Wildlife in Lofoten

There is a rich wildlife in Lofoten’s wild and beautiful nature. You may encounter animals such as elks, foxes and hares on the ground, while the white-tailed eagle soars with its enormous wingspan above you. If you are extremely lucky, you may spot whales too.

Which animals can you encounter in Lofoten?

Numerous animal species live in the Lofoten archipelago. You can encounter elks, foxes and stoats in the forest and mountains, while there is a hare population on the islands of Flakstadøya and Moskenesøya. You can spot seals and otters along the coastal zone throughout the archipelago.

Rich birdlife

A vast number of bird species can be observed in Lofoten, including both migratory and wintering birds. In marshland and wetland areas, you can observe herons, swans, ducks and wading birds.

Røst in the far south of the archipelago is a favourite among birdwatchers. Several rare species stop on the island of Røstlandet during their annual migrations. More than 300 bird species have been registered on this island, including the pied wheatear, Pechora pipit and turtle dove.

Røst is also renowned for the seabird colony that nests on the steep bird cliffs at the Røstøyan Landscape Protected Area. Species such as the black-legged kittiwake, razorbill, guillemot, cormorant and puffin nest here. In recent years, the seabird colony has been reduced drastically and the puffin is now classified as highly endangered.

White-tailed eagle safari

Lofoten has a large population of white-tailed eagles. These mighty birds can be observed throughout the archipelago and, with a two-metre wingspan, are an impressive sight. Several activity providers arrange white-tailed eagle safaris. A boat trip in the Lofoten archipelago offers excellent opportunities for an encounter with this majestic predator.

Nature safari

If you want a close-up experience with the wildlife in Lofoten, we recommend going on a guided nature safari. If you book a wildlife photo tour, the chances are high that you will see elk, foxes and various bird species. This is a wonderful option for nature photography enthusiasts. The guide knows where the animals tend to be and makes every effort so you the greatest chance of observing the animals and taking photos without disturbing them.

Whale watching safari

Many people dream of seeing whales. Encountering these large marine mammals is an experience that is completely unique. For several decades, the Vestfjord was one of the largest feeding grounds for orcas (aka killer whales) during the winter. Orcas and humpback whales mostly feed on herring. However, the herring has migrated north in recent years, and there are now few whales to be seen in Lofoten. If you are extremely lucky, the occasional minke whale, orca or porpoise may still appear in the waters around Lofoten. Whale watching safaris are no longer arranged from Lofoten.

If you want to see whales, we recommend visiting the neighbouring archipelago Vesterålen. Or you can book a safari with one of our partners in the Tromsø area. It’s possible to go on whale watching safaris here year-round and you will have a chance of seeing sperm whales, humpback whales, orcas, minke whales and pilot whales. 

Be considerate

As many want to experience Lofoten, it’s important to remember that the sea, uncultivated areas, mountains and coastal zone are already inhabited – by animals and birds. When enjoying Lofoten’s fascinating wildlife, be considerate by giving the animals the priority they deserve and desperately need. As humans, we have a duty to give way – and the animals have the right of way!

  • Don’t scare animals or birds. If you encounter animals, stay calm and let the animal pass or continue uninterrupted. Sit still and observe from a distance.
  • Show special consideration during the breeding season (May – July).
  • Observe the requirement to keep dogs on a leash restraint.
  • Feeding wild animals is prohibited.
  • Remove your rubbish and don’t leave traces in nature. 
Fishing and accommodation at Ballstad

Frequently Asked Questions