Stabbursdalen Lodge: An arctic real life fairy-tale
By Camilla Brugrans | Photos: GjermundThomassen
If you are in an adventurous mood, seeking wilderness and wanting to experience the Northern Lights, Stabbursdalen Lodge in Finnmark is definitely the right place for you. Hidden lakes filled with salmon, Sami reindeers and dancing, colourful lights during the pitch black night are just some the delights in store for visitors in the Northern pearl of Norway.
People come from all over the world to have the opportunity to spot the magical Northern Lights. Even though the best season to see the phenomena is during the winter months from end of October to March, many people have seen them at all times of the year when visiting the cosy cabins in Stabbursdalen.
“We get many international photographers here that want to capture the dancing lights with the camera,” says Gjermund Thomassen, manager of Stabbursdalen Lodge. “Our guides will take groups of friends and families on hunts of the colourful skies. I believe it is the Northern Lights that draw most of our guests to the far North.”
Peace in the wilderness
Close to the lodge lies the enormous Stabbursdalen National Park, which has the northernmost pine forest in the world. Guests can get lost in the peace and quiet that one is sure to find among the trees and rivers.
“You will never be closer to nature than sitting on top of an edge or by the river in the national park while eating your packed lunch in the middle of the wilderness. The feedback from our visitors has been fantastic,” says Thomassen.
Long weekend getaway
Stabbursdalen Lodge are currently planning on expanding with four-night weekend trips for people who want to explore it all.
“We want all-inclusive weekends with guided excursions hunting the Northern Lights, visiting the Sami museum and entering the magnificent National Park,” Thomassen explains. “There is an airport located 16 kilometres from the lodge. During the summer it is possible to get here by flying with Norwegian airlines. The rest of the year, Widerøe Airlines fly via Tromsø.”
Explore the North
Most of the must-see areas of northern Norway are within short driving distances from the lodge. Visitors can expect spectacular natural wonders with arctic winters with endless white plains, polar twilight and raging seas. Shimmering Northern Lights and breath-taking sceneries are what this real life frozen fairytale is all about.
“People want to see the places in Finnmark like Nordkapp and to explore the Sami culture in Karasjok,” says Thomassen passionately.
The Lapps, better known as the Sami’s, are Norway’s indigenous people. At the Sami centre close to Stabbursdalen, visitors have the opportunity to learn more about the traditions of the native Northern people.
“Tourists find them very fascinating,” Thomassen explains. “We try to show their culture, costumes and the sea Sami population. The guides tell tales about how the Sami people lived hundreds of years ago and also how they tend to the reindeer herds nowadays.”
Fishing enthusiasts come from all corners of the world to try their luck in Stabburs River, which is filled with salmon. There are many physical activities offered at the lodge. Among them are fly-fishing silver Atlantic salmon, canoeing in the National Park, rafting on the beautiful Stabburs River and mountain-biking in the trails.
“We have one of Norway’s best salmon lakes that are located 30 meters from the lodge,” Thomassen says. “Every year, fishermen fish about five tons of salmon in the river. We offer weekly packages that are aimed for salmon tourism. The offer includes full service and up to four fishermen can stay in each cabin. Our staff takes care of the fishing permits. That way our guests don’t have to worry about that beforehand.”
Finnmark is famous for their annual world dog sledging competition. One of the activities visitors are offered is sitting on a sledge while up to four dogs navigate in the snow.
“This is very popular and we are actually thinking about expanding to reindeer sledge driving. During the winter we also want to offer our guests hiking trips using snowshoes,” Thomassen reveals.
Intimate and unique
Stabbursdalen Lodge offers their guests an intimate and truly Northern encounter with nature.
“Our focus is eco-tourism and we never have more than 12 people staying with us at the same time. We build personal relationships with each of our guests and strive to make their stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The three lodges are perfect for small families and groups of friends,” says Thomassen.
For more information, please visit: www.stabbursdalenlodge.no
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