Kvalvika seen from Ryten. This is one of Lofoten’s most popular hikes.

Things to do in Lofoten: You can do all all kinds of activities and adventures, and Lofoten is definitely an all year destination: Hiking, kayaking, climbing, fishing, skiing, surfing, diving, golfing, mountain biking, horse riding, yoga, etc. There are so many possibilities!

On this page we have collected some information for an active stay in Lofoten.

We strongly recommend to use local guides that really know Lofoten. They will help you get the most out of your visit, and can offer good alternatives if the weather requires it. Please note that several people have died on “easy” hikes like Reinebringen.

It’s of course also completely possible to instead do very little, and just relax: Enjoy the spectacular nature, enjoy being away from the everyday life, and just .. be. Lofoten is perfect for that too. You can easily be alone for hours or days.

When is the best time to visit Lofoten?

Lillevik’s beach in February.

That depends! What do you want to experience? The winter with northern lights? The summer with midnight sun? Autumn storms? Skiing? Kayaking? Surfing? The famous winter cod fishing?

There is no “best time” to visit Lofoten, because there is so much to see and do, and Lofoten has something to offer everyone, all year. You will probably want to come back anyway.

There is some great information on 68° North: When to visit Lofoten and seasons in Lofoten.

See also: Guide To Lofoten’s Best time to visit Lofoten.

We have made an all-year Lofoten packing list for all the clothes you may need. If you forget something, there are several good stores in both Svolvær and Leknes, including Scandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr in Svolvær.

There are also some great tips here: What to pack for a winter trip to Lofoten.

Activities at Gimsøy

Gimsøy and Hoven (368m) seen from Middagstind (707m). Lillevik is in the centre.

There is a 150+ page binder with lots of information in the house, including things to do. It’s both a guide to the house and our own Lofoten guidebook. You can also download it: Lillevik house book (PDF).

All year activities

Vinje beach at Gimsøy.

The websites below have great information about what to do, all year. You can create your own Lofoten experience, and there are also local companies that can tailor your vacation to your preferences.

We think the best “all round” guidebook is Lofoten Guide by Bjørn Brænd. We have bought one for our guests, but recommend that you buy your own too.

Sunset at Vinje beach at Gimsøy.

Summer activities

White sand between the small islands at Lyngvær.
Kayaking at Lyngvær, 20 min from Lillevik.
Kayaking at Sandøya.

Winter activities

Hamnøy in February.
  • Northern lights (aurora borealis): From September 21 to March 21 it is dark after 18 (6pm), and good conditions for northern lights. It is most often seen around 22-23 at night (10-11pm), but may appear any time it’s dark.
  • Polar night: From December 9 until January 4 the sun does not rise above the horizon. Still: This period often has fantastic light, and although days are short, it is not dark all the time.
  • lofoten.info: Winter in Lofoten (see also: Spring and Fall)


The best book is Lofoten: Skiing In The Magic Islands by Jonas Dahlstrup and Thorbjørn Enevold. The book is also sold at Klatrekaféen in Henningsvær. See also: Visit Lofoten’s ski touring info.

Hiring a local guide is strongly recommended. The conditions in Lofoten are not the same as the Alps, etc. and the coastal climate means that the weather changes quickly. Some local companies with IFMGA certified guides:

Use Varsom.no (and the apps) for avalanche information, conditions, avalanche maps, etc: Ski touring in Norway: Important information.

Yr has snow depths in Nordland.

Skiing from an unnamed peak all the way down to the sea – and the waiting boat.

Northern lights

Northern lights, taken in January, just 50 meters from the house. No need to go “aurora hunting”.

The Northern lights (aurora borealis) can be seen in Lofoten from September until April. If you are in Lofoten, there is no need to go anywhere else to see northern lights.

There are northern lights almost every night, and the challenge is always the weather. At Lillevik there is no light pollution, and no high mountains that “capture” clouds, so you have the best possibilities of seeing the lights.

See Northern lights at Lillevik Lofoten for more details.

Some good info northern lights info: