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.
Feast on freshly hunted game from the forests of the Finnmark region in the Norwegian north. It’s perfectly positioned to enjoy everything from cross-country mountain biking and horse riding to ice fishing and dog sledding. When the sun sets, return to the lodge’s sauna and watch out for the seasonal Northern Lights from the outdoor wooden hot tub.
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.
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.
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.