeroy is walkable, but hike up to the highest mountain, Haen for the best view. Follow the road through the village as you exit the ferry and head towards the grassy hill going up. The azure blue stretches out for miles to no end while the craggy peaks of the lofoten island thrust up strikingly. There is a NATO observatory at the top and a small viewing area to its end. Looking down from the top of the cliff gives an end of the world feeling with nothing but a ridge pushing its way out to the infinite sea A tiny white sand beach completes this postcard perfect view, as if we could expect anything less in Lofoten.
In case narrow ridges make you dizzy, there is also a stunning coastal walk to the tiny hamlet of Mostad. Bird watchers will be much delighted to know that puffins and petrels are a common sight.
Duration: 3-4 hours
- Most trails on the lofoten islands are a swampy, boggy mess in summer. Be prepared for slippery walks and slushy water pools to wade through incase it has rained the previous day. So don’t forget your waterproof boots.
- The weather fickles a lot here, it can get very windy on the peaks. The mountains aren’t the highest but don’t let that deceive you and come prepared with layered clothing.
- There are vertical drops, especially at Reinebringen so do not go too close to the edge and stay on marked trails
- Rest areas aren’t a common sight so plan your breaks 😉
Read our other posts on Lofoten islands