Winter in Northern Norway

12 amazing reasons to visit

There's something special about
the winter light in Northern Norway.

The daylight hours might be short and sweet,
but what a show during the polar nights!

From mid-September to March,
northern lights can be seen dancing in the sky.

Bring some warm clothes, and breath in
the crystal-clear Arctic air.

Actually, even though you're in the Arctic,
the coastal temperatures are not as cold as you might think.

Get ready for snowy adventures,
fresher seafood and unique experiences

Here's what not to miss in winter.

1. The northern lights

Ready for a magical winter night?

If you're visiting Northern Norway during winter, you have good chances of getting a glimpse (or a whole light show!) of the unique northern lights, especially if you let experts guide you to the best spots.

Deep fjords, steep mountains and the northern lights – what a combination!

2. Norwegian skrei

Every winter, fishermen and gourmets come to Northern Norway to indulge in a skrei fishing bonanza.

Atlantic cod, or skrei as the Norwegians call it, is a large species of cod that migrates from the Barents Sea to the coast of Norther Norway to spawn every year. Its long journey gives it a fantastic flavour that's well worth the trip!

Get ready for a skrei adventure in the beautiful Lofoten archipelago, and top it off with a night in a rorbu, a traditional fisherman's cabin.

Did you know that sex can actually give you some extra fishing luck? So make sure you get lucky before your journey!

3. Whale safari

Get your camera ready for some of the most majestic creatures in the world on a whale safari in the north!

In Northern Norway's cold waters, giant whales roam, and if you're lucky, you can spot several – truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

You need a good portion of luck to spot some of the wide variety of whales, including orcas, since they swim throughout the entire region hunting for food.

The place with the greatest chance of spotting whales is at Andøya in Vesterålen.

4. Go for a ride...

...with dogs! Happy sled dogs will gladly take you on a snowy tour through the wilderness.

The athletic Alaskan Huskies were born to run, and they love it too, making dog sledding fun for both of you.

Dog sleds were once the primary means of transport in the Arctic. Today, dog sledding is mostly a fun winter activity, perfect for the whole family.

Try being a musher, or relax as a passenger, on a cool dog sledding tour!

5. The Sami way of life

Norway is home to the biggest population of Sami in the world. Experience their fascinating culture in Northern Norway.

Discover traditional reindeer herding culture, taste some amazing food, and camp in a traditional lavvo (Sami tent) under the northern lights! You will definitely find an activity suited for you.

6. A ski paradise

Ski from the top of an Arctic peak all the way down to the fjord in Narvik!

The Narvik area has some very good places to go skiing, including the fantastic ski resort at Narvikfjellet, where you'll have excellent off-piste opportunities.

With its wild and rugged mountains, the region is also a renowned base for alpine ski touring.

Get ready for a snowy adventure in Lyngen, Lofoten, Senja and Vesterålen, Helgeland, and the areas around Tromsø and Bodø.

7. Stay in an ice hotel

Snuggling up under warm reindeer skins under the northern lights? Yes, please!

A night in one of Norway's cool ice hotels will definitely be a night to remember.

8. Plan a city break

It might be colder, but the biggest cities in Northern Norway are still full of life during winter!

Pack some warm clothes, and get ready to explore Bodø and Tromsø with insider tips from the locals.

9. The Arctic kitchen

World-class wild game and the freshest seafood – the Arctic cuisine alone makes the trip worth it!

If you ask the locals, they will tell you that the nature up north gives the food a richer and more delicious taste. The reindeer roam freely, while cold and clear Arctic waters provide some of the best seafood in the world.

Here, you'll also find some specialities you just have to try, including tørrfisk (stockfish), one of Norway's oldest exports, and bidos, a traditional Sami reindeer dish. And let's not forget the exclusive lamb from Lofoten, the Lofotlam, a unique delicacy that has protected geographical indication certification in Norway.

As well as...

10. ...king crab!

In Northern Norway, you'll find fresh king crab that's just been harvested from the sea.

You can also join a king crab fishing excursion in the Arctic fjords, and learn everything about how to catch and prepare these tasty crabs.

11. Up north...

...far north! Close to the North Pole, under the northern lights, you'll find Svalbardthe ultimate Arctic adventure destination!

Here, in the kingdom of the polar bear, you can explore magical ice caves, and go skiing and dog sledding, to mention just a few of the fun activities. When you're done, relax with a drink in the cosmopolitan city of Longyearbyen.

12. Smooth sailing

Looking for a little bit of everything?

Cruise to Northern Norway in complete comfort with Hurtigruten – the coastal highway to the soul of the north!

Hurtigruten glides you through stunning nature from Bergen to Varanger and Kirkenes in the far north.

Bon voyage!

How to Norway

Dag from Sweden and Katarina from Norway show you five highlights from the winter wonderland of Northern Norway!

Destinations up north

Where do you want to go? Check out featured destinations like Vesterålen and Harstad.

Get ready

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