Mannen Hike in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

A beautiful view of Haukland Beach on the Mannen hike
A beautiful view of Haukland Beach on the Mannen hike

John and I hadn’t planned to do the Mannen hike in Norway’s Lofoten Islands. We had started off on Haukland Beach on the west coast of the Lofoten Islands with the intention of doing a loop hike along the coast that included Uttakliev Beach and an old cart road over the mountain that linked the two communities.

On the trail/old cart road over the low point on the mountain you pass a couple of turnoffs to other trails. One takes you to Himmeltinden (the highest mountain on the island of Vestvågøy in the Lofotens with a NATO radar on the summit that has monitored Norwegian airspace since the 1980’s) and the other to Mannen.

When we got to the turnoff to Mannen Peak,we looked at each other and said – “We’re here, so we might as well do it and it doesn’t look very far away.

However, most people do the Mannen hike as an out and back from Haukland Beach. But if you’ve got about 4 hours, I highly recommend the more circuitous route via Uttakliev Beach and over the pass to reach the trail. That route will be closer to 10 km in total.

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Lots of airy perches along the trail to Mannen
Lots of airy perches along the trail to Mannen

Mannen Hike Summary

Distance: 3.5 km round trip as an out and back.

Elevation gain: 400 m (1,312 feet) up Mannen Peak.

Level of difficulty: Moderate but with some exposure.

Time needed: 2 – 3 hours.

Family-friendly: Not good for young kids. Older children (+8 years) who don’t mind heights should be fine.

Parking: Haukland Beach at the parking lot. Vik Beach and a 20-minute walk would be another option.

Dogs: Allowed, but must be on a leash between April 1 – October 1 because of animals grazing in the area.

Don’t forget: Pack water, energy bars, extra clothing in case it’s windy at the top, and rain gear. Throw a bathing suit in your car for a quick dip after the hike.

I like puny beside the mountains on the Mannen hike
I like puny beside the mountains on the Mannen hike

Best time to hike Mannen

Ideally you want to hike Mannen between May and September when the weather is best. If it’s been raining hard, you may find the trail to be slippery, so take extra precautions under that scenario.

In summer in the Lofoten Islands, Mother Nature is capable of throwing curve balls related to weather. It can rain for a week at a time. The Mannen hike with its glorious views is best when the visibility is high.

In winter, once there is snow and ice around, a hike up Mannen is discouraged – especially considering how narrow it the trail is in places and the number of drop-offs. 

Beautiful scenery around Solstadvatnet - the lake you see on the Mannen hike
Beautiful scenery around Solstadvatnet – the lake you see on the Mannen hike

How to get to the trailhead at Haukland Beach

By car

Haukland Beach is located on the island of Vestvågøy which is easy to access if you have a car. It’s just 15 minutes from Leknes, the second largest town in the Lofoten Islands.

We had done the Offersøykammen hike in the morning, just 13 minutes by car away.  I’d recommend doing both in a day. It was a pretty drive to Haukland Beach with part of it along the coast and past Vik Beach.

If you need a rental car for your trip in the Lofotens check out Discover Cars. You can rent one in Leknes.

 

By public transport

According to the Guide to Lofoten website, you can take bus line 765 that leaves from Leknes with stops at both Haukland and Uttakliev Beaches – but only between June 21 – August 22.

The bus leaves twice daily from Leknes on a Monday to Saturday basis at 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM. It returns from Uttakleiv Beach at 10:05 AM and 14:05 PM – so you’ll need to plan your Mannen hike accordingly. Maybe a fellow hiker will be kind enough to drive you back to Leknes.

Uttakliev Beach
Uttakliev Beach

Location map of Huakland Beach and Mannen

                                                     

Mannen hike description

The Mannen hike starts right from the parking lot at Haukland Beach – named by Lonely Planet in 2023 as the best beach in Europe. The parking lot isn’t large, so get there early if its the middle of the summer. There are toilets you must pay for and a café in a shipping crate – though it was closed by late August. Reportedly a new Visitor’s Centre is in the works for late 2024.

If you can drag yourself away from the beautiful white sand beach, head for the access road and look for the narrow-paved road. Hike up it for about 10 minutes to reach a trail heading left up the mountain. There are several trails to choose from, so go with the one that’s most used. Switchback up the hill to reach the intersection with two trails – the one that goes up Mannen and the one that continues to Uttakliev Beach. 

Starting out on the steeper part of the Mannen hike
Starting out on the steeper part of the Mannen hike

The climbing starts in earnest. Zig zag up the mountain on a narrow, sometimes muddy trail. Occasionally there are rocks to scramble up, but it’s all straightforward hiking. There are a few lookouts along the way, so be sure to check them out.

Looking down to Uttakliev Beach
Looking down to Uttakliev Beach

Much of the route to the top is via an airy, narrow-in-places ridge. There are some good perches along the way where you get impressive views of Haukland Beach. Be very careful if its raining or its just rained as some of the upper trail could get very slippery.

You can see that the trail isn't scary narrow on the way up Mannen Peak
You can see that the trail isn’t scary narrow on the way up Mannen Peak

From the smallish summit of Mannen Peak, the views are epic. Not only can you see Haukland Beach and numerous outer Lofoten Islands but Veggen – an in-your-face mountain you can also climb.

The final hike to the summit of Mannen
The final hike to the summit of Mannen
John at the top of Mannen Peak with Haukland Beach in the background
John at the top of Mannen Peak with Vik Beach in the background
Veggen - the mountain can also be climbed
Veggen – the mountain can also be climbed
We couldn't have asked for a better day to do the hike
We couldn’t have asked for a better day to do the Mannen hike

After enjoying the views from the summit (we were there on a windless day), retrace your steps to return to Haukland Beach. But don’t rush it – and instead enjoy the views looking to Haukland Beach in one direction and Uttakliev Beach in the other.

Beautiful views on the hike down
Beautiful views on the hike down from Mannen
We're almost back at the road to Haukland Beach
We’re almost back at the road to Haukland Beach

A dip or a swim post hike?

If you want to revive your body after a hike up Mannen, then head for a dip in the chilly waters off Haukland Beach. According to the World beach Guide, the water may be as warm 12ºC in August, but in May it’s just 6.5ºC. Either way, it’s going to invigorate you – and take your mind off your tired muscles.

If you're brave enough you could have a quick dip in the sea after the Mannen hike
If you’re brave enough you could have a quick dip in the sea after the Mannen hike

Parking for the Mannen hike

You can see that the parking lot for both the Mannen hike and Haukland Beach isn’t large. There is the option to park at Vik Beach and walk here – and it wouldn’t take more than about 20 minutes. 

The parking area fo Mannen also serves beach goers
The parking area for the Mannen hike also serves beach goers

Where to stay in the area

Haukland Beach House is a four bedroom holiday home that is about 500 metres from the beach. It is rated superb. 

Almost all units at Lofoten Basecamp in nearby Leknes enjoy harbour or ocean views.

Tors Cabin at Haukland Beach would be an excellent choice. It sleeps 2 – 4 people with two bedrooms and is rated superb.

Interested in more hiking in Norway and Sweden?

Sweden

Kungsleden Trail Guide: Abisko to Nikkaluokta (a fantastic 6 – 7-day hike)

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Ryten Hike and Kvalvika Beach, Lofoten Islands

Reinebringen Hike, Lofoten Islands: A Complete Guide

Munkebu Hut Hike + Munken, Lofoten Islands

Southern Norway

Preikestolen Hike (Pulpit Rock) above Lysefjord, Norway

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The airy Mannen hike in Norway's Lofoten Islands is a must do

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