High above the Arctic Circle and northeast of the Norwegian city of Tromso, the Lyngen Alps (Lyngsalpene) stretch from Lyngenfjord in the south up to Ullsfjord, close to the Swedish border. The 56-mile-long (90-kilometer) mountain range forms a spectacular landscape of deep gorges, gleaming icy glaciers, and wild, boulder-filled rivers.
Easily accessed on a day trip from Tromso, the Lyngen Alps offer a wide range of nature activities and tours, including snowmobile safaris, ice climbing, skiing, and dog or reindeer sledding. There are easy hiking and cycling routes around Svensby and Lake Jaegervatn, with the chance to spot birds of prey, reindeer, elk, and the occasional lynx or wolf. The Lyngenfjord region also offers cultural highlights such as the Center for Northern People, which celebrates the native Sami culture. Some guided tours offer the opportunity to meet with Sami people, learn about reindeer herding, and take a sleigh ride through the Alps.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Lyngen Alps is a must-visit destination for nature lovers as well as outdoor and winter sports enthusiasts.
- The highest of the range’s peaks, Jiekkevarre, reaches 6,017 feet (1,834 meters); its challenging terrain is for experienced mountaineers only.
- The Lyngsdalen valley, above the village of Furuflaten, is a more accessible area for hikers of all levels.
How to Get There
The Lyngen Alps lie 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Tromso; the trip involves driving the E8 and RV91 to Breivikeidet before catching the ferry to Svensby. You can skip the hassle of driving by booking one of the many day tours that leave from Tromso.
When to Get There
In winter the tallest peaks of the Lyngen Alps are a paradise for experienced climbers and extreme skiers, while their gentle lower slopes are perfect for dog sledding, snow safaris, and spotting the northern lights. In summer the mountains are illuminated by the warm glow of the midnight sun, and the fjords’ calm, sheltered waters attract sailors while the lakes, teeming with salmon and trout, lure fishing enthusiasts.
Mountain Views and a Gigantic Santa
The coastal villages of the Lyngen peninsula offer dramatic views of the Alps. The charming village of Lyngseidet is home to many old buildings, including Lyngen Church, built in 1740. The village also claims the world’s tallest Santa Claus figure, Gollis, who stands behind the quay at 30 feet (9 meters) tall.