Leknes / Lofoten

Leknes / Lofoten

Author Anne Plau

The Lofoten archipelago belongs to Norway. The approximately 80 islands stretch north of the Arctic Circle over a length of 120 kilometers in the Atlantic Ocean off Norway's west coast. The Lofoten are known for their abundance of fish as well as their natural beauty. Consequently, fishing and tourism are also the main sources of income for the islanders.

Sakrisøy island and fishing village

Economy, weather and traffic 

Fishing and tourism are of economic importance.


In Lofoten, everything revolves around the cod. In winter the fish is caught and then processed into stockfish. Even today there are wooden racks everywhere in the villages on which the fish is dried. Thanks to the climatic conditions, stockfish from Lofoten is one of the best in the world.



The Lofoten is a natural paradise: mountains that rise steeply from the water, rivers, vast green meadows and pastures where sheep graze. There are also long deserted beaches of white sand in front of crystal clear water and magical little fishing villages. Nature lovers will find relaxation far off the beaten path in Lofoten.


The weather in Lofoten is influenced by the Gulf Stream. Although all islands are north of the Arctic Circle, there is a mild temperate climate. This means that in winter the thermometer is around freezing point, in summer it rarely gets warmer than 15 degrees. The granite cliffs, which slope steeply towards the open sea, protect against the storms of the Atlantic. Overall, the weather is rainy and can change several times a day.


The E10 runs from Fiskebøl in the northeast to Å in the southwest. The islands that are crossed are connected by bridges. There are also boat and ferry connections between individual places on the islands and the mainland.

Bridges in Lofoten

Leknes and the Gravdal-Leknes harbor on the Buksnesfjord

Leknes is located on Vestvågøy, the largest island in Lofoten. Leknes has about 2700 inhabitants and is the administrative center of Vestvågøy. There are excavations from the Viking Age nearby.

The port of Gravdal / Leknes on the Buksnesfjord is remote, about four kilometers from Leknes and three kilometers from Gravdal. At the pier there is a shop with a snack, an information board from the Leknes tourist office and the shuttle bus stop. Taxis are rarely found here. Local public transport buses do not stop at the port, but in Leknes or at overland stops.

From the end of May to the beginning of October, a number of cruise ships call at the port of Gravdal-Leknes. Depending on the weather and their size, the ships lie directly on the jetty or anchor in the wide bay. Then the passengers are brought ashore in tender boats.

Leknes / Lofoten sights

The sights of Lofoten are its grandiose nature and the picturesque fishing villages. No one traveling in Lofoten should miss this. The easiest way is to book an organized excursion or rent a car. One can also reach some of the surrounding fishing villages or beaches by public buses. However, this requires careful planning so that you can come back. There are timetables at https://www.reisnordland.com. If you don't like all of this, you can go for a walk or hike in the vicinity of the harbor.

Walks from the port of Gravdal-Leknes

According to Leknes: The place is about four kilometers away. There are a few shops, a small museum in the old school and the bus station.

According to Graval: The pretty town is about 3 kilometers away. The small stave church, which can also be seen from the sea, is worth seeing.

In the center of Leknes
Buksnes Kirke in Gravdal
Landscape near Leknes

On the Haugheia: A lookout point above the harbor, about three kilometers away. The path leads through meadows and fields, the ascent is moderate. Especially when the weather is nice you have a wonderful view over the country, the harbor and the fjord.

All routes are marked and signposted on the map of the area at the pier.

The Viking Museum in Borg (Lofotr Vikingmuseum)

In the 1980s a farmer discovered the remains of an old Viking settlement while plowing. In the period from 793 to 1066 AD, there were over 100 farms with 1800 residents. Foundations, glass and ceramic shards, drinking cups, gold and pearls were found. A longhouse, probably the building of a Viking chief, has been faithfully reconstructed. It has three aisles and is over 80 meters long. In the museum, craft techniques - such as spinning and weaving - or Viking-style cooking in old costumes are demonstrated. On the site there are also enclosures with horses, sheep and pigs, all old breeds of the time. The highlight of the museum is a Viking ship with which visitors can even set sail.

The Viking Museum of Borg

The Viking Museum of Borg

Entry: 200 NOK (high season)

Getting there: Bus line 741 from Leknes to Svolvær, stop: Borg, right in front of the museum; the journey takes 15 minutes

Picturesque fishing villages

No stay in Lofoten without visiting one of the typical fishing villages! These are easy to reach from Leknes.

Fishing boats in front of Reine


Located on the neighboring island of Flagstadøya and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1975. Nusfjord is one of the best preserved villages, open-air museum and classic photo opportunity in Lofoten. Most of the fishermen's houses and rorbuers, small fishermen's huts for winter fishing, were built around 1800. Very few people still live in Nusfjord, visitors have to pay admission.


One of the most beautiful villages in Lofoten. It lies on several small islands connected by bridges. Henningsvær is a fishing village with fishing trawlers and old fishing houses that are well worth seeing.


The place is not far from Leknes in the south of the island Vestvågøy. Fishing still plays a big role in Ballstad. The small harbor is well protected. Along the coast you can see many of the typical wooden racks on which the fish is dried.


Bus 766 from Leknes to Ballstad, travel time 30 minutes

Å i Lofoten

Å i Lofoten, Å for short, is located on the island of Moskenesøya in the southwest of Lofoten at the end of the E10. This picturesque village used to belong to one man. Today Å is a single museum and many buildings are protected monuments. In one of the old fishermen's houses is the stockfish museum, which tells of cod fishing, the processing of stockfish and global trade.

Bus 741 from Leknes to Å, journey time 90 minutes

The village of Reine

The village of Reine is surrounded by a mountain panorama like from a picture book. The view of the place from the lookout point "Reinehaben" is a popular photo opportunity. Tour buses on the way to Å make a photo stop on the E10.

View of Reine

Bus 741 from Leknes to Å, travel time to Reine 70 minutes


The fishing village of Hamnøy is tiny. It is located on the island of Hamnøya in the shelter of the 700 meter high Lilandstinden. There are very beautiful rorbus at the harbor. Today they are mainly rented to tourists. The bird cliff at Hamnøy is worth seeing. The E10 runs right through the breeding area of ​​the kittiwake, which is not at all bothered by it.

Houses in Hamnøy
Bus 741 from Leknes to Å, travel time to Reine 60 minutes

Beautiful beaches

Who expects dream beaches in Lofoten? Yet they do exist: deserted, miles long, with white sand in front of crystal clear, very cold water.

Ramberg on the neighboring island of Flagstadøya: long, white, fine sand

Bus 741 from Leknes to Å, travel time to Rambeg 35 minutes

Utakleiv: a bizarre scree and sand beach; and right next door

Haukland: a very long sandy bay with rounded rocks

both on Vestvågøy, only 10-12 kilometers from Leknes:

Shore excursions - by rental car or as an organized tour

Breathtaking landscapes await both on the way south and north: high mountain ranges, valleys with lush flora, lonely beaches and picturesque fishing villages. Photo stops at particularly beautiful viewpoints are included in organized tours.

 Popular Tours

Just before Leknes

Drive to the northeast and take a boat trip to Raftsund / Trollfjord

Panoramic trip to Svolvær on the neighboring island of Austvågøya. Svolvær is the largest town and the administrative center of Lofoten. The Hurtigruten and the car ferry from the mainland stop here. From Torget by the tourist office, excursion boats go to the Trollfjord, around 20 kilometers away, which can only be reached by water. The Trollfjord is one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway. The entrance is only 100 meters wide and the surrounding mountains are between 600 and 1100 meters high. The fjord is a habitat for eagles, seals and a number of bird species.

Panoramic drive through the Eastern Lofoten

This tour takes you past Leknes to the fishing village of Henningsvær. It is located on several small islands connected by bridges and is considered the most beautiful fishing village in Lofoten. We continue to Svolvær. Many artists have their studios here, and there is an ice gallery called Magic Ice Norway with ice sculptures that are well worth seeing. Then you drive to the top of Vågakallen and back over the lookout point at Hagskaret.

Magic Ice Norway, entry 195 NOK

Panoramic trip from Leknes to Å

On the E10 it goes southwest to Å. The route passes many beautiful villages such as Hamnøy and Reine. And on the beaches at Ramberg and Flakstad. Sights in Å are the stockfish museum and the characteristic fishermen's huts. On the way back you take a walk through Nusfjord, a picturesque museum and fishing village and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1975.

Lofoten landscape

For one day we lie in the port of Gravdal-Leknes on the Costa Pacifica cruise ship. You can find the report about our shore excursion at: Leknes / Lofoten on your own - our shore excursion.

Update July 2024

My Shore Excursions Leknes / Lofoten

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