View of the Lyngen Alps from Lyngen North

Lyngen North: Northern Lights, Fjords and Fogbows

The Northern lights danced above our heads, cascading across the clear autumn sky in an explosion of green and purple.

The Northern Lights on our last night in Norway
The Northern Lights on our last night in Norway

As they raced in an arc across the heavens, the lights waxed and waned, and I gave up trying to use a tripod in my effort to catch something of them before they completely vanished.

Spectacular Northern Lights display
It was the most spectacular display we saw

The amazing performance lasted about 30 minutes before it faded to a few lights glimmering on the horizon. It was our third and last night at Lyngen North and the most spectacular one by far.

We had journeyed to Norway from India in early September 2018  – a bit too early to see the Northern Lights, some would say – and we’d travelled around 200 kilometres north from Tromsø to enjoy the Aurora borealis from the unique vantage point of a glass igloo.

The route from Tromso to Lyngen North
The route from Tromso to Lyngen North

Ola Berg, whose family has lived for three generations at Lyngen North, picked us up from Tromsø in his Tesla Model X, and drove us to Spåkenesveien in Rotsund, where he settled us into our glass igloo at the shore of the Lyngenfjord.

Driving from Tromso to Lyngen North in Ola's Tesla
Driving from Tromso to Lyngen North in Ola’s Tesla

Contrary to my expectations (early September isn’t the optimum season for Northern Lights), we saw the lights on 4 out of our 6 nights in Norway, despite the long days and short nights of autumn.

At Lyngen North, finally
At Lyngen North, finally

On our first night at Lyngen North, the sky was clear and we saw them dance above our heads from our little wooden bench on the shore of the Lyngen fjord.

The Northern Lights on the first night at Lyngen North
The Northern Lights on the first night at Lyngen North

We were thrilled when we saw a shooting star streak past the lights and I managed to catch it on camera.

A meteor streaks across the sky as the Northern lights dance nearby
A meteor streaks across the sky as the lights dance nearby

The second morning, we awoke to a thick fog that enveloped our glass igloo in its wet embrace, leaving droplets of condensation inside my camera lens and concealing the peaks of the Lyngen Alps across the fjord.

Fog over the Lyngenfjord
On our second morning, a thick fog came down over the fjord

The Northern Lights still shone from behind the fog that night, giving it a spooky and eerie glow that would not look out of place in a Stephen King movie.

The Northern Lights gave the fog a spooky glow
The Northern Lights gave the fog a spooky glow

On the third morning, too, we woke to a thin fog that dispersed quickly as the day progressed, but not without leaving us a magical fogbow that left us marvelling at Mother Nature’s generosity.

The fog bow was a marvelous surprise
The fogbow was a marvellous surprise

Sometimes called a white rainbow, a fogbow is similar to a rainbow. However, as its name suggests, it appears as a bow in fog rather than rain.

A fog bow over the Lyngenfjord
Mother Nature was definitely generous with her bounty that day

Because of the very small size of water droplets that cause fog, the fogbow has only very weak colours, with a red outer edge and bluish inner edge.

The Glass Igloo Experience at Lyngen North

A year back, when I was planning my bucket-list trip to see the Northern Lights, I decided to go via Tromsø (for reasons I explain here).

While researching other interesting places to visit in Norway, I spotted Lyngen North and its glass igloos, on Booking.com’s list of options for accommodation in Norway.

Lyngen North has two glass igloos
Lyngen North has two glass igloos

I’d read about something similar at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland, but the glass igloos there cost three times as much as the ones at Lyngen North. At both resorts, they tend to get sold out pretty quickly.

The glass igloos at Lyngen North are self-contained studio apartments outfitted with a kitchen with stovetop,  refrigerator and electric kettle.

Glass igloo at Lyngen North
These igloos are the real deal

They also have heated floors, private bathrooms with tinted glasses for privacy, free high-speed WiFi and private parking. The bed is ultra comfortable and has a slightly oversized mattress.

Northern Lights planetarium for two
Northern Lights planetarium for two

As of now, the property doesn‘t feature a restaurant, but the owners were in the process of laying down the foundations for one when we were there, and Ola hopes to have it running by December 2018.

The kitchen cabinets have crockery, cutlery, coffee cups, wine glasses, salt, pepper, sugar and a few spices. But, for now, you have to carry provisions and cook your own food. Ola stopped at a REMA 1000 supermarket on the way to let us pick up groceries.

The REMA 1000 is the most economical supermarket in Norway
The REMA 1000 is the most economical supermarket in Norway

Since I don’t have much faith in my cooking skills, we mostly picked up canned food, and stuff we could use to rustle up a quick meal.

If you stay in the glass igloos in the summer (for the Midnight Sun experience) you might have trouble sleeping at night because of sunlight streaming in from the top.

We went in early autumn and the short night (most of which we spent staying up to watch the lights) made it difficult to get a sound sleep since the sun rose pretty early.

via GIPHY

The glass igloos also act as greenhouses, trapping heat inside, which makes the afternoons quite warm. Since igloos are, for the most part, designed to keep the wind out, very little wind enters the room even if you keep the door open, which we did most of the day.

But there’s an air-conditioner to keep you cool during the warm afternoons and who wants to spend all day inside anyway, when you can sit by the shore and enjoy the breeze and the spectacular views of the Lyngenfjord and the Lyngen Alps.

View of the Lyngen Alps from Lyngen North
Why stay indoors all day when you can enjoy this view

Since the temperature was a very bracing 10-12 degrees C in the day, we were quite comfortable sitting outside. The nights, however, got much colder and I needed 3 layers to stay warm when I was out watching the Northern Lights.

The property also features a hot bath under the stars that you can climb into when it gets too cold. We chose not to use it because of the potential for chlorine allergies.

Enjoy a hot bath under the stars at Lyngen North
Enjoy a hot bath under the stars

Activities at Lyngen North

Lyngen North is located in a remote peninsula of Norway. If you’re lucky, you may get to see moose or elk, foxes and rabbits in the nearby woods and fields.

Birdwatchers will find quite a few species to spot, from noisy seagulls squawking in the distance to ducks and many more species of birds that we couldn’t identify.

Depending on the time of year you visit, there are quite a few outdoor adventure activities you can enjoy, including snowshoeing, skiing, fishing, and visiting the Reisa national park nearby.

The owners offer boats on hire to go boating and fishing on the fjord. Not being well-versed in the art of boating, we chose to opt out of these activities.

Boats on hire at Lyngen North
You can hire these boats for a fishing trip

Instead, being the history buff I am, I wanted to visit the ruins of an old German fort near the property. The Spåkenes kystfort (Spåkenes coastal fort) is a ruined coastal fortress built by the Germans during World War II, and it has quite a fascinating history.

Path to the Spåkenes kystfort on the Storbakken hill
The path to the Spåkenes kystfort on the Storbakken hill

The fort is on the Storbakken hill, the highest point of Spåkenes and consists of four bunker complexes, each of which included a gun, ammunition bunker, trench, and infantry bunker.

The ruins of the Spåkenes kystfort built by the Germans in WWII
The ruins of the Spåkenes kystfort built by the Germans in WWII. By Mainostoimisto Seven-1 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The work to build the bunkers began in 1941. After the Germans left, one of the bunkers suffered extensive damage in an explosion.

Unfortunately, the Storbakken hill was rather steep for me and I couldn’t climb it thanks to an old injury, so we weren’t able to see the fort with our own eyes. Arun, being half-German, was not impressed with German fort ruins and didn’t care to climb and explore it on his own.

Coastal road near Lyngen North
It’s worth taking a walk along the coastal road

However, the view from the coastal road leading from Lyngen North to the fort and beyond was so amazing, we took a long walk along it, admiring the homes along the cliffs and imagining what it would be like to live in one of them.

RV on the cliffs at Spåkenes, Norway
An RV with a spectacular view

If you’re a Liverpool fan, you’ll find a kindred soul in one of Ola’s neighbours who seems to be quite vocal about his devotion to the football team.

Liverpool fans will find a kindred soul in Ola's neighbour
Liverpool fans will find a kindred soul in Ola’s neighbour

Tips for your trip to Lyngen North:

  1. Lyngen North is located at the peninsula Spåkenes in Northern Norway, 3 hours north along the E6 from Tromsø Airport. You can take a bus or rental car to Lyngen North. Check their website for transportation options.
  2. If you don’t want to drive or can’t drive yourself to Lyngen North (we didn’t) contact Ola directly and ask if he can pick you up. Of course, you must pay for the pickup and drop, but Ola’s a very thoughtful and accommodating young man and he’ll do what he can to help you. As a bonus, you get to ride in his Tesla. 🙂
  3. If like us, you don’t speak or understand Norwegian, you might find it hard to read the labels on groceries in the supermarket, as some of them are not translated into English. Ask for help from the person at the counter. When we couldn’t locate the butter, we asked the lady at the checkout counter and she helped us find it. Norwegians speak English so communicating is not a problem at all.
  4. The sale of alcohol is restricted in Norway and it’s only available in certain stores. Ask a local for help to find a store that sells it. Ola took us via the AMFI Pyramiden on the mainland side of Tromsø city where we bought some wine and a bottle of Jagermeister.

    Picking up wine at the AMFI Pyramiden
  5. To identify the mountain peaks in the Lyngen Alps and some on the way, Arun used the PeakLens app on Google Play. It helps you precisely identify mountain peaks and hills in real-time and works online and offline with pre-downloaded maps.
    The PeakLens app gave us the names of these mountains in the Lyngen Alps
    The PeakLens app gave us the (unpronounceable) names of these mountains in the Lyngen Alps

    The Sleeping Soldier mountain peak in Norway
    No prizes for guessing why this peak is called the Sleeping Soldier
  6. To know how likely you are to see the Northern Lights, you can download the My Aurora Forecast app. It tells you exactly how likely you are to see the Aurora borealis and offers information about solar wind activity and high-resolution sun imagery. However, your chance of seeing the lights depends largely on a combination of solar activity, good weather, and a healthy helping of luck.
  7. If you want to stay in the glass igloo at Lyngen North, you’ll have to book months in advance, as they have only two and they tend to sell out very quickly. Contact Ola if you’re not sure about availability.
  8. Finally, do spend at least 2 to 3 nights (if not more) at Lyngen North. No photos can capture the magnificent views of the fjord and Lyngen Alps, and Lyngen North is truly one of the best places to stay in Norway to see the Northern Lights.
It's hard to say goodbye to Lyngen North
It’s hard to say goodbye to Lyngen North

Also, read:

I hope you enjoyed this Lyngen North review. Watch the video below for some of my favourite moments from our trip.

 

Lyngen North is one of the best places to stay in Norway to see the Northern LightsWatch The Northern Lights In a Glass Igloo In Norway

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Lyngen North, Rotsund
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star

Priya Florence Shah

Priya Florence Shah is an author, blogger and travel writer.She loves vacations that involve peace and quiet but loves nature, wildlife, art, history and culture too. You can connect with her @PriyaFlorence

28 thoughts on “Lyngen North: Northern Lights, Fjords and Fogbows”

  1. This was an unforgettable trip (which I would never have undertaken on my own). From exploring Tromso with our quaint little hotel as a home base to the glass igloo at Lyngen North, everything was amazing and will be etched into my memory forever. I abhor being herded across multiple countries and locations in Kesari-style package tours, and prefer to spend a few days in every place I visit. That is exactly what we did, soaking up as much as possible of what we saw of breathtakingly beautiful Norway. Ola was the perfect host at Lyngen North, explaining everything we needed to know and then letting us create our own experiences from there. I will never forget the magnificent Aurora Borealis display across the entire sky on our last night there – Nature kept her best gift for the last moment. What a trip that was!

  2. I can see why this was such an exciting bucket list experience for you! Norway looks like a beautiful country. Interesting that you got to also visit an old German WWII fort as well. I have always wanted to see the northern lights, too. I live in Minnesota in the US, and they are visible in the northern part of the state. I must prioritize that!

  3. Alright…I am super jealous of this adventure you had to find the Northern Lights in the town of Lyngen in Northern Norway! I mean first that Tesla has suicide doors for the back passengers…how totally bizarre and awesome!
    Then You stayed in a glass igloo…that is 100% on my bucket list to do once and those you found at Ola’s in Lyngen sound amazing! I agree that with all of that beauty surrounding the area, it would be hard to stay inside but if you went during a colder darker season, it would be heaven.
    Than YOU SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS! 4 out of 6 days…I kind of hate you. I hiked around Iceland for 2 weeks hunting the Aurora Borealis and had 2 weeks of clouds and no luck! Guess I will have to try my luck in Lyngen!
    Finally, what a beautiful area to hike around and explore. I love the natural beauty of Northern Norway. Also, thanks for the PeakLens app tip. I had never heard of it before but I do a lot of hiking and backpacking and that would be a great resource.

  4. To see the Lights with my own eyes is one of my biggest dreams! Thank you for some useful tips, I definitely plan to travel to Norway as I have many friends there too. I hope you enjoyed your trip, the photos look very good 🙂

  5. We would love to see the Northern Lights. It’s been on our bucket list for a while. I have heard that September may not be the best time to see them, but you saw the Northern Lights almost every night when you were there. That is pretty amazing! To stay in a glass igloo is such a cool and unique experience. You have all the mod cons in the igloo and it seems so private. What better way to sleep under the stars!

    1. It was really fabulous to be able to stay in the igloo and see the Northern Lights 4 days out of 6. We had great weather and actually September is not a bad time because it’s when rainfall (hence clouds) is the least.

  6. The more I read blogs like yours and see photos like yours of the northern lights, the more passionate I am about booking a trip to find them. The only problem is it’s normally associated with cold and winter! So, I love that you went “early” and saw them in September. Maybe I could do that too!

    1. There are lots of benefits to going in September. That’s when rainfall and clouds are at their lowest so more chance of clear days. Also, the weather is so much more enjoyable. You can actually spend a lot of time outdoors.

  7. Capturing a shooting star during the Northern Lights sounds so magical! And your shots of the fog with a hint of something in the distance look so mysterious and mystical. But, mostly I want to visit to stay in a glass igloo!! How cool!

  8. What fantastic luck you had with the Northern lights, and at that time of year too! We have yet to have really good viewing of the northern lights, and will keep trying. We hoped to see them in Abisko but were very unlucky. I have been looking at visiting the glass igloos for many years, so really appealing to read your post about your experiences. Oh and hello fog rainbow, never seen such an amazing thing!

  9. what a fantastic experience! I went to Iceland in late winter this year and I hadn’t been that lucky unfortunately. I may try with Norway next year 😉

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *