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The Top 10 Hikes in the Lofoten Islands to Add to Your Bucket List

  • Post last modified:October 23, 2023
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One of the highlights of Norway is certainly the incredible nature it has to offer. We visited the country for two weeks, and some of our favorite moments were the hikes in the Lofoten Islands.


Unlike the south of Norway, the hikes in the Lofoten Islands are steeper and shorter. While they may be a bit more difficult, they are more rewarding, and because most don't take more than an hour or two each way, you'll be able to fit more into your schedule!


We visited the Lofoten Islands in Norway for a total of 5 days. While we didn't have time to do every hike there is (there are so many of them), we were able to do a couple each day. Now we're here to share with you some of the best hikes in the Lofoten Islands to add to your bucket list!

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Preparing for the Hikes in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

In order to prepare for all of the great hikes in the Lofoten Islands you'll want to made sure that you are well equipped. Most of the hikes we found to be very windy and cold at the top, even in the summer months. For this reason we suggest bringing some layers. Even though it may be cold, you should also carry some sunscreen on you, and you'll definitely want to have a pair of good hiking boots or sneakers, since most of the hikes happen to be very steep.


Many of the hikes have waterfalls or small streams of water along them, so make sure to bring a reusable water bottle to fill up along the way. We also kept a Steripen with us to do an extra sterilization on the water. Most hikes in the Lofoten Islands have free parking, but there are some lots that do make you pay. (Don't worry- we'll include those details in each hike). 


Another thing to keep in mind is that most signs and people have very different answers when it comes to how long the hikes take. We typically found that a 2 hour hike would take us one hour, and that locals would hike in almost half the time that we would take. We are in decent shape and walk a bit on the faster side, so the amount of time may be a little bit more or less depending on how fast of a hiker you are.

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Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands

Now that you know the basics of what to expect, let's jump into all of the amazing hikes in the Lofoten Islands to check out! There are so many of them, but here is the list of our top ten.


Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #1: Reinebringen

When we first started seeing pictures of the Lofoten Islands, we saw photographers over and over again posting photos of this iconic spot. Except they were not revealing the location! You know what's weird though? It's actually not a hidden gem by any means.


After a ton of research, we were finally able to find that the name was Reinebringen. We arrived in the Lofoten Islands and then found out that it is in fact one of the most popular hikes in the area! We felt totally played by all of the creators out there trying to "hide" the location. Well don't worry, we're here to share these beautiful places with you, and not leave you guessing.


We started our adventures of hikes in the Lofoten Islands on the southern-most tip, so Reinebringen was actually our first hike of the trip, and it surely did not disappoint!

Reinebringen Hike, hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Reinebringen Hike, hikes in the Lofoten Islands
stairs on the Reinebringen hike, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Reinbringen, hikes in the Lofoten Islands

Reinebringen is one of the most iconic hikes in the Lofoten Islands.

Reinebringen Hiking Stats:

Length of trail: 1,600 steps up/ 3.6 miles roundtrip

Elevation gain: 1,712 ft

Time it took us to hike up: 44 minutes

Time it took us to hike down: 33 minutes

Parking: located above Reine, right after the tunnel, which is a 5-7 minute walk from the trail

Best time to hike: sunrise


Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #2: Ryten & Kvalvika Beach

Another one of our favorite hikes in the Lofoten Islands (and one of the most popular) is the hike to Ryten & Kvalvika Beach. This hike is actually a two-in-one! Well, you can decide to hike to Kvalvika Beach, hike up to Ryten, or combine the two actually.


The hike up to Ryten overlooks Kvalvika Beach and the mountains surrounding it, and has an epic ledge that people like to sit on for the perfect Instagrammable photo. It looks very risky, but actually isn't as scary as it looks in the picture below.


The trail actually forks at some point, which is where you can then go down to Kvalvika Beach. This is also a popular place for people to camp, so you'll want to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy both spots!

Ryten & Kvalvika Beach, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Ryten & Kvalvika Beach, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Ryten & Kvalvika Beach, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands

Ryten & Kvalvika Beach is a combination of trails with two great spots to visit.

Ryten & Kvalvika Beach Hiking Stats:

Length of trail (Ryten): 4.5 miles 

Elevation gain (to Ryten): 1,958 ft

Time it took us to hike up: 1 hour and 20 minutes 

Time it took us to hike from Ryten to Kvalvika: 45 minutes

Time it took us to hike down: 1 hour 45 minutes

Parking: There are three lots. The most popular one is Fredvang, which is 100 NOK.

Best time to hike: between sunset and sunrise


Want to learn more about hiking Ryten & Kvalvika Beach? We have a full Ryten hiking guide that you can check out!


Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #3: Nonstinden

Nonstinden was one of the hikes in the Lofoten Islands that we got recommended to by a local. We honestly had no idea what to expect, and didn't see any photos that wowed us so much. However, we have to say that it was definitely one of the our favorite hikes in the Lofoten Islands!


If you're looking for something super short and rewarding, then this is the one you'll want to make sure not to miss out on.


Nonstinden took us just 20 minutes to get up before being greeted with some of the most stunning views ever. It's extremely easy, short, and breathtaking. Additionally, you can combine it with the hike to Ballstadheia by just continuing the full loop. We had already been doing so many hikes in the Lofoten Islands and were exhausted, so we opted to stop at the Nonstinden viewpoint, and just turn around after. However, we would suggest if you have the time and energy to fo the full circuit.

Nonstinden sunrise, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Nonstinden sunrise, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Nonstinden sunrise, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands

Nonstinden has the most beautiful views for the shortest hike;

Nonstinden Hiking Stats:

Length of trail (for the full circuit): 2.5 miles

Elevation gain: 1,463 ft

Time it took us to hike up: 20 minutes (the full circuit probably would have taken around an hour.)

Time it took us to hike down: 20 minutes

Parking: There is a small free lot right across from the trailhead.

Best time to hike: Sunrise

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the best hikes in the Lofoten Islands pin
the best hikes in the Lofoten Islands pin

Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #4: Offersoykammen

This was one of the last hikes in the Lofoten Islands that we did, and one that we really struggled with (don't worry- this won't be the case for you!). We unfortunately didn't bring water, and couldn't find any along the hike as we did with some of the other hikes in the Lofoten Islands. The steep hike with the sun beaming and no water wiped us out, and we ended up falling asleep once we reached the top!


Despite being exhausted and getting bad lighting, we absolutely loved this hike, and highly recommend it to anyone! The reason it is so special is because it offers 360 degree views, which is not that common.


Just make sure to watch the trail on your way back, as we ended up going too far right and walking through deep mud and puddles. We're not sure if it was from being a bit out of it, or if the trail wasn't marked great, but just keep an eye out not to do the same!

Offersoykammen, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Offersoykammen, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Offersoykammen, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Offersoykammen, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands

Offersoykammenhas 360 degree views at the top.

Offersoykammen Hiking Stats:

Length of trail: 1.4 miles there and back

Elevation gain: 1,345 ft

Time it took us to hike up: 1 hour

Time it took us to hike down: 45 minutes

Parking: the lot is across the highway near the community of red cabins

Best time to hike: sunrise or sunset (we went 5-6 am and the lighting was awful). We suggest going either at 2-3 am or 8-9 pm.


Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #5: Mannen

Mannen is a hike that brings you at a vantage point looking over two beaches, one on each side. It starts from the Haukland beach side, from a connecting road. It is a pretty direct hike, starting off steep, flattening out for a little, and then steeply going up rocks to get to the top.


The peaks offer 360 degree views of the area, and if you're lucky like us, you may get to see some sheep or goats!

Mannen, hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Mannen, hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Mannen, hikes in the Lofoten Islands

Mannen has beautiful views of the beaches below it.

Mannen Hiking Stats:

Length of trail: 2.6 miles round trip

Elevation gain: 1206 ft

Time it took us to hike up: 45 minutes

Time it took us to hike down: 35 minutes

Parking: The lot is located next to Haukland beach, which is a 10 minute walk to the start of the trailhead, and costs 50 NOK.

Best time to hike: sunrise to see the sun rising over Haukland beach, or golden hour before the sun is setting for great lighting


Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #6: Festvagtinden

Located just outside the stunning town of Hennisavaer, Festvagtinden is known for its incredible views of the scattered islands down below.


The hike starts by scrambling up a steep area of rocks. At the top of the rocks, you can then fork to the left or the right. If you go right, there is  nearby viewpoint, and if you go left, you will head towards Festvagtind. Part of the trail is flat, and then it gets steeper at the end.


As soon as you get to the top, there is actually another trail going down and then up again to the next peak, which gets an unobstructed view of the archipelago down below.

Festvagtind, best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
Festvagtind, hikes in the Lofoten Islands

Festvagtind has two peaks to enjoy the views from.

Festvagtind Hiking Stats:

Length of trail: 1.5 miles out and back

Elevation gain: 1,640 ft

Time it took us to hike up: 1 hour and a half + 5-10 minutes each way for the next viewpoint

Time it took us to hike down: 1 hour

Parking: There is a lot across the highway from the start of the trail.

Best time to hike: Sunrise


Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #7: The Secret Hike

This one is actually a true hidden gem, and it is part of the same trail as another one of the best hikes in Lofoten!


Honestly, it barely looks like there is a trail here, and it is probably because it is not a highly recommended hike to do, unless you are with a guide or have professional equipment. We of course didn't know this, and had to learn this the hard way.


In order to get to this stunning rock jutting out over the pristine landscape around it, you'll have to climb up and down steep cliffs, going around the mountain. There are no signs, and chances are people won't be around, so this is definitely a risky one! Please do not attempt this alone, or if you are not very well prepared, as parts of it are truly terrifying and difficult to complete.

secret hike, the best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
secret hike, the best hikes in the Lofoten Islands
secret hike, the best hikes in the Lofoten Islands

This secret hike is along a trail off of another popular hike.

The Secret HikeStats:

Length of trail: (there is no online info we have found but we think 1.5 miles out and back)

Elevation gain: (there is no online info we have found, but probably 1,500-1,700 ft)

Time it took us to hike up: 1 hour and a half

Time it took us to hike down: 1 hour

Parking: There is a lot across the highway from the start of the trail.

Best time to hike: golden hour for the sunbeam shining on the rock, sunset for the most magical lighting, or blue hour for the clearest shot of the landscape without any shadows


Want to know the exact location of this hidden hike? Buy us a coffee and we'll spill the tea!

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Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #8: Svarttinden

Svarttinden is not actually one of the hikes in the Lofoten Islands that we had time to do, but we decided to add it on our list as one of our local friends had told us about it right before we were leaving, and it looked pretty epic.


Apparently it's not too difficult (although locals think everything is easy), and it has some of the most breathtaking views in the Lofoten Islands. It's on our list for the next time, but in the meantime let us know in the comments how it is if you decide to do it!


Svarttinden Hiking Stats:

Length of trail: 6.75 km

Elevation gain: 2,415 ft

Time it takes the average person to hike up: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Time it takes the average person to hike down: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Parking: There is a small gravel lot behind a grocery store,

Best time to hike: sunrise or sunset

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Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #9: Svolvaergeita

If there is one extremely unique hike in the Lofoten Islands to do, then it is definitely this one! We had the biggest FOMO not being able to do this one, and it is actually because you can only visit the top if you go with a tour guide. We tried getting a tour upon arrival, and everything was sold out. So if it's one thing we can recommend, it's to book this asap!


So what makes Svolvaergeita so special? We actually got blown away by an Instagram video we saw here, and it's due to it two very steep twins peaks that people jump between, that resemble a goat's horns.


While it looks extremely dangerous, the guides actually have you strapped in. It is because of the professional equipment needed that going to the top of Svolvaergeita requires a guide (unless you are a professional climber yourself with the proper gear).

 

Svolvaergeita Hiking Stats:

Length of trail: 1 km

Elevation gain: 580 meters

Time it takes to hike: 45 minutes to the base, then 150 meters rock climbing (about an hour up and down), and another 45 minutes back

Parking: there is a lot right next to the trailhead

Best time to hike: there are only 2 slots each day, and both are similar lighting-wise


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Best Hikes in the Lofoten Islands #10: Måstadfjellet, Vaeroy

This was another one of the hikes in the Lofoten Islands that we unfortunately didn't have time to see, but is high on our bucket list for the next visit. This place is super post-card worthy, as the view overlooks a giant green peninsula jutting out into the bright turquoise waters. Not only that, but we heard that the views the entire way are pretty stunning, giving you views of the entire island of Vaeroy.


Located on an island outside the main area of the Lofoten Islands, this is a full day trip to take. You'll have to take the ferry from Moskenes, and we would suggest getting the first ferry out, and the last one back. Alternatively, if you plan on exploring all of Norway, you could come from or go to Bodo after, which is a seaside town on the west coast of the country.


Mastadfjellet Hiking Stats:

Length of trail: 2.7 miles round trip

Elevation gain: 1,469 ft

Time it takes the average person to hike up: 1 hour and 20 minutes 

Time it takes the average person to hike down: 1 hour

Parking: We suggest leaving your car on the mainland

Best time to hike: early morning


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Safety Hiking in the Lofoten Islands

When it comes to hiking in Norway, it's different than a lot of other areas of the world. The hikes in the Lofoten Islands are steep, and have impressive views over cliffs. But unlike many other places with dangerous cliffs, all of the hikes on Norway are left exactly as they are. That means that they look much more natural and beautiful, but it definitely makes them a bit more risky.


The tops don't have any barriers or fences stopping you from falling, so it's important to always keep a safe distance from the ledge. While the hikes in the Lofoten Islands are not extremely dangerous, they certainly can be if you are not paying attention, or are being careless. 


Remember that nature can be unpredictable, so you don't want to test the boundaries and risk your life for a photo. All of the photos that we took we made sure to stay within safe boundaries (even the ones that may look a bit riskier in the frame).

 

When Can You Hike in the Lofoten Islands?

Due to the location of the Lofoten Islands in Norway, it is significantly colder than other areas of the world.


We visited in June and still found some areas to have snow! Because of the severe cold temperatures and snowfall in the area, most of the hikes are only doable in the summer months, which are June, July, and August.


Hiking in the Midnight Sun

The amazing part of doing the hikes in the summer, is that you can actually hike at any time of the day! During this time there is a phenomenon called the Midnight Sun, which is when there are 24 hours of sunlight. Because of this, we actually did almost all of the hikes in the Lofoten Islands between midnight and 3 in the morning! This is when we got a stunning glow, as well as no crowds.

Just keep in mind that if there are no people around, you will have to be extra careful on the trails, as you don't want to get lost, or have no one to help in case something bad happens. Make sure to take your time, take plenty of water, and bring proper footwear.

hiking during the midnight sun

During the summer you can hike all night, as the sun does not set.


What to Bring on Hikes in the Lofoten Islands

Now that you know the best hikes in the Lofoten Islands to do, here are some things you may want to pack and keep with you along your adventures:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Light Jacket or Sweater (most hikes are very windy and chilly at the top)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Steripen (as an extra step to sterilize water from the waterfalls or streams)
  • Sneakers or a pair of hiking boots
  • Snacks such as protein bars, trail mix, or a sandwich
  • Zippered Bag or Backpack - take a look at these backpacks for travelers!
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & shoots 360 degree videos)


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So are you ready to discover some of the incredible hikes in the Lofoten Islands? Some of these were the most stunning hikes we've done in our lives, and we highly recommend you to do as many of them as you can! Let us know in the comments below which ones you get to visit, and which one was your favorite.


Want to know what else to do while you're in the Lofoten Islands? Stay tuned for our upcoming Lofoten Islands travel guide coming up. In the meantime, check out our other Norway travel guides, and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter. This way you can stay in the know, as well as receive exclusive content and updates.


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