Imagine this. You rug yourself up in a warm jacket and step outside into a dark, winter night. The air is cold and still. You break the peaceful silence with a light, crunching sound that marks each step you take through the fresh powdery snow. As you stop to gaze up into space, you can see stars twinkle across the endless dark sky and then, magic happens. The bright and colorful lights of the Auroras dance across the darkness, moving and swaying as if having a life of their own. Does this sound like a dream experience to add to your bucket list? If so, read on. Today I am sharing all the details on how you can experience this very dream of seeing the Northern Lights in Norway without breaking the budget.
Sleep Under the Northern Lights in Norway
Seeing the Northern Lights was a big ticket item on my bucket list and I just knew that I had to make it happen. No time like the present right? When I was planning my trip, I was scrolling through the AirBnb website for inspiration and I came across this seemingly perfect cabin in the woods in Northern Norway. My sixth sense immediatley felt a jolt that it was the one and just like that it was booked. Christmas getaway here I come.
To get to this hidden treasure, I flew Norwegian Airlines into the Alta Airport, picked up my rental car from the Europcar office and drove about an hour outside of Alta where I was greeted by one of the owners of the cabin, Tor Even. He gave me a tour of the cabin area and I just knew that I had made the right choice.
About the cabin
The main cabin area radiated with coziness. A comfortable corner lounge, decorated with pillows and blankets, rested by a fireplace and provided a perfect place to relax. I even slept there at night because it was so comfortable and cozy. There are also two bedrooms in the main cabin – one with bunk beds, and another bed in a separate area of the cabin allowing plenty of room for families or friends.
For your hunting and gathering needs, there is a small grocery store about 10 minutes drive away in the town of Skaidi, and a bigger (and cheaper) store about 30 minutes drive away in Kvalsund. There you can stock up on food and firewood for your stay. The main cabin has a kitchenette equipped with all the utensils you need for meal making and a cozy dining table by the fire. There is also an outdoor fire pit which I used to cook sausages and meat for outdoor meals, combining deliciousness with fun.
There is no running water at the cabin, though there is an outdoor pump which you can use to fill jugs for drinking and showering. Side note – it is seriously the freshest, most refreshing water you will drink! Never fear if you like hot showers either because after you fill your jugs, you simply connect them to a pump and heater in the shower room and voila you have nice, hot shower water. I actually never realized how much water I used when I showered until after I used this jug system so it was quite an eye-opener for me.
Ok, that makes sense for the showers but what about when nature calls? I can hear you ask. There are two different toilets at the cabin. One indoors with a bag system for disposing waste – that is the waste collects into a bag which you have to take to the nearby town to dispose of. The other toilet is an outdoor drop toilet in a separate enclosed structure. Personally, even though it wasn’t in the comfortable warmth of the cabin, I found it easiest to use the outdoor toilet.
For me, it truly was simplicity at its absolute finest and most enjoyable but I think it’s safe to say that if you are a high maintenance, Kardashian type of person, then you won’t enjoy this cabin as much. Or, perhaps you should try staying in a place like this and you may even surprise yourself?
If you are in the mood for relaxation, the cabin also boasts an unmissable sauna and outdoor jacuzzi. I cannot tell you how serene it was sitting in the warm jacuzzi at night, with snowflakes falling on my face, a cold cider in hand and looking up to see the glow of the Northern Lights above me. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip and coolest experiences of my life which is why I highly recommend booking this add-on feature.
What to do there
My stay was a relaxed-active style of trip over the holidays. I had a few ideas for things to do but left it open so there was room to simply relax and enjoy the surroundings. If you want to get out and experience as much as possible there is a lot to do in the area, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. I took a day trip to The North Cape which it the northernmost point in Europe and I also took trips to Hammerfest and Kvalsund which were all really fun outings. (I might write up posts about these later so if you are interested in more information let me know). The roads were well managed, with the snow being cleared often so the driving was smooth. Even better, the views while driving were so scenic that it made driving around blissful!
There were plenty of things to do around the cabin too. In addition to taking a dip in the jacuzzi, it was fun to make my first snowman, go sledding down the hills and enjoying food by the outdoor fire. The cabin had a TV with a small selection of DVDs and also board games which came in handy on one day when a snowstorm rolled through.
The Northern Lights
Perhaps the most wonderful part of the location of the cabin was that it was the perfect place to see the Northern Lights in Norway! I stayed at the cabin for a week and the Northern Lights were in the area every single night. I even saw them one afternoon at about 3pm while walking to the car which was really cool! You don’t have to go far to see them either, like I said, I was watching them from the jacuzzi! Instead of having to do late night drives and treks to find the best spot, it was quite easy to look out the window to check if they were on show then rug up, get my camera and go outside to experience the magic of them. This made the stay so fulfilling for me because I was surrounded by the wonderful Auroras every night. I felt as though I got to see them so much and also got to see how different they were each night – different movements, lines and colors, that it felt like I had made the most of this bucket list item which is the best feeling for a travel experience.
While I was there I used this app to keep track of the forecasts which was helpful because it showed me the probability of seeing the lights based on my location as well as sending me alerts if there was about to be a good display on show.
This was such a wonderful travel experience for me. I was able to stay in a charming, cozy cabin in the woods, play in the snow, explore the surrounding areas and tick off a big ticket item off my bucket list more than once. I am certainly feeling very grateful as I write this. In the end, I was sad to leave but I also left with a big smile because it was such a magical trip. I am excited to share it here on the blog because I love being able to inspire others to create special moments like these and I just hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
For more information
Contact: Tor Even – Click here for AirBnb listing.