Lofoten is one of the absolute dream destinations of many campers and motorhome drivers. Anyone who has seen the "wall of jagged peaks rising from the sea" will remember the archipelago with its white beaches and crystal-clear water as an incomparable synthesis of nature. Depending on the season, the midnight sun or the northern lights offer an additional spectacle of nature that is worth a trip in itself. Nature lovers will find wonderful hiking trails and water sports enthusiasts will not miss out either. Picturesque fishing villages and the characteristic drying frames for stockfish indicate the close connection of the inhabitants with the sea.
Our motorhome route Lofoten follows the Norwegian Scenic Route Lofoten, which runs between Å and Raftsundet with detours to Nusfjord, Vikten, Utakleiv, Unstad, Eggum and Henningsvær. Depending on how much time you have available, other detours are worthwhile for hiking or simply enjoying nature.
Type of route: Holiday route
Theme: Nature, hiking, surfing, fishing, northern lights
Start / Finish: Å i Lofoten / Raftsundet
Length: 230 km
Holiday region: Lofoten, Vesterålen
The Lofoten Islands lie between 100 and 300 km north of the Arctic Circle and belong to the province of Norland. They are separated from the mainland by the Vestfjord, which is up to 90 km wide. The Lofoten Scenic Route can be started either from the south, for example by taking the ferry from Bodø to Moseknes, or from the north, from the mainland at Raftsundet. The E10 ('Kong Olafvs veg') connects the large islands of Lofoten via numerous bridges and tunnels. Details on how to get there are given below in the article.
Å - only one letter, but it stands for a picturesquely situated fishing village in the southernmost part of Lofoten, where the European Road 10 ('Kong Olafvs veg') ends or begins. The small village with its characteristic red fishermen's houses (rorbuer) is easy to explore, and a walk in the surroundings will give you a real "Lofoten feeling". In the Tørrfiskmuseum, you can learn interesting facts about the more than thousand-year history of stockfish as a commodity. You can also visit the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum with original 19th century buildings.
The village of Å i Lofoten can be reached in a few minutes from Moskenes, if you haven't already admired the panorama on the way. In Moskenes, most visitors cross over by car or camper van from and to the mainland. There is also a nice camping site with modern facilities.
The small village of Reine with its approximately 2000 inhabitants is the epitome of Lofoten for many, mainly because of its idyllic location against the imposing mountain backdrop.
At the southern end of the E10 tunnel begins the Reinebringen Trail, a short but very steep hiking trail with 460 metres of altitude difference, at the end of which you have a breathtaking panoramic view of Reine and the surrounding mountains. This trail with its 1566 steps has been repaired and made safer by Nepalese stonemasons in recent years. Nevertheless, it should only be climbed with sufficient surefootedness, a head for heights and good shoes, as the adventure is not entirely without danger.
For hiking enthusiasts, it is worth making a detour to Kvalvika beach, which can only be reached on foot. This hike can also be continued as a circular route via Vestervika beach, whereby you have to cross a steep rocky outcrop between the two beaches. You should definitely be sure-footed here. The hike takes 2-3 hours depending on your fitness level and the weather (there are some swampy spots). Sturdy shoes and some fitness are required.
If you are an experienced climber, you can also climb the surrounding peaks and enjoy an even more spectacular view over the Caribbean-like beach.
As you continue along the Lofoten Scenic Route, you will pass the two towns of Ramberg and Flakstad, which offer some of the most beautiful beaches in Lofoten. Especially the snow-white Rambergstranda is more reminiscent of the Caribbean than the Arctic Circle.
Skagsanden beach near Flakstad is also very popular with surfers. The Lofoten Beach Camp is also a good place to spend the night. Brunstranda is also close by.
Before leaving the island of Flakstadöya through a tunnel to the next island of Vestvågøya on the Lofoten Scenic Route, you can take a short detour to the charming Nusfjord and the village of the same name. The once important village has been completely renovated and invites you to take a relaxing stroll. However, parking is limited, as is often the case in Lofoten.
A dream in white and turquoise: A small cul-de-sac that branches off the E10 leads to Hauklandstranda and Uttakleivstranda as well as to the lesser-known Vik Beach. The view is overwhelming and you think you are in southern climes - if it weren't for the water temperature...
At Uttakleiv there is a small parking space that currently costs NOK 250 and offers a wonderful view, but with very little comfort.
After a stopover at the Lofotr Viking Museum, our Lofoten motorhome route continues via a cul-de-sac to Eggum. Behind the old fishing village of Eggum there is a rest area, which was laid out openly towards the sea in the form of an amphitheater. Here you can enjoy the midnight sun.
Henningsvær is probably one of the most famous fishing villages in the north. The approach is already an experience: within sight of the almost 1000 m high Vågakallen, you pass the snow-white Rørvika beach after the turn-off from the E10. From here, the route continues along the R816 to the southern tip of Austvågøya, off the coast of which is the "Henningsvær Archipelago". Along the way, you enjoy a magnificent panorama of mountains, sea and archipelago until, after crossing three arch bridges, you finally arrive in the village of 500 inhabitants. Now you understand why Henningsvær is also called the "Venice of the North".
Between January and March, during the Lofot fishing season, hundreds of fishing trawlers are often anchored here. During this time, the cod are also hung up to dry on the characteristic scaffolding.
The small town has also become famous in other ways: it has an artificial turf football pitch, the picture of which was chosen as the best of the year by National Geographic, in the Cities section, in 2017. Since then, the pitch has been considered one of the most beautiful sports fields in the world.
The modern island metropolis of Svolvær, with about 4500 inhabitants, is not an architectural highlight, but offers everything necessary for daily needs. Art lovers should visit Magic Ice or the Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter with changing exhibitions.
The particularly narrow an beautiful Trollfjord between Lofoten and Vesteralen is considered one of the highlights of a Lofoten trip. Excursion boats of various sizes depart from Svolvær. You can plan about 3 hours for the return trip. On the way you may well see or at least hear a sea eagle.
Back in Svolvær we continue our journey north along the Austnesfjord. At the Austnesfjord rest area, you can enjoy one of the works of Norwegian landscape architects that now exist along all Norwegian landscape routes. The Scenic Route Lofoten ends, or rather begins, at Raftsundet.
One should not underestimate the size of Norway. The distances in Europe's longest country are enormous and the maximum speed on country roads is 80 km/h, and mostly 90 km/h on motorways (rarely 100 km/h). The distance between Oslo and Bodø is about 1200 km by direct road. From Oslo to Raftsundet it is about 1380 km. Accordingly, you should allow plenty of time for the journey.
Basically, there are 2 ways to get to Lofoten by motorhome:
a) via the mainland from the north with the E10 from Raftsundet
b) by ferry
In Lofoten, as in all of Norway, the so-called Everyman's Right (Allemannsretten) applies. This means that, in principle, you can camp or park your camper van anywhere in the open countryside, provided you observe certain restrictions:
Due to the large number of tourists with tents and camper vans, camping in summer is also not welcome at some car parks along the E10.