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Destinations

Arctic Norway

70.37435, 31.10377

Enchanting Arctic Wildlife and Majestic Landscapes

Welcome to the Varanger Peninsula: 450 km north of the Arctic Circle this area is the perfect hotspot in Northern Europe for birdwatching, wildlife photography and natural wonders discovering with a unique accommodation spot at the Kongsfjord Arctic Lodge, an old-fashioned fishing village converted in hotel.

Explore eastern Finnmark’s pristine taiga, tundra, and Barents Sea with SKUA Nature. Witness the Northern Lights, summer’s eternal sun, and extraordinary wildlife on hikes and photo excursions. Captivating landscapes, fishing villages, and fjord peaks offer diverse photography opportunities. Discover the rich history through town museums, the Vardo heritages, the Sami culture and the Varangerfjord trenches. Encounter reindeer, red squirrels, moose, arctic and red foxes, stoats, mountain hares, and otters. Witness majestic marine life like whales, orcas, dolphins, seals, and more to discover with our boat excursions.

Incredible environments, home to extraordinary species that adapt to extreme conditions; one of which, located near Kongsfjord, can be reached after a walk on the Veines headland and is a nesting site for the gyrfalcon

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450 km north of the Arctic Circle rises the small town of Kongsfjord, an old-fashioned fishing village which is the headquarters of our Wild Arctic Project. As soon as you arrive, you will be immersed in the pristine northern moorland; we will cross taiga and tundra with their free roaming reindeer herds, finally reaching Kongsfjord, from where you can admire the Barents Sea with its playful cetaceans. Here SKUA takes you on a journey to the wonders of eastern Finnmark, a land of wild charm, dominated by snow and ice in winter, with the spectacle of the Northern Lights, and the eternal sun in summer. Incredible environments, home to extraordinary species that adapt to extreme conditions, which we will approach on hikes and from special photo hides.

Colorful fishing villages, the jagged peaks of the fjords or the pristine tundra create also an exciting field of work, with changing backgrounds and lighting conditions, for any landscape photographer.The history of this land is told through the many town museums or trenches that can still be seen on the shores of Varangerfjord; one of which, located near Kongsfjord, can be reached after a walk on the Veines headland and is a nesting site for the gyrfalcon. Any nature lover cannot help but be enchanted by this ecological richness; accompanied by a team of experts who make the most of this unique experience in the wilderness.

Wild Arctic Reserve is not limited to the areas around Kongsfjord, but is spread throughout Finnmark, so you can get to know all the species that live there: Flocks of seabirds such as puffins, murres and razorbills on Hornoya Island, wonderful king and Steller’s eiders that you can observe from special photo hides; or boat trips to see fulmars, gannets, humpback whales, orcas, and dolphins.Either if you are an adventurer, a photographer or simply a nature lover, join us to discover, feel the connection and experience the essence of the Arctic with SKUA Nature!

“Varanger Peninsula is a pristine Arctic gem. Wildlife at its finest!”

John M
Varanger Peninsula Visitor

Highlights & Facts
Habitats
Wildlife
Climate & Seasons

Highlights & Key Facts

The Varanger Peninsula, home to Varangerhalvøya National Park, boasts an array of ecosystems, including wetlands, riparian valleys, and rivers brimming with grilse salmon on their journey to the Barents Sea. Its coastline reveals stratified sedimentary rock formations, sand dunes, rocky shores, and evidence of post-glacial rebound in the form of raised beaches.

0 sq km

Geographic size

0 bird species

With approximately 400 bird species gracing its skies, the Varanger Peninsula is a birdwatcher's paradise.

0 mammal specied

Encounter around 120 mammal species, both marine and terrestrial, as you explore this pristine wilderness.

0 day of beauty

Arctic Norway's beauty is ever-present, making it a year-round destination for travelers seeking adventure.

0 mins from wonder

You can access this natural wonderland through nearby airports, including Berlevåg (30 minutes), Båtsfjord (45 minutes), Vadsø (2 hours and 30 minutes), Kirkenes (3 hours), or Ivalo (4 hours and 30 minutes).

Habitats

Due to its unique location, this area undergoes remarkable seasonal transformations, offering a diverse range of habitats that captivate visitors throughout the year. Each habitat in this remarkable region unveils a new chapter in the story of Arctic Norway's natural wonders, inviting you to explore, discover, and connect with what this extraordinary world has to offer!

Fjords

Embark on a voyage along the rugged coast of Varangerfjord, a sanctuary for marine life and a nesting ground for seabirds such as puffins and eiders.

Tundra & Taiga

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the windswept plains, where you can encounter herds of reindeers.

Wetlands

Experience the tranquility of wetlands as you observe an array of birdlife and other unique fauna that call these areas home.

Arctic Seas

Bear witness to the vibrant tapestry of life where the ocean meets the land, resonating with the calls of seabirds and the dynamic interactions of marine creatures.

Gyrfalcon

Meet the Gyrfalcon, one of the Arctic's largest and most magnificent raptor. Spot them during the breeding season from late spring to early summer. These skilled hunters prey on ptarmigans and gulls, soaring gracefully over the pristine landscapes.

King Eider

Delight in the vibrant King Eider during february and march, a true waterfowl spectacle. These sociable birds gather on the Barents Sea, where they forage with elegance, hunting for crustaceans and mollusks in the cold Arctic waters.

Shore Lark

Encounter this species, known for its melodious songs, while exploring the moorlands. They grace these landscapes during spring, their bright yellow throats making them stand out in the Arctic wilderness.

Red-Throated Pipit

Spot the Red-Throated Pipit from late may and all the arctic summer. These charming birds are not only known for their melodic notes but also their distinctive reddish throats.

Yellow-Billed Loon

Witness the elusive Yellow-Billed Loon, known for its haunting calls and unique yellow bills. Catch a glimpse of them mainly in May, with some individuals visible also during summer months.

Ruff

Marvel at the Ruff's intricate courtship dances from may to june. During this season, males flaunt frilly neck feathers in leks, a mesmerizing sight showcasing their vibrant breeding plumage.

Red-Necked Phalarope

Observe the captivating aquatic ballet of the Red-Necked Phalaropes from June to August. These agile birds spin in graceful circles while foraging in freshwater lakes, showcasing their distinctive feeding behavior.

Razorbill

Explore coastal cliffs between March and August to witness Razorbills nesting. With their striking black and white plumage and unique bills, these seabirds are a captivating sight against the backdrop of the Arctic coastline.

Short-Eared Owl

Encounter the enigmatic Short-Eared Owl during spring and early autumn migrations. These daytime hunters glide gracefully over the tundra, using their acute vision to spot and catch voles.

Long-Tailed Skua

Witness the Long-Tailed Skua's agile flight over tundra from late May to August. Recognized by their long tail streamers, these seabirds add a touch of elegance to the Arctic skies.

Long-Tailed Duck

Spot the Long-Tailed Duck during spring (February to May) in the harbors and on the coast on the mountain lakes during summer. Known for their striking plumage and impressive diving skills, they are often found in Arctic waters.

Red-Spotted Bluethroat

Delight in the vibrant colors and melodic songs of the Red-Spotted Bluethroat from May to July. These captivating birds breed in the bushlands along the coasts and on the mountains.

Purple Sandpiper

Encounter this coastal resident species, Purple Sandpipers, easy to be spotted as they forage along rocky shores, a testament to their resilience in the challenging Arctic environment.

White Tailed Godwit

They usually arrive between May and June and are easy to spot thanks to their strong calls, their long bills and cinnamon breeding plumage adding a touch of grace to the tundra’s Arctic wetlands.

Puffin

Discover nesting colonies of Puffins from March to August, where their colorful bills and skilled flying and swimming abilities make them iconic inhabitants of the Arctic cliffs.

Reindeer

Encounter these Arctic icons year-round, as they graze on lichen, moss, and vegetation, showcasing their remarkable adaptation to the harsh Arctic conditions.

Steller's Eider

Observe this species in February and March, mainly in the small harbor of Berlevag and Batsfjord, where their striking plumage and distinctive golden "sails" stand out amidst the Arctic waters.

Red-Throated Loon

Spot elegant divers, Red-Throated Loons, from May to August. Their distinctive calls and dances red during breeding season make them a sight to behold on Arctic lakes.

Hawk-Owl

Witness the silent predator that lives in the Boreal woodlands, visible from February to October. With their daytime hunting habits, they offer a unique opportunity to observe raptors in action.

Snow Bunting

Encounter this species mainly in April, during the spring migration, but with some breeding couples on the plateaus, appreciating their pristine white plumage and melodic calls as they traverse the Arctic landscapes.

Lapland Bunting

Spot this species in the tundra from late May until early autumn, known for their distinctive calls and streaked brown plumage, adding a touch of charm to the Arctic wilderness.

Fin Whale

Meet the majestic Fin Whale, the second-largest creature on Earth, gracing the Arctic waters during summer. These enormous marine mammals, with their streamlined bodies and distinctive dorsal fins, are a sight to behold as they gracefully glide through the cold, nutrient-rich seas.

Fulmar

Observe the hardy Fulmars soaring over the waves of the Barents Sea year-round. These seabirds, with their stout bodies and distinctive tube-like bills, are built for life at sea, and they navigate the frigid Arctic air with ease.

Harbour Seal

Encounter the charming Harbour Seals, year-round residents along the Arctic coast. With their endearing expressions and streamlined bodies, they bask on coastal rocks and ice floes, providing delightful photo opportunities.

Humpback Whale

Marvel at the acrobatic displays of Humpback Whales during summer in Arctic waters. These massive marine mammals are known for their breaching and tail-slapping behaviors, creating a spectacle against the Arctic backdrop.

Killer Whale (Orcas)

Witness the intelligence and social dynamics of Killer Whales year-round in Arctic seas. These apex predators, with their striking black and white markings, hunt in coordinated packs, making them a fascinating subject for observation.

Northern Gannet

Discover this species during our boat excursions in the lone breeding colony of the Northern part of Varanger Peninsula. These seabirds, with their striking white plumage and golden heads, are skilled divers, plunging into the sea to catch fish.

White-Beaked Dolphin

Spot the energetic White-Beaked Dolphins as they frolic in Arctic waters during summer. These playful cetaceans, recognized by their white beaks and distinctive coloration, often ride the bow waves of boats, providing delightful encounters.

Climate & Seasons

Each season offers its own unique charm, whether it's the enchanting Northern Lights, the diverse wildlife, the culinary delights, or the captivating activities that await you in Varanger Peninsula. No matter when you visit, a world of natural wonders and unforgettable experiences awaits.

Winter (November - March)

Northern Lights Spectacle: Winter offers the best opportunity to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, painting the arctic skies with vibrant hues. The clear, dark nights provide optimal conditions for this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.

Orcas expeditions: embark in this adventure, looking for orcas packs in the icy winter; during which also humpback whales, fin whales and minke whales tends to show up.

Wildlife Observation and Photography: The snowy landscapes provide a stunning backdrop for wildlife photography. Reindeer, moose, mountain hare and other mammals are visible too.

King Crab Feast: Indulge in culinary delights as you savor the delicious and massive King Crab, a local delicacy harvested from the icy waters of the arctic.

Winter (November - March)

Reindeer: at the beginning of the season between February and March Is possible to photograph and observe the spectacular king eiders and Stellar's eiders, with long tailed ducks and common eiders.
This is also the calving season for reindeer, offering unique opportunities to observe these iconic arctic animals.

Migratory birds return: seabirds colonies start to crowd up, while still embedded by snow, giving the chance to witness the amazing fights of puffins in the snow.
But also other species show up like ruffs and many other waders, White tailed Eagles, rough legged buzzards, White-billed divers and Hawk Owls.

Whalewatching: also spring gives a chance to observe different cetaceans; from May Is possible to observe several species like fin whales, humpback whales and minke whales.

Winter (November - March)

Midnight Sun Magic: Experience the surreal phenomenon of the Midnight Sun, where the sun never fully sets. Enjoy long daylight hours for outdoor activities, wildlife spotting, and exploration.

Orchids and wildflowers: melting snow brings hues of color from the bloom of several wildflowers species, including orchids; discover the flora diversity of the Arctic.

Breeding season: starting from June the breathtaking shows of seabirds colonies are at their maximum, with tens of thousands birds crowding the skies; it's also easy to spot the Arctic tern and many more, transforming the region into a birdwatcher's paradise. Summer is marked by the vibrant songs of birds, filling the air with melodies. Capture the beauty of species like the siberian rubythroat and the bluethroat, red throated pipit, shorelark, short eared owl, gyrfalcon, long tailed skua, red and black throated divers, red necked phalarope and many others.

Whalewatching: Embark on unforgettable orca expeditions in pursuit of these magnificent marine creatures. Witnessing orcas in their natural habitat is a truly thrilling experience.

Berries and hiking: from the end of the Summer discover the numerous species of local berries in dedicated hikes. You will get to enjoy homemade jams, prepared with the berries that you harvested.

Winter (November - March)

Wild Berries and Hiking: in a different concept of discovery, join unforgettable hikes with the autumn's shades, enjoy wild berries and especialy the famous cloudberries.

Vivid Fall Colors: The tundra and forests transform into a symphony of autumn colors, with the foliage creating a captivating setting for photography and sightseeing.

Aurora and Night Sky Photography: As the nights grow longer, the chances of witnessing the Northern Lights increase once again, providing ample opportunities for captivating night sky photography.

Journeys

Kongsfjord Arctic Lodge

Kongsfjord Arctic Lodge is our special accommodation situated in the Veines Peninsula; it is the headquarter of all our arctic escapades and accounts for 3 apartments, 8 standard rooms and two hostels solutions for family and travel groups.

Come, experience the enchantment of sleeping in an authentic fishing village transformed into exquisite facilities, offering everything from cozy hostels and rooms to spacious apartments. Immerse yourself in an extraordinary setting, perfect for birdwatching and photography, where stunning vistas of the sea, mountains, and cliffs unfold before you.

Activities

Travel with Skua Nature

At SKUA Nature, we are dedicated to creating unforgettable and impactful experiences in Arctic Norway that will leave an indelible mark on your memory and on the planet.

Tailored Adventures

Craft your own unique journey, whether it’s focused on birdwatching, photography, or thrilling adventure travel.

Exclusive Access

Enjoy privileged access to specialized facilities and hides, offering you unparalleled encounters with Arctic wildlife.

Arctic Oasis

Our lodge provides a cozy sanctuary within the untamed wilderness, ensuring your comfort and relaxation.

Personalized Care

Our committed team is here to ensure your every need is met, ensuring your comfort and satisfaction exceed your highest expectations.