Wandering Chicken Logo

We missed our trip to Norway when the pandemic struck. Two years later, we are glad we finally braved it! We were never prepared for the beauty that was Northern Norway and the Lofoten Islands! If you love picturesque, quaint towns, scenic drives along varying landscapes, and don’t mind changing lodgings along the way, then this is for you. We’ll tell you how we did it and the things we learned along the way. If you are planning to see something unique in that side of the world, check out our itinerary.

Northern Norway
This is an 11 day itinerary but it can be done in 7 days if you lack time. We have listed both here for your convenience.

11 Day Itinerary

7 Day Itinerary

Spend less time in Tromso. If you’re coming during the summer where there’s sun 24/7, you can also squeeze in more things to do per day depending on your interests.

Day 1 – Arrive in Tromso, adjust to jet lag
Day 2 – Tromso, walk around town; Day trip to Sommaroy, hike to Ornfloya
Day 3 – Drive to Andenes
Day 4 – Drive to Lofoten Islands; do Northern Tour
Day 5 – Do Southern Tour 
Day 6 – Rest of Lofoten Islands that you missed / want to spend more time in
Day 7 – Fly out home or next destination

General Information



We were in the Lofoten Islands in the first two weeks of June and it was raining nearly every day. The advantages to this are that were still very few tourists and the days are longer because of the midnight sun. The rain kept us from doing some planned hikes but it was enough for us to do island hopping and still see all the places we needed to see.



We rented a car for our whole stay in Northern Norway. This is the only way you can maximize your stay here, especially if you don’t have a lot of time. We picked it up from Tromso and dropped it off at Leknes. We went here during June 2022 and the gas prices were around $9 per gallon.

Driving in the Lofoten is also not difficult if you are used to left hand drive. This is because the E-10 is the one and only major highway connecting all of the islands. The only thing that’s a bit of a challenge is the narrow roads. Driving courtesy plays a big role during times where a one lane highway is used in both directions.

Driving around Norway, you will encounter this road sign quite a lot. It means that the road is part of the Norwegian Scenic Routes – selected roads with stunning scenery complemented by art, design, and architecture.

Dining & Others


Norway is one of the expensive countries to visit. Food is one of the expensive things here. For example, a 7/11 hot dog we bought in Tromso costed a whole $6.50, compared to the standard $1.50 in Costco. In addition, a lot of the establishments and restaurants open at 3pm. If you’re looking at some of the popular restaurants in small towns, you need to make a reservation. We showed up to two restaurants in Reine and were turned away because they were full. If you’re looking to save some money, you can buy groceries from the common shop “Joker” and cook meals at your own apartment.

Detailed 11 Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Tromso

Everything was already closed by the time we arrived in Tromso save for the 711 in the corner of our street where we were staying. It was already midnight but we were so hungry so we bought hotdogs and ate them while walking around the nearby harbor.

Tromso experiences the midnight sun during the month of June so we truly enjoyed this unique event. Once we settled down in our hotel, it was easy to sleep since we were all beyond exhausted. The hotel had block out curtains and this helped a lot – the sun doesn’t really go down this time of the year. We stayed at Quality Hotel Saga in Tromso and we loved the location and their excellent breakfast!


Tromso View at Midnight
Tromso at midnight

Day 2 – Adjust to jet lag/ Explore the town by foot

Today, we walked around town. This can be an easy day for you to adjust to jetlag. It was drizzling every now and then with a few brief moments of sunshine in between. We realized that we underestimated how cold it was in Northern Norway, thinking it was the summer we were used to because of the Midnight Sun. Our coats were enough but they were insufficient for our planned hikes. Good thing there were a lot of places to shop in Tromso. Check out our tips for what to wear hiking in the Lofoten Islands during this time of the year.

Places We Saw Today:
– Tromso Cathedral
– Port of Tromso
– Polaria

Just a few minutes walk from our hotel is Tromso Cathedral. Not to be confused with Arctic Cathedral, it is the only Norwegian cathedral to be made entirely out of wood.

Tromso Church
Tromso Cathedral

The Port of Tromso was also nearby. Its strategic position in Northern Norway makes it one of Norway’s most important fishing ports.

Hurtigruten Ferry Service
Hurtigruten is the coastal ferry service along the Norwegian coast.
Arctic Waters
One of the many harbors in Tromso

One of the things you can do when it’s raining in Tromso (which is more often than not) is to check out the seal feeding in Polaria. Polaria is the northern most aquarium in the world and has a pretty interesting architecture.

Polaria looks like a stack of giant bookshelves that fell forward.

While waiting for the seal feeding time, we learned a few things in the aquarium, including the difference between micro and macro plastics, the severity of the effect of climate change on sea levels, and how that would affect sea life.

Seals Jumping From Water
An image explaning the effects of less sea ice on global climate.

Finally, it was time to feed the seals. It was quite dark inside so we weren’t able to obtain a quality recording. However, the show featured the seals jumping from water, moving on land, and much more!

Day 3 – Cable car to Floya, Arctic Cathedral

We woke up praying for a sunny day so we could hike up and down Floya mountain. The rain didn’t agree with us so we decided to wait it out in the Polar Museet Museum.

Places We Saw Today:
– Polar Museet Museum
– Fjellheisen to Floya
– Arctic Cathedral
– Tromso Bridge

Polar Museet Museum
Polar Museet Museum
Seal Hunters
We learned a lot about the history of seal hunting, types of seals, the life of the hunters, and much more!

When the rain started to stop, we took a cab straight to Fjellheisen, an aerial tramway that goes up and down Floya with spectacular views of Tromso. If it’s not raining on the day of your visit, you can hike it up and down (depending on your fitness).

Cable Car Ride
This is at the top of the cable car ride. On a better day, you can wander around the upper station located at Storsteinen.
A view of the city Tromso

The sun decided to show itself before we went down so we decided to walk to the Arctic Cathedral, a parish church iconic in Tromso. This church is visible from the Tromso cable car, bridge, and sound. The walk is a short one through a small community, with some of the homes having best views of the port. Inside the church is the beautiful “Return of Christ” glass mosaic window.

It also hosts concerts at midnight during the summer months so you can plan going here around that time, before or after you take the cable car ride.

Arctic Cathedral Outside
Arctic Cathedral

After passing by the Cathedral, we walked across the bridge going back to our hotel.

Tromso Bridge
Tromso Bridge

Day 4 – Pick up your car and drive to Sommaroy

Today, we picked up our rental car and drove to Sommaroy. Along the way, we passed by Arctic Botanical Garden. It’s free, small, and you get to see all these beautiful flowers that are unique to this part of the world. There are also chairs everywhere where you can sit down and have a picnic or simply enjoy your quiet time.

Places We Saw Today: 
– Arctic Botanical Garden
– Ornfloya Hike
– Town of Sommaroy


Arctic Botanical Garden House
Arctic Botanical Garden

Before heading to the hotel, we stopped by Ornfloya to do the hike. This was supposed to be easy but the powerful and incessant winds made it more adventurous. Check it out here.

Ornfloya hiking
One of the views going up Ornfloya

Afterwards, we checked into our hotel. We loved it! It was the first time we stayed in a lodging like this. Check out our accommodation here.

Accommodation’s View
Our accommodation’s view

Day 5 – Ferry to Senja

Today, we took a ferry from Sommaroy to Senja. Some people skip Senja and go straight to the Lofoten islands. If you’re going to see a few of the fjords in Bergen, I think you can skip this. The island feels like a mini Norway – all the fjords and waterfalls squeezed into a tiny land mass.

Places We Saw Today:
– Bergsbotn Platform
– Tungeneset
– Town of Senja
– Segla


iconic red houses in Norway
You will see a lot of these iconic red houses in Norway.
Fjords and mountains in Senja
Fjords and mountains in Senja

To get to Senja, we drove to the ferry port in Brensholmen Fergekai. We lined up at 11:30 am for the 12:45 pm ferry to make sure we didn’t miss it. When you reach the station, you simply line up with your car. Payment is simple – no need to prepay before your trip. Once you board the boat, they just scan your rental car’s license plates and they send you the bill together with your car rental’s invoice. For the ferry schedule, use this tool from Brensholmen to Botnhamn.

Parking lot
Parking lot at 8:30am
Brown Cheese
Our favorite brown cheese. Good thing we packed these for breakfast – we were waiting in the car until 11:30 am since it was raining, cold, and so windy outside!

The crossing took 45 minutes and was relatively calm. When we arrived in Senja, there was a road closure from the ferry port to our hotel and this made us use the Norwegian Scenic Route instead, costing us an additional 1.5 hours drive. Thankfully, the scenery was beautiful and it passed by some tourist spots we planned to visit anyway, so we didn’t mind.

It was gloomy and rainy most of the time during our drive but the views still made up for them. Thankfully, when we stopped at the Bergsbotn platform, the sun cooperated with us. The Bergsbotn is a 44-metre long platform where you can see Bergsfjord and the surrounding peaks.

Bergsbotn Platform
Bergsbotn Platform

Tungeneset is also a must do stop. The walkway provides view to the Northern Sea in the west and the mountain Oksen with its sharp peaks in the north.

Senja is also famous for a hike to one of the most iconic pictures and spots in Norway, the Segla.

The rain prevented us from hiking Segla
House at Port
We stayed in a house by the port and it was beautiful despite the gloomy weather.

Day 6 – Ferry to Andenes(Vesteralen Islands)

Places We Saw Today:
– Bleik
– Andenes
– Matind

Today, we drove to Gryllefjord very early to catch the first ferry going to Andenes. Despite being there by 8:30am, we were already third in line and by 10am, the lot was already full and some cars did not make it to the trip. We wanted to be in Andenes early to hike Matind. If we missed this ferry, the next one would be at 5pm! For more up to date ferry information, check this website out.


The ride to Andenes was a rough one, maybe worse because we sat in front (bow) of the ship. A passenger next to us was throwing up the whole two hour trip. If you get seasick, stay in the middle of the ship where it is more stable.

When you arrive, you will see a Shell gas station nearby the ferry station. The burgers we bought there were probably the best food we had in the Lofoten islands. The beef is just different from the ones back in the USA. Even after leaving Andenes, we were always on the lookout for Shell gas stations so that we could taste their burgers.

We stayed in the town of Bleik in Andenes. Despite the gloomy weather, we were awestruck by the town’s vibrant scenery!

Town of Bleik Flowers
Town of Bleik
Factory Turned Homes
This town used to be a fishball factory and they turned some of the buildings into homes.
Rest House
We stayed in this house with the blue door. It was the best sleep we had ever since we arrived in Norway.
The town also has its own grocery store, Joker, near where we were staying so we walked & bought groceries for dinner. They also have this cool cafe inside. We had hot chocolate and ice cream here.

Since it was raining, we could not do the Matind hike we had hoped to do. The next day would have better weather in the afternoon, but the drive would be three hours to the next destination. If you are going to Lofoten for hikes in particular, July would be a better month, although rain in these parts is not uncommon even in July and August.

Coast View
In better weather, you can walk the coast from tip to tip.

Day 7 & 8 – Drive to Kabelvag (Start of Lofoten Islands); stay 2 nights

Day 7

Finally! Today was the day we drove to the Lofoten Islands! Every turn and corner was stunning. We drove for three hours on the E10 and enjoyed every moment of the ride. We stayed in Kabelvag for three nights in a former fishing village. Again, we were awestruck with such unique lodging.

Places We Saw Today:
– Gimsoy
– Eggum
– Lyngvaer Mirror


If its not raining, check out the hike to Svolvaer. It will give you one of the most epic shots in Lofoten. If you’re also into rock climbing, you can combine that with a hike.

Upon arriving, we were able to see the areas of Gimsoy, Eggum, and the Mirror in Lyngvaer. 

Northern part of the Archipelago
Drone shot of Gimsoy Church and Beach
Horseback riding
On the way to Eggum, we saw people horseback riding - it is one of the things you can do in the Lofoten Islands.
Lyngvaer Mirror
Lyngvaer Mirror is a part of the Nordland Sculpture Landscape by Alexander Jensko.
Day 8

Today, we did the hike to Mannen! We FINALLY had sun and a rain free day! Check out the hike here.

Places We Saw Today:
– Mannen
– Uttakliev
– Haukland

Mannen Drone Shot
Drone shot of all of us on Mannen

Day 9 & 10 – Drive to Vestvagoy; stay 3 nights

Day 9

Today, we drove to Vestvagoy. The drive southwards was a very scenic drive if not my favorite. We passed by Henningsvær, a small fishing village south of Svolvær. It was only connected to the rest of the archipelago in 1983 making it isolated for so many years

Places We Saw Today:
– Henningsvaer
– Vestvagoy

Beach on the way to Henningsvaer
Beach on the way to Henningsvaer. Look at that Carribean water!
Air drying stockfish
Air drying stockfish on the way to Henningsvaer

Henningsvaer is probably most famous for its football field surrounded by the mountains, sea and fjords.

Henningsvaer football field
A drone shot of Henningsvaer Football Field

Afterwards, we toured the village and loved all the cafes, buildings, and harbor.

Henningsvaer Floral shop
There were many colorful art galleries and cafes in Henningsvaer!

Make sure to eat in one of the cafes in Henningsvaer. For more information on where to eat in town, check this out.

Afterwards, we checked into our airbnb and stayed for 3 nights in Vestvagoy. We chose this location because it was accessible to both south and north of the archipelago.

Our lodging at Vestvagoy. Our house is the last one on the right!
Day 10


We started our southern archipelago road trip with Nusfjord, a small charming fishing village.

Places We Saw Today:
– Nusfjord
– Flakstad
– Ramberg
– Sacrisoy
– Anita’s 
– Reine
– A

Nusfjord fishing village
Nusfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best-preserved fishing village in Norway.
Cafe in Flakstad beach
A cafe in Flakstad beach. Flakstad beach is a nice place to camp. We saw lots of families grilling, having a picnic, and kayaking.
Flakstad beach
Flakstad beach
Ramberg beach
Ramberg beach
Sacrisoy Island
The small island town of Sacrisoy
Anita’s Fish burgers
When you're nearby Sacrisoy, Anita's Fishburgers are a must try! We tried and loved them.
Stockfish Chandeliers
Chandeliers made of stockfish at Anita's
Red houses
Loving these red houses with grass roofs, made more beautiful by the clear, emerald waters.
Dried Stockfish
Stockfish being hung and dried in Reine
Town of Reine
The town of Reine from on top of a hill
View of Town from Harbor
A is the town at the very end of highway E10, the Lofoten's largest and most important highway. It was our final destination for the day. Here's a look at one of A's harbors.

Day 11 – Flight Out

Today is the day you fly out of Leknes to next destination or to return home. We flew to Oslo to explore the rest of Norway.

Let's stay in touch! Subscribe to our newsletter 🙂

1 thought on “Northern Norway & Lofoten Islands Itinerary”

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: