Skip to main contentSkip to main content
Nature kayak safari in Lofoten

Credit: Karianne Klovning

Danai Christopoulou

Danai Christopoulou

Author
3 mins read

Why Lofoten is one of the best places for kayaking

The Lofoten archipelago is a place of breathtaking beauty and fascinating history.

You probably already know all about the Instagram gold vistas, the vibrant, local cuisine, the picturesque little houses and the Viking treasures found at the local museum.

But did you know that the Lofoten islands are also one of the best places for kayaking in all of Norway? That you could kayak all year long — and that the waters in the area have something for everyone?

Keep on reading for all the reasons you need to pick up your kayak and point it towards Lofoten.

You’ll get picture perfect views

If you thought Lofoten was picturesque from the road or from one of the many bridges that connect the islands, wait until you see everything from the sea. 

The jutting granite cliffs; the shoreline that alternates between craggy rocks and huge, white sand beaches; the fishing villages with the traditional fishermen cabins; the way the sun rises up from behind the towering mountains of the islands in the morning… Taking in the sights of the Lofoten from the perspective of your kayak will fill you with awe.

You can kayak in calm waters

If you prefer to take it easy while kayaking (and focus on the picture perfect views we mentioned above), you’ll be glad to know that the waters in Lofoten, especially between the islets and skerries, are quite calm. So even if you’ve just started kayaking, you’ll be perfectly fine!

You can also challenge yourself by kayaking near a maelstrom

Prefer an adventure instead? The outer coast of the island of Moskenes is ideal for experienced kayakers who want to challenge themselves. The mostly mountainous coast rises up to 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) from the water’s surface.

Between Moskenes, Værøy and the Lofotodden headland there is a strong, 4-5 kilometer-wide ( 2 mi) maelstrom where waters are known to run with a speed of 27.8 kph (172 mph)! Do you dare go near?

You can combine kayaking with hiking

Because of the unique terrain at Lofoten, where the towering mountaintops rise up almost straight from the water’s edge, it’s easy to combine your kayaking adventure with hiking. There are many places where you can pull your kayak easily onto a sandy shore and then go for a 1-2 hour hike up the mountains. Just imagine the views!

You can paddle in gold

During the summer months, from the end of May until mid-July, the sun in the Lofoten archipelago never dips below the horizon. That’s when they have the midnight sun. 

As a result, for the longest of times the waters and the sky are bathed in a golden color that gives everything a magical sheen. Kayaking past midnight, enveloped in that golden glow… Can anything, ever, feel better than that?

You can kayak all year long

But winter at the Lofoten archipelago is equally stunning. Although you will have to limit your kayaking to the inner coast in the winter months, it’s a great way to spend a winter morning. 

See, there’s a bustling life in the waters around Lofoten all year long, with fisher boats going out every morning and birds flying above (hoping to catch a little fish snack). And the pale, blue light will make your winter kayaking journey magical.

You can brag to everyone that you’ve paddled above the Arctic Circle

How many people do you know back home, who can claim that they have paddled in the Arctic? As the Lofoten islands are located 150 kilometers (93 mi) above the Arctic Circle, now you will be one of those select few! 

Here’s the thing: due to the warmer waters coming from the Gulf Stream, the climate in Lofoten is much milder than it should be for Arctic terrain. So the waters don’t really freeze in the winter, making kayaking possible. Now, aren’t you glad you chose the Lofoten for your kayaking adventures?