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Tips from locals:
This is what we love to do in Northern Norway

Fishing trips. Chasing the northern lights. Being outdoors, under the midnight sun. Here, 13 locals share their favourite things to do in Northern Norway.

LOFOTEN

“A boat trip off the coast of Lofoten with the locals is something I think everyone should experience at least once in their life. The atmosphere, the majestic mountains all around, and the cod that live below the surface. And nothing tastes as good as super-fresh seafood.”

“During summer, the days here do not end until you say good night. Go kayaking, hiking or swimming under the midnight sun! In Lofoten, everything is possible – but you don’t have to do anything. I often just relax while gazing at the coastal landscape. That makes me happy.”

Elin Aamodt, nature lover from Skrova in Lofoten.

HELGELAND

“When you’re travelling along the Helgeland coast, the first thing you need to do is enjoy a world-class meal at SVANG in Brønnøysund.”

“Afterwards, you’ll bike 15 kilometres to the Torghatten rock formation and hike to the hole that goes right through the mountain. From here, you have a fantastic view of the coast – and the ever-changing light is magical.”

Inger-Gunn Sande, manager at Nordnorsk Kommunikasjon

BODØ AND SALTEN

“Gildeskål outside of Bodø in Salten is simply beautiful during summer.”

“Anyone who travels along the coastal route Kystriksveien should set aside time to enjoy the midnight sun from the resting area Ureddplassen. The loo here is said to be one of the world’s most beautiful toilets, so you’ll experience award-winning architecture in just as stunning surroundings.”

Gøril Pedersen, founder of the clothing brand FOGG Gildeskål.

VESTERÅLEN

“I’m 9 years old, and when I was younger, I wanted to be a hammerhead shark. Since I’m human, that was not an option. Instead, I’ve become a whale ambassador in Vesterålen.”

“If you’re going on a whale safari, the best tip is to befriend the captain that drives the boat. He has this equipment that allows you to hear the whales’ ‘clicking sound’, so you can be the first to see them.”

“I hope you get to meet the sperm whale Curly because he misbehaves sometimes. He steals halibut from the fishermen and loves to tease.”

“PS: I’ve met Haakon, the Crown Prince of Norway, and told him how vital whale poo is for the ocean. We both love the sea – and so should you.”

Elliot Meier, Whale ambassador

HARSTAD

“I was born in Germany and I have travelled to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean several times. But it wasn’t until I got to experience the ocean and the islands outside of Harstad that I decided to move to Norway.”

“To go on a boat trip on calm seas in the evening, with the sun setting and the warm wind in your face, is terrific. I love to sit here and enjoy the silence, the sun, and the ocean. You can catch your own fish, prepare it and eat it right there with a glass of wine. It’s an experience you’ll remember forever.”

Hannes Lerke, travel enthusiast

NARVIK

“One of the best experiences in Narvik is to go on a train journey on the spectacular Ofotbanen railway. I recommend that you combine it with a hiking trip along Rallarvegen (the Navvies Road).”

“From the stations at Bjørnfjell or Katterat, the road leads to Rombaksfjorden. This hike takes you from the mountains to the fjord in beautiful surroundings, past industrial and cultural heritage from the railway’s construction period.”

“The Rombaksboten area in the fjord’s innermost part is also a destination with cultural heritage from the 1800s until the railway construction was complete.”

Steingrim Sneve, local historian

SENJA

“In Senja, you should go on a boat trip on the Bergsfjord near Skaland. As soon as you leave the dock, the experience starts.”

“Travel to small islands and islets, white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It’s raw and beautiful! Find a place to go ashore and just ‘be’. Rent a canoe or kayak or join a guided fjord safari.”

Runar Richardsen, Senja patriot

LYNGENFJORD

“An evening hike to the day-trip cabin Dalberghytta in Djupvik is something I recommend. Especially in winter, under the moonlight or even as the northern lights dance above the Lyngsalpene mountain rage. It’s a magical trip that gives you a lot of energy, also in summer.”

“Park your car by the cemetery in Djupvik. From there, the trail to the cabin is clearly marked. At 400 metres above sea level, the view of the Lyngenfjord is impressive.”

Svein Oddvar Leiros, manager at Center of northern peoples

TROMSØ

“One of my favourite activities in Tromsø is to hike under the midnight sun. This is an unforgettable experience in magical light. A good tip is to go for a hike with a view towards the north.”

“I can also recommend eating supper under the northern lights in winter. But it can be a bit cold when you sit still and wait for Aurora to dance, so bring warm clothes and a seating pad.”

Claire Kvalheim Kieffer, graduate engineer

SVALBARD

“I believe that a glacier walk on the Svalbard Islands is a unique experience that you can’t get many other places in the world.”

“The Svalbard nature adds something special, and there are several glaciers to visit. Some are close to the city Longyearbyen, while others are out in the wilderness, like the Esmarkbreen glacier.”

Ronny Strømnes, manager at the Svalbardbutikken store

ALTA

“The Sami way of life has been powered by nature for thousands of years, including our art, culture, and food. The Sami people have always lived off – and for –the nature.”

“If you want to experience our exciting history and Sami food traditions, the best place is Sami Siida in Alta. You should also go on a reindeer sleigh ride under the northern lights. It’s magical!”

Marit Hætta Øverli, Sami artist and cultural mediator

KIRKENES

“The Russian border is exiting to visit – just make sure you stay on the right side! You can, for example, visit the viewpoint Høyde 96 in Pasvik. It lies about 45 minutes from Kirkenes by car, and the view allows you to see across to our Russian neighbours. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a coffee and the world’s best waffles at NIBIO Svanhovd.”

“The visitor centre houses an exhibition on the Øvre Pasvik national park, and you can learn about the brown bear. You can also visit the valley that surrounds the small village Grense Jakobselv near the Russian border.”

“The best thing in Kirkenes is still the winter. You can trust it to be good! It’s cold and dry, every year. You should try cross-country skiing in Pasvik. There are several cabins in the Øvre Pasvik area, where you’ll find wood and heat. Here, you can ski for days without meeting other people.”

Ronald Hansen, printer

THE NORTH CAPE

“If you want a unique experience near The North Cape, I recommend going to the Kirkeporten rock formation. It is shaped like an arch and offers an impressive view of the North Cape Plateau. According to old sagas, the rock formation used to be a Sami place of sacrifice.”

“You can also spend a few days in Honningsvåg, popular among people who love friluftsliv and the outdoors. When you’re on the Magerøya island, head west towards Gjesvær and the bird cliff Stappan. A hike to Lilletuva is also recommended – and should you see less than 10 white-tailed eagles on that trip, I’ll buy you a beer at the bar Nøden!”

Ole Håvard Olsen, funny local bloke

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