Last Updated: July 16, 2021

How to Get from Tromsø to Lofoten

A trip to Tromsø and Lofoten is one of the best ways to explore Northern Norway. With the city trip within Tromsø and the road trip to Lofoten Islands, this journey is one that’s hard to beat.

But how can you exactly travel from Tromsø to Lofoten Islands? With a travel time of approximately 15 hours and 40m minutes, which covers a distance of around 357 km, what could be the best option to travel?

Learn more about the different ways to get from Tromsø to Lofoten and find out which way works for you best!

By Plane

Not the most environmental-friendly option, but this is definitely the fastest and the most convenient way to travel from Tromsø to Lofoten. Widerøe, a Norwegian airline that goes from Tromsø to Leknes – the administrative center of the Lofoten island Vestvågøy.

It takes 50 minutes to fly and as usual, if booked in advance, can cost you a little cheaper. The standard fare normally ranges from 1800-3200 NOK, while the so-called “flex” and “full flex” tickets (which come with more flexibility to change or cancel your flight) cost roughly between 2800 and 4400 NOK.

There are also other flights being offered by Widerøe – flights from Tromsø to Svolvær and Røst. However, this isn’t a direct flight and one stopover will either be in, Bodø, Leknes, or Stokmarknes.

**Pro Tip: This airline is known for their so-called “milk route”, which means their flights often stop at multiple airports before reaching the final destination, without you having to change planes. So you might want to pay attention when booking and just stick to the direct flights instead if that’s what you prefer the most.

By Cruise

The Hurtigruten, a Norwegian public coastal route transporting passengers traveling the Norwegian coast from Bergen in the southwest to Kirkenes in the far northeast. This is a wonderful way to travel slowly and see more of the coastline of Norway. Norway visitors commonly book the full 12-day cruise going from Bergen to Kirkenes and back, but it’s also possible to travel from port to port.

They’ve removed this option from all their international websites in order to attract more people to book the entire cruise, but that doesn’t mean that the port-to-port option is only reserved for Norwegians. You can still book port-to-port routes by simply calling your local Hurtigruten office or by using a local travel agency to book tickets for you.

  • Travel Time: From Tromsø, to Svolvær it takes approximately 17 hours. The ship departs Tromsø at 01.30 am (but you can already board the ship by midnight) and arrives in Svolvær at 6.30 pm the same day.
  • Tip: For journeys that are less than 23 hours, you’re allowed not to sleep in the common lounges instead of booking a cabin. Although this is sometimes frowned upon by some staff on board, this is absolutely legal and doesn’t violate any of Hurtigruten’s own policies and online booking system.

Without booking a cabin for the trip from Tromsø to Lofoten, the cruise ticket will cost approximately 700-900 NOK, while a ticket with cabin costs between 1500 and 2000 NOK (per person).

Lofoten Island

By Bus

Getting from Tromsø to Lofoten by bus is just slightly cheaper than going by plane and cruise without a cabin. This option might save you 100 to 200 NOK but the downsides are, it’s way less scenic than the cruise and also less comfortable than both.

If you still want this travel option despite the downsides, start by taking bus 100 from Tromsø Prostneset to Bjerkvik close to Narvik. From there, transfer to bus 300 which will take you to all major towns and villages of the Lofoten Islands, including Svolvær, Kabelvåg, Leknes, Nusfjord, Sakrisøy, Reine and Å.

  • Travel Time: From Tromsø to Svolvær by bus is approximately 7 hours (be aware of possible delays caused by icy/snowy road conditions in winter), while going all the way to Å takes approx. 13 hours.
  • Pro Tip: There are three daily departures of both bus 100 and bus 300, but only bus 100 leaving Tromsø at 4 pm can give you the least amount of waiting time for your transfer of buses when going to Svolvær. And only bus 100 leaving Tromsø at 10.30 am gives you the chance to go further than Svolvær and all the way to Å (otherwise, you might miss your connection and stay the night in Narvik).

Make sure to check the exact schedule here. The bus journey from Tromsø to Lofoten costs approximately 750-850 NOK.

By Car

While it’s highly recommended to rent a car in the Lofoten Islands to explore more of the archipelago, doing so in Tromsø only to return it in the Lofoten Islands comes at a steep price since the car company has to drive the car back to Tromsø itself later on.

**Rentals: Rentalcars shows that it only costs approximately 800 NOK to rent a car for a day, but the fee for delivering the car in Svolvær instead of Tromsø is at 4000 NOK, excluding gas, road tolls, and other fees. That’s why this is obviously, the most expensive option.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

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