Our main objective in going to Norway was to see the Northern Lights, so it was no surprise when Google directed us to Tromso.
But we were travelling with four children and so didn’t want to stay in town and simply join a bus load of tourists being driven around the countryside all night. The kids would hate it and it was their holiday too. We had to make sure they had a good time, and we really didn’t want to inflict them on some poor strangers who were just trying to do a bit of peaceful Aurora spotting.
So DH started looking around for comfortable self catering accommodation, not far from Tromso, where we’d have a good chance of seeing the lights in situ. That’s when we stumbled across the website for Lauklines Kystferie.
It ticked all the boxes; peaceful ( at least until we arrived), isolated ( less light pollution equals increased chances of seeing the Lights), large enough to house a lively family of 6 with enough stuff to do nearby during the day. The photos of the cabins sold the idea of staying in one to us and we quickly booked a week’s accommodation.
In Feburary 2013, there were no direct flights from LHR to Tromso, so we flew with SAS airlines and had to stopover at Oslo. We had to collect our luggage and recheck it here though, which was a bit of a PITA as we then had to go through security again. But once that was over, the airport was fine. There was lots of room for the kids to run madly around and play areas as well. Food was very expensive though; we spent over £50 on 3 baguettes and 3 hotdogs!
Tromso airport was tiny, and we were the last flight of the day so baggage collection was speedy and we made our way to the Sixt office to collect our car. We had dithered a bit about hiring a car and thought about just getting a cab to take us out to the cabin, then booking a driver when we wanted to go somewhere. Then we saw the prices charged for this service- £250 each way. At those rates, even if we hired a car and just used it once apart from arriving and departing, we’d have broken even. As it was was, we used the car almost every day.
The driving took a little getting used to. Driving a manual vehicle on the wrong side of an icy road was pretty nerve wracking and I’m afraid I swore rather a lot for the first 24 hours of driving in Norway. We stopped at a supermarket to stock up on the way to the cabin and spent the equivalent of a week’s shopping in the UK on enough food to last us 2-3 days. If you are going self catering in Norway, it may be a good idea to bring a couple of bags of pasta and a few tins of beans with you!
By the time we’d arrived in Tromso it was dark and so we could see very little of where we were driving. The next day we realised this was just as well as the scenery we had driven through was stunning but may have just about finished me off after such a long day. We had our cheap Garmin satnav with us but hadn’t been able to pinpoint the exact address of the cabins on it, so were just driving and hoping we ended up where we wanted to. Thankfully everything went well and eventually we arrived safely at Lauklines Kystferie , parked in a very icy car park and we given the key to our cabin, which was a bit like the Tardis-
they look quite small from the outside but once you get inside there is plenty of room.
The single bedroom downstairs is rather compact but the other two upstairs bedrooms are huge and there would have been enough room to have 4 single beds in each one. The kitchen was functional and well-equipped and the dining living room area was large enough for the 6 of us too. There was a TV showing lots of channels( quite a few in English), a DVD player ( bring some films) as well as reliable WiFi. There are also two bathrooms with powerful showers and plenty of warm water.
The only slight downside is there is no washing machine in the cabin, but there is one you can use at reception. There is also no freezer in the fridge so be aware of this if you purchase frozen foods, although I believe the hosts, Hannah and Andreas, would be able to help you out if necessary. All our dealings with Andreas and another member of staff, Trudy, were very positive. They were extremely friendly and went out of their way to help us whenever they could. We hired some kids’ snow gloves from reception for our youngest two and Andreas kindly lent me a tripod for my camera as I was taking photos of the Lights with a bean bag and a kitchen chair.
The wooden cabins were very cozy, especially after coming in from the negative something temperatures outside. But the best bit about the accommodation was the location. They are right next to the water, with an little jetty out over the fjord. The scene just outside the windows is stunning even at night when it’s so dark you can only see a few pinpoints of light along the coastline. During the day, the colour of the water changes with the light and sky, it was mesmerising and very relaxing.
Laukline Kystferie was originally a traditional trading post, which was established at the beginning of the 1900s. 13 years ago, the cabins were built to provide accommodation for families and groups who want to get away from it all, while experiencing some of the beauty and wildness of Arctic Norway.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Northern Norway then I couldn’t recommend Lauklines Kystferie highly enough. It’s the mark of a truly wonderful holiday when no one wants to come home, and I can report that two days after our departure, all of us are still missing ‘our’ little cabin on the shores of the fjord in Norway very much.