Here are our best tips for how to get to Lofoten and Lillevik by plane, ferries, cars, etc. And some information about local rental car companies.

Traveling to Lofoten from abroad takes time. See the official information: How to get to the Lofoten islands. If you need help and/or recommendations, in addition to the information below: Contact our booking agency: Lofoten Vacation.

Travel to Lofoten by plane

Flying is definitely the fastest way to get to Lofoten. There are four “local” airports, and you will most likely need at least one stopover to get there:

The airports closest to Lofoten. We recommend flying to Svolvær.
  • Svolvær airport (small propeller airplanes only, requires a short stopover)
  • Leknes airport (small propeller airplanes only, requires a short stopover)
  • Evenes airport ( domestic and a little international, requires a bus or car ride)
  • Bodø airport (international, requires a short flight to Svolvær or Leknes airports, or a ferry)

Fastest: Fly to Svolvær airport (or Leknes airport) via Bodø airport

Widerøe’s 39 seat propeller plane at Svolvær airport.

Fly to Svolvær with SAS or Widerøe, with a short stopover in Bodø. Rent a car (see below) at Svolvær airport, drive 45 minutes to Lillevik. If you check your bags all the way to Svolvær, a 30 minute stopover in Bodø is fine.

You can also fly to the equally small Leknes airport instead of Svolvær, the total time (and other things) will be about the same.

Also fast: Fly to Evenes airport, then drive

Fly to Evenes (Harstad/Narvik) airport with SAS or Norwegian, rent a car (see below), drive 3 hours to Lillevik. Or take the airport bus, Flybussen, to Svolvær – which also takes about 3 hours.

International flights:

  • From May 2024 Eurowings (connected to Lufthansa) has direct flights from Frankfurt to Evenes.
  • Edelweiss Air fly from Zurich to Evenes from spring 2024, and there may be others too.

This can be almost as fast as flying to Svolvær. The drive is scenic, but can be “difficult” in winter.

The Gimsøystraumen bridge when closed in 23 m/s wind. There is no physical barrier, but it is closed.

Both the Gimsøystreaumen bridge and the Raftsundet bridge close in strong wind, and can be closed for several hours. There is no alternative route. Check the status on 175.no.

A road in Gimsøy in October, just after the first snowfall.

Getting around in Lofoten: Get a car

An nice evening drive at Gimsøy.

We strongly recommend having a car in Lofoten, unless you are travelling by bicycle or motorcycle. Public transport is extremely limited, and you risk wasting a lot of time waiting.

There is some useful “getting around” information at 68North. Guide to Lofoten has a lot of good information: Getting to the Lofoten Islands by plane, car, bus, or ferry. And: How to get around Lofoten without a car.

All drives in Lofoten are scenic and the main road E10 is an official Norwegian Scenic Route, so it can be smart to have some extra time to stop along the way when you see something interesting.

The speed limit is usually 50-80 km/h. Winter driving in Lofoten can be challenging, with closed roads, cancelled ferries, etc.

Driving directions from Svolvær airport

It is fastest, and simplest, to fly to Svolvær with a short stopover in Bodø. See Travel for more info, including the local rental car companies.

Hurtigruten: Svolvær and Stamsund

Hurtigruten (the Norwegian Coastal Express) stops at both Svolvær and Stamsund. See Travel.

Evenes airport (Narvik/Harstad)

Cheaper than Svolvær, and larger airplanes, but also a longer drive. See Travel.

Leknes airport

As small as Svolvær airport, with different timetables. See Travel.

Lofoten rental car companies

There are several local rental car companies, in addition to the common larger ones. The local companies may be easiest to reach by phone.

There is one taxi company, Lokaltaxi, but taxi is not really an option for getting around, except for short or one-off trips near the towns.

See Location for maps and driving distances to popular sights in Lofoten. You can also use Google Maps and the “Direction” functionality:

Alternative travel methods

EnTur is often the easiest way to find travels that combine different transportation methods (plane, ferry, bus, etc).

Reis Nordland is the official travel planner.

Torghatten Nord runs all(?) the ferries and express boats in the area.

Travel by plane to Bodø, then a ferry to Lofoten

Travel with the coastal ferry (Hurtigruten or Havila)

There are two companies operating the coastal ferry along the Norwegian coast: Hurtigruten and Havila. Their routes are identical, they run on alternating days. The ships are large and comfortable, but they are not cruise ships: Port stops are short, just long enough to people, cars and goods go get on and off.

This gives a good overview: Norway Coastal Cruise: Hurtigruten & Havila Voyages Explained.

Check the “port to port” trips to Svolvær (or Stamsund), not the “packages”: Hurtigruten port to port and Havila port to port.

Travel by car, from anywhere

Drive to Bodø (ca. 17 hours from Oslo), then take one of the ferries. (Pssst: Although some people think Tromsø is near Lofoten, it’s still a 6.5 hour drive)

If you’re driving to Lofoten from the south: The Coastal Road (RV17) is really nice, and highly recommended. You drive on small roads near the ocean, and get to see a lot of beautiful nature and small towns. There are a lot of ferries, so it will take much longer than the more boring E6 highway – but it’s worth it. From the website:

Kystriksveien (The Coastal Road) stretching from Steinkjer to Bodø – a total of 650 km. This is a scenic road and most of the stretch is a National Scenic Route. You can expect breathtaking views and you will cross the Arctic Circle along the way. There are thousands of islands along this coastline and you should take the time to visit a few of them.

Don’t confuse the coastal route with the Atlantic Ocean Highway, which is only 8 km long, starts around 1000 km south of Lofoten, and is – to be honest – over rated.

Haukland beach, Vik beach, Offersøykammen, etc. seen from Mannen (400m).
Henningsvær in March, at the height off the fishing season.
The lighthouse at Brenna. Hoven is on the right in the background.