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Winter in Northern Norway

14 amazing reasons to go

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

The daylight hours may be short and sweet, but you might get to see quite a show during the polar nights!

Bring some warm clothes, and get ready to breathe in
the crystal-clear Arctic air.

Discover snowy adventures,
super fresh seafood, 
and unique experiences.

1. The northern lights

Ready for a magical winter night?

From mid-September to March, you have a good chance of catching a glimpse (or a whole light show!) of the incredible northern lights, especially if you let experts guide you to the best spots.

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

2. Norwegian skrei

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

Go on 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 having sex can give you some extra fishing luck? So make sure you get lucky before your journey!

Read more about skrei here

3. Whale and sea eagle safaris

Keep your camera handy to snap some of the most majestic creatures in the world.

Giant whales and orcas swim in Northern Norway's cold waters. If you're lucky, you can spot several on a whale safari – it's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!  

The places with the greatest chance of spotting whales is off the coast of Andøya in Vesterålen and outside Tromsø.

Watch sea eagles catch fish right in front of you on a sea eagle safari in Lofoten or Bodø.

4. Go for a ride...

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

Strong Alaskan Huskies were born to run, and they love it too!

Try being a musher, or relax as a passenger.

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 skiing paradise

Ski from the top of an Arctic peak all the way down to the edge of 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 touringAlways go with a local guide for your safety!

Get ready for some epic rides in Lyngen, Lofoten, Senja and Vesterålen, Helgeland, and the areas around Tromsø and Bodø.

7. Stay in an ice hotel

Want to snuggle up under warm reindeer skins while the northern lights dance overhead after a visit to an ice bar? Yes, please!

Spend a night in one of Norway's cool ice hotels in Kirkenes or Alta. It will certainly be a night to remember.

8. The heat is on 

After spending some time in the great outdoors, heat yourself back up again in a steaming hot sauna in spectacular surroundings. There are wonderful saunas throughout the region. 

9. Gateways to the north

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

Explore Tromsø with insider tips from the locals. Look at beautiful architecture like The Arctic Cathedral, try some local food, take a cable car up to Storsteinen mountain for an amazing view of the city, and give Tromsø's vibrant nightlife a go.

Plan a trip to the European Capital of Culture for 2024, Bodø. Visit museums like the Norwegian Aviation Museum and the Norwegian Jekt Trade Museum, go on a wildlife safari or enjoy cosy cafés and good shops in the city centre. 

10. Travel back in time to the Viking Age

Lofoten's Viking museum, Lofotr, will show you how the Vikings once lived in Northern Norway. Feel like a real Viking in its reconstructed longhouse. 

This is only one of many amazing museums in the north. 

11. The Arctic kitchen

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

According to the locals, the nature up north gives the food a richer and more delicious taste. 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.

As well as...

12. ...king crab!

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

Join a king crab fishing excursion in the Arctic fjords, to places like Kirkenes and Varanger, and learn everything about how to catch and prepare these tasty crabs.

13. The North Pole

Close to the North Pole, under the northern lights, lies the Svalbard archipelago – the 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 surprisingly cosmopolitan town of Longyearbyen.

14. Smooth sailing

Looking for a little bit of everything?

Cruise in complete comfort on board Hurtigruten or Havila – on the coastal highway to the heart of Northern Norway!

Glide through stunning nature from Bergen to the North Cape and Kirkenes in the far north. You can also travel from port to port in Northern Norway. 

Bon voyage!

Christmas in Northern Norway

Experience the holidays in a winter wonderland!

Summer in Northern Norway

Come and experience the midnight sun.

Want more travel ideas? 

These are just some of the wonderful things you can do on a winter visit to Northern Norway. If you need more inspiration for your trip, how about learning how to surf in arctic conditions at Unstad or Flakstad in Lofoten? 

Northern Norway is a skiing paradise, but if skiing isn't your thing, you could try snowshoeing up majestic mountains or going for a ride on a snowmobile safari

Be aware that the forces of nature are very powerful during the winter season. Make sure to do your homework on what to bring and how to navigate the colder months before you go!


Practical tips for winter in Northern Norway

How to Norway!

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