Norway’s reaching fjords and stunning wilderness islands are famed for their landscapes that are at once sublime yet inhospitable - and best experienced from a cosy log cabin or luxury lodge. By day, sled through snowy hinterlands or hike to craggy peaks and, come the evening, return to a roaring fire and a hot mug of cocoa in an idyllic timber cabin.
Here, you’ll stay on the shores of the giant Malangenfjord at the gateway to Norway’s Arctic Circle. Just ten boutique, stilted cabins sit right on the water’s edge with balconies or picture windows looking out over the 60km long fjord, itself a fisherman’s delight with vast shoals of herring and coalfish. Alternatively, head inland on a hiking trail perhaps to spot the haunting aurora borealis.
Northern Lights over Malangen Resort
This idyllic lodge lost among the snowy peaks and lakes of the Lyngen Alps is a remote joy. Traditional timber frames host chic furnishings while a sauna and an outdoor Jacuzzi add Scandinavian touches. From here, perhaps take to the waters on a river boat tour, sea safari and a salmon fishing expedition or – back on land – there’s summer horse riding and winter skiing. There’s even helicopter-accessed hiking.
Not to be confused with Lyngen Lodge, this fjord-side retreat offers one of the most picturesque settings in Arctic Norway. Facing north, guests will be treated to exceptional views of the Northern Lights in winter, along with a full spread of seasonal activities, including dogsledding, ice climbing, snowmobiling and some of the best whale watching in Scandinavia. The summer is equally action packed, with the likes of hikes and bike rides enjoyed under the full glow of the Midnight Sun.
Northern Lights at Lyngen Experience Lodge
Hidden away on the remote island of Uloya, this remote lodge is a superb add-on to a stay in Tromso. Guests can expect the best in local dining alongside small-group trips out into the wilds on everything from snowshoes to kick sleds to take in views of the Lyngen Alps and, with luck, the Northern Lights. Indeed, this is one of the best spots in Norway to catch the aurora, with the Lights visible an impressive 200 nights of the year. Run by convivial local couple Sven and Aud, it's all peppered with their stories of life in the frozen north.
Arctic Panorama Lodge
Lodges in Svalbard
Lodges set on the far-flung wilderness that is the Svalbard archipelago have to be hardier than most. However, the slate-roofed Basecamp Trappers Hotel manages to combine resilience with beauty as walls are lined with the trophies of a century of trapping and whaling. As the name suggests, it’s positioned as a base to explore Svalbard’s wilds; journey down into nearby mines and the snowy expanses on a dogsled or snowmobile tour.
For something a bit different, jump aboard a snowmobile to reach Isfjord Radio – a 1930s telecommunications outpost complete with giant dish. Once hit by the Luftwaffe in WWII, today its luxury interiors are host to stylish rooms and gourmet meals caught by local trappers. It’s also excellently poised to catch sight of whales, seals and even polar bears and, come winter, the Northern Lights.