Lofoten in Winter: The 5 Best Things to Do

If you’re hearing the call of the Arctic and feel drawn to the winter wonderlands of Scandinavia, Norway’s Lofoten Archipelago has answered! Immerse yourself in the magic of this remote travel destination and its numerous islands by reading our pick of the best things to do in Lofoten in winter.

The breathtaking Lofoten Archipelago is located in northern Norway, above the Arctic Circle. This distinctive island group is famed for its rugged landscapes, pristine waters, and biodiversity, as well as for its majestic mountains and fjords. In addition, Lofoten’s charming and historic fishing villages add to the allure of this incomparable region. Visiting Lofoten in winter is an unparalleled experience. Due to its proximity to the Norwegian Sea, the weather rapidly shifts in the archipelago and winter temperatures are often milder than in other parts of Norway, ranging from -2°c to 2°c (28°F to 36°F) during the daytime. Nevertheless, it’s better to bundle up in warm and waterproof clothing when travelling to this coastal Arctic destination. If we’ve piqued your interest, keep reading for our favourite things to do in Lofoten in winter!

1. Winter Kayaking Excursion

Lofoten in winter
Northern Explorer

Topping our list of the best things to do in Lofoten in winter is this fun-filled winter kayaking excursion from Eggum. This scenic coastal area is located on the island of Vestvågøya in the Lofoten Archipelago and is known for its rugged beauty as well as its historic WWII past with coastal defences still visible. Back to kayaking; this 3-hour guided kayaking excursion in Lofoten is ideal for both beginner and experienced paddlers alike. With the guidance of an experienced instructor, you’ll be paddling with confidence in no time at all! After a safety and itinerary briefing, you’ll receive your equipment (life jacket and paddle) and your guide will provide an introduction to kayaking and paddling techniques. Then, the adventure begins! You’ll set out into the awe-inspiring Lofoten Archipelago, experiencing the tranquility of nature in addition to the stunning mountainous scenery. If that's not enough, you'll also be treated to a hot drink and a delicious Norwegian snack. And who doesn't love awe-inspiring panoramas from the water with a little something to eat?

2. Northern Lights Cruise

Lofoten in winter
Brim Explorer

Lofoten in winter wouldn’t be complete without the spectacular natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights! For those who don’t want to set out into the wilderness to view the lights, this Electric Northern Lights Cruise from Svolvær in Lofoten allows you to take in the vibrant dancing colours of the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of a cosy boat that is 75% powered by electricity. Environmentally conscious and fun, the 3-hour boat cruise also stops in Henningsvær, where passengers are treated to samples of Norwegian caviar at a 200-year-old cod steaming warehouse. In addition, with a fully licensed bar onboard, you and your loved ones can toast to your adventure in Lofoten in the ship’s heated lounge. Skål/cheers!

3. Winter Sightseeing and Photography Tour

Lofoten in winter
Lofoten Lights

This guided Winter Sightseeing and Photography Tour from Svolvær takes place over the course of two days and is one of our absolute favourite things to do in Lofoten. In the company of a knowledgeable local guide, you’ll be transported to Lofoten’s most scenic locations, historic landmarks, and charming villages including Eggum, Reine, Nusfjord, Hamnøy, Gimsøy, etc. Throughout the sightseeing tour, you’ll learn more about this incredible region and its rich culture as well as photography techniques. Also, with many stops and breaks, you’ll have the chance to sample traditional Norwegian food and purchase local products (not included in the ticket price). We love this type of excursion because it takes the stress out of sightseeing, with no navigation, no driving, and no logistics involved you can fully enjoy the experience in a relaxing manner, this is your dream vacation in Norway after all!

4. Northern Lights Snowshoeing Safari

Lofoten in winter
Lofoten Lights

For explorers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts who would rather witness the Aurora Borealis in the middle of the snow-covered landscapes of Norway, this Northern Lights Snowshoeing Safari maximises your experience of Lofoten in winter! Departing from Eggum, located on Vestvågøya Island in the Lofoten Archipelago, this 4-hour journey takes you deep into the backcountry and far away from the city lights. Perfect for beginners, the instructor provides an introduction to snowshoeing and snowshoeing techniques before setting off into the wilds of Lofoten to the best places to view the magical colours of the Northern Lights. You’ll experience a sensation of serenity like none other as you traverse the snow-covered landscapes. As a bonus, you’ll enjoy a hot drink with a delicious snack, and you already know how we feel about snacks…

5. Arctic Snorkelling Excursion

Lofoten in winter
Lofoten Diving

Last but not least on our things to do in Lofoten in winter, is this one-of-a-kind Arctic Snorkelling Excursion from Ballstad. We know you’re thinking that perhaps winter isn’t the best time for swimming and snorkelling in frigid waters. With an insulated dry suit, gloves, a hood, and warm underlayers, you’ll be more than equipped for an unforgettable snorkelling adventure! The best part is that no prior snorkelling experience is necessary to participate, however, all underwater explorers must already know how to swim. Fully geared up, you’ll head out on a rigid inflatable boat with a seasoned instructor to the best snorkelling spots in Lofoten. After a safety and itinerary briefing, the instructor provides an introduction to snorkelling and snorkelling techniques. Next, you’ll take the plunge into the Arctic waters, exploring the wondrous underwater world of Lofoten. As you snorkel, you’ll observe kelp forests, starfish, jellyfish, urchins, crabs, and diverse species of fish. After an incredible experience, you’ll return to the original departure point for a steaming cup of coffee or tea.

As you can see, Lofoten in winter offers a cornucopia of delights to suit all interests and preferences! And, of course, a visit to Lofoten is one you’ll never forget. If you’ve enjoyed this article and are now captivated by the magnificence of the Lofoten Archipelago, we invite you to check out our list of the Best Activities in Lofoten.