This article first appeared on Go Away's This Scandinavian Destination Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List
And there's more to it than the Northern Lights.
Mention "Scandinavia" and the first attraction you'd probably think of is the Northern Lights. But the region has so much more to offer besides the Aurora Borealis, and definitely still worth visiting even after the Aurora Borealis dims.
You might not have heard of Narvik in Northern Norway, but it's been hailed as the next big Arctic travel destination. Polar Park, home to a pack of Arctic wolves, has just opened up a new lodge within its enclosure, giving you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to interact with these majestic creatures.
Dances with wolves
Photos: Pal Jakobsen
Designed in the style of a modern Norwegian farmhouse, the lodge can accommodate up to 10 guests.
Wolves freely roam outside of the lodge, and there will be a guide accompanying guests throughout their stay to teach them more about these animals.
The Polar Park is the most northerly wildlife park, lying 72km from the harbour town of Narvik. Besides wolves, the park is home to other native Arctic animals such as wolverines, Arctic foxes, bears, lynx, and reindeer.
Besides observing the animals in their natural habitats, the Wolf Kiss experience will let get up close and personal with the animals. And if thoughts of Leonardo DiCaprio's mangled body after being mauled by a bear in The Revenant are now running through your mind - don't worry. These wolves have been socialised and have grown up around humans, and if you're lucky, they may even greet you by licking your face.
Light up your world
Photo: Jan Arne Pettersen
Combine this unforgettable experience with another - Lights at the Lodge.
This will take you from Narvik town on a gondola ride high into Narvikfjellet (Narvik Mountain) to another lodge, where you can watch the Northern Lights overlooking the port town of Narvik and the fjord beyond. Going high up into the mountain takes you to the darker skies away from light pollution to better view the Aurora.
Photo: Kjell G Karlsen
The newly renovated lodge itself is far from basic.
Split into two floors, the top floor has a refreshments bar and space for the guide to tell visitors more about the Aurora, while the downstairs area is designed specially for viewing the Aurora. There are also platforms outside to allow visitors to better take pictures.
If the weather does not allow for the gondola ride, you'll be taken to another lodge halfway up the mountain to search for the Aurora.
A four day, three night itinerary to Narvik, northern Norway, with Off the Map Travel costs from £2299 (S$4497), based on 4 travelling, excluding flights.
This includes all transfers, a night at the new Wolf Lodge with dinner and a guide, a Wolf Kiss to meet the wolves face-to-face, B&B accommodation for two nights in a 4* hotel with Northern Lights hunting from its sky bar, a fjord boat trip to search for local wildlife and experience the region from the water, and a new Lights at The Lodge Aurora hunt up the Narvik Mountain (Narvikfjellet).
Visit the website for more information about visiting Narvik.
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