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Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

In cooperation with: Visit Norway
Gold Coast...
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Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

Hi all! So excited to be going to the Lofoten Islands but need some advice as I'm getting confused. Any advice would be great!!!

FYI- we plan to hire a car. We don't like too many 'touristy' things, so rare lakes, little rural towns, viking history is most suitable. We also want to have a crack at the northern lights if we are lucky!

So queries are...

Travel -

1. We fly to Bodo, arriving at 10am on the 10th and leave Bodo midday on the 14th. The way the ferries work for Bodo - Moskenes we can only catch the 3pm on arrival day (arriving 7pm at night), and must leave 7am on the 13th (day before we wanted to). This gives us only 2 1/2 nights in Lofoten instead of 4 :(

Query - what are the roads like? Are we best off to travel from Bodo (via ferry) then from Moskenes up through the islands to Melbu, then drive the 5-6 hours back to Bodo via the mainland, making the travel an actual circuit? Or should we stay put in one place on the Lofotens travel around where we can then go back via the way we came (a day early), and do a day trip around Bodo somewhere?

2. Any good tours you can advise for a northern lights tour? I can only seem to find one and they leave at Svolvær and Kabelvåg which are fairly north.

3. Should we stay in several places or one place? What is the most stunning? There seems to be a really cool and high mountain peak turning up in photos, but whenever i search for it, it is coming up under different names (from reine, to moskenes, to vestvagoy)

Thanks all. Any advice would be fantastic.

Gold Coast...
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1. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

PS or would it be better to take the express ferry across from Bodo to Lofoten and back? Then we can get a hire car company in Moskenes (or nearby) to get our car there, rather than the car ferry? If that is the case, it doesn't seem like we can book any of this in advance - what is the likelihood of not getting a spot? Also, I can't understand the timetables as it's in norwegian - so I'm not sure what options are available for express boat/passenger ferry from Bodo on the 10th of December, and if there are any available and if there are more optional times on Sat the 13th or Sunday the 14th to Bodo??

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

There is an express boat Bodø-Svolvær on Wednesday afternoon, but you would still have to return early Saturday morning and lose a lot of time, nothing to gain compared to the Moskenes ferry.

Your best option is to fly Bodø-Svolvær and back. Widerøe has flights Bodø-Svolvær Wed at 1025 and 1240. There are no return flights Sunday morning, you would have to return to Bodø Saturday afternoon at 1316.

Even better would be if you could change your flight to and from Evenes instead of Bodø.

Gold Coast...
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3. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

Thank you! Am finding out if I can get to Evenes. If that is the case, can i still get down to Moskenes during that time? It seems like the prettier place.

We don't like heavily touristed towns - what are the best places to stay or visit/ the most spectacular in terms of photography, high peaks, and village feel?

Tromso, Norway
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4. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

I think you should choose to arrive the Lofoten islands with a boat, so you can see the islands will rise up from the sea..;)

If you choose Evenes, then you have 170 km to Svolvær, and plus 120 km all the way down to Moskenes / Å area. But, why rush, it`s better to spend all the time in the Lofoten islands, without to much driving...

Gold Coast...
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5. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

Thanks Gunnar. Maybe if we boat across to Moskenes then fly out from Evenes? Our main issue is that we want to stay there as long as possible but the boat on the way back makes us leave at 7am a day earlier.

What are some of the best towns do you think Gunnar? I'm getting confused on trying to find the small town with the big peak - not sure if it is Borg, Reine, Vestvagoy region etc? :)

Harstad, Norway
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6. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

There is no need to worry about too many tourists in December - it is the darkest time of the year and not the high season for tourism. You will find that some accomodation options are closed for the season, so do some research on that issue before deciding. If you plan to do anything other than self catering, you need to choose a location with services like Svolvær. Everything other than Svolvær and Leknes are just rural villages with very little (if any) services in winter - the other two you may call towns with a choice of options for eating out.

Roads are likely to be ok, but if you are unlucky and have a period with heavy snowfall or storms, driving conditions may be so that you will not want to go anywhere for security reasons or poor visibility.

If you are not familiar with driving on snowy and icy roads, driving all the way from Evenes may be a bit too much in the dark.

The scenery is lovely all over Lofoten, so I would pick the more practical option at this time of year.

Oslo
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7. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

Planning a tour to Lofoten in December - have you looked at weather statistics?

yr.no/place/…statistics.html

Road conditions can vary widely - anything from blizzard, freezing rain, storm etc.

And considered that the sun doesn't rise - so you only have a few hours of twilight - blue light.

Many places closed out of season and only 3 days - chances of seeing northern lights somewhat limited perhaps in this season and timeframe.

Oslo
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8. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel
Visit Norway What's this?

Hello,

In case you are determined to establish a driving plan, you might find our page about the Lofoten National Tourist Route interesting: visitnorway.com/en/…

You can maximize your chances of experiencing the northern lights with Visitnorway’s new app Norway Lights: visitnorway.com/en/…

The peak you have mentioned is most probably the Reinebrigen – one of Lofoten’s most scenic mountain views: www.visitnorway.com/360/lofoten/#/lofoten0

Content provided by Visit Norway: www.visitnorway.com
Snohomish...
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9. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

Interested how your trio and travel thru Lofoton went that time of year? We are planning to be in Reine in late November for a few days before heading south into Bergen,flam and into main land Europe.

We'll be flying into Bodo from Oslo, then catching the ferry from Bodo to Moskenes (arriving in Moskenes around 8pm), then taking a taxi to our accomodations in Reine, we will be backpacking and wont be renting a car.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!!

Kate

Gold Coast...
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10. Re: Lofoten Islands December - tours and travel

I had a fantastic time, it was really great!!! We flew into Leknes and flew out from the Narvik airport, so I can't advise on the ferry. We only had a short time to stay there, and flying in and out gave us more time there

We were originally going to ferry from Bodo, but you can fly to Leknes from Bodo which is only 20 minutes, so if you can do that, it might be worth it?.

I would definitely advise to rent a car if you can!!. Most things are closed (especially down Moskenes way!). I wouldn't want to be standing around in the dark in the freezing cold waiting for a bus that may not come.

We had a hire car and it was wonderful. We were able to see a lot of the islands (during the limited time of light!) that make Lofoten so special, and don't think that would have been possible without a car.

Light is limited (weird twilight from 10am - 2pm) but during that time it's very beautiful if you get good weather, and spooky beautiful and dark if you get cloudy or snowy weather. Due to most of Lofoten being closed (except for their main city), bring as much entertainment as you can. Down Moskenes way, all restaurants are pretty much closed, but you can pick a few items up at the grocery store. Then you have approx 8 hours of pitch black darkness to fill before bed (whilst constantly checking outside for the northern lights!)

We had a gorgeous robuer with the best view. No TV so alot of reading to be done. Maybe bring some cards.

At Svolvaer there is a little bit more to do, but that is mainly eating and drinking. Our rorbuer had a TV there, so that was a bit more helpful. Because it is the main city though, it is difficult to see the lights. We only realised they were there when we took a photo and the tinge came out green. Then the car came in handy as we drove north asap and got the most AMAZING light show over incredible scenery.

Hope that helps!

Edited: 04 February 2015, 03:43