In our article in pictures about the Lofoten we have already introduced you to the archipelago in the north of Norway and have already shown you one or the other place that you definitely shouldn’t miss in the Lofoten. However, we haven’t revealed much about the individual places yet and we noticed for ourselves when we were in Lofoten that the search for sights is actually a bit difficult.
We assume that you want to travel to Lofoten because you are enthusiastic about extraordinary landscapes and have a great desire to take pictures, right? Great, because there are hardly any long party nights here. The only thing that dances here at night are the northern lights in the sky 😉 Nevertheless, the Lofoten Islands are a real adventure – provided, of course, you are in the mood for a lot of landscape and nocturnal northern light hunts.
So: What do you absolutely have to see in Lofoten , where are the best photo spots and which highlights should definitely not be missed? We’ll tell you! At the end of the article we clearly marked all the sights on a map.
Here we go!
Haukland Beach: Caribbean feeling in Norway
The beach of Haukland is the most famous beach in Lofoten and should therefore of course not be missing. It is very spacious, with light sand and blue water, so that even in winter it brings us to a dream Caribbean beachremembered. Haukland Beach is a popular spot for photographers and we saw it in all sorts of conditions in just one week in Lofoten: From wild and quick-tempered in a snowstorm (so wild that our tripod blew us away) to extremely calm and gentle Immersed in sunset light (you can really take pictures of sunsets here!). Haukland itself is a tiny little place, in which there are a handful of houses, unfortunately we could not see whether they were inhabited or uninhabited – the highlight here is really the beach.
Lofoten attractions: Uttakleiv
You will find Uttakleiv just a few meters from Haukland Beach. Once you have driven through a tunnel to the other side of the mountain, you will reach the centuries-old settlement in which only a few people live. Uttakleiv beach is ideal for photography and, like Haukland, is very wild on some days and quite tame on others. Well worth going by there more often! Instead of taking the car through the tunnel, you can also hike around the mountain. The hiking route from Haukland to Uttakleiv is approx. 8km long and easy to do even for the inexperienced. You can read more about the hike from Lisa and Alex .
A very special photo opportunity awaits you at Unstad Beach, because large parts of the beach are covered by large, dark rocks. We were on Unstad Beach on a day when it was extremely stormy, which is why some crazy people actually plunged into the waves to surf at 1 ° C, beaming with joy. Damn freaks. We tried to get the best out of it with trembling hands and a wobbly tripod and are very proud of our camera equipment that it weathered the worst snowstorm of all time.
The highlight of Lofoten: Northern lights on Flakstad Beach
Flakstad beach is surrounded on all sides by towering mountains and therefore always looks quite impressive, no matter from which direction you look at it. This gives off a real postcard motif during the day, but becomes particularly exciting in the dark: When it comes to how to photograph the northern lights “correctly”, the composition of the image also plays an important role. Just taking photos in the sky is a little boring, you also need a reference point on the picture: a building, a tree or mountains. And that is why Flakstad Beach is so popular with aurora photographers due to the impressive mountain backdrop. In the early evening hours there are easily 15-20 people spread over the beach – so completely overcrowded! 😉
Reine in Lofoten: The famous postcard motif
The town of Reine is THE postcard motif of Lofoten. The small fishing village is located in the very south of the archipelago on the island of Moskenesøya and is surrounded by towering mountains. Be sure to come to Reine at sunrise! Then the snow-capped mountains are bathed in soft pink light and you can enjoy a sight that you will not soon forget. Unfortunately, we had a bit of bad luck with the weather, because it was always so overcast at sunrise in Reine that we unfortunately didn’t get any pink mountain photos. Instead, we took pictures of the backdrop once in a rather icy cold and once in bright sunshine. Like night and day, isn’t it?
If you are traveling to Lofoten in summer, then you should combine your visit to Reine with a hike on the Reinehaben. From up there you have a breathtaking view! In winter, the hike is unfortunately not entirely safe, as the risk of slipping is very high due to the steep incline towards the summit.
Lofoten attractions: Sakrisøy and Hamnøy
The two villages are only a few kilometers from Reine and can be easily combined with a visit there. The same applies here: photos, photos, photos. In the two fishing villages you will find the so-called rorbuer, the typical Norwegian fisherman’s houses, optionally in yellow or red. Fortunately, for the perfect Lofoten experience, you can even rent the rorbuer as accommodation. AirBnB has a lot of them
Sunset in Henningsvær
Henningsvær is a small fishing village on an offshore mini archipelago in the southeast of Lofoten and somehow we didn’t even have it on our radar. To be honest, we only drove by because we still had time and it was on the way anyway. But as it is: the best usually comes unexpectedly. We went to Henningsvær by accident and it was just wonderful.
Kvalvika Beach: Dream beach with a view
The beach of Kvalvika is by far the loneliest beach in Lofoten. It cannot be reached by car, but only via a hike lasting several hours. You have to decide whether you want to hike directly to the beach or whether you want to catch a glimpse of it from above from the mountains. We decided on variant 2 and undertook an icy snow hike over the mountain Ryten in order to be able to enjoy this fantastic view. The route over the Ryten is said to be the most beautiful hike in Lofoten (if you believe our landlady, whose AirBnB we lived in for a week). The view over the mountain and fjord landscape is awesome and the view of the turquoise-blue Kvalvika Beach anyway – a real adventure!
Excursion tips for Lofoten: Sea Eagle and Trollfjord Tour
If you want to do something “real” in addition to sightseeing in the Lofoten Islands, then we can particularly recommend a Sea Eagle Safari , preferably one that leads through the famous Trollfjord. The Trollfjord is the narrowest fjord in Lofoten, the steep mountains rise up on all sides, which looks really impressive. The Sea Eagle Safaris are mostly offered from Reine, Henningsvær or Svolvær.
A whale watching tour in the North Sea is also great: We would have loved to have done one, the only problem is that we couldn’t find a tour that starts in Lofoten. Google claims so, but all tours de facto take place from the village of Andenes, which is very high up in the northwest of the islands in the North Sea on the island of Vesteralen and not in Lofoten. However, if you want to spend a few days up there anyway, then definitely go on a whale safari! More information is available here.
In general, the following applies to the Lofoten Islands: You have to be curious to find the best sights, photo spots and highlights!
The Lofoten are an unbelievable piece of earth and almost every curve hides a new landscape panorama that you will probably not find anywhere else in the world in this form. Mountains, sea, stones, frozen lakes, colorful wooden fishermen’s houses, Caribbean blue dream beaches , green northern lights – the Lofotenare the dream of every landscape photographer for a reason. We found it particularly exciting to deviate from the usual route: The European road E 10 leads over Lofoten and many of the sights and spots mentioned can be found along the E 10. Please do not imagine that you can explore and really get to know the Lofoten Islands by driving from spot to spot, because the opposite is the case. Get off the E 10, go to places you’ve never heard of and keep your eyes open! A highlight can be hidden behind every curve and the landscape in Lofoten changes with the season, with the weather and even with the time. Some places look very different today than they did yesterday, the best example of this is provided by Reine in the pictures above.
We have often experienced that we just jumped out of the car somewhere on the way because we discovered something interesting, for example a tiny lighthouse, a lonely house by the lake, mountains reflecting pink in the water during sunset or a fox that tampering with a stockfish farm. And within 10-20 minutes, more and more photographers gathered there because they also found the subject exciting. That means: Be curious, look where others are taking photos and find your own spots and sights. Because the Lofoten itself is the attraction and there is a lot to discover.