Loving it in Lyngen, the Alps of Norway

The Alps of Norway with fjords and epic views!


I was recently invited on a trip north of the Arctic Circle to Lyngen, Norway. Images of cold, barren landscapes entered my mind, but I was told it was the Alps of Norway and the ski and snowboard touring were endless. So, I packed up my bags, and we were off.

To get to Lyngen, we flew to Oslo and had to catch a 2-hour flight north to Tromsø, which is a major cultural hub above the Arctic Circle. The city’s historic center, on the island of Tromsø, is distinguished by its centuries-old wooden houses.


From Tromsø, it’s an hour drive and then a ferry ride to the central region of the Lyngen peninsula. On our flight into Tromsø, we were able to catch glimpses of their mountains and memories of Alaska raced through my mind



The first house we stayed at was on a small wharf that refueled sailboats, and shrimp boats would unload their catch. Nordic people love their sauna, and the wharf was the perfect compliment providing a cold plunge and swim back to the house.  


Next door was Fryd, a local eatery that served up great food after a long day in the mountains.


People call the mountains in Lyngen the Alps of Norway, and they are correct. Towering dramatic peaks dot the horizon as far as the eye can see. What’s especially unique to this area, are the fjords, which create a dramatic backdrop to the snow-covered peaks.

Pro tip: if you are going to buy beer or wine, buy it at the Duty-Free Shop when flying through Oslo, it’s substantially cheaper than the liquor stores, which like Utah, are closed on Sundays.

Besides ski or snowboard touring, there is plenty to see and do. Since you are north of the Arctic Circle, the light stays low in the sky, providing a magic hour effect almost all day. While we were there, the sun rose around 4 AM and set about 11 PM, and by the end of our 10-day trip, the sky only went to dusk, which meant that we had no chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis.


Pro tip: bring eyeshades, and close the window shades, there is nothing worse than the sun waking you up at 4 AM; although it does allow you to capture an epic sunrise!


On the East side of the Lyngen peninsula is Lyngseidet, a small town that is home to the Magic Mountain Inn, and a great place for après with gorgeous views of the fjord below and Mount Kavringtinden in the distance.

Above Lyngseidet is the Rornes Hut, a cabin that you can either stay for the night or use as a rest stop during your tour. Completed in 2013 by locals, Rornes Hut has a million-dollar view of Lyngseidet and the fjord below. 


Pro tip: Lyngseidet has the largest market with the most prolonged hours of operation, but you still need to plan if you are spending long days in the mountains.

During our trip, we stayed near Lattervik for the first half, and Lyngseidet the second half. If the snow level is to the sea, it’s nice to stay on the West side of the peninsula because it allows access to many valleys and peaks. The downside is the limited grocery stores and eating establishments.

Pro tip: Norway isn’t cheap, especially north of the Arctic Circle, so if you can find a group of friends, the cost can be more manageable.


There are multiple guide services (Ascent Descent, Mountain Spirit Guides, Lyngen Adventure) if you’d like to hire someone familiar with the terrain and snow conditions. We used Mountain Spirit Guides, but if you have backcountry route finding skills and general mountain knowledge, you can easily do a self-guided trip.

The beauty of the Lyngen Alps, fjords below, and dancing clouds blew away my mind. It’s only been a week since I returned from my trip, and I’m already thinking about my next visit.

Cover photo: Ross Downard, all other photos: Chris Engelsman

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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