Fronted by glassy waters and backed by fjord-troubled mountains, this all-year resort makes the most of its sublime setting with a wide range of activities. Rent a fishing boat to go in search of whales and sea eagle or, in winter, strap on a pair of skis and watch as the Northern Lights sweep through the sky.
Then, come summer, peaks open up to ranging hikes under the ethereal glow of the midnight sun. Set on the shores of northern Norway’s Senja Island, Mefjord Brygge is a charming fishing village meaning accommodation comes in characterful timber cabins and cute cottages. Don’t miss out on the local pastime with a full complement of fishing excursions.
Mefjord Brygge features a cosy restaurant where an oversized countertop formed from a timber sailing boat hints at the kitchen’s seafood specialities. Local chefs serve up regional cuisine – termed locally as yterrsida-mat – in dishes such whale steak dressed with garlic butter and fried halibut served on a bed of grated carrots, fried onions and meted butter. Alternatively, tuck into a hearty meatball stew or enjoy one of Norway’s favourites – reindeer fillet. Whatever you order, expect it to be immaculately presented in true gastronome fashion. For lunch, sample something a bit lighter with a traditional pork sandwich – topped with a fried egg – or a serving of locally sourced fishcakes. Don’t miss out on the indulgent desserts; there’s strawberry cheesecakes, stewed prunes and vanilla mousse.
There’s a range of accommodation to suit all dotted throughout the village; choose between cosy lodges, standalone houses and contemporary apartments. In all, timber floorboards, traditional furnishings and whitewashed tongue and groove wall panels complete that idyllic seaside aesthetic while complimentary WiFi and cable television brings you back to modernity. Some of the larger offerings come with fully equipped kitchens and even Jacuzzi baths. Out of them all, our favourite is the newly built Northern Lights Apartments. Seafacing, they’re sandwiched between fishing piers and come with spacious terraces that look out over winter whales, summer midnight sun and,yes, the shy aurora borealis.
Explore Senja’s breathtaking topography with excursions that start with hiking, guided tours, cross country/downhill skiing and mountain biking and end with ice climbing, sea eagle searches and whale safaris. In between there are opportunities to hit the waters on deep sea fishing trips and big boat tours with superb chances of coming back with a catfish, giant halibut or haddock trophy. With all activities, remember to check ahead for seasonal availability. After tiring yourself out, return to a wood-fired outdoor hot tub, solarium and barbecue facilities. Then, following a session in the sauna, try that age-old Norwegian tradition of cooling off with a jump into the snow.