Up and about in the Lofoten Islands

It always begins with an airline offer and that conversation, as far as I knew, would never end well for my bank account. A troubled dinner, some arguing and a wistful reminiscence of the Arctic North later, we decided that Norway was the place to visit this time around. The Travel Companion (TC) has never been there and I was thrilled at being able to do this with another person – in a car as well.

lofot-map

Stuck between the Western Fjords and the Lofoten Islands – which had my eye for many years now -, the next few days were a blur of looking through web photos, crumpling the pages of Lonely Planet Norway, and doing up possible travel itineraries that would accommodate about a week in the Fjords (either the Northern and Western ones).

The Lofotens won by a large margin and I hunkered down to start planning the itinerary, which for some reason, always seemed daunting when it came to a country as long and large as Norway.

maplofot

For our trip this coming March, we’ve narrowed down getting to the Lofotens to 3 possibilities:

  1. Flying from Oslo to Bodø. Rent a car in Bodø and take a ferry to Moskenes – hopefully all within a day, then taking the car north to Svolvaer Airport. But further research on forums like Tripadvisor discounted this possibility, because of the rough seas in winter, which meant that ferry schedules aren’t not only limited, but are subject to change at any time. A night’s stay in Bodø was recommended, but we didn’t want to waste a day and the extra cash on taking a car across the sea.
  2. Flying into Svolvaer from Oslo and flying out from Leknes.
  3. Flying into Leknes from Oslo and flying out from Svolvaer.

Many have suggested taking advantage of the Lofotens’ 2 airports as an embarkation point and that’s what we’ve decided to do.

Options 2 and 3 are similar, in that they require a trek around the island in an awkward manner, simply because Leknes is smack in the middle of the Lofotens. We’d be doubling up on the routes, but with a car at least, to make things much easier.

Other options that we dismissed because of cost and time:

  1. Taking the Hurtigruten down the Northern coast.
  2. Flying into Harstad, renting a car and driving south for about 3 hours until we hit the Lofotens.

After several late nights of frantic research, we’ve decided this is how it’ll go down:

Fly into Svolvaer and stay for 2 nights, then it’s all the way south to Reine for another 2 nights, before the last 2 nights in Stamsund – which is within easy reach of Leknes airport, where we’ll make the long, laborious flight(s) to Copenhagen.

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