Experiencing The Lofoten Islands in a Wheelchair 

We are excited to share the inspiring story of Pierre and Myriam and their wheelchair journey through the Lofoten Islands. You can explore their adventure on Instagram, watch their videos, and see if their experience could inspire your next trip to the Lofoten Islands.

*Image cred: Alex Conu (h-banner)

Background: Destination Lofoten AS is currently collaborating with the Nordland Research Institute on the Accesstour project, aiming to make the breathtaking nature of the Lofoten Islands more accessible for people with disabilities. Although this initiative is in its early stages, we are committed to ongoing learning and improvement.

We are dedicated to advancing accessible tourism in Lofoten and are working with various partners to achieve this goal. The ACCESSTOUR project, led by senior researcher Karin Marie Antonsen at the Nordland Research Institute, focuses on developing accessible nature-based tourism through innovation, inclusion, and stakeholder involvement, using Norway as a case study. Together with her colleagues Merete Kvamme Fabritius, Trond Bliksvær, and numerous project partners, including Destination Lofoten, ACCESSTOUR aims to enhance our understanding of how accessible rural destinations can create value for visitors and residents with diverse functional abilities.

Let’s get involved; let’s learn and listen to how we can adapt to access requirements.

One major reason people with disabilities often choose urban destinations over rural ones is the lack of information and accessible infrastructure. At Destination Lofoten, we are determined to change this. Our goal is to make Lofoten much more accessible, allowing more travelers to experience the natural beauty of Norway and the Lofoten Islands.

Is Lofoten Islands Wheelchair Accessible in Winter?

In March 2024, Pierre, who uses a wheelchair, and his partner Myriam, a world-traveling couple from Paris, embarked on an adventure to explore the Lofoten Islands. They thrived during their visit, demonstrating that it is indeed possible to explore Lofoten in a wheelchair, even in winter.

Pierre and Myriam share their experience:

“After a ten-day road trip from Lofoten to Tromsø through the Vesterålen Islands, we can confidently say it is! We enjoyed a wide range of outdoor and indoor activities with very few issues.

While snow and icy roads can be challenging for wheelchair users, we found that the infrastructure, including ramps, elevators, automatic doors, and accessible restrooms, provided much-needed support throughout our daily adventures.

We recommend bringing robust equipment, such as all-terrain tires and a front wheel, to help navigate the breathtaking landscapes.”

3-Day Wheelchair-Friendly Itinerary of Lofoten Islands by Pierre: Wheeled_Word (IG)

  • Day 1: Cross the bridges to Henningsvær and explore the wild side of Unstad beach, a surfers’ paradise.
  • Day 2: Discover the fishing villages of Ballstad, Å, and Reine. Make a stop at Skagsanden beach.
  • Day 3: Enjoy the drive to Nusfjord and watch the glassblower at work in Vikten on the way from Reine.

“Our overall feedback on accessibility is great. We were able to do a lot and absolutely loved it! We plan to return and see the islands at a different time of year.”


More notes from Pierre: “In general, accessibility is good. However, some places in Lofoten need to consider the space required for wheelchair users to maneuver in and out of rooms and beds. While I have good upper body strength and managed, those without full upper-body capacity might face challenges.

A shower chair is essential. Thon Hotel Svolvær excelled in providing a shower chair. If there are no handlebars in the shower, a chair makes it easier to transfer back to the wheelchair.

Safety is another important aspect. Knowing that there is a 24-hour receptionist who can assist if needed provides great peace of mind.

Our personal favorite accommodation in the Lofoten Islands was Thon Hotel Svolvær. With great accessibility and a tasty breakfast, it was a perfect base to explore the islands in a wheelchair.”

Explore the Scenic Route of Lofoten Islands in a Wheelchair

The Norwegian Scenic Routes in Lofoten offer many wheelchair-accessible locations, but accessibility can vary. Many viewpoints, rest areas, and facilities are designed to accommodate visitors with limited mobility. However, it’s important to check accessibility information for each location, as features can differ. Some attractions and activities may require additional assistance or adaptations for wheelchair users.

For more information, refer to the Norwegian Scenic Route Lofoten for details on wheelchair-accessible or partially accessible rest areas and viewpoints.