Norway is the country that will never cease to amaze me with its fantastic scenery and landscapes that seem quite literally from out of this world. My jaw dropped looking down through the plane’s window, this was before I even stepped onto Norwegian soil. Lofoten Islands managed to surprise me in a way that I didn’t think it was possible. If I think of paradise, I imagine Lofoten Islands! and I can’t imagine a better way to explore this corner of bliss than in a driving holiday with a 2 berth caravan.
Why drive a 2 berth caravan to Norway?
There are quite a few advantages of exploring the Lofoten Islands with a 2 berth caravan, and the most obvious one is the freedom driving gives you. With a campervan you have so much more freedom than with a car because you can decide where to stop for the night and you don’t feel rushed of finding a hotel or driving extra miles in the dark, when you don’t reach your destination in time.
A campervan is also a very affordable way of traveling around Norway on a budget. If you have never been to Scandinavia before, then you should know that Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the peninsula. During my three trips to Norway, I did not find anywhere a hotel cheaper than £100 a night. Imagine how much more you could travel with £100 if you wouldn’t have to spend it on accommodation.
Restaurant meals cost a lot in Norway as well. A two-course meal with a glass of wine for two can easily reach £100 as well. So, imagine how convenient and so much cheaper it is to buy your groceries at the supermarket and cook in your own compact caravan’s kitchen, or have outdoor barbeques each night with the freshest fish from the sea? By the way, in Norway, fishing is allowed without a permit, providing you are fishing for your own consumption.
Another advantage of going on a Norway driving holiday with a 2 berth caravan is that you can bring your favourite outdoors activities with you. Love mountain biking? Put your beloved bike on the caravan’s rack and bring it along. Enjoy kayaking? There’s a space for your kayak on top of the 2-berth caravan as well.
Last, but not least, going on a campervan holiday is a great way to disconnect from your daily life, from the worries and all the problems that are causing you stress, and just enjoy some quality time in nature. Plus, you can bring your four-legged best friend on the trip as well, there is enough space for your dog in the 2 berth caravan. Our pets make us happy, so why not take them with us when we go on such a holiday? PS, very proud cat mom over here! 😊
Which is the best caravan to explore the Lofoten Islands with
It is important to know what towing capacity your towing vehicle has and go from there when choosing a caravan to go on a Norway driving holiday with. In general, a caravan towed by a car can be up to 7 meters long and this is why probably the best option for your trip is going to be a 2 berth caravan.
A small caravan will cost you less when using the ferry crossing and also will be easier to drive on narrower roads. For a single person or a couple, a 2 berth caravan is the perfect choice for a driving trip to Norway, to the Lofoten Islands. Besides being easier to tow, a compact caravan will also consume less fuel than a big one. By adding an awning to your compact 2 berth caravan you can gain extra space which can be used for drying your laundry when the weather is unpredictable (expect this in the North of Norway) or where to enjoy a cup of tea stargazing in the evening, protected from the wind for example.
How to get to Lofoten Islands by caravan
Getting to Lofoten Islands by caravan from mainland Norway is quite straight forward. Depending if you are driving from Norway or from Sweden, you can either access the islands by ferry or by road.
There is a daily ferry that runs between Bodo, on mainland Norway, to Moskenes, the South of Lofoten Islands, with the trip lasting for about 4 hours. The crossing costs 1792 NOK (approx. £158) for a 2 berth caravan that is up to 7 meters long. You can check the summer and winter ferry schedule by clicking here.
If you are driving from Sweden, the E10 road connects Lulea to A i Lofoten through the North of the islands. If you choose to drive from this side, you should know that you will avoid the ferry, as the islands are connected through bridges all the way to the South.
Where to camp in Lofoten Islands
Norway is a paradise for wild camping, with relaxed laws regarding where you can and can’t stop over for the night.
You need to remember that in Norway there is a rule called “Allemansretten” which means “Every man’s right”. This translates by allowing and promoting free enjoyment of the nature, on uncultivated lands in Norway. You can walk, hike or camp everywhere, as long as you are at least 150 meters from any inhabited house and cabin. This rule applies to caravans as well.
Lofoten Islands has some outstanding beautiful remote beaches, near to which you can park your 2 berth caravan and enjoy the night out in nature, with only the sound of the wind and the waves crashing into the shore penetrating through the silence.
Remember that campfires near forests are prohibited from the 15th of April until the 15th of September. If you want to have a barbeque or roast marshmallows under the moonlight, better find an approved place for a campfire, as in Norway you are legally responsible for ensuring its safety.
Remember to leave the wild camping spot exactly the same as you found it. Pick up your rubbish and don’t leave anything behind.
If you want to park overnight at an organised camping area, with facilities such as showers and washing machines, check out Ramberg Gjestegard in the village of Ramberg, Kabelvag Feriehus and Camping in the village of Kabelvag, or Hammerstadsgate Camping in the village of Svolvær.
Best things to do in Lofoten Islands
One ot the best things to do in Lofoten Islands is to go hiking. The nature here is simply stunning and during my extensive past 10 years of travels through the world, I have never seen a similar landscape. The islands are just fjords and mountains, at the edges of which lay tiny villages with red houses built on stilts, above the water.
In Lofoten Islands there are trails for every type of hiker: flat for beginners, a bit more challenging for advanced, and rocky for experienced climbers. If you are not confident in your hiking skills you can always book a guided hiking tour, with a local.
For an adrenaline experience, if you love rocks climbing, you must attempt climbing Svolvaergeita, a 150 meters high pinnacle on the island of Austvagoya. The name of the rock translates as “The Goat”, and, if you are courageous, you can jump between the two “horns” on the top. Whilst you can do this experience if you have a bit of rock-climbing experience, this is not a climb for people who suffer from fear of heights or motion sickness.
If you do love climbing and would like to attempt conquering “The Goat”, choose a professional guide to take you there, such as the Northern Alpine Guides based in the nearby village of Kabelvåg.
Practice your surfing
I bet you did not think that you could surf in the Lofoten Islands. It is Norway after all! However, in the North of the islands, there is Unstad Bay, a unique spot with waves for both beginners and advanced surfers.
At Unstad Arctic Surf you can book surf holiday packages which include accommodation, breakfast, equipment and the use of sauna, or surf coaching sessions which include surfboards and wet suits, as well as towels and access to the sauna.
The water temperature in the Lofoten Islands is constant year-round, between 8 and 14 degrees Celsius.
Explore the villages
It is hard to choose which was my favourite village from the Lofoten Islands because they are all so beautiful and set inside what looks like scenery painted on a canvas by a very skilled artist. A i Lofoten was the first village I visited and has a special place in my heart. I was the only tourist in the village and the locals treated me so nicely. I will always remember the amazing walks I did around the harbour, on the cliffs and along the nearby fjord.
Reine is another stunning village surrounded by high mountains, with red and white fishermen huts stippled along the bay.
Nusfjord is a must see, as a former fishing village which keeps its authentic atmosphere, even if most of the buildings have been now transformed into rorbu cabins as lodging for tourists.
If you want to learn more about the fishing villages, discover remote beaches and explore the arctic landscape, you might want to join a local guided tour of the Lofoten Islands. The advantage of going to Lofoten Islands by caravan is that you can see all of these villages in your own time, without being rushed.
Naming itself “The World’s Coolest Golf Course”, Lofoten Links surely is one of a kind for the sport’s lovers, and that is because of its privileged location. The golf course is surrounded by steep mountains, white sand beaches and picturesque scenery.
The golf course is only opened during the summer months, and currently the 2019 season is between the 1st of May and the 13 of October. It is however weather depending.
Experience the Midnight Sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter
Lofoten Islands are an amazing place to observe both the Midnight Sun in summer, and the Northern Lights in winter. I was very fortunate to be in the Lofoten Islands in the middle of July, when the sun did not set. Walking along the fjord in A i Lofoten, where I based myself, at 2AM in the morning, was magical. There was no other soul around and it felt like the entire nature was putting on a show just for me. The sun went down, reaching the horizon line, only to raise back up again. You can enjoy the same experience by either walking by yourself or taking a night tour to experience the midnight sun. There are also kayaking trips that depart at night, during the midnight sun.
I haven’t seen the Northern Lights from the Earth yet (only from the plane), but I know that the climate in the Lofoten Islands make it a prime destination for a less cold Aurora Borealis experience. Because of the warm currents, the average temperature during the months of January and February in Lofoten Islands doesn’t drop below -2 degrees.
Enjoy cinnamon rolls from the bakery in A i Lofoten
I could not have finished this article and not mention the bakery from A i Lofoten, which woke me up every morning with aromas of freshly baked bread and pastries, dragging me off the bed with invisible hands.
Plus, an old university colleague of mine moved to Lofoten Islands and is working at the same bakery! Say “hello” to Anca for me, should you pass by! 😊
Disclaimer: This post has been written in collaboration with Bailey.
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