International Student Blog

Study break: planning a trip to Lofoten

Here is my long overdue answer to a student commentor who asked about traveling to Lofoten, and wondered what the best way to get there may be as well as the cheapest. Thanks for your question, commentor! And please, others who have questions about student life here in Bergen, comment below. For those students who have advice on traveling to Lofoten, please also share your wisdom in the comments!

 

Female hiker enjoys spectacular view over mountains and fjords from Reinebringen, Lofoten islands, Norway

Reinebringen, Lofoten islands, Norway. Image: http://www.68north.com/

What’s the best and cheapest way to travel to Lofoten?

What’s the best way to get there? That is a great, but potentially subjective, question. There are a variety of ways you can make your way up to Lofoten’s archipelago of islands, and what’s best for you may be entirely personal. What’s the cheapest option? Another excellent question, but I’m not sure I can answer this either. It may depend on the time of year, promotions, and other factors what is going to be cheapest. Here’s a rundown of some of the major options and the cheapest price estimates at the time of writing:

By car:

Google maps estimates a little under 22.5 hours to get to Moskenes on Lofoten, including the ferry travel (but not necessarily the ferry wait) time. Keep in mind gas can be expensive. My car-owning friend tells me it’s “13 kroner per litre in average for petrol, 4 litres to a gallon. Slightly less for deisel (11-12 kr per litre).”

 

By rail:

Norwegian National Railway (about 25.5 hours and 2 train changes will get you to Bodø where you can take a ferry to Moskenes. When I looked prices ranged from kr 649 to kr 1133 for a one-way student minipris rail ticket, your results will likely vary. I had a friend who went by rail last autumn, he said it was a long time to be on a train, and he loves trains…

 

Bunes beach, Moskenesoy, Lofoten islands, Norway. Image: http://www.68north.com/

Incoming waves of Bunes beach, Moskenesoy, Lofoten islands, Norway. Image: http://www.68north.com/

By ferry:

  1. Take the Hutigruten (cruise ship), this is both expensive and time consuming, but likely a fantastic way to see not only Lofoten but the bulk of the Norwegian coastline. One of the least expensive options I see for this is kr 3284 on the way to Lofoten (Hutigruten goes to Svolvaer, another town in Lofoten), which takes 3 days and 1 hour, and kr 2849 for the 2 day 18 hour return trip for a total of kr 6987. But this varies a lot, and may be far more expensive depending on the day.
  2. Torghatten Nord AS: If you get yourself to Bodø by rail, car, or even Hutigruten, you will have to still get to Lofoten from the mainland. There are a couple options for ferrying over, but the most popular is Bodø to Moskenes (especially if you ahve a car). Prices are listed as kr 187 per adult and 672 per car under 6 meters, plus a fee for booking ahead for a car (which is a good idea in the summer).

 

MS Midnatsol i Trollfjorden

Image: http://fjordtravel.no/tour-cruise-norway/hurtigruten-cruises-general-information/

 

By plane:

  1. A flight straight onto Loftoen, flying into Leknes is probably the fastest option for getting on the islands (keep in mind it may be hard to get around on the archipelago without a car, although certainly I saw people doing it). The flight into Leknes, according to google maps, will have connections and take at least 2 hours and 40 minutes (I assume that’s the actual flight time). The shortest version I saw looking at flights including a layover clocked in at 3 hours and 16 minutes. The cheapest I saw in the next couple months was about kr 2900 but had long (over 10 hour) layovers. The least expensive on a random date in October with no crazy layover was almost kr 3500.
  2. You can fly into Bodø and, say it with me – take the ferry to Moskenes.
  3. Here are some airlines to try:

 

What did I do when I went? I took a plane to Bodø and then took the ferry across to Moskenes. It was neither the quickest, nor the cheapest option, but was cheaper and/or faster than other options!

 

 

NorwayImage: http://www.lofoten-info.no/journey.htm

 

 

Other tips

  • Wanna know when to go? When to go depends on if you seek the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun, or something in between. Keep in mind that days can be extremely short (and cold) in the winter. Check out 68 North’s site for helpful information and beautiful photos.

 

Evening twilight over Reine from summit of Reinebringen, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Reinebringen, Moskenesoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway Image: http://www.68north.com/

 

  • Wanna know where to stay or what to explore while you’re there? You might also check out Visit Norway’s web site. Remember, in the summer camping as an option if you have gear, this can help save some money but sites are often still a bit pricey compared to other countries.

 

Check out pictures from my summer trip to Lofoten here:

Study Break: Lofoten

imageLofoten sunset (at around 1:30am in July). Photo: Stand Hiestand

 

PS, any Norwegians who happen to have stumbled across my blog and who haven’t been to Lofoten yet, you must go! This place is truly spectacular – and it’s in your own country! Check it out : )

 

IMG_4325Photo: Stand Hiestand

9 comments for “Study break: planning a trip to Lofoten

  1. Robin
    6. October 2015 at 12:31

    Hi Stand! Thanks for this information. Can I ask how you got around the islands? Car rental?

    • Stand Hiestand
      9. October 2015 at 11:55

      Thanks for your comment! Ah, yes, great question. We did rent a car in Bodø and took the ferry across with the rental. There were some travelers out there who were relying on hitch-hiking or buses, however. I don’t know how reliable those methods were…

      • Anne
        13. November 2015 at 16:28

        Hi Stand! I lived a year in Lofoten without a car, and it’s not a problem at all! The buses in Lofoten are often a bit late, but they will eventually take you where you want to go. That’s why hitchhiking is so popular and normal; we did it all the time, with no problems! In the part of Norway where I come from, a place outside Oslo, it is not normal to hitchhike, it is almost looked upon as dangerous! I think this has something to do with the different “cultures” in Southern Norway and Northern Norway-I would say people are more open in Northern Norway(as well as the buses not being that late in the more central areas of Norway).

        • Stand Hiestand
          13. November 2015 at 18:02

          Thanks for commenting, Anne! And thanks so much for sharing this great information. So, buses or even hitchhiking may be an option for folks who can’t/aren’t renting cars! 🙂 Also, you must have some fascinating insights into Northern vs. Southern Norwegian cultures – and some great stories about living in Lofoten for a year. Care to be interviewed for the blog?

  2. Deepanjali
    15. April 2016 at 08:06

    Hi Stand..!! Thanks for sharing such awesome tips..!! We are young couple visiting Norway for first time in next 10days.. We are landing in Lulea from there driving to Abisko and then cross border and off to Lofoten.. We will be there for 4 days before we take ferry to Bodo and drive back to Lulea for our flight back home.. Can u suggest what can be covered in 4 days in Lofoten and cheap accommodation to stay , also some nice hiking trails.. I know lot of questions but would appreciate your advice.
    Thanks in advance

    • Stand Hiestand
      20. April 2016 at 10:00

      Hei hei! I hope you enjoy your trip to Lofoten! While I don’t have specific answers to your questions at this time, feel free to let me know what you choose to do, I would love to hear about it! 🙂

  3. Farrah
    25. October 2016 at 10:02

    Hi Stand. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I will be visiting Lofoten on this coming winter. I read in the comments that you rent a car from Bodo and took the ferry to Lofoten with the rental. I plan to travel around Lofoten by car too. But, I was wondering whether I should rent a car as soon as I arrive in Moskenes (to save some ferry fares) or renting a car from Bodo would be a better option? Additionally, do I need to book the ferry tickets in advance if I’m just buying adult tickets without vehicle or can I just walk in? Thanks a lot!

    • Stand Hiestand
      28. October 2016 at 12:39

      Hi there, thanks for your comment 🙂

      Of course you don’t need to rent a car from Bodo if there are options and Moskenes and you’d prefer not to pay for car and driver coming across on the Ferry. You can also fly directly onto Lofoten (for example to Leknes). What is least expensive and best for your plans may depend on a number of factors including the time of year, where you want to visit, etc. Regarding the ferry, my understanding is if you don’t have a car you don’t need to book ahead, but you may want to double check online before you go. I wish you the best with your travels! Have a blast!

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