Jazmin’s dream has always been to see the northern lights, so for her birthday we planned a romantic getaway to the Snowhotel in Kirkenes, Norway. Winter in Norway might be chilly, but the longer nights means a higher chance of seeing the aurora borealis.
Travel video of Kirkenes
The Snowhotel also has many activities to enjoy including a husky safari and chasing the northern lights. You can read our complete review of the Snowhotel, but here are 10 photos to inspire you to visit the Snowhotel in Kirkenes, Norway.
Kirkenes is located in northern Norway, close to the Finnish and Russian borders. Outside of the small city is the Snowhotel, most famous for its winter only hotel built completely out of snow every year. They do also have gamme cabins available year round.
While most travel up north to sleep in the hotel made of snow, they also offer a complete set of romantic activities for any couple looking to enjoy a new experience in Norway.
To start off our romantic weekend at the Snowhotel, we began with a husky safari. Make sure to wear the balaklava to cover your face as there is quite a bit of wind on the ride. We sat all bundled up in a sled with 7 cute huskies ready to go!
The sled is controlled by a dog musher standing on the back of the sled. Half way through the ride we stopped to give the dogs a rest and enjoy some delicious warm juice and a fire. We went through the rolling hills and over the frozen fjord before heading back to the hotel.
Chasing the Northern Lights
As the sun sets over Kirkenes it is time for the highlight of winter in Norway, the Northern Lights or aurora borealis. With our camera and tripod in hand, it is on to the bus. We were driven away from the man made lights, into the mountains over the fjord.
From a pull off we waited for the northern lights to appear. The day we went was low aurora activity, so we were only able to see the green in the sky for a short period. However, with the camera is where the real magic was born.
With a long exposure shot, ranging from 15 to 45 seconds, we were greeted with a sky full of green northern lights on the picture. During low activity, this is the best and sometimes only way to see northern lights. After plenty of time to photograph this beautiful natural phenomena, it was back to the hotel by bus.
Sleeping in the Snowhotel
After viewing the northern lights, it is back to the hotel for the most exciting part of the stay, actually sleeping in a hotel room made completely of snow and ice. Each room has its own themed sculptures in the wall, including a boat, chameleon and Marilyn Monroe. Read our complete review of sleeping at -4°C in the Snowhotel.
Keep a lookout for the smoke detector in each room, as is required by law in every hotel room. Nothing could be more ironic for us.
The next morning, after a breakfast buffet, it was back into the hotel provided snow suits. We took a guided snowshoeing tour out into the mountains besides the hotel grounds. Climbing to the top of the mountain, we were greeted with panoramic views of the fjord, surrounding mountains and a warm cup of fruit juice.
The snowshoeing adventure can be a bit strenuous, but with proper hydration, a snack and a steady pace, it is possible for anyone to do.
Ultimate King Crab Experience
To finish off the romantic weekend at the Snowhotel, we participated in the Ultimate King Crab Experience. Just a short drive from the hotel, we are given a snowsuit, gloves and a helmet, before heading out on the fjord.
We took a snowmobile lead sleigh onto the ice, where there is a giant hole in the ice. From there, the king crab cages are lifted out of the water and we had the chance to get a photo with the huge crustaceans, before being prepared for lunch.
Back to the cabin it is time to enjoy the feast of the fresh king crab. Enjoy all the crab you can eat in the traditional Norwegian way, on toast with lemon and mayonnaise.
If a member of your group does not eat king crab, make sure to let them know in advance and you will be provided with plenty of alternative food to meet your dietary needs.
With our bellies full, it was the end of an exciting and romantic weekend at the Snowhotel in Kirkenes. We had the chance to try out so many new adventures in just a short time, it was just fantastic.