Arctic Gem: Lyngen Lodge, Norway

March 5, 2013

lyngen lodge telescope

Way up in northern Norway, along the shoreline of the Lyngen Fjord, lies a special place built with the sole purpose of allowing people to experience the splendor of the area’s wilderness. After a short flight over the Lyngen Alps from Tromsø and a twenty minute drive, we reached the warm and welcoming Lyngen Lodge for a unique weekend away.

lyngen lodge living room
Located in the Arctic Circle, the lodge is set in the woodlands with panoramic views of the Alps. Of course, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you may know that John and I are not very lucky when it comes to weather. If there is a destination that requires certain weather for the best experience, we are likely to visit it during a period of unpleasant conditions. As was our fate on this particular weekend. After several weeks of clear skies and excellent conditions for viewing the Northern Lights, snow and rain had found its way to Lyngen. We knew there was no chance of seeing the night sky light up, but we were determined to enjoy ourselves no matter what.

lyngen landscape

The view from the front door of the lodge. As you can see we didn’t have the best weather.

Like many of the world’s most unique properties, the Lyngen Lodge has a great story. Its founders and owners, Graham Austick and Elisabeth Braathen, ran an Austrian ski company called Piste To Powder for years before the days of the Lyngen Lodge. On a trip to ski the local mountain, Store Haugen, Austick became enamored with the area around Djupvik and thought it would make a great place for a lodge. He unknowingly dropped his small camera in the snow after snapping some photos of the area, only realizing the mistake later the next day after he was far from the area. In a twist of fate, a local man found the camera and after drying and reassembling it, looked at the photos. Within them was a photo of Austick’s boat and by contacting the skipper they were able to connect. This man just so happened to be a local property development officer and was able to help the couple to purchase the land for their vision.

lyngen lodge banana bread

But inside warm banana bread awaits…


…along with hot coffee and tea all day.

Today the traditionally built wooden lodge can accommodate 18 guests at a time and offers an inclusive room and board rate for active travellers who wish to experience activities in the region. After a day out exploring, visitors return to a warm and cozy home away from home. The lodge is luxurious and features various amenities: a sauna and jacuzzi, living room and fireplace, a library and television room, bar and communal dining room.

lyngen lodge library

lyngen lodge slippers

lyngen lodge dinner table

lyngen lodge living room with view
Our room was very comfortable with an ensuite bathroom and rain shower. The rooms have different configurations – some with double beds, others with bunks. We got the last available room for our weekend but were still able to squeeze in together in the bottom bunk. Norwegian bedrooms are traditionally small but the common rooms at the lodge offer plenty of space for rest and relaxation, along with the opportunity to meet interesting like-minded travellers from all over the world.

lyngen lodge bunk beds

lyngen lodge room

lyngen lodge bathroom
One of the comforting things about being somewhere when the weather isn’t great is that you aren’t alone. Everyone in the group was in the same boat but we were lucky to have a great mix of friendly guests, which made for good fun during dinner and the activities. The hosts at the lodge, Elisabeth, Laura and Linda were all very friendly and made us feel very welcome, looking after us and answering questions.

A highlight of our time at the Lyngen Lodge was the food. Chef Steve Newson bases his menus around the availability of fresh, local produce, preparing inventive dinners. Breakfast was also delicious, with a nice spread of freshly baked breads, cheese, meat, local fish, yoghurt, fruits and spreads. Guests are provided with lunch during the activities or one of Newson’s lunch creations should they stay at the lodge during the day.

lyngen lodge kitchen

potato soup

Creamy potato soup


lamb stew

Hearty lamb stew

Red fish with avocado and potato

Red fish with avocado and potato

chicken risotto

Chicken with creamy risotto

lyngen lodge dessert

Activities at the lodge run based on the seasons. January to March is the Northern Lights season, with nightly guided viewings and daytime activities such as snow shoeing, horse sledding, sea safari, ice fishing, photography courses and cross country skiing. We enjoyed a half day of dog sledding, which was a lot of fun.

lyngen snowshoes
From February to May they offer week long ski holidays for those skiers who are experienced in backcountry (off piste) skiing. In summer, guests can take in the midnight sun and explore the area via boat, heli-hiking or on horseback. There are also opportunities for fishing, mountain trekking, rowing, sea kayaking and to explore the glaciers.

lyngen lodge telescope
While, of course, our experience would have been even better if the weather had turned it on for us, we still had an enjoyable time at the Lyngen Lodge. It would be wonderful to return someday to take in more of the landscapes and experience some additional activities. For now, the Northern Lights will continue to elude us, but as with anything involving nature, its untamable qualities are what makes it so exciting. Should you wish to experience a fantastic adventure in Norway’s north, look no further than the Lyngen Lodge and its wonderful hosts.

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  • Jay

    The lodge does look beautiful and relaxing. Too bad about the less than stellar weather but happy to hear you enjoyed yourselves nonetheless!

    • inspiringtravellers

      Thanks, Jay =)

  • Agness

    Wow guys. This place is amazing, so cozy and comfortable. I never had a fireplace at home, so I would treat myself with a glass of wine and a good book at the fireplace every night :):). Yummy food!

    • inspiringtravellers

      You would definitely love this, Agness. I did not share pictures of the cozy loft room that looks over the main living room – there are comfy pillows and bean bag chairs up there – perfect to hide out with a good book (and a glass of wine, of course). The hosts will bring you snacks as well in the afternoon 😉

  • Jess @UsedYorkCity

    Sorry you didn’t get to see the Northern Lights, but seems like an enjoyable place to cozy up and watch the snow fall outside! Love that it only hosts a small number of guests at a time, I would imagine this adds to the intimate allure and charm!

    • inspiringtravellers

      It definitely did, Jess. We love resorts like this one where the guests number fewer than 20 at a time and you get to have a lot of interaction with like-minded people. We always seek them out…

  • Sophie

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the Arctic despite the inclement weather.
    Have you tried cross-country skiing yet, by the way?

    • inspiringtravellers

      I’m ashamed to say no, Sophie…I blame John though because he hasn’t been inspired to go with me…

  • The Guy

    The lodge looks fabulous. I could see myself sat there for hours staring out of the window watching the snow fall by. That is also a great story about the camera.

    • inspiringtravellers

      Isn’t it? This place was definitely meant to be

  • Leigh

    Despite your bad weather it seems like you had a great stay. I could definitely see myself enjoying many days of cross country skiing and coming back to eat that delicious looking food.

    • inspiringtravellers

      The ski weeks do sound interesting – I’m not an experienced skier so they wouldn’t be for me but the area is gorgeous and looks like there is a lot of beautiful backcountry to explore…

  • Cheryl

    This looks like paradise. I totally want to go here right now!! :)

    • inspiringtravellers

      It was very cosy and relaxing, Cheryl…

  • Lisa

    It looks gorgeous and relaxing. I’m sorry you missed the northern lights.

    • inspiringtravellers

      Guess we’ll just have to head back up to the Arctic Circle another time, Lisa – cheers!

  • Andi

    Your photos are to-die-for!!!!!! I totally want to stay at this place.

    • inspiringtravellers

      You would have loved it! Was a total travel talk weekend too as most of the guests when we were there either worked in the travel industry or had been all sorts of interesting places.

  • Freya

    WoW this place is stunning and the food …. it looks so delicious !
    Great photos.

    • inspiringtravellers

      It was delicious – thanks, Freya! =)

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  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica

    What a cozy place.

    • inspiringtravellers

      It was super-cozy =)

  • Jennifer

    What a fantastic looking lodge and the food looks delicious! Too bad the Northern Lights evaded you, but looks as though you had a nice getaway none-the-less.

    • inspiringtravellers

      Well, thankfully I saw photos of them on your blog so I know what we missed =)

  • Christina

    Aw this looks soooo cosy and warm and stylish! I went snowboarding in Stranda last year and we also stayed in a lodge. Isn’t it just great when you have a fireplace and tons of snow outside?

    • inspiringtravellers

      Nothing better! They have an outdoor jacuzzi too if that’s more your speed…

  • Natasha von Geldern

    This place looks totally romantic. I think if you want to enjoy yourselves you will, no matter what the weather or the destination.

    • inspiringtravellers

      I agree, Natasha – mind over matter =)

  • Deb

    Looks like an amazing lodge. Sorry you didn’t have great weather, but it makes life a lot easier when you have an amazing place to stay. I’m sure you’ll get back one day soon. We haven’t been to the arctic yet and can’t wait to make it up one day ourselves.

    • inspiringtravellers

      Totally agree – good accommodation makes up for a lot! Hope you get up to the arctic soon =)

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