Last Updated: October 21, 2022

Lofotodden National Park: A Visitor’s Guide

Lofotodden National Park opened in 2019 and it’s the newest national park in Norway. Boasting dramatic landscapes, rare flora, and ample birdwatching opportunities, it’s easy to see why this national park is extremely popular with outdoor enthusiasts in Norway.

We’ve covered everything you need to know about Norway’s new national park, including how it came to be, what there is to see in the area, and where you can stay close to Lofotodden NP. So, if you’re planning a trip to the Lofoten Islands in Norway, you’ll find all the information you need in this visitor’s guide to Lofotodden National Park!

History of Lofotodden National Park

Lofoten Islands

The spectacular areas of Lofotodden National Park didn’t just appear overnight – they’ve been created over thousands of years through national processes. Mountains in the Lofoten Islands were covered with an ice sheet only for a short period of time during the last Ice Age, and this helped develop the small glaciers that stayed in place for quite a while.

It was the glaciers that formed the unique landscapes of the protected area – the mountain ridges, the narrow fjords, and the deep valleys. But the extraordinary nature isn’t the only reason why the area was designated a national park, despite objections from the locals.

There is evidence of human activity in the area since the Stone Age, and this played a big role in the creation of Lofotodden National Park. The cave paintings at Kollhellaren and Bukkhammerhola are the main evidence of this; it’s estimated they’ve been painted around 3,000 years ago, during the Stone Age.

Rare species of flora and fauna made it even more obvious that the park area had to be protected. The national park area is an important nesting place for seabirds and birds of prey, including puffins, kittiwakes, golden eagles, shags, and more. The NP is also home to some of the oldest Alpine flora in Norway.

Hikes in Lofotodden National Park

Hiking is the best way to discover the unique landscape of the Lofoten Archipelago and here are all the best trails in the national park!

Kvalvika Beach Hike

Kvalvika Beach

Kvalvika Beach is situated on the northwestern coast of Moskenesøya Island and it is one of the most popular attractions in this national park. The beautiful beach is accessible only by hiking trails, and it usually takes about an hour to get to it, depending on where you’re starting the hike.

The most popular trail to Kvalvika Beach leads from a parking lot on the eastern coast of the island. If you are traveling by car, it is best to park there and follow the trail to this beautiful beach. This trail takes about an hour, and it is a moderately challenging hike over easy terrain.

It is possible to reach the beach via other trails as well. There’s another trailhead just west of Fredvang, as well as many shorter trails in the mountains. No matter which trail you choose, you will be surrounded by stunning landscapes, and you will come across multiple (high-elevation) viewpoints along the way.

It’s also worth noting that Kvalvika Beach is one of the most popular attractions in the Lofoten Islands, so expect to encounter other hikers on the trails. The crowds shouldn’t be outrageous, but it’s unlikely you’ll have the entire place to yourself.

Bunes Beach Hike

Bunes Beach is one of the most secluded (and most beautiful) beaches in the national park. It is located on the western coast of the island and it can only be accessed by ferry from Reine. The beach is only a short hike away from the port in Vinstand, and it shouldn’t take you more than 30-45 minutes to reach it once you get off the ferry.

The trail to the beach is easy and suitable for all hikers, regardless of their experience level. Also, you must purchase the ferry tickets in advance, otherwise, they won’t let you on the boat because of limited capacity.

Because of its remote location, the beach is very popular for wild camping. Most hikers need to leave in the afternoon to catch the last ferry back to Reine – if you’ve decided to camp through the national park, this is an opportunity to have this spectacular beach all to yourself.

Just keep in mind that there aren’t really any stores nearby, so be sure to stock up on food, drinks, and everything else you might need during your stay.

Tindstinden Hike


Tindstinden is a 490-meter tall summit in the Lofotodden National Park and the best mountain hike in the area. The trailhead is in Sørvågen, so this is one of the best hikes to do if you are staying in one of the towns on the southeastern coast of Moskenesøya Island.

The trail is considered moderately challenging, mostly because of the steep terrain. The total elevation gain is around 450 meters, but it happens in less than an hour and a half. The entire out-and-back trail is just some 5.5 kilometers long and it can usually be completed in less than three hours.

That timeframe doesn’t account for any time you might take to just stop and take in the views. Considering just how stunning the landscapes in this area are, that will likely happen often, so plan at least 4 hours for this hike.

The views along the trail are magical, but nothing compared to the beauty you experience once you get to the Tindstinden peak. Beautiful views of Lake Ågvatnet, Lake Tindsvatnet, the ocean, and the surrounding views all await at the top.

Å to Lofotodden

Lofoten Å

If you are looking for a real challenge in the Lofottoden National Park, hike from the town of Å to the southern tip of Moskenesøya Island. This area isn’t as frequented as the central and northern parts of the national park, so you will encounter fewer crowds on the trails.

The trail is approximately 30 kilometers for an out-and-back hike, so about 15 kilometers to the Lofotodden varde summit. The terrain is rocky and steep, with some challenging mountain ascents. You will hike over mountain ridges, passes, grassy plateaus, and along the coastline, so you can truly discover the diversity of this beautiful national park.

This multi-day hike also gives you the opportunity to discover the cave paintings at Kollhellaren, even more spectacular beaches, and tall mountains. You will also see the diverse flora and fauna of the national park – bring binoculars because birdwatching opportunities are plentiful along this trail.

Horseid Beach Hike

Horseid Beach

Horseid Beach is located on the northern coast of ​​Moskenesøy Island, and it is one of the more popular hikes in Norway’s national park. The trailhead can only be accessed by a ferry from Reine – it’s pretty much the same ferry you would take to Bunes Beach, you just need to get out at a different port.

To reach Horseid Beach, you need to get as far as Kirkefjord. The total distance from the pier to Horseid Beach is 4 kilometers, so this is a relatively short hike that can be completed in under an hour.

The hiking trail is mostly easy, but it can be grassy and overgrown at times. It’s nothing too challenging though, and the hike is recommended for everyone, regardless of their previous hiking experience.

Only the first part of the trail is steep – once you ascend the mountain pass, the terrain mostly flattens out until it’s time to start descending toward the beach. The terrain can be a bit muddy at times, especially if it rained recently, but it’s nothing you can’t deal with if you just wear good hiking boots.

Yttersand Beach Hike

Yttersand Beach is located near Fredvang, on the northern coast of Moskenesøya Island. It’s a beautiful sandy beach easily accessible from Fredvang, but also a stone’s throw away from one of the few guesthouses in the protected areas of the national park.

The beach is stunning but it’s certainly not the only notable attraction in the area. There are several viewpoints near Yttersand Beach where you can experience some of the best views on this part of the island. Also, it’s possible to hike from Yttersand Beach to Kvalvika Beach in about an hour and a half, so keep that in mind if you’ve got limited time in this beautiful national park.

Definitely make time to hike to the ridges near this stunning beach. The views from a higher elevation are out of this world, and the trails aren’t even that difficult. The terrain is somewhat rocky and steep at times, but only until you reach the plateau at the top. Then you’re mostly on flat terrain, surrounded by incredible nature and the best views in all of the Norwegian national parks.

Places to Stay Near Lofotodden National Park

Lofotodden National Park is situated on Moskenesøya Island and it spans an area of 99 square kilometers. The NP covers most of the island’s western coast, which is locally referred to as yttersia – the outer side.

If you want to stay in a guesthouse or a hotel, look for accommodation along the southeastern coast of Moskenesøya Island. The towns are all located on this part of the island, and it’s where you will find the most accommodation options. Moskenes, Reine, Sørvågen, Tind, and even Å are all great places to stay on the island.

There are fewer accommodation options in the protected area of the national park with a couple of guesthouses on the northern coast of the island in Fredvang.

Where to stay near the national park depends on how much time you have and what you want to see. If you have limited time to explore the national park, look for accommodation that’s closest to the attractions that interest you.

Lofoten Houses

On the other hand, if you’ve got plenty of time and you want to see as much of Lofotodden NP as possible, it is best to just camp in the park. Norway’s Right to Roam applies even in the NP, so you can set up camp wherever you want, as long as you follow the basic rules and leave no waste.

Hiking and camping through the Lofotodden National Park is the best option because it allows you to explore it at your own pace. Public transportation within the NP is limited – there are some ferries and boat transfers you could take, but vehicle traffic is prohibited in most of the park.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: