Lofoten - Tourist Information - Know Before You Go

Lofoten - Tourist Information - Know Before You Go

Lofoten is an archipelago a bit north of the polar circle, and consists of 6 municipalities from Raftsundet in the east to Skomvær in the west. Close to 25000 people live in this well known area. Lofoten became famous because of one of the world greatest fishing adventures, that takes place from January until April. Also the fantastic nature with steep, green mountains that down in the rough sea, midnight sun and fishing villages have attracted in numerous visitors both nationals and foreigners.

The climate in this group of islands is mild and especially suitable for drying fish. Røst has definetively the best conditions and exports fish at a value of 330 000 NOK per inhabitant each year. (As a comparison the corresponding numer for Oslo is 30 000 NOK). The better part of the stock fish is exported to the south of Europe, mainly Italy.

The Lofoten archipelago is located north of the Arctic Circle in the county of Nordland, Norway. Between the mainland and the Lofoten lies the open Vestfjord. The Lofoten archipelago is made up of a multitude of tiny islets - according to legend, the island chain was created by Thor flinging fistfuls of rocks into the sea. Seeing the Lofoten Islands from a rubber dinghy (RIB) is a fantastic experience. At high speed, we sail among the isles and skerries, exploring the fishing villages, chalk white beaches, the Trollfjord and lots more.

You can make the voyage to the Lofotens in four days, dropping in on Maloy, Alesund, Trondheim and Bodo en route. There's an observation lounge on board where backpackers can sleep, cabins for the better-heeled, a cafeteria and a restaurant. The sight of the mighty Lofoten "Wall", a 100-mile stretch of snow-clad granite and volcanic peaks rising sheer from the sea, and looming ever larger as you cross between Bodo and the Lofoten port of Stamsund, is one of the highlights.

The nature in Lofoten was shaped by the ice in the latest Ice Age and has because of that very wild and sharp summits. The rock bed consists of the Lofot magmatics, which is one of the oldest in Norway, ca 3 billion years. The Moskenes current, between Lofotodden and Værøv is one of the world strongest sea currents. Jules Verne and Edgar Allan Poe are among those who have described it. There is a rich birdlife and the bird rocks in Røst are a magnificent sight. The only stable thing about the weather is that it is unstable, with just as many changes as there is in the nature. At the contrary, people are friendly all year.

Svolvær is the only city in the area, but Leknes is applying for status as a city. Talking about population, Vestvågøy is the greatest and Røst the smallest municipality. There are three airports and one landing place for helicopter. Other means of transport are the Costal Express, which calls at both Stamsund and Svolvær, the Fast Boat, ferry's and buses. E10, the road that goes from Fiskebøl to Moskenes, is planned to be one of Norways 15 national tourist roads.

A part from fishing, agriculture is an important industry. Vestvågøy is the second largest municipality in agriculture in the north of Norway. And high up in the nearly vertical mountains, during summertime, you can observe sheep grassing. Collecting sheep is a good exercise when the Autumn comes.

A huge source of income is also tourism. Each year about 220 000 visitors come to Lofoten. There are many idyllic places to spend the night in fishing villages, where you can rent the same cabins as the fishermen used to live in. You find all from simple to those with most facilities. There are great possibilities for climbing and surfing, and nice tourist tracks. The fishing is indescribable, both at sea and in small lakes. Many artists, painters and photographers have come to Lofoten because of the landscape and the special light. Everywhere you can find small galleries. In every island there exist traces of old settings. In Vågan it concerns findings from the Middle Age, in Vestvågøy the archaeologists have made big discoveries from the Viking Period, in Moskenes you have exciting cave paintings. In each municipality there are interesting museums and both old and new churches. All have participated in the project “Cultural landscape Nordland”, and sculptures worth seeing are placed around the islands.

The tourist season peaks during summer, under the midnight sun. They who arrive during winter might have a special experience of the polar night and the northern lights.

The tourist season begins in summer, with a major number of visitors, yet it is the other seasons that offer the most in terms of experience. Only then you can truly see the beauty of the wild and exotic corner of the Earth. A visitor may be surprised by the presence of beaches, which give the Lofoten a Mediterranean touch. The water temperature of the sea does not exceed 10-13 centigrade, still the crystalline clear, turquoise water attracts the swim-hungry bathers.

How To Get There

Arriving by boat

The most common way to arrive the Lofoten islands is by boat, either from Bodø or Skutvik in the south, or Melbu in the north. During the high season there are up to six daily departures from Bodø, arriving in Moskenes, and just as many going in the opposite direction. There are also car ferries passing by the smaller islands of Værøy and Røst. However, departures are scarce even during high season, so planning ahead is advisable. Booking in advance is possible for an extra fee.

Bodø - Moskenes or Bodø - Værøy - Røst - Moskenes

Public buses are scheduled daily all year between Bodø (via Fauske) and Svolvær, and have connections further around in Lofoten. The easiest way to get to Flakstad & Moskenes is to take the appropriate means of transport to Bodø, and catch the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes. If you take the ferry from Bodø, it will deposit you at Moskenes. There's a cafe and a small tourist information office.

If you drive, you can take the car ferry from Bodø across to Moskenes, Værøy or Røst. Or you can drive further north of Bodø, to Skutvik, and take the car ferry Torghatten Nord (phone: +47 90 62 07 00) across to Skrova or Svolvær. Express passenger boats are scheduled daily all year around between Bodø and Skrova/Svolvær.

The Coastal Steamer departs daily at 15.00 from Bodø and stops in Stamsund and Svolvær. Normally it is not necessary to book ahead if travelling short distances without a car, but if you want to bring a car during the high season booking ahead is a must.

North- and southbound timetable

The distance Skutvik - Svolvær is trafficked about ten times daily by car ferries during the high season, and the trip is shorter than the already mentioned alternatives.Booking in advance is possible for an extra fee.

Skutvik - Skrova - Svolvær

If arriving the Lofoten islands from the north there is only a short trip by car ferry separating the island group from neighbouring Vesterålen. The ferry departs as much as 20 times daily, and arrives in Fiskebøl, in the same region as the city of Svolvær.

Melbu - Fiskebøl

Arriving by bus

Arriving/departing by bus from Narvik or Bodø is also possible, and normally the ferry tickets will be excluded from the fare.

Narvik - Sortland - Svolvær - Leknes
Bodø - Sortland - Svolvær - Leknes - Å

Arriving by air

The airports at Røst, Leknes and Svolvær are operated by the Norwegian company Widerøe. Special discounts are sometimes offered through internet booking. More information about timetables and fares can be found at their homepage.

Contact Information to travel by bus, ferry, air and other services

Contact Ferry service for Bodø - Moskenes or Bodø - Værøy - Røst - Moskenes

Torghatten Nord
Torghatten Nord AS
Postboks 2380
9271 Tromsø
Tel: 906 20 700
Email: firmapost@torghatten-nord.no

Car rental for Sjømat - Lofoten

Sjømat, Anita Gylseth.
Telephone: +47 900 61 566
Fax: +47 76 09 21 90
E-mail: anita.gylseth@c2i.net or post@sakrisoy.no

Veolia Transport for bus, ferry, light rail trams, Car Rental and all other land and sea transportation:

Veolia Transport Norway; a private operator of ground public transportation operates over 600 buses, 28 ferries and 9 light rail trams. Services include land and sea regular services, charter tourism, hertz car rental, transport of goods, ambulance, buses, coaches, trucks, ferries, fast ferries and other vessels, rental cars etc.

Veolia Transport Norge AS

Klubbgaten 1
4013 Stavanger, Norge
Vestfjord Buss, Lofoten
Tel: 95 19 27 98
Email: tommy.sandberg@veolia-transport.no
Fast ferries Time tables: http://www.veolia-transport.no/timetables-fast-ferries/category386.html
Bus Time tables: http://www.veolia-transport.no/timetables-bus/category384.html

The Coastal Steamer departs daily at 15.00 from Bodø and stops in Stamsund and Svolvær. In Lofoten, Hurtigruten stops at Stamsund and Svolvær every day both by the north-bound and the south-bound routes. In summer you also can visit Raftsundet and Trollfjorden by travelling with Hurtigruten between Stokmarknes and Svolvær. Normally it is not necessary to book ahead if travelling short distances without a car, but if you want to bring a car during the high season booking ahead is a must.

North and southbound time table

Coastal Voyage (Hurtigruten)
Havnegata 2, Box 43, 8514 Narvik
Booking: +47 810 30 000
Phone: +47 76 96 76 00
Telefax: +47 76 96 76 01
Email: firmapost@hurtigruten.com or booking@hurtigruten.com

NSB - Norwegian National Railways

Tickets and Schedules (domestic)
Phone (call from Norway): 815 00 888 (24 hrs)
Phone (call from outside Norway): +47 815 00 888 (24 hrs)
Fax: +47 61 279099

Amadeus (Airlines)

: http://www.amadeus.net/

Widerøes (Airline)

Reservations, Bodø: (+47) 75 50 48 00
Details of traffic, Bodø tel.: (+47) 75 5048 90

SASBraathen (Scandinavian Ariline), Norway

EuroClass, tel.: (+47) 810 03 300
Tourist Class, tel.: (+47) 810 03 300

Norwegian - Norwegian Air Shuttle

Postboks 115, 1330 Fornebu
Besøksadresse: Oksenøyveien 10A Fornebu
Fax 67 59 30 0

Nordland bus and boat routes:


Norway National phone number for public transport services:

Anyway, it doesn’t matter when you visit Lofoten, you will guaranteed be breath taken of the variety and the stupendous. Follow the below links:

Lofoten Islands Tourism, Vacation Attractions, Activities and Tourist Offices

Lofoten Area Mountains Guide

Lofoten Vacation Tourist Attractions

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