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Destination: the battle of Narvik... to become an amazing ski destination in Norway

The title of my article may not do justice to Narvik, or perhaps it does, in a way. It's true that the title might seem a bit unfortunate. But it is what Narvik is best know for (internationally). During World War II, Narvik abruptly became a part of recent world history in a rather brutal manner. It stood as a strategic hub, boasting an ice-free harbor from which Swedish iron ore was shipped. Consequently, it drew the attention of both the German occupiers and the Allies, leading to a fierce conflict. Nearly 80 years later, Narvik has once again found itself in the spotlight, thanks to the eponymous film "Narvik" on Norwegian Netflix (you might need a VPN to be able to watch it if you're not from here) which delves into the wartime events that left an indelible mark on this town of 14,000 souls.

Coastal Town Norway

Narvik, situated in the heart of the Arctic region, primarily serves as a transit route. A railway from the Swedish mining town of Kiruna traverses the picturesque Abisko before reaching the export port in Narvik. There, colossal cargo ships dock to transport iron ore to factories elsewhere. Narvik is also where Finnish holidaymakers often cross the border and take a right towards Lofoten and Senja. With Tromsø as a major competitor in the Arctic region, Narvik faces its share of challenges. Nevertheless, despite various hurdles, I have a sense that Narvik is on an upward trajectory, evident not only in its record-low unemployment rate but for it's increadibly welcoming population. And...because of the following:

Narvik boasts several superb and modern ski slopes, easily accessible by cable car (and a complimentary ski bus). The view you'll enjoy from your snowboard is unparalleled, and the ski passes are reasonably priced. How often do you get to have a sea view directly from the slopes? Particularly during the "blåtime" (the blue hour), it's truly magical. Moreover, you can take skiing lessons during the cold seasons. Since Narvik isn't yet a widely recognized ski destination, it's rarely overcrowded, and you won't encounter many tourists. And besides, snow and cold is guaranteed here. Which can't be said about the Alps anymore.

For your stay, I have the most amazing recommendation that provides the best view money can buy (or rent actually) in Narvik: Camp 291. A series of lavishly equipped design cabins, located very close to the ski slopes, will turn your winter adventure into a wonderfully cozy experience. Due to minimal light pollution and expansive windows, you'll be treated to the finest view of the enchanting Northern Light s (if you're lucky - no guarantees). Especially in winter, you'll feel like you're in another world up here.

Down the mountain, on one of the main squares, you'll find Fiskehallen, adjacent to Fiskekroken Restaurant. The highly enthusiastic and service-oriented staff here serve sublime fish dishes. It's not haute cuisine, but rather wonderfully prepared comfort food. This is precisely what you want to eat after a long day outdoors. Their signature dish is a must-try: grilled boknafish! How often do you come across a restaurant with almost exclusively 5-star reviews? Precisely, never-evah!

For history enthusiasts, Narvik and its surroundings are a destination in their own right. Firstly, there's the war museum (which, shame on me, I didn't visit when I was there). Additionally, you'll encounter a war memorial almost every kilometer you travel. Moreover, you can go diving to explore the numerous wartime wrecks resting on the fjord's bottom. It must be an impressive experience to come face to face with the silent witnesses of Narvik's violent and now silenced history.

Furthermore, Narvik is surrounded by magnificent natural beauty. Both towering mountains and coastal areas offer endless opportunities for multi-day hikes and fishing adventures.

You understand by now. If you're on your way to Lofoten, look to your left, because that's where Narvik is. Especially in winter, it's a fantastic stop for a few days of skiing with the most incredible view imaginable. Still undiscovered by the masses, Narvik is on the winning hand in the battle of becoming an amazing Norwegian skidestination.


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