Here is my long overdue answer to a student commentor who asked about traveling to Lofoten, and wondered what the best way to get there may be as well as the cheapest. Thanks for your question, commentor! And please, others who have questions about student life here in Bergen, comment below. For those students who have advice on traveling to Lofoten, please also share your wisdom in the comments!
What’s the best and cheapest way to travel to Lofoten?
What’s the best way to get there? That is a great, but potentially subjective, question. There are a variety of ways you can make your way up to Lofoten’s archipelago of islands, and what’s best for you may be entirely personal. What’s the cheapest option? Another excellent question, but I’m not sure I can answer this either. It may depend on the time of year, promotions, and other factors what is going to be cheapest. Here’s a rundown of some of the major options and the cheapest price estimates at the time of writing:
Google maps estimates a little under 22.5 hours to get to Moskenes on Lofoten, including the ferry travel (but not necessarily the ferry wait) time. Keep in mind gas can be expensive. My car-owning friend tells me it’s “13 kroner per litre in average for petrol, 4 litres to a gallon. Slightly less for deisel (11-12 kr per litre).”
Norwegian National Railway (about 25.5 hours and 2 train changes will get you to Bodø where you can take a ferry to Moskenes. When I looked prices ranged from kr 649 to kr 1133 for a one-way student minipris rail ticket, your results will likely vary. I had a friend who went by rail last autumn, he said it was a long time to be on a train, and he loves trains…
- Take the Hutigruten (cruise ship), this is both expensive and time consuming, but likely a fantastic way to see not only Lofoten but the bulk of the Norwegian coastline. One of the least expensive options I see for this is kr 3284 on the way to Lofoten (Hutigruten goes to Svolvaer, another town in Lofoten), which takes 3 days and 1 hour, and kr 2849 for the 2 day 18 hour return trip for a total of kr 6987. But this varies a lot, and may be far more expensive depending on the day.
- Torghatten Nord AS: If you get yourself to Bodø by rail, car, or even Hutigruten, you will have to still get to Lofoten from the mainland. There are a couple options for ferrying over, but the most popular is Bodø to Moskenes (especially if you ahve a car). Prices are listed as kr 187 per adult and 672 per car under 6 meters, plus a fee for booking ahead for a car (which is a good idea in the summer).
- A flight straight onto Loftoen, flying into Leknes is probably the fastest option for getting on the islands (keep in mind it may be hard to get around on the archipelago without a car, although certainly I saw people doing it). The flight into Leknes, according to google maps, will have connections and take at least 2 hours and 40 minutes (I assume that’s the actual flight time). The shortest version I saw looking at flights including a layover clocked in at 3 hours and 16 minutes. The cheapest I saw in the next couple months was about kr 2900 but had long (over 10 hour) layovers. The least expensive on a random date in October with no crazy layover was almost kr 3500.
- You can fly into Bodø and, say it with me – take the ferry to Moskenes.
- Here are some airlines to try:
What did I do when I went? I took a plane to Bodø and then took the ferry across to Moskenes. It was neither the quickest, nor the cheapest option, but was cheaper and/or faster than other options!
- Wanna know when to go? When to go depends on if you seek the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun, or something in between. Keep in mind that days can be extremely short (and cold) in the winter. Check out 68 North’s site for helpful information and beautiful photos.
- Wanna know where to stay or what to explore while you’re there? You might also check out Visit Norway’s web site. Remember, in the summer camping as an option if you have gear, this can help save some money but sites are often still a bit pricey compared to other countries.
Check out pictures from my summer trip to Lofoten here:
PS, any Norwegians who happen to have stumbled across my blog and who haven’t been to Lofoten yet, you must go! This place is truly spectacular – and it’s in your own country! Check it out : )
Photo: Stand Hiestand