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Action-packed winter adventure

Blog post   •   Feb 05, 2020 07:00 UTC

Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen /

In the Kirkenes area there are few people and a lot of nature. Winter in Kirkenes is a magical time and the place is a paradise for anyone who loves snow and winter activities. You are basically at the northernmost tip of Europe, right on the border to Russia and Finnish Lappland. This makes Kirkenes a fascinating crucible with cultural influences from the neighbouring countries as well as from Norwegian and Sami. It’s not without reason that many signs are in both Norwegian, Sami and Russian.

Photo: /

Snow is guaranteed

- We are blessed with long, cold and stable winters, with lots of snow and much cold, in a world where evidently there is less and less of both, says Per H. Johansen at Snow-hotel Kirkenes.

He welcomes tourists from all over the world who would like to experience the cold, snow, ice, winter darkness and the famed Aurora Borealis - the Northern Lights.

- We love the snow and the cold! And the more snow there is, the more fun, colder and more beautiful it is here, Per thinks.

Photo: Terje Rakke

It is next to impossible to grow bored while on your winter holiday in the Kirkenes area. Accommodation, food and activities in this wild and raw Arctic landscape are all extraordinary experiences. If you include dog sledding, fishing, snow and fun, Kirkenes is great for families with children as well.

In the evening, you can join a Northern Lights safari and enjoy delicious meals made of local produce from land and sea. Both the Snowhotel and other local orga­nizers offer tours with different themes.

Northern Lights safari

To truly experience the magnificent Northern Lights in their full glory, you must head out into the wilderness and darkness.

SNOWMOBILING: It is hard for people in Finnmark to imagine a life without the snowmobile. Try it yourself or take the «backseat» with your own snowmobile driver. Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life –

Various operators offer tours by bus, snow­mobile and a dog sled that takes you out into the quiet night to experience the Northern Lights dance across the sky.

The Snowhotel

Even though you may have grown up in Norway with the hustle and bustle of snow in winter, accommodation in a real snow and ice hotel is probably just as exotic as a beach hut in the Caribbean.

- This is much more than just a hotel with snow or ice. This is a total winter adventure, says Per H. Johansen at Snowhotel Kirkenes.

COLD DRINKS: The bar at the Snowhotel. Foto: –

The snow hotel itself is created in winter and disappears in spring. Everything is made out of snow and ice, even the bed you sleep in.

Snowhotel Kirkenes has other accommodation options, though, including the popular old cabins with large windows that will be a real asset when the Northern Lights come to visit.

King crab fishing

The big king crab is a delicacy and is served by many top restaurants. In Kirkenes you can go fishing with local fishermen, catch king crab and even get help preparing the crab meat for a memorable dinner!

THE KING: The king crab immigrated from Russia a number of years ago and is now big business in Finnmark. Foto: Jørn Tomter -

Fishing trips

There is a massive chance of success when fishing up north. There are various fishing trips to choose from, among them snow­mobiling and ice fishing, or rib safaris and deep sea fishing.

Dog sledding

If you’d like to experience nature without a motorized vehicle, dog sledding is an exciting alternative. From Kirkenes there are many routes you can take with dog and sled. You can choose between short and longer trips and whether you’d like to steer yourself or just be a passenger. There are also organized dog sledding trips to the Russian border.

Photo: Terje Rakke

At Snowhotel Kirkenes you can also visit the lovely husky puppies that some day will transport new tourists to the area. This is a very popular affair with both hotel guests and other visitors.

For more information visit