Lofoten Islands in September

Are you considering visiting Lofoten in September and wondering what to expect regarding weather, temperatures, prices, crowds, activities, etc.? This article will answer all your questions! So let’s dive into it – and we’ll go over everything you need to know for planning an unforgettable trip to the Lofoten Islands in September.

Why should you visit Lofoten in September?

September is, in our opinion, one of the best months to visit the Lofoten Islands. Here are a few reasons why: 

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Lofoten’s autumn colors are beautiful, and the weather is still not too cold. 

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September is already off-season, so crowds begin to dwindle, and prices drop.

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Lastly, the days become dark enough for the magical Northern Lights to appear.

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The hiking path to Kvalvika Beach
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Northern lights (or Aurora Borealis)

When is fall in the Lofoten Islands?

Due to its location in the northern hemisphere, the Lofoten Islands have four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. However, the seasons do not necessarily correspond to what you might be used to from other places in the northern hemisphere. 

 The usual monthly breakdown for the northern hemisphere:

  • Spring: March, April, May
  • Summer: June, July, August
  • Fall: September, October, November
  • Winter: December, January, February

In Lofoten, the seasons would be more like this: 

  • Transitional spring period: April, May 
  • Spring: End of May & June
  • Summer: July & August
  • Fall: September
  • Autumn storms period: September, October, November, December
  • Winter: December, January, February, March
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The hiking path to Stornappstinden
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The hiking path to Stornappstinden

AUTUMN COLORS IN SEPTEMBER

The colorful autumn in Lofoten is short. The bright yellow, orange, and red fall colors start to show in the first half of September, and they usually last until the first autumn storm that blows the leaves off the trees. 

But even after the leaves are gone, the small bushes and plants will still keep the beautiful colors for a bit longer, so the landscape is very photogenic, especially when the sun shines and enhance the colors. So if you are autumn lovers like us, you will love visiting Lofoten in September!

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Beautiful mountain peaks surrounding the Reinefjorden
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Autumn landscape around Leknes

Weather in Lofoten in September

The weather in September is usually still quite warm. However, there is a chance of snowfall in higher altitudes towards the end of the month. The average temperatures in September range from 6 and 11 degrees Celsius, and the maximum temperature rarely exceeds 15 degrees. 

 

 

Of course, you might get rain and storms in September, but you should always be ready for rainy and windy weather in Lofoten, no matter the time of the year. Be prepared for anything. 

 

And even though the weather in September can sometimes be frustrating, the storms often bring dramatic, changeable light throughout the days, making it a perfect setting for landscape photography. 

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Misty mountain peaks of western Lofoten
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Misty mountain peaks of western Lofoten

Daylight hours in September

After about seven weeks, when the sun does not set below the horizon, the midnight sun period ends around July 17, and by September, the dark nights return to Lofoten. However, the days are still bright and long, so you’ll witness fantastic sunsets with hues of pink and purple as well as beautiful sunrises without the effort of having to get up extra early or stay up late. 

 

In mid-September, you have about 13 daylight hours, compared to 5 in mid-November. However, the days get shorter as the month goes on. 

 

For example, on September 1, the sunrise is at 5:30 AM, and the sunset is at 8:38 PM. But in late September, the sunrise is past 7:15 AM, and the sunset is at 6:30 PM, so the number of daylight hours goes down from 15 hours to 11.5 hours. 

 

With the nights getting longer and the sky getting darker, the northern lights watching season officially starts in September, which brings us to the next point. 

You can watch the northern lights in Lofoten from the end of August until the beginning of April. 

Watching the Northern Lights

If you’re dying to see the Northern Lights but want to avoid the cold, September is the best time of year to visit Lofoten. Of course, you might get a glimpse of the first northern lights of the season already in late August, but most activity providers start their northern lights chasing tours in mid-September. 

 

In September, the mountains are not covered by snow just yet, so you can pitch a tent on a mountain peak and watch and photograph the northern lights from places that are inaccessible in winter. 

 

Tip: If you want to know the most likely times to see the Northern Lights, download the Northern Light Aurora Forecast (iOS/Android) app to monitor the likelihood of the lights appearing

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During the equinox there is generally periods of high geomagnetic electrical disturbance which increase the chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
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The fall equinox arrives around September 23.

The Prices & Crowds

Lofoten has become hugely popular in recent years, with the busiest times being late June, July, and early August. 

 

During the high season, you’ll need to book accommodation far in advance, prices of lodging and car rentals go through the roof, and some famous attractions and trails, like Reinebringen or Kvalvika, will be crowded. It is also recommended to book a place on the ferry between Bodø and the Lofoten Islands in advance since it has a limited capacity and there are often cars that do have to wait for the next connection. 

 

September marks the end of the high season in Lofoten. So, if your family is one with a bit more flexibility, give Lofoten a chance and visit in September! Traveling outside of the high season in Lofoten means being able to book things like accommodation at a reduced rate and often last-minute.

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Autumn landscape around Torsfjorden
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A view of the old ski centrum close to Napp

ALL ABOUT LOFOTEN IN ONE PLACE

The interactive map of Lofoten is a set of more than 200 points of interest in the Lofoten islands entered into the Google Maps app. 

All POI are marked with icons and divided into layers according to categories: hiking trails, churches, and museums, recommended accommodation and campsites, practical information, activities, etc.

In addition, all places include a short description and links to official sources of information.

OPENING TIMES

Be aware that some activity providers, hotels, and restaurants might close for the season. For example, the famous Hansines Bakery in Nusfjord or the Stockfish museum in Å usually closes at the end of August. 

Therefore, research where you know you would like to go and what you would like to do so you will not be disappointed. Also, beware that the ferries in the Lofoten area switch to a winter schedule around September 5 and the ferry between Svolvær and Skutvik stops at the end of August. 

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Famous yellow cabins (rorbuer) on the Sakrisøy Island
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Majestic Reinefjorden

What to do in Lofoten in September

Most summer activities are available until mid-September or the end of September. For example, you can go kayaking in Reinefjorden with Reine Paddling until the end of September; Brim runs their silent Trollfjord cruise from Svolvær until the end of September, and the Norwegian Travel Company takes you on Sightseeing Cruises in Reinefjorden until the mid-September.

 

In addition, several activity providers operate the whole year round, so you can go horseback riding at Hov gård or try your luck at fishing in Svolvær. 

 

Lofoten also has numerous hiking possibilities, and September is an excellent month for hiking. In September, the hiking trails are still free of snow, and it is perhaps the last month that is not too cold and windy for camping when it comes to average tourists. 

 

Tip: Check out our interactive map if you want inspiration for planning autumn hikes in Lofoten. 

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Autumn walk in the surroundings of Sørvågen
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The view of Offersøykammen photographed from Stornappstinden

Would you consider visiting Lofoten in September? Have we covered everything you want to know about the weather, temperatures, activities, or daylight hours in September? Or perhaps you visited Lofoten in September, and would you want to share your experience with the other travelers and us? Let us know in the comments below!

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