Lyngen is a municipality in the Region of Troms in Northern Norway. The municipality is characterized by the towering, alpine mountains that rise 1833 metres right up from the Arctic Ocean. These mountains are known as Lyngen alps and are among the most alpine in Norway. Geographically, the municipality is a peninsula. There are some 3200 inhabitants in Lyngen.
- Lyngseidet is the main settlement, and has some 1000 inhabitants. It is a rather picturesque place, with old, wooden houses and the 1731 Lyngen Church.
- Furuflaten is an industrial village at the root of the peninsula.
- Nord-Lenangen is a fishing village at the tip of the peninsula.
- Svensby is a settlement some 20 minutes' drive west of Lyngseidet, from where there is a ferry to the Tromsø peninsula.
The municipality is tricultural. The original inhabitants were the Sami and the area is called Ivggu in the Northern Sami language. The outer villages got a Norwegian population rather early on, and in the 18th century, people from Finland settled in the area (known as Yykeän in Kven/Finnish language). Today, almost everyone speaks Norwegian only, but Sami and Finnish are still spoken by a few elderly people.
The area is extremely well suited for off-piste skiers. However, visitors will soon discover that the infrastructure is lacking. Book your accommodation early and bring all your gear; the rest, the flexible inhabitants will fix on the spot.
Sea fishing is excellent in the area. There are plenty of boats available to hire, although shore fishing is good too. In the deep waters of Lyngenfjord (up to 300 m) you can catch cod, whiting, haddock, coalfish, halibut, wolffish, redfish (Norwegian haddock) and more, and you can see porpoises and the occasional whale. There is even pretty good fresh-water fishing in Jagervattnet, a lake north of the Svendby ferry, where you can catch salmon and arctic char, although a licence is required.
The main language today in Lyngen is Northern Norwegian dialect, with slight variations within the municipality. However, some Sami and Finnish is still understood by the elderly.
English is widely spoken, especially by the young.
To reach the peninsula, there is a ferry from Breivikeidet in the borough of Tromsø to Svensby. The drive from Tromsø to Breivikeidet is about 50 minutes. From Svensby, there is 25 minutes' drive to Lyngseidet. From Lyngseidet there is a ferry onwards to Olderdalen on the east side of Lyngen. See Bjorklid for updated info. The Eurovelo 1 biking route uses these ferries.
Alternatively you can take the longer land-only route, following the E8-E6-Rv868 all the way round Lyngenfjord. This is the route to take if you're too early or late for the ferry.
There are a couple of buses a day from Tromsø to places like Svensby, Lyngseidet and Furuflaten. The northern tip of the peninsula is served by a bus a day, approximately, and a catamaran a couple of times a week. See 177troms for bus timetables.
There are precious few buses in the area. Having your own transportation is not a bad idea.
You go to Lyngen for the outdoor activities and the scenery. Heritage places of note include:
- Lyngen Church, Lyngseidet. from 1731
- Gamslet Museum, Svensby. with old houses
- Solhov folkehøgskole, Solhov (just south of Lyngseidet). This was built as a boarding school around 1920, and is a huge wooden building.
- Off-piste skiing
- Cross-country skiing in the foothills near Svensby.
The infrastructure for off-piste is not fantastically developed, which is maybe part of the attraction. There are several ways of doing it:
- If you know what you're doing, hire a hut or a room and do it yourself. Are you up to it?
- Hire a guide: SunAlp
- Glacier walks
The shops in Lyngseidet are more functional than designed for the shopaholic. Surprisingly there are three well-stocked supermarkets, one near the ferry, and one to the NW of the town, opposite the medical centre, with the third directly behind this. There's a small gift shop next to the first supermarket, and a hardware store on the main street that also sells fishing gear (although all the supermarkets do too, albeit to a lesser extent).
Stigen Vertshus offers home cooking in Lyngseidet. Watch out for their goat specialities. All accommodation has cooking facilities, as the restaurant offer is rather thin, and it closes as early as 18:30.
If you get the opportunity, beg some freshly-boiled shrimps from one of the shrimp boats that occasionally tie up at one of the piers: they're absolutely delicious.
Stigen Vertshus also serves alcohol, but it's expensive. The supermarket is slightly less expensive, but the Norwegian sales times are very limited compared to other countries.
Book early for the off-piste season in March-May. Groups of budget conscious travellers could consider the top end alternatives, as they get less pricy if many people share. Searh on the Din Tur web site for accommodation.
- Svensby Tursenter offers tenting
- Stigen Vertshus has some unrenovated rooms at lower rates.
- Svensby tursenter has got three huts with bath and lounge/kitchenette, along with two bedrooms.
- Stigen Verthus has rather nice rooms centrally located in Lyngseidet.
- Toften Husflid og Ferie is in fact a single house that easily sleeps four. Lovingly restored, it combines character with comfort.
- Koppangen Brygger is a resort geared for deep sea fishing. The huts sleep many people, and have all equipment necessary. The location in Koppangen north east of Lyngseidet is magical.
- Lyngen Havfiske also caters for the deep sea fishing set, and is equally well equipped. It is situated in the middle of the fishing village of Nord-Lenangen.
- Sorheim Bryggeis similarly a group of chalets targeting fisherfolk. These are extraordinarily well-equipped, with sauna, smoke house and WiFi, and you can rent a boat and fishing gear.
- Artic Lyngen Sjøcamp. Cottages on the waterfront with panoramic views of the Lyngen Fjord and the Lyngen Alps.
- Lyngen North: Glass igloo hotel by the Lyngenfjord. The hotel is famous for its spectacular view towards the Lyngen Alps.
Crime is more or less unheard of. The main danger is also the big attraction: The mountains are highly dangerous for the untrained. If you should hire a boat, always wear a lifejacket. The weather can change surprisingly quickly and it's not uncommon for the wind to change from a gentle breeze to a gale in minutes, so be prepared. Avalanche hazard is high in winter, particularly after heavy snowfall and during rising temperatures.
|Routes through Lyngen|
|Narvik ← Bardufoss ← Nordkjosbotn (for to Tromsø) ←||SW NE||→ Alta → Nordkapp|