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Lyngen fjord and peninsula truly are hidden gems of Northern Norway. Being located only 2 hours drive from nearest city, Tromso, they’re a fantastic all-year adventure destination – in the summer they’re hikers’ paradise, whereas in winter they’re the capital of snow sports!
Hence, if you’ve already visited iconic Norwegian archipelagos and mountains, and you think that you’ve seen it all, think again! Although Lyngenfjord is a little bit off beaten track it fantastically provides for those seeking alpine experience and unique views, as well as for those looking for quieter coastal walks, far from madding crowds.
Check it out, Lyngen Norway may be perfect for you!
Continue reading for find out how Lyngenfjord surprised us with its beauty!
Lyngen Norway – the unexpected gem of The North
1. How to get to Lyngen Norway
2. Road trip in Lyngen Norway, including hike to Lake Blavatnet and to Lyngstuva hut & lighthouse
3. Chasing northern lights in Lyngen
4. Wild camping and campsites in Lyngen
1. How to get to Lyngen Norway
Lyngen peninsula and Lyngenfjord are best reached by car.
Tromso, the nearest town, is located about 2 hours drive away. The journey includes a short ferry crossing from Breivikeidet to Svensby operated by Bjorklids (click here for timetable).
If coming from the east, we recommend taking a shortcut, a ferry from Olderdalen to Lyngseidet, also operated by Bjorklids (timetable).
The nearest airport is located in Tromso.
2. Road trip in Lyngen Norway
Having mentioned above the two ferry connections to reach Lyngen, we must admit that we took the long way and arrived to Lyngen peninsula by road, from the south.
In fact, we have to make one more confession: we were totally, utterly surprised by the views thru the windscreen as we approached Lyngseidet. Let us explain…
Before we got to Lyngen, we had been on the road in Norway for more than a month already. Coming from the south we had driven thru Lofoten, had explored Vesteralen and Senja… as we progressed further north, the landscape was gentler, mountains were lower. We were on our way to tundra of Finnmark; Lyngen was a little bit of detour, but we heard that the peninsula was beautiful and were eager to explore it.
I definitely wasn’t prepared to see the alpine style rocky peaks, high inaccessible mountains towering high over the road! Lyngsfjord landscape took me completely by surprise!
Driving from the south we first followed east coast of Lyngen peninsula, with fantastic views to Lyngenfjord. As much as we loved the combination of green hills and crystal clear waters of the fjord, we struggled to photograph it! The road was narrow and it seemed impossible to stop for a photo in the most beautiful locations, parking bays and viewpoints were located at random (that’s what we felt) and wherever we actually could stop, the most fantastic sights were already long passed! That was, what we called ‘the curse’ of Lyngenfjord!
When we finally arrived to the first larger village – Lyngseidet, the situation changed dramatically. Yes, the roads were just as narrow and parking bays sparse, but somehow we found it easier to stop along the road for a photo or two.
LYNGSEIDET, SVENSBY & JAEGERVATNET
Also, Lyngeseidet seemed to be a door to another world. Not only the village looked like a ‘big time winter sports complex’, with mountain style buildings and ‘alpine style’ hotels, but also when we passed the village we entered a world of new views and dramatic landscape.
Suddenly the road was walled by high rocky peaks, steep ravines, high passes. It all looked unreal! Our ‘hiker gene’ kicked in and we were very excited about the area although we learned that Lyngen Alps (as they’re called) are mountains more suitable for climbers and adrenaline seekers, with many trails marked as ‘challenging’ or ‘expert’ difficulty. Apart from being ideal for winter sports, of course!
As we drove further, towards Svensby, landscape again slightly changed. The high mountains were to our right, but directly in front of us was Ullsfjorden… and right behind it were weird rugged mountains. Have a look at the main photo on top of page and you’ll see exactly what I mean. All along the slopes they were stripped white, which amazingly contrasted with autumnal oranges and browns of summits as well as blue waters of fjord. Truly incredible view; for me it actually felt a bit arctic (yes, I know that Lyngenfjord is well past Arctic Circle).
Driving further still we arrived to Jaegervatnet, a small settlement located between the fjord and beautiful lake.
Jaegervatnet was a great spot to have a short break and a small wander and we happily embraced this opportunity!
BLAVATNET, HIKING TO THE BLUE LAKE
The same afternoon we ventured to explore an incredible landmark of Lyngen, Blavatnet. It’s only a short hike (3 hours) to the beautiful ‘blue lake’, we absolutely loved the silver-blue waters surrounded by sunset lit sharp ridges and a glacier! Having arrived to the lake we took all the time in the world to enjoy it and explore its shores. We were a bit tempted to swim in the incredible blue water, but as soon as we dipped out toes, we instantly decided against it! Lake’s blue waters come directly from the glacier (located just over) so you can imagine how cold was the water!
Hike to Blavatnet was easy an definitely worth the effort, we strongly recommend it!
Total time 3 hours, total distance 7 km, level of difficulty GREEN – easy. Follow this link to find out more about hiking to lake Blavatnet – we prepared a separate, detailed post about the walk (with directions, route description and hiking map).
LYNGSTUVA, EXPLORING THE NORTHERNMOST TIP OF LYNGEN PENINSULA
We managed to explore the northernmost tip of Lyngen peninsula only the next morning. Locals recommended a hike to Lyngstuva, a historic Sami site and a small, iconic hut with a tiny lighthouse. Along the trail we also spotted a couple of ship wrecks. We thoroughly enjoyed the hike and recommend spending a couple of hours at Lyngstuva. The walk is easy (mostly flat) and the view over the fjord to surrounding islands and mountain ranges was incredible. Not to mention the bijou red hut, it’s simply cute!
Total time 2 hours , total distance 3 km, level of difficulty GREEN – easy. Follow this link for detailed information on Lyngstuva hike, including directions, route description and hiking map.
3. Chasing northern lights in Lyngenfjord
It may sound insane, but during our visit to Northern Norway we witnessed northern lights countless times. In fact, we enjoyed Aurora Borealis on most clear nights (and some cloudy ones too!) when the solar activity was so strong that we saw the green lights dancing in the sky even thru cloud cover (yes, that’s possible!)
We were very excited to see the lights each time, but having been totally spoilt by the shows, we didn’t stay out for hours and hours when the activity was weak and we could only see faint green bow. Nonetheless, we would peek out every night to check what’s going on out there, and on many occasions we ended up rushing to get the camera & tripod and quickly dress in very warm clothes to be able to stay out longer.
On the night we enjoyed northern lights over Lyngen Norway, we were knackered. Most of the day we spent on the road, then we finished off the day with a hike to lake Blavatnet. We ended up quite late on the campsite, only to find it deserted. After a short phone conversation with the owner, we learned that September is already ‘a very low season’ and guests are rare, but luckily he was willing to take us in. Couple of minutes later we were greeted by a friendly, tall sea-man. We were the only guests in weeks. Only a wild camping enthusiast will know how much we enjoyed the hot shower that night!
As every night, Ela peeked out of our camper when it got totally dark. Most times she was back in bed within minutes due to clouds, but that night the sky was crystal clear. Million stars above us, but no Aurora yet. About half an hour later she was out again and this time the sky looked promising!
Quickly she grabbed the camera and tripod, and walked behind campsite buildings, towards the shore. She totally forgot she was bare-feet and only wore ‘crocs’ and pyjamas, fortunately the night was warm. Ela only managed to set the camera and before she knew it, green bows, beams and rays lightened the sky above her!
The show was amazing, northern lights were dancing right above our heads… we were happy like kids! When the purple beams started to appear we were almost ecstatic! The lights were constantly changing shapes and intensity, a true feast for the eyes and souls. We thought that maybe we could move the ‘photo station’ to nearby small harbour and photograph Aurora reflecting in calm fjord. It wasn’t an easy job to focus on shooting reflections, as we were constantly ‘distracted’ by what was going on in the sky! But it’s not a complaint, by no means!
Finally, around midnight the show ended and only then we realised that we’ve been out for ages, and in meantime we got completely frozen. Ha ha! Was it worth? Without a doubt! It’s worth every time! One can’t just sleep thru northern lights display.
Wild camping in Lyngen Norway and nearest campsites
Wild camping is allowed and widely accepted in Norway. By law, everyone is allowed to stay overnight at any spot at least 150 metres from nearby buildings. Generally speaking, in most parts of Northern Norway finding a wild camping spot is very easy, especially when travelling in a camper. Many times we stopped overnight simply along the road, we usually found a nice spot with a view. It’s a bit trickier when travelling with a tent, as lower grounds are often quite rocky or wet, hence we recommend seeking wild camping spots suitable for tents at a little bit higher grounds, on along the trails.
Keep in mind that finding a good camping spot is tricky along Blavatnet trail, as the ground is very rocky and uneven. The best place to look for good pitching ground is near the dedicated car park – there are makeshift tent pitches prepared. However, the northernmost tip of Lyngen peninsula is a wild-camper’s paradise – with countless good spots along Lyngstuva trail (just ensure to stay away from ancient Sami sites).
Travelling with a camper, you could use either Lyngstuva car park at the top of peninsula or just stay at the Blavatnet car park – overnight stay is not forbidden. Especially the latter is a very fine place to spend the night.
There aren’t too many campsites in northern part of Lyngen peninsula, the nearest camping ground is located in vicinity of Nordlenangen, and is called Lyngen Fjordcamp. It’s a tiny campsite near small harbour; during our visit in September 2018, we were the only guests and the owner basically opened it just for us. The facilities were decent, thou, with a small, warm kitchen / living room.
There is another campsite in Svensby (Svensby Tursenter), but we can’t comment on its facilities.
NORWEGIAN DIFFICULTY LEVEL EXPLAINED: GREEN – easy , BLUE -moderate, RED – demanding, BLACK -expert