Hike and Backpack the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway


Global Adventure - Hike and Backpack the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway

Explore on foot with a local guide for 10 days across the rugged Lofoten archipelago, 122 miles north of the Arctic Circle, with granite peaks rising 4000 feet straight up from the sea. At beginning and end, stay in historic fishing villages tucked under the sheer mountains, and sample the local cuisine. In between, carry our own overnight gear and camp 5 days on remote beaches and meadows, with day-hikes up neighboring peaks for unforgettable views. NOTE: The fee shown is the final payment amount. (Please see ‘Trip Price Detail’ below to view full pricing details.)

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 41.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 16,910 ft
  • Pace: 2-2.5 mph

Arrive no later than Saturday June 15, 2019 in Bodo, Norway, where we’ll stay in a local hotel.  The next morning we’ll take a ferry from Bodo to Moskenes (included) to meet our guide.  We’ll finish our Lofoten adventure to the north at the Evenes airport on Tuesday June 25.  Multiple flights a day depart Evenes for Oslo, where we'll start our Jotunheimen Circuit trekking adventure.

Itinerary Highlights:   Our Lofoten itinerary begins with flights into Bodo Norway, a lively seaside town at 67o N latitude and gateway to the Lofoten Islands.  We’ll transfer on the convenient airport bus to a hotel in town and enjoy a welcome dinner (participants are encouraged to arrive a day early in case of flight or luggage delays).  The next morning we’ll board a ferry to another world, the remote, sheer, verdant Lofoten Islands.  Here we’ll meet our local guide/driver (who will be with us for the whole Lofoten trip), shop for camping provisions and spend our first night in the town of Moskenes in historic fisherman’s cabins called rorbuers, now converted to comfortable accommodations.  At 122 miles north of the Arctic circle, in June we’ll have midnight sun but also mild temperatures due to the Gulf Stream.  The next morning we’ll explore the picturesque fishing village of Å, trekking up the nearby Reinebringen, and then set off for five nights of remote walking and camping in high meadows and on isolated beaches.  Each day we’ll walk 2-8 miles and 1700-3500 feet of gain to sample the local landscape including (usually optional) walks up one the many sheer, rugged day-walk peaks near our camps.  On our seventh day on the Lofotens, we’ll end at the most famous surfing beach in Norway, Unstad, and stay in rustic cabins with a chance to savor a restaurant meal.  Our last two Lofoten days will sample the incredibly unique villages of Henningsvaer and Svolvaer and the island of Skrova, again hiking up a nearby peak for broad views, and staying at another rorbuer with great Norwegian food, before transferring 3 hours NE to Evenes airport on our last morning for flights out.

Time of Year:   Due to the warm Gulf Stream, Lofoten has a much milder climate than other parts of the world at the same latitude, such as Alaska and Greenland. The coastal climate in Lofoten makes the winters mild and the summers relatively cool.   May and June are the driest months, with an average 40 millimetres of rainfall.  (However the western slopes of the Lofotens can be wet any time of year!)  From approximately 27 May to 17 July you can experience the midnight sun in Lofoten.

Lodging:   The Lofoten trekking adventure will include a mix of hotels, traditional fisherman’s cabins (rorbuers), and camping (we will supply and carry our own camping gear, stoves and food for 5 days).  

Food:   Norwegian food is heavily influenced by the sea and it’s fishing history, as well as game from its mountains.  We’ll enjoy tasty restaurant meals on some days, and purchase our own camping food for Lofoten at small markets while in town.

Leader’s Experience:    Cheryl Talbert has led many Mountaineers hikes and several Mountaineers and private backpacks, treks and cultural trips around the U.S. west and worldwide.  She organized and led a day-hiking trip to Norway including Jotunheimen in 2014, but this will be her first time in the Lofotens. (cascadehiker@earthlink.net)

Strenuousness or Difficulty rating:   This itinerary is rated strenuous and challenging, less because of sheer distance and gain and more because of sometimes very rugged conditions including steep moraine and boulder field ascents and descents.

Limit:   Maximum of 12, including the leader.  If fewer people register, the price may have to be adjusted upward.

Participant Requirements:  Must be a current Mountaineers member with an up-to-date waiver on file. This outing includes strenuous hiking with a loaded overnight pack on rugged terrain (including some steep moraine and scree slopes, sometimes off-trail) and multiple successive days without such amenities as showers or laundry.  It can be wet and windy on the west coast of the Lofotens.   

For these reasons, recent experience with multi-day strenuous backpacking, scrambling or hiking, plus a positive attitude and a demonstrated ability to get along well with groups under demanding conditions, will be a major consideration.  NOTE:  Your leader makes most of the arrangements and provides logistics support during the trip, but is NOT a tour guide!  As a Mountaineers group we will operate as interdependent, capable travelers making our way together and helping one another succeed and be safe.  You must have the ability to navigate on trails with a map and compass.

Trip Price Detail:   $2500 for the Lofoten segment including all lodging, transportation and some meals as described in the itinerary.  Your airfare (~$1500), travel insurance ($75-350) and a few meals in town (<$100) are not included.  (Norway is an EXPENSIVE country, for guides, food, lodging and transport….but trust me – it’s worth it!!)

Registration Instructions:   Initial preference will be given to people who register for both the Lofoten and Jotunheimen adventures.  If spaces remain after September 1, spots may be offered to people who wish to do one or the other.  Leader approval is required so before registering please submit the application form which will automatically be sent to the leader.   After the leader’s approval, go to the trip listing and click the REGISTER button to pay the 50% deposit and hold your space on the roster. Registration will close on October 15, 2018 or whenever the roster fills. The balance of the trip payment is due by March 1, 2019. 


Cancellation Policy: If you cancel because of an emergency, you may receive a refund less expenses incurred and a $100 administrative fee.


Hike and Backpack the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

After receiving your deposit, the leader will send out a series of letters or emails providing information to help participants succeed on the trip, including recommended and required gear, recommended maps and guidebooks.

Normal lightweight backpacking gear is just fine for this trip.  Campsites are protected from extreme weather.


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