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Lofoten in Summer: What to Expect, Weather & Packing Tips

Lofoten in Summer: What to Expect, Weather & Packing Tips

Visiting Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway in summer and wondering what to expect?

What is the weather like in June, July, or August? How busy is it? What are the best things to do in the summer months? What clothes to wear? What to pack?

In this guide, you can find answers to all these questions as well as our experience-based tips for traveling to the Loften Islands in the summer. Take a look!

READ ALSO: Helpful Tips for Your First Trip to Lofoten Islands

Reine in Lofoten in summer

Lofoten Summer Weather

Taken into account their latitude, the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway have surprisingly mild summers.

Average low temperatures in Lofoten in June, July, and August are around 10°C (50°F) and average highs are about 15°C (60°F). But it’s not uncommon for summer temperatures to reach 20-25°C (68-77 °F) or even higher. On average, it rains about 9 days per month in June and July, and 11 days in August.

As you can expect when traveling to a place above the Arctic Circle, the weather in Lofoten is hard to predict. Plus, it can be completely different even just a few miles apart and can change several times a day…

If you are lucky, you may have really nice and warm weather in Lofoten in summer, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures warm enough to wear shorts and T-shirts. However, it’s just as likely that it will be cold, rainy, and foggy, and you will need rain jackets and even gloves and hats.

Most likely, you will experience a bit of everything when visiting Lofoten in the summer months – from cold and rainy days to the most beautiful summer weather.

Just keep in mind that the weather forecast will likely change until the last minute, so you really never know what kind of weather you get until the moment itself. But while you can never fully rely on the forecast, checking the weather a few days before your trip will give you a somewhat indication of what to expect.

Good to know: On all our trips to Norway (and beyond), we found that the website/app usually shows the most accurate weather forecast, especially if you check 24-48 hours in advance. Just be sure to check specific locations that you plan to visit and note that the weather might be very different even just half an hour’s drive apart.

Example of historical weather forecast for Lofoten in summer
This weather forecast perfectly illustrates what kind of weather you can expect in Lofoten in summer: from 11-13°C (52-55 °F) and rain to 24°C (75°F) and sunshine, all in the same week.

Our Experience & Tips

We visited Lofoten in July and had all kinds of weather. On some days, the skies were blue, it was hot, and we were hiking in shorts and T-shirts. But we also had a few days when it was windy, rainy, and freezing cold and we needed sweaters and jackets, and even wore gloves and warm hats.

To give you an idea of the extremes you can get, take a look at the two pictures below. They were taken at the exactly same place, less than two days apart. Needless to say, your experience and what you can see and do in Lofoten will be influenced by the weather. But you can have a very enjoyable trip either way!

TIP: One of the best tips I can give you is not to stress about the weather in advance. It won’t change anything… Simply keep an eye on the weather forecast and adjust your plans if needed. Sun on the forecast? Go hiking! Is it going to rain? Check predictions for the other places nearby – it may be dry and sunny just a short drive away. And if it’s really cold and wet everywhere, you can still explore villages, visit museums, and find a nice restaurant for a relaxing meal.

TIP: Also, be sure that you have the right clothing so that you can enjoy everything that Lofoten Islands have to offer, no matter what kind of weather you get.

Below, you can find some tips on what to wear when visiting Lofoten in the summer. Read on!

Lofoten scenery on a foggy rainy day in summer
Hamnoy Inlet on a foggy rainy day in July.
Hamnoy Inlet - Lofoten scenery on a sunny summer day
The same place on a sunny day…

What to Wear in Lofoten in Summer

When deciding what to wear in Northern Norway in summer, remember one simple word – LAYERS. And since the temperatures can vary so much – you need short and long layers for all types of weather.

Here is a short list of the clothes that you should definitely pack for Lofoten in summer:

  • Several T-shirts and one or two long-sleeved shirts (merino shirts or so-called technical clothing is best).
  • Several lightweight but warm sweaters that you can layer if needed (e.g. a half-zip fleece pullover and a full-zip fleece sweater).
  • Shorts and a pair of long pants (ideally hiking shorts/pants that are easy to clean and dry quickly).
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket. You really need a quality rain jacket (something like this), but normally, there is no need for an insulated jacket in the warmest summer months (that’s where layers are important).
  • Waterproof hiking shoes or hiking boots. We packed these boots and they were perfect. One of the kids was wearing low hiking shoes and it was ok, but higher boots were definitely better because many hiking trails are muddy.
  • Hiking socks.
  • A buff, thin gloves, and potentially also a warm hat (especially if you are camping or planning on spending lots of time outdoors).
  • Sun hat, swimwear, sunglasses.

You can also pack a pair of jeans, a nicer sweater, and some casual shoes, but you’ll likely only wear these if you go out for dinner to a nicer restaurant. In general, things are very relaxed in Lofoten and most people simply wear practical outdoor clothing everywhere.

You don’t really need summer clothes such as sundresses or sandals in Lofoten.

In addition to clothing, there are quite a few other things that we recommend packing for your summer trip. See below.

READ ALSO: What to Pack for Norway in Summer

Boy wearing shorts and t-shirt at Reinebringen hike in Lofoten in summer
On some days, it’s warm enough for shorts and T-shirts…

What Else to Pack

Below is a list of some essential items that we found very useful for a summer visit to Northern Norway:

  • Sleep mask. You may already know that the Nordic regions have very long daylight in the summer. And most hotels and accommodations don’t have blackout curtains. So if you want to get some sleep, don’t forget a good sleep mask. We never travel to Norway or Iceland in the summer without this!
  • Earplugs for sleep. If there is one thing we weren’t prepared for in Lofoten in the summer is the noise of the seagulls. Since it doesn’t get dark, these birds seem to never sleep. And boy, they can be loud (and they are everywhere). I highly recommend packing some earplugs with you.
  • Foldable hiking poles. Hiking in Lofoten is not for the faint-hearted. Most trails are steep and can be quite muddy. Unless you are young and have very strong knees, pack a pair of lightweight foldable hiking poles!
  • A day backpack with rain cover. Packing a small backpack is always a good idea – to store all the extra layers of sweaters/jackets when not needed, or to take some water or a picnic lunch for longer hikes, etc. In addition, be sure that you also have a rain cover for your backpack. Most travel backpacks already come with a rain cover, but if yours doesn’t have one, you can buy one separately – they come in all sizes and colors.
  • A book or e-reader. Since the weather can be quite unpredictable and when it rains, it pours, it’s quite likely that you may be stuck indoors for hours on some days. So we highly recommend packing some reading material to keep yourself (or the kids) busy when the weather is really bad. It happened on a few occasions that we couldn’t do much at all because of the weather and we were really glad that everyone had packed their e-readers. UNO or another travel game is also a good idea.
  • Shampoo, soap, etc. While most hotels in Norway provide these, you’ll hardly ever find shampoo or even soap in apartments and privately-rented accommodations. Of course, you can just buy whatever you need at local shops, but it’s easier to pack a travel-size shampoo and soap just in case.

READ ALSO: Where to Stay in Lofoten

Boy wearing warm clothes and rain jacket in Lofoten in summer
… And on other days, you need warm and waterproof clothes.

What to Do in Lofoten in Summer

Summer is by far the best season to visit Lofoten if you want to experience this beautiful archipelago to the fullest. So you can see and do practically everything that’s available, except the winter-specific activities (so no Northern Lights, for example).

Here is a small overview of some of the best things to do in Lofoten in summer (you can find all the details in our detailed guide via the link below):

  • Visit the charming towns of Lofoten: Å i Lofoten, Nusfjord, Reine, Henningsvær, and Svolvær are all not to be missed.
  • Enjoy the magnificent scenery and go hiking. Some of the must-sees include the area around Reine – Hamnøy and the hikes such as Reinebringen, Ryten, or Djevelporten – Fløya hike.
  • Learn about the Viking heritage and local traditions by visiting various museums. Don’t miss the Lofotr Viking Museum.
  • See the midnight sun. If you are visiting Lofoten at the beginning of the summer and the weather is nice, stay up late to see the midnight sun. It’s actually at its lowest point around 1 am and not at midnight.
  • Explore the beaches. Lofoten Islands have countless stunning beaches. If you visit just one of them, make it Uttakleiv Beach. Weather permitting, you may also be able to go for a swim in the sea, but remember that you are above the Arctic Circle, so the water is cold. It’s usually more bearable if you first spend some time in a sauna (some accommodations have them).
  • Go fishing. If you are interested in fishing, you’ll be glad to know that Northern Norway is a paradise for fishermen. There are several guided fishing tours that you can book online and some accommodations might be able to arrange it for you as well.

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Lofoten

Kids with seagulls on Trollfjord sea eagle boat safari in Lofoten Norway
The kids absolutely loved the sea eagle boat safari to Trollfjord!

How Busy Is It? (& Is It Worth Visiting)

You may have heard that Lofoten Islands are very busy in the summer and wonder if it’s a good idea to travel to Lofoten in June, July, or August. The answer to both of these questions is yes.

Yes, it’s quite busy in Lofoten in the summer – it’s the best season to visit after all. So you really have to reserve accommodations and rental car well in advance. We also highly recommend pre-booking tours and boat trips at least a few weeks in advance. It’s a good idea to make dinner reservations as well, but in most cases, a day or two in advance is more than enough, or even on a day itself.

But when it comes to sightseeing and hiking, it’s only very busy at the most popular places at the most popular times.

For example, if you want to hike to Reinebringen or Ryten between 9 am – 4 pm, expect big crowds. It can get very, very busy indeed, especially if there are cruise ships around. It doesn’t even seem to matter what kind of weather it is – the busiest we experienced in Lofoten was the hiking trail at Ryten on a very cold and rainy day – see the picture below.

But if you visit the same places very early in the morning or late in the evening (remember, it doesn’t get dark in the beginning of the summer!), it will be incomparably quieter. For example, when we hiked to Ryten in the morning there was hardly anyone around. But it got really busy on the way back down, also because many more people arrived by then and they were going in the other direction on the same narrow path.

So expect it to be busy, book your trip in advance, but don’t let this stop you from visiting Lofoten in the summer. It’s such a wonderful destination and summer is the best time to be here. You’ll love it.

Further below, you can find an overview of the main advantages and disadvantages of visiting Lofoten in summertime.

Crowds at Ryten hiking trail in Lofoten on a rainy summer day
This was by far the busiest we experienced in Lofoten – hiking back from Ryten at a time when most people were starting to arrive.

Advantages of Visiting Lofoten in Summer

There are many reasons and advantages of visiting Lofoten in the summer vs other seasons. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Long days with endless hours of daylight allow you to make the most of your time. Plus, you can see the midnight sun.
  • The weather is as good and warm as it gets here, making summer the best time to visit Lofoten for hiking and outdoor activities such as kayaking, biking, surfing, etc.
  • Everything is open since the tourist season is at its peak.
  • If you want to visit Lofoten on a lower budget, summer is by far the best season for that too. The weather is usually mild enough to camp and travel around by bike. There are also many more affordable public/shared transport options in the summer.
  • Flowers, animals, and wildlife. If you visit Lofoten in summer, you can see some beautiful flowers like lupine. You may also get lucky to run into some cute sheep or even see wildlife, e.g. moose.
Lupine flowers in Lofoten in summer
Lupine flowers in Lofoten in July.

Disadvantages of Visiting Lofoten in Summer

And here are some of the main disadvantages of visiting Lofoten in the peak summer season:

  • It’s expensive. Since most tourists travel to Lofoten in the summer months, accommodation and car rental prices are very high. If you are wondering, here you can find some examples of how much everything costs in Norway.
  • There is limited availability. If you didn’t think about booking hotels (especially the famous rorbuer cabins) and renting a car well in advance, you will notice that availability gets quite limited. This is especially the case in July – early August. The closer you get to the summer season, the fewer choices there are. This usually leaves you with either the most expensive or most basic options.
  • It’s busy. This is especially notable at the most popular hikes where it’s difficult to find parking and you have to share the trails with hundreds of other people. But also the roads can get congested, restaurants are busier, etc. However, I can’t stress this enough – don’t let this put you off! With some planning, you can avoid the crowds altogether and have some of the most beautiful places all to yourself.

TIP: Visit Lofoten in June or in late August. That way, you can take advantage of summer travel, but avoid the busiest and most expensive peak season.

TIP: One of the best ways to avoid crowds and take advantage of nice weather is to plan a longer trip and spend more time on the Lofoten Islands. If you only have a day or two in Lofoten and it rains all the time, you may not be able to do everything you want to.

READ ALSO: Lofoten Travel Tips

Kids on Myrland Beach on Lofoten Islands in summer
We were all alone at Myrland Beach in Lofoten. There are tons of beautiful places like this where you hardly see any other people even in the peak season.

So, this is an overview of what you can expect when visiting Lofoten in the summer. Of course, there are some differences between visiting in June or e.g. in August (the number of daylight hours, to mention just one), but this gives you a general idea of what you can expect.

I hope that this guide helps you plan a wonderful trip and enjoy the very best that Lofoten has to offer.

TIP: In addition to visiting Lofoten, make a road trip and visit Vesteralen, Senja, drive to Tromso, and maybe even all the way to the North Cape. Via the link below, you can find a recommended itinerary based on our recent trip. Check it out!

READ ALSO: Northern Norway Itinerary

For more inspiration and information about various places in Northern Norway and beyond, please check our Norway Travel Guide. It contains all our articles from various trips to different regions and useful tips for planning your trip. Take a look!

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What it's like to visit Lofoten Islands (Norway) in summer
Summer in Lofoten (Norway) - travel guide

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