- Tasting the fresh Lofoten Islands’ air as you cycle along
- Relaxing on the beach and taking a brave dip in the icy waters of the Lofoten
- Looking out for sea eagles during your days on the bike
- Marvelling at the incredible light of the midnight sun
- Spending your nights in quaint island rorbus
- Visiting the Viking Museum of Borg and picture postcard Nusfjord
Cycling on the Lofoten Islands had been on my wish list for several years, and it exceeded all my expectations. Probably the best Skedaddle self-guided trip we have been on, helped in part by having fabulous weather for some days, the most incredible scenery, and a great local team.
Arrival at Bodø Airport (BOO), following the scheduled flights from either Oslo, Bergen or Stavanger. Once you have collected your baggage you will make your own way in a taxi to the quayside, to catch the 15.00 Coastal Steamer to Svolvær. This journey takes around 7 hours and will give you great views of the Borvasstindene Mountains as you leave Bodø. Alternatively, you can catch the speed ferry, which leaves at 17.25 and takes approx. 4 hours.
You will be met on arrival in Svolvær, where we have a short transfer arranged to take you to your rorbu. Svolvær has a nice brygge (quayside) with some excellent restaurants and bars and is a great place to relax after your travels today. Should there be enough time (after all, it won’t be getting dark!) you might like a walk in the midnight light.
Svolvaer is also the regional centre of the Lofoten and famous for the Svolværgeita Peak (330 metres), which was first climbed in 1910. The jump between the two ‘goats horns’ provides an adrenaline rush that satisfies even the hardiest of daredevils, with the ‘horns’ visible from town.
- Meals: Breakfast
Following a tasty Norwegian breakfast, you will be met by our representative who will brief you about the cycling to come and provide you with your route notes and maps. Today’s ride is a gentle start to your trip, with less miles to pedal, so you can take some time to visit Kabelvåg.
Heading out on your bikes, you’ll ride for 6 kms along a cyclepath, until you reach the charming town of Kabelvåg. The town has a relaxed feel and is now home to some lovely art galleries and museums at Storvågen. Amongst the highlights are the sea-front Lofoten Aquarium, Rural Museum and one of Norway’s most worthwhile galleries – Gallery Espolin. The town also has a delicious bakery, offering up some sweet treats to fuel your cycling!
Leaving Kabelvåg, you’ll follow the main road for 11 kms, before joining a gravel side road that will take you over a small pass with breathtaking views. The gravel section is short, so you can walk for this section should you prefer. You’ll then join another side road that will lead you to Henningsvær. You’ll soon reach a wonderful beach at Rørvika, where you’ll be able to take an invigorating dip in the clear waters. Back on your bikes, you’ll cycle the final 8 kms to Henningsvær on a beautiful stretch of road, with mountain on one side and the ocean on the other.
Henningsvær is an idyllic town, known as the Venice of the North. You’ll have some down-time in the afternoon to soak up the atmosphere of the fishing port and spend time in some of the interesting museums and art galleries. Tonight’s evening meal can be taken either in the famous Fiskekrogen restaurant (booking advisable!) with seafood undoubtedly the order of the day. Or for those in search of more relaxed surroundings Klatrekafeen (the Climbers Bar) offers delicious food at more reasonable prices.
- Meals: Breakfast
Leaving behind the cod-drying racks that the Lofoten is often known for, you’ll start with a little back-tracking to the beach at Rørvika (8 kms). Once here you’ll head west, following the main road for 3 kms until you reach the “shower curtain” on your left. The “shower curtain” is an interesting sculpture, that’s well worth stopping to look at.
Today’s cycle is a nice ride along the coast on a flat or, at times, gently-undulating road. After pedalling for 6 kms you’ll reach the Gimsøy bridge, where you’ll have a climb to the top of the bridge. From here the views are truly spectacular, and offer the perfect opportunity for a photo! From here the road is straight, but you’ll take a left and bike back underneath the bridge, to reach Gimsøy Island. You can stop here for a snack should you like. Back on your bikes you’ll continue around the island, marvelling at the Gimsøy church en route. A coastal road will take you the last 5 kms, until you reach your accommodation for the night.
- Meals: Breakfast
After breakfast you’ll finish the Gimsøy circle, bringing you back to the main road, for a short section. You’ll go back over the bridge, and then take a left onto a secondary road, from where there’s a beautiful stretch that covers 40 kms along the coast. This is a truly breathtaking ride.
Fancy some extra miles? You can cycle to the small town of Stamsund, to bike the circle around Steine. The route is on quiet, flat roads, and will add an extra 20 kms to today’s riding.
You’ll continue on towards Leknes, soon reaching the pass over Hagskaret. From here you can spot awe-inspiring Justadtinden, the highest peak on the eastern side of Vestvågøy. From here it’s 10 kms to your destination for the night. Passing through Leknes, you’ll have your last opportunity to buy any supplies you might like for the evening, as there’s a few shops. From Leknes, a bike path will take you to Ballstad, which is your destination for today.
- Meals: Breakfast
Today you can take the opportunity to properly explore the nearby town of Leknes, on your way to the spectacular Viking museum. In northern Norway during the Iron-age, there were about 10-15 Chiefdoms, one of which was at Borg in the Lofoten Isles. This is the only place where a Chieftain’s farm is to be found. Here, you can experience the reconstructed longhouse, see craftsmen at work in the smithy, and see an exhibition of original artefacts and ancient breeds of animals.
You’ll make your way back to your rorbu in Ballstad in the afternoon, but if you still have energy there are some optional routes that take you to the beautiful Haukland Stranda beach.
If you don’t fancy cycling today, Ballstad offers the perfect spot to relax and take in the magical Lofoten Islands air.
- Meals: Breakfast
Heading to the pier, your first transport of the day will be waiting to take you to Nusfjord (approx. 45 minute ferry ride). Nusfjord is a well-preserved fishing village nestling amidst dramatic mountain scenery and the boat ride to get to it is a delight. The local shop is a characteristic, old-fashioned general store and a good place to buy your postcards and souvenirs. You can also visit Italian silversmith Michele, who has worked here for almost 20 years.
On your bikes, the ride out of Nusfjord will warm up your legs, with a cheeky climb as you make your way to the main road. Cycling west, you’ll pass several beautiful beaches, as you head towards the tiny hamlet of Flakstad, famous for its church. Built in 1780 from Siberian driftwood, this red-onion domed church is well worth a visit. Stunning views of the Arctic Ocean and long sandy beaches along the northern Coast of Flaktadoya are the setting for your cycle to the beautiful Ramberg. A vast arch of white sand along a sparkling green / blue bay, with a backdrop of Arctic peaks. In Ramberg you can stop to visit a grocery store or cafe.
Continuing on, you’ll find yourselves on Flakstad Island and will have Sakrisøy in your sights. A brief de-tour and you can visit the blacksmiths at Sund or you can just continue along on a more direct route. Following a fantastic downhill you’ll reach Hamnøy and then Sakrisøy where you’ll hear, and then see, the densely-populated cliffside nesting colony of Kittiwakes. These picture-postcard fishing villages are at the narrow neck of the Reine fjord and flanked by sheer mountains on three sides. You will spend tonight in Sakrisøy.
- Meals: Breakfast
Today you’ll visit Moskenes, Reine, Tind and Å, a string of picturesque fishing hamlets with their red and ochre fishermen’s shanties perching on poles, characteristic of the scenery you’ve seen during your cycling. To round off your time on the islands you’ll spend time in Å, an entire fishing village preserved as a museum and at the very end of the road. Here there are a number of buildings of cultural and historical interest, which date back to the 1800’s.
After lunch you’ll head back to your accommodation in Sakrisøy where you can explore for the remainder of the day.
- Meals: Breakfast
This morning we begin with a transfer to Moskenes, where we will bid you farewell for your onward journey. You can take the ferry back to Bodø, taking around 3 hours and 15 minutes. The ferries run fairly regularly, and will give you great views of the islands of Væroy and Røst, and Borvasstindene Mountains as you return to Bodø, plus a superb view of the Lofoten Wall as you leave the islands. The first ferry from Moskenes is at 6am, so for those looking to head home today then this is possible; alternatively, you can take a later ferry back and spend the rest of the day and evening here.
For those planning a little extra time away, Bodo is a compact place to make your way around and with all the hotels centrally situated, getting to them from the port is easy to do. For those with some energy left, then a hike or ride to the top of Mount Rønvik is possible. This is Bodø’s Midnight Sun viewpoint providing a dramatic panoramic view of Bodø and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively the views from the bar at the top of the SAS Radisson are equally as stunning and you’ll get assistance to this lofty viewpoint in the hotel’s lift. Contact us for advice on extending your stay.
You’ll predominantly be riding along undulating / rolling roads, however there are a couple of steeper climbs and descents along the way. The roads aren’t ‘city busy‘, but can at certain times of year be filled with camper vans and tourists in rental cars, so it’s best to ride in single file.
Leisure Cycling Grade
Distances generally between 15-30 miles / 24-48 kms per day
For those looking for an easy-going route
Mainly on the flat
Some undulations and the odd cheeky challenge
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
Maybe you have recently got into cycling and would like to do more over consecutive days, or maybe you‘re looking for a more energetic alternative to your usual holiday? If you‘re looking for an opportunity to try some quiet roads, cycle paths or some accessible, cycle friendly routes these holidays might be for you. You’ll come across some gently undulating terrain and the odd cheeky challenge, so we’d generally expect those on a Grade 2 holiday to ride their bikes relatively frequently at home, perhaps commuting to work or heading out for some leisurely rides at the weekend.
The local team went far beyond what we expected from a self-guided tour. They are clearly passionate about his area and enjoyed sharing this with us!
Dates & Prices
2021 Sunday departures available as follows:
June 06th, 13th, 20th and 27th
August 15th, 22nd and 29th
September 05th (Please note – Autumn north of the arctic circle can be the most beautiful time to travel, but weather can be variable)
A) All accommodation during the trip (shared rooms – usually twin share)
B) Meals as per itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
C) English-speaking local representative (with welcome meeting)
D) Route notes and maps
E) Luggage transfers
F) Transfer from Svolvær ferry port to your rorbu (Day 1)
G) Ferry to Nusfjord (Day 6)
H) Transfer to Moskenes (Day 8)
What's not Included
A) Bike hire (available if required)
B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike
C) Meals not stated in the itinerary
D) Travel insurance
E) Single room (available if required, on request)
F) Personal clothing and equipment
G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills etc)
H) Entrance fees to attractions en route
I) Transfers between Bodø Airport and Bodø ferry port
J) Ferry fares from Bodø to Svolvær and Moskenes to Bodø
K) Tourist taxes, to be paid locally where applicable
Customer Story: Lofoten Islands
Check out our latest customer story and prepare for immediate wanderlust...
Clare, CumbriaSelf-guided aspect was an absolute doddle!
A really good feature of this holiday, for anyone nervous about self guided tours, is that the route finding was an absolute doddle! And there were only a couple of junctions a day! Our support team could not have provided a better service, they were helpful and easy to contact. The long day from Hov to Ballstad was great, we also enjoyed the ride up to Hov and the visit to Gimsoy church.
Randall, AustraliaExceeded all my expectations!
Cycling on the Lofoten Islands had been on my Wishlist for several years, and it exceeded all my expectations. Probably the best Skedaddle self-guided trip we have been on, helped in part by having fabulous weather for some days, the most incredible scenery, and a great guide in Sandro.
Pamela, USAWonderfully enjoyable
The accommodations were all lovely. We especially enjoyed the rorbus. Although we ate most of our meals in restaurants, we occasionally prepared food in our rooms, which were equipped with fine kitchens.
The tour representative Sandro met with us regularly during our trip to discuss daily highlights. His insights and guidance helped to make our trip wonderfully enjoyable. When the ferry from Moskones back to Bodø¸ was cancelled, he made other arrangements that worked equally well for us (but that required more effort on his part). Sandro was key to the success of our trip. Thanks!
Steven, USAI had to worry about nothing!
The whole team from start to finish did and excellent job.
The service we again excellent. I have to say that Sandro our guide in Norway was outstanding. He went above and beyond to make our holiday perfect. He really is a key member of the team. Cheers Sandro!
The ‘middle’ day when we did 50 miles was excellent. It was raining but even so the distance, the views, the experience and then the food was just perfect.
Catharine, CumbriaThe scenery was breath taking...
Our guide on the Lofotens Sandro went far beyond what we expected from a self-guided tour. He met us almost daily to give us a briefing on the day’s cycling but also to point out areas of interest, answer questions relating to culture and history. He was clearly passionate about his area and enjoyed sharing this with others.
We had a great time (despite some challenging weather at times). Thanks to all at Skedaddle for making this trip to the Lofoten Islands such a memorable time for us. Kay answered all my questions fully and quickly. Booking was easy. Information was provided to us in a timely fashion.
Sandro was fantastic! All was set up for us when we arrived. He spent much time with us going over the route the next day. Most importantly, he made himself available for any help we may have needed during the course of the week. He readily accommodated us on our last day, as we decided to cycle most of the day, and take a late ferry back to Bodo. The service provided by Sandro greatly exceeded our expectations for a “self-guided” tour.
Gillian, CroydonWe're looking forward to our next Skedaddle holiday...
We were very happy with all the arrangements made by Saddle Skedaddle. Everything went very smoothly, we had a good time and would have no hesitation in recommending your company.
Nicholas, CornwallIncredibly helpful and friendly...
Sandro and his team were incredibly helpful and friendly. They bought breakfast for us when there was none available and helped us enjoy Euro 2012 in the local bars!
The bikes we hired were excellent. Brand new Giant bikes – fantastic!
John, CumbriaSo good!!
Couldn’t choose a favourite day as there were so many!