Norway in February
If you're aurora chasing, looking for a winter playground, like to get off the beaten track or just want to get back to basics and spend quality time enjoying simple pleasures, this is the spot for you!
Nord Lenangen in the Norwegian Alps is 70 degrees North, just 20 degrees south of the North Pole. At first glance, it might look like there's nothing to do. We were the only party around the first few nights staying in our fisherman’s cabin on remote shores in the Lyngen Alps. There’s one road in and the same road out. There are no nearby shops (make sure you have everything you’ll need before you leave Tromso), no restaurants, no theme parks, no tourist attractions. Just the fjord, a wild and rocky beach, forests, frozen streams and lakes, and snow.
It took trains, planes, automobiles and a ferry to get there and we had the best week. We skated on our bottoms on frozen rivers, played in the snow, fished, star gazed from the hot tub under arctic skies (none of us was brave enough to alternate between the hot tub and the icy fjord), beach combed and sky watched. We saw star fish, sea urchins, wolverines and a moose. The icing on the cake came at 3.30am on our last day, driving through the night back to Tromso. The Aurora lit up the sky in a beautiful display of green waves, arches and dancing curtains.
This is a remote adventure that will provide entertainment wherever you chose to find it and provide the opportunity to just hang out and play together. The kids were never bored. Most days we barely ventured a few feet from the cabin but they found great pleasure in simple pastimes, just watching the fish and star fish, fishing off the pontoon, scrabbling around in the snow. The girls discovered great colonies of mussels attached to the legs of the pontoon and spent a happy couple of hours with their sleeves rolled up, pulling them off and collecting them up in a plastic bag. They cooked them up and ate them for supper, thrilled with themselves for gathering their own food.
Winter fun: sledging, snowman making, igloo building, skating on frozen streams, skiing
Fishing and watching the marine life (especially star fish)
Collecting and cooking your own fresh mussels
Moose and wolverine spotting, tracking footprints and poo through the forests
GMT + 1
Flight Time: 2 hrs to Oslo, 2hrs to Tromso
Currency = Norwegian Krone NOK
Make it happen:
Length of stay: 5 -7 days
We took unsociable flight times (including a long layover in Oslo) to keep the air fares down, so we arrived late in Tromso and caught a shuttle bus to our hotel. We spent the morning exploring Tromso before picking up the hire car and heading North. You could easily spend a day or two in Tromso, as well as a longer stop over in Oslo. We whiled away 5 days very happily in Lyngen so you could easily stretch the trip to 10 days, particularly in you wished to do some skiing.
Fly to Tromso via Oslo – www.norwegian.com
£170 - £250 return per adult (11+)
£150 - £215 return per child (2-11)
Compare the airline with search engines such as Opodo and Expedia, and check different days of the week for the cheapest fare. If you can go outside school holidays, even better.
Hire a car in Tromso and drive North – www.hertz.co.uk
£190 for a 4 door, compact
Take the E8 South from Tromso, then pick up the 91 heading North-East. You'll need to cross the fjord by ferry at Breivikeider to Svensby. Turn left when you come off the ferry and follow the road North. The whole journey takes about 2 to 3 hours, depending on the ferry times. Check the ferry times! Find more useful information about Lyngen.
Where to stay:
We spent our first night in Tromso at the Smart Hotel.
£100 - £200 for 2 rooms (for a family of 5)
We used Booking.com and stayed at Lyngen Havfiske og Tursenter.
£616 for for nights (3 bedroom cabin)
There is a wealth of options in and around Tromso and in the Alps region, so shop around for your ideal holiday pad! AirBnB is also good for a range of affordable accommodation.
Things to do in Oslo ....
Things to do in Tromso ....
Things to do in the Lyngen Alps region ...
We, Andy (46), Becks (40), Amy (12), Holly (6) and Luca (22 months) made this trip in February half term 2014. The prices indicated in this itinerary are based on January 2015 cost estimates.