Choose for yourself
All sorts of guest rooms are available in Northern Norway. There are good hotels in towns and population centres, and private overnight accommodation, inns and hiking association cabins are the more reasonable alternatives. You are likely to find the most distinctive atmosphere in a seahouse or fisherman’s cabin, called a “rorbu”. Camping areas are equipped with everything from tent sites to comfortable cabins.
In our Travel Guide Northern Norway you will find lists of accommodation for different regions in Northern Norway.
“Rorbu” and seahouses – Northern Norwegian style!
The authentic fisherman’s cabins are in Lofoten, as this is where the fishermen needed a place to stay during the fishing season. Similar houses are found along the entire northern coast, but then they are generally called “sjøhus” (seahouses) or “sjøbu” (wharfside sheds) . Some “rorbu” (fishermen’s cabins) are totally original, and accommodate backpackers for a reasonable price. Others are furnished with modern comforts, and still others have been specifically built in recent years as overnight accommodation. Before reserving a rorbu, you should determine what kind of rorbu you want: basic and cheap, or more comfortable and a bit more expensive.
Hotels: More of them – and a better standard – than you might expect!
Comfortable hotels of first-class and solid medium-class standard are found in all towns and larger population centres in Northern Norway. In mini-metropolises such as Alta, Tromsø and Bodø, there are a number of good hotels, either bed and breakfast or full-service, to choose from. Smaller towns and population centres generally have one full-service hotel with a restaurant and bar. Please note that the hotels often provide good weekend discounts, and in the summer season you should ask about the summer prices and use the hotel chains’ money-saving summer passes. However, expect to pay full price during mid-week in autumn, winter and spring. Breakfast is generally always included.
Camping sites: The world’s most beautiful...
The camping sites in Northern Norway are characterised by natural beauty and diversity. Tent sites and parking for campers and caravans are provided. Cabins come in a number of varieties: some are basic and inexpensive, with a common shower and toilet facility; others are fully equipped bungalows with a bathroom, kitchen and multiple bedrooms. There are often a number of types at the same camping site. Children have a great time at camping sites as there are generally play areas, miniature golf, rabbit hutches and perhaps even bathing facilities, and the mood on sunny summer evenings is jovial.
Inns and hostels: Simpler and less expensive!
Less expensive overnight alternatives are generally called inns, guest houses or motels. These alternatives tend to vary greatly in price and standard; breakfast may or may not be included, and bathroom facilities may be en suite or shared. Private overnight accommodation, consisting of a bedroom in someone’s home, is available in some places. There are 18 hostels in Northern Norway; some are only open during the summer and others are open year-round. They offer overnight accommodation in multiple-bed dorms or in double or single rooms.
Fishing holiday: high-standard accommodation and great fishing
There are a number of overnight accommodation facilities along the coast which specialise in deep-sea fishing. A typical facility might have modern holiday accommodation with capacity for many overnight guests in multiple bedrooms, with fully equipped kitchens and modern bathrooms. Boats with complete fishing equipment (including fishfinder) are included, and there is often a separate room for cleaning fish. Some facilities have their own restaurants, but self-catering is always an option. During the high season from March to October, it is generally only possible to rent accommodation on a weekly basis. However, off-piste skiers and Northern Lights gazers can generally ask for discounts or shorter stays during the low season in the winter.
Holiday homes: Your own home in the country!
Renting a house is ideal for families and groups of friends, Northern Lights gazers and mountain hikers. A typical holiday home in Northern Norway might be an older house in a farming environment with a large, blue kitchen, a quaint little living room and a steep set of stairs to the loft bedrooms. Some are 1970s retro, and quite a few are totally modern. There are generally many opportunities for walking, fishing and cycling nearby, and it is easy to start a chat with the locals. Some houses may be rented on a weekly basis, while others may be available for a single or several nights.
Trekking Association cabins and mountain lodges: There is always space!
The Norwegian Trekking Association operates a number of huts in mountain areas across all of Northern Norway. Few of the huts are manned, and you generally need to fetch the key in advance. You will need to be a member of the Norwegian Trekking Association in order to stay overnight, but that is easily arranged. Along the old trails of the Finnmarksvidda plateau lie a series of mountain lodges about 30 km apart, which is roughly equivalent to one day’s trekking. Some of these mountain lodges are still receiving guests, and they are of a somewhat higher standard than the Trekking Association’s huts. One never turns away guests in the mountains, so one simply sleeps on the floor if all the beds are taken!
Distinctive overnight accommodation in Northern Norway:
A selection of characteristic places to stay in the north:
• Basecamp in Svalbard, is furnished like a hunting cabin; www.basecampexplorer.com
• The Snow Hotel in Kirkenes is highly seasonal: www.kirkenessnowhotel.com
• Landegode Lighthouse near Bodø has a full view of the Lofoten mountains. www.nordlandturselskap.no
• Fru Haugans Hotell (Mrs Haugan’s Hotel) in Mosjøen is Northern Norway’s oldest hotel: www.fruhaugans.no
• Røkenes Farm in Harstad has a 250-year-old main building: www.roekenesgaard.no
• In order to access the fishermen’s cabins on the island of Kårøy just off Røst, you will need to row the last few metres yourself; www.karoy.no
• If you want to stay at Lyngen Lodge in March, you need to be adept on skis; www.lyngenlodge.com
• Engholm Husky Design in Karasjok has designer huts made of thick pine logs: www.engholm.no