Turn Your Stay in Norway into a Fairytale
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Lighthouse Holiday in Norway
A night at a night house sounds to be a legendary experience, right? But it is possible to do all over Norway. Lighthouses offering accommodation can be found all along the coast of Norway, from Vardø in the north to the Grimstad in the south.
Until quite recently lighthouses were manned and keepers lived in them. But by the 1990s automation had largely taken over and the living quarters were abandoned.
Today more than 60 historic lighthouses have found new roles offering accommodation to travellers in search of something a little bit different.
For a fan of fresh air and sea views, a lighthouse is a unique holiday home. Usually you live in the keeper’s cottage where you can make your own meals.
Among many, Haugjegla Lighthouse in Smøla in Nordmøre,Ryvarden Lighthouse near Haugesund and Kråkenes Lighthouse in Stryn and Nordfjord are three lighthouses that offer accommodation.
At some lighthouses you will be entirely alone on your own personal rock. Elsewhere you will become part of the local community. The small coastal villages tend to be extremely hospitable places, and a stay at a lighthouse may also involve late nights at the local pub or fishing with the local fishermen.
The lighthouses’ extraordinary locations and striking designs have enormous evocative power. In Norway the sense of history is especially powerful. After all, the sea and ships have for ages been the very lifeblood of the coast.
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta
Couple at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Finnmark | Credits: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life - Visitnorway.com
Another dream like place to stay is Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta. All interior and exterior is made of snow and ice in this luxurious hotel, even the glasses in the bar. The front door of Norway’s Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta would be indistinguishable from the rest of its snowy surroundings were it not covered in reindeer fur. Step through the door and you enter a long corridor leading to a bar, chapel, gallery and 30 bedrooms; all are carved from ice.
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel opens its door in January each year and melts away again in the spring.
The beds are made of reindeer fur and warm sleeping bags to keep guests comfortable in the hotel’s constant inside temperatures between 24.8 and 19.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
But do not worry, no icy toilet seats here. A large wooden building next to the hotel houses the bathrooms. They are warm and link through to the sauna. Take a stint there, before running outside across icy decking and into the bubbling hot tub.
As for the food variety, The Lakesestua Restaurant, constructed from wood in the shape of a tepee, stands next to the igloo and serves breakfasts of porridge, eggs, cheese and ham and dinners of reindeer stew and fish dishes. The hotel bar serves one drink only, bright blue vodka served in ice glasses.
Kirkenes Snow Hotel
Kirkenes Snow Hotel, Finnmark | Credits: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life - Visitnorway.com
Alta is not the only destination you have to go to experience an icy stay. You can alternatively go to Kirkenes and spend a night with David Spinx in a snow hotel in Northern Norway. And be sure to order a northern lights wake up call before you sleep. You will not freeze when you stay here. The beds are warm and comfortable with reindeer fur, and there are toilets and showers with hot water in a building next door. Here you will also find a restaurant serving local, Arctic food.
The Kirkenes Snow Hotel is built from scratch every year. This year it has more than 40 rooms, a bar and a chapel. All made out of snow and ice. You can choose between queen and king size beds, and all rooms have snow decorations on the walls. Ice sculptures are also on display throughout the hotel. And the hotel offers northern lights wake up calls.
In addition to the snow hotel, Radius Kirkenes offers Sami experiences, dog sledging and snowmobile safaris. You should definitely sign up for a northern lights safari while you are here. Start by watching David Spinx hunting the northern lights.
Cottages and Holiday Houses in Norway
Cottage at Beitostølen | Credits: C.H. - Visitnorway.com
Last but not least, cottages and holiday houses are popular hire accommodation among both Norwegian and foreign tourists. You will find cottages and cabins to hire along the coast and fjords, in the woods, valleys and mountains. Some are available for very short periods, others for a minimum of one week.
Standards vary from the extremely simple to the very luxurious. What they all offer, however, is the opportunity to experience the traditional Norwegian cottage cosiness that just cannot compare with staying in a room in the city or at a hotel. At the cabin you organise your time as you like. Or more to the point not organise it at all.
Cottages and cabins can be hired through local and regional tourist offices or professional agencies like Norgesbooking and Norbooking.
For those interested in hiking in Norway, more than 400 cabins throughout the country is offered by The Norwegian Trekking Association. Also BookNorway offers the largest available selection with more than 2500 cottages, apartments and holiday houses in Norway.