8 Best Things To Do In Svolvær Cruise Port, Norway & Port Guide

Svolvaer cruise port panorama

Nestled in the heart of the Lofoten archipelago, on the island of Austvågøya in northern Norway, Svolvær is a popular stop for cruise ships exploring the Arctic Circle. The town has a population of around 5,000 inhabitants and is known for its stunning natural beauty and rich history that dates back to the Viking era.

Svolvær has long been a hub for fishing and trade and while there, you can enjoy the town’s picturesque harbour which overlooks the Vestfjord. Only a 1-hour from there is Leknes, Lofoten Islands’ second port often visited by cruise ships.

In this Svolvær cruise port guide, you can read about the Svolvær cruise terminal, getting around the town, and the 8 best things to do in this beautiful port.

Visit also our cruise port guides to Tromso, Bergen, Oslo, Trondheim, Eidfjord, Honningsvag, Stavanger, Geirangerfjord, Flam, Kristiansand

Svolvær cruise port

Small Hurtigruten ships up to 200 m in length can dock in scenic Svolvær Harbour, within walking distance from the town center and its main attractions. Large cruise vessels usually anchor in the fjord and use tender boats to transfer the passengers ashore.

Facilities at the cruise port include restrooms and seating areas for passengers. Nearby, you’ll also find a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants where you can try local cuisine or pick up souvenirs to remember your visit. Alti Svolvær shopping mall is located only a 7-minute walk from the pier.

Svolvær tourist information center is available on the pier, providing information on car/bike rentals and fishing gear. Taxis can also be found within easy walking distance, but keep in mind they are expensive.

The town’s major attractions, including the Lofoten War Memorial Museum and Magic Ice Lofoten, are all located within a short walk from the terminal.

8 Best Things to Do in Svolvær Cruise Port

This picturesque town offers something for everyone, from exploring historical museums and hiking to iconic rock formations, to embarking on wildlife safaris and enjoying local cuisine. Here’s the list of the best things to do in Svolvær!

1. Lofoten War Memorial Museum

Located in the town center, the Lofoten War Memorial Museum offers a fascinating insight into the region’s history during World War II. This large museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and personal stories that vividly depict the impact of the war on the local population.

You can explore exhibits showcasing uniforms, weapons, and everyday items used by soldiers and civilians alike. The museum is particularly popular due to its comprehensive and personal approach to history, providing a unique perspective on the wartime experiences of the Lofoten Islands.

2. Magic Ice Lofoten

At the end of the pier, less than a 5-minute walk from the terminal, the Magic Ice is an indoor gallery that features an array of stunning ice sculptures illuminated by colorful lights, creating a magical and surreal atmosphere.

Themed rooms inside the gallery showcase intricate ice carvings of historical figures, mythical creatures, and local scenes. The experience is enhanced by ambient music and the option to enjoy a drink in the ice bar, where even the glasses are made of ice.

The gallery is quite small and slightly overpriced (300 NOK, which is around 25€/$30 (prices from 2024) however the experience is unique. Make sure to wear warm clothes.

3. Gallery Dagfinn Bakke

Only 300 m away from the pier, the Gallery Dagfinn Bakke is a tribute to the work of renowned Norwegian artist Dagfinn Bakke (1933-2019), one of the region’s most distinguished visual artists.

This art gallery showcases an extensive collection of his watercolor paintings, lithographs, and illustrations, many of which capture the breathtaking landscapes and everyday life of the Lofoten Islands.

Visitors can admire Bakke’s mastery in depicting the natural beauty of the region, from Northern Lights and dramatic seascapes to serene village scenes. Inside the gallery, you will have an opportunity to purchase original artwork and prints. Admission to the gallery is free.

4. Svolværgeita Rock Formation

Svolværgeita, also known as the Svolvær Goat, is an iconic rock formation overlooking the town of Svolvaer, located within 2 km (a 30-minute walk) northeast of the port.

Standing 150 meters high, this dramatic twin-peaked pinnacle resembles a goat’s horns and is a favorite among climbers and adventurers. The attraction is popular not only for its unique shape but also for the thrilling climbing experience it provides, including the famous “jump” between the horns.

Once you reach the top, you can admire the breathtaking views of the surrounding fjords and mountains.

Svolværgeita can be accessed via a short drive or a 30-minute hike from the town center. Guided climbing tours are available for both beginners and experienced climbers.

Svolvaer - Svolværgeita
Svolværgeita. Source: Canva Pro

5. Trollfjord Cruise

Trollfjord is a stunningly narrow fjord located near Svolvaer, renowned for its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters. This natural wonder, only 2 km long and 100 meters wide at its narrowest point, offers breathtaking scenery that attracts visitors from around the world.

Trollfjord is particularly popular for its majestic beauty and the opportunity to spot local wildlife, including eagles and seals.

Cruises to Trollfjord from Svolvaer cruise port are a popular way to experience this marvel up close. These cruises typically last around 3-4 hours and provide informative commentary about the fjord’s history and geology. The cruises sell out quickly in high season, so make sure to book the tickets in advance.

Explore Trollfjord tours and activities

Svolvaer - Trollfjord cruise
Trollfjord cruise. Source: Pixabay.com

6. Hike to Tjeldbergtind

Tjeldbergtind is a popular hiking destination located around 3 km from Svolvaer, offering spectacular views of the Lofoten Islands. Standing at 367 meters, this moderate hike provides a rewarding panorama of the surrounding fjords, mountains, and the town of Svolvaer.

Tjeldbergtind is particularly popular for its accessibility and the stunning vistas it offers. The trailhead is located a short drive from Svolvaer cruise port, and the hike takes approximately 2-3 hours round trip.

To reach Tjeldbergtind, the best option is to take a 10-minute taxi or shuttle ride from the cruise port to the trailhead. The hike is well-marked, but sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing are recommended due to variable weather conditions.

Check out Tjeldbergtind hiking tours

7. Lofoten Islands Tour

The Lofoten Islands are known for their dramatic mountains, deep fjords, and picturesque villages. On a half-day or full-day tour, visitors can explore charming fishing villages like Kabelvåg, with its rich history and Lofoten Museum, and Henningsvær, famous for its vibrant arts scene and scenic harbor.

The tours also often include visits to the pristine beaches of Haukland and Utakleiv, known for their white sand and turquoise waters. These natural attractions, coupled with the rugged beauty of the islands, make for a perfect day of exploration.

Lofoten Island tours typically depart from Svolvaer cruise port, with options for guided excursions by bus or boat. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during the peak summer season.

Explore Lofoten Islands tours and activities

8. Indulge in Fresh Seafood

If you love exploring local cuisines and indulging in fresh, delicious dishes, then you’re in for a real treat here in Svolvaer, as the town is a paradise for seafood lovers!

Must-try specialties include stockfish, a traditional dried cod that has been a staple of the region for centuries, and freshly caught Arctic char and halibut, often served grilled or smoked.

Svolvaer is also famous for its delicious fish soup, made with a creamy broth and generous portions of seafood. And for a unique taste experience, try the “Lofoten caviar,” made from cod roe.

Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy these delicacies at waterfront eateries, where you can savor the flavors of the sea with stunning views of the harbor.


Visit also our cruise port guides to Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Akureyri, Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, Copenhagen, Invergordon (Inverness), Glasgow (Greenock), Tallinn, Stockholm

You may also like our cruise port guides to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Western Europe, Baltic & Scandinavia, USA & Canada, Australia & New Zealand

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