Round trip - 7 Days in Lofoten
On this trip we discover the villages of Henningsvaer, Reine and Å i Lofoten. We do the hikes to Reinebringen, Tindstinden and Helvetestinden/Bunes beach. Many summits ends with "tind", the Norwegian word for summit.
This round trip starts in Kiruna in Sweden. Most people from Sweden start there since it is a lot cheaper to rent a car in Sweden than in Norway. Also, you have to change flights in Oslo if you fly from Stockholm to Svolvaer in Lofoten or Bodö on the mainland.
Flying in from other cities in Europe you can just as well fly to Oslo, change flights there and go straight to Svolvaer. That shortens the trip with two days. The downside is that you miss the beautiful northern part of Sweden between Kiruna and Narvik and part of the road on Lofoten from Narvik to Svolvaer.
Highlights on this trip
7-days round trip in Lofoten
Arrive in Kiruna
Drive to Henningsvaer
Drive to Reine
Go by boat to hike Helvetestinden
Swim at Bunes beach
Drive to Kiruna
Arrive in Kiruna and drive to Lofoten
After arriving in Kiruna you collect your rental car at the (very small) airport.
The drive from Kiruna in Sweden to the start of Lofoten Islands outside Narvik is 2,5 hours. From Narvik it is another 3 hours to Henningsvaer in Lofoten (a total of almost 6 hours). It is a lovelly drive all the way from Kiruna.
After about one hour west of Kiruna you will pass the small village of Abisko. It is well worth it to make a short stop and walk down to the canyon right beside the Abisko mountain hut.
The hut was built in 1952 and is perhaps not like you picture yourself what a mountain hut looks like. This one is modern and typical for the 1950s. It is the most northern mountain hut owned by Svenska Turistföreningen and one of the larger with 300 beds. The reason is that this is the starting point for the 5-days hike along Kungsleden (The Kings route), one of the most popular hiking trails in Sweden. The route passes by Kebnekaise mountain hut by the foot of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden.
You can also choose to stay overnight in Abisko. In that case, a hike up to Trollsjön along the way is highly recommended.
After passing by Abisko and Narvik you continue along the Lofoten islands and arrive in Henningsvaer south of Svolvaer after about six hours from Kiruna.
Henningsvaer is a lovely little village along the main road E12 and you will stay here for one night. There are several really nice restaurants in Henningsvaer. This village is also the home of the famous photo of a soccer field in the middle of the ocean.
Where to stay in Henningsvaer?
Staying in Lofoten is spending time in a rorbuer, houses traditionally built and used by fishermen. The houses are built on land, but part of the poles are in water allowing easy access to boats.
Nowadays most rorbuers are newly built, but the location is like in the old days with amazing views of the landscape and fjords. There are not many rorbuers for rent to be sure to book early!
Where to eat in Henningsvaer?
There are several really nice restaurants in Henningsvaer. We tried Restaurant Lofotmat which turned out just great. The restaurant is located along the main street in the middle of the town and easy to find. Prebooking might be necessary for the evening but you can often book the same day. We had lunch there and did not preebook.
Drive to Reine (2 hours)
Start your second day walking through the little village of Henningsvaer to see the lovely houses and fishing boats. It is then time for your first hike up to Festvågtind!
Just before entering Henningsvaer
Length of time
It is a quite well marked and popular hike so you will have no problem finding the way up.
After coming back down it is probably time for lunch.
From Henningsvaer to Reine is a 2 hours drive along the E10 through a beautiful landscape. If not before you surely by now realize how far stretched out in the Atlantic ocean the Lofoten islands are.
Where to stay in Reine?
There are some rorbuer for rent in Reine equipped with their own kitchen. Be sure to book well in advance since Reine is a very small village and the demand for lodging is high during summer months. You will stay here for five nights.
We rented a private rorbuer, Majbua, which was totally amazing with the most beautiful view of the mountains and situated right by Reinefjorden. It even had its own jacuzzi! We booked one year in advance.
Where to eat in Reine?
There are hardly any restaurants in Reine since it is a very small village. We were there in August and found no restaurant that was open. Having your own kitchen saves you a lot of money and makes it possible to make your lunch pack in the morning.
Anitas sjömat has an endless amount of fresh fish like and the friendly staff is ready to give you their best advice on how to best cook the fish and how to serve it. It is situated just before you arrive in Reine. This place is very popular place so it is easy to find since there will probably be plenty of cars parked outside.
This is probably the most famous hike in Lofoten and you easily walk to the start of the hike no matter where in Reine you stay. The path has been officially closed until 2019 but is now open again. A large part of the hike is made of step stones.
It is a steep but short hike. If it is rainy it gets muddy and you have to take good care at the end.
Actually, if you are not tired when getting back down you can also hike Tindstinden on the same day. Or you can take a really long break on top of Reinebringen and then go down in time for dinner.
Boat trip on Reinefjorden
Hiking to Bunes beach and Helvetestinden
This is a really nice full day´s trip! The starting point is the harbour in Reine from where there are daily boats in the morning in summer time. The boat leaves from a small bridge on the left hand side when you arrive in Reine.
You buy tickets in a small ticket shop by the bridge. The boat trip is about half an hour and takes you across Reinefjorden to Vindstad.
Arriving in Vindstad you walk along an unpaved road to Bunes beach.
The path to Helvetestinden starts on the right hand side before you arrive at Bunes beach. Be sure to hike up along one of the first paths on your right hand side when arriving from Vinstad. Otherwise you may end up among large blocks of stones that are difficult and time consuming to walk across.
Tindstinden and Å i Lofoten
Today you will go to the most southern point of Lofoten, Å i Lofoten.
Driving E10 from Reine it is only a 15 minutes drive to Å i Lofoten. Drive as long as you can until the road ends and park your car at the large parking lot. Walk through the little lovely village, stroll along the small harbour and visit the bakery.
Before you leave, be sure to buy some freshly made buns in the bakery.
Now that you have bought what you need for a typical "fika", drive back to Sörvågen, the little village that you passed on your way from Reine to Å i Lofoten.
There is one parking by the main road and another one a little further in if you follow the unpaved road.
It is time for the hike up to Tindstinden from where you will also get an aerial view of Å i Lofoten.
Today it is time for "gone fishing". There are several activities to do starting in Reine. You can go kayaking on the fjords, go with fast speed boats to see birds and go deep sea fishing with a fishing boat.
We chose to go fishing. Even though both of us got sea sick it was a fascinating experience.
What kind of fish you will be fishing depends on the time of year. In summer time it is mostly saithe and you can be sure to bring some fish back home for lunch! Even we, who usually never get any fish, got enough for lunch this day!
Driving back to Kiruna
Today is a long drive back to Kiruna, about 6 hours.
Instead of going by E10 you can also take a boat to Bodö, but that will in total be a longer drive.
A third option is flying from Svolvaer to Oslo if you have rented your car in Lofoten.
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