If You Have 1 Day -- Arrive at the main port city of Svolvær, which will be your gateway to the Lofotens. We suggest you use this as a refueling stop and an arrival and exit port because of its superior transportation links.

Instead of spending the night here, you can head immediately to the south to the more attractive port of Kabelvåg for an overnight stopover. However, while still in Svolvær, you might want to take one of the most dramatic boat trips in the Lofotens to the famous Trollfjord.

If You Have 2 Days -- Based in the little port of Kabelvåg, you can pay morning visits to the Lofoten Museum, which will give you a useful insight into the people of the islands. You might also visit the Lofoten Aquarium. For some Lofoten thrills, try to sign up for an adventure trip for the afternoon.

If You Have 3 Days -- Head south to Henningsvaer, the largest and liveliest of the Lofoten fishing villages. You will find good hotels and restaurants here if you want to spend the night. We suggest a morning visit to the Lofoten Hus Gallery to see the largest and best collection of north Norway art. An even more exciting idea is to take one of the mountain tours or Sea Eagle Safaris offered in the area. The Sea Eagle jaunt will take only an hour, allowing you time to do some mountain climbing even if it's getting late. If you arrive in midsummer, the sun never sets.

If You Have 4 Days -- Continue south to explore Vestvågøy, the second-largest island. You can visit the hamlet of Borg, where the biggest Viking Age chieftain's homestead in Scandinavia has been excavated. A full-scale replica of the chieftain's house has been reconstructed. Stramsund, with its 1,500 inhabitants, makes a good base here, as it is one of the largest fishing villages in West Lofoten.

A mountainous region lies both north and south of Stamsund. You can spend most of the afternoon walking and exploring at random, perhaps climbing one of the steep mountains.

If You Have 5 Days -- Another day can be spent on the island of Flakstadøy visiting fishing hamlets such as Ramberg, which lies next to a lovely white beach facing the Arctic Ocean. Drop in at the Flakstad Kirke, built in 1780 of wood. In 1 day you can visit our favorite island fishing ports, including Sund, with its fishing museum, Fiskerimuseum, and also Nusfjord, which is justifiably the most famous of the little ports because of its agglomeration of fishermen's huts. These are used by fishermen in the winter and visitors in the summer.

If You Have 6 Days -- While still based at Flakstadøy, perhaps in the village of Ramberg, you can explore the island to its immediate south: Moskenesøy. For a true adventure and a chance to capture the spirit of the Lofoten Islands -- and its people -- we consider this the most evocative island. Sculptured by glaciers, the landscape is far more savage than what we'd visited so far.

The most dramatic experience you can enjoy here is a 5-hour tour over often-turbulent waters to the Moskestraumen, the treacherous strait separating Moskenesøy from the offshore island of Vaerøy to the south. These are called "the world's most dangerous waters" and could be the highlight of a trip to the Lofotens. They even inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write a nautical tale. Marine mammals and thousands of seabirds can be seen here.

We'd vote Reine as one of the most charming and typical of the Lofoten villages. You can even spend the night here, if you wish, in a rented fisherman's hut. What we recommend is to explore the Moskestraumen one day, then go on a Midnight Sun cruise the following day.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.