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Our Homesteads

Welcome to our Homesteads

The countryside just outside of Tromsø is a land of amazing opportunities and unique activities. Discover what our local Arctic nature has to offer through the lens of House of Hegelund.

Our proud history

When the first Hegelunds settled in the archipelago of North Norway, they did so as true  pioneers. Back then, Tromsø did not even exist (it would be established much later, in 1794), and the island population was spread far and wide across the fjords, straits and sounds.

Life could be tough in these pre-industrial times when you were a single family, isolated on a small isle, several hundred kilometers north of the Polar Circle. Nevertheless, the Hegelund clan endured, labored, and even thrived. Forming alliances with other prominent local families like the Figenschou, they traded with both Russia and South Norway and progressively spread all across the archipelago, establishing various farms and homely estates.

There, they developed their own traditions where hunting, fishing, sailing, as well as innovative food-making stood central. Almost four centuries later, these traditions and histories are still as lively as ever, and can now be experienced by anyone bold enough to visit these Arctic shores.

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The Hegelund Family

Some great activites

Grouse hunting

The Hegelund family has been hunting grouse (lagopus lagopus) and willow ptarmigan (logopus muta) for several hundred years in what might very well be the best location for chasing these often elusive birds. In older times, this particular type of hunt was a crucial element of the family’s subsistence activities, especially in the autumn.

The yet unmatched record for the highest number of grouse caught in a single day by a member of the Hegelund family, is 82.

Nowadays, grouse hunting has turned into a more sport-oriented activity as well as a great opportunity to experience the wild nature. Those who get the chance to join such a hunt often make memories that last a lifetime. Images of the autumn skies merging with the Atlantic ocean, together with the recollection of the excitement felt when first spotting the grouse, represent a wholly unique new type of adventure.

Halibut Fishing

One major reason the Hegelund family settled along the cold coast of Karlsøy in North Tromsø region was the access to fish. Cod, pollock, salmon, monkfish, and especially halibut, all abound in the region. In the Hegelund family, tips and secrets about halibut fishing have been ceremoniously passed down from generation to generation. As a result, when it comes to local expertise about catching halibut, the Hegelunds have always been a reference.

Everything from selecting the best types of bait to knowing the best fishing spots, among much else, is common knowledge in the family.

While the average halibut weighs “only” 30 to 60 kilos, the largest one ever caught in the family was a massive 220 kilo heavyweight, which required much effort to reel in.

Yet, even in normal situations, halibut fishing is a demanding and exciting activity. Between the time the halibut bites and the moment it has finally been wrestled up to the boat 20 to 40 minutes might very well have passed. We can guarantee that you will remember this endorphin-rich adventure for life!

Alpine touring in the Lyngen Mountains

Just south of the North Troms archipelago lies a massive and breathtaking mountain range: The Lyngen Alps. With numerous glacier-covered valleys and dozens of peaks rising from the deep blue fjords to between 1400 and 1800 meters, this unique mountain landscape is considered one of the most beautiful areas in the entire country.

While in the olden days locals mostly went out on skis and crossed these peaks to go from farm to farm and village to village, the mountains are nowadays the home of a much more athletic breed of skiers.

After all, what could be more tempting than taking your randonnée skis with you on a 30-minute boat tour to the mountains to enjoy a skiing experience incomparable to any other ski destination in the world?

In this skier paradise, visitors from all over the world now spend their time completing anything from easy half-day trips to 11+ hour expedition-style treks that end right by the fjord’s cold shores. Even for the most casual of onlookers, it is hard not to fall in love with these mighty alps.

The History of Karlsøy Municipality

Located off the northern coast of the Arctic county of Troms, Karlsøy Municipality consists of more than 600 islands. The area is exceptionally rich in both history and nature: the municipality’s largest island, Ringvassøy, harbors Norway’s largest freshwater island lake, and Europe’s largest colony of the mighty white-tailed eagle is located just nearby on the North-Birdisle (Nord-Fugløy) island.

As far as history is concerned, Karlsøy has been continually inhabited for over 10,000 years. Many fascinating events took place here.

The Magnificient Northern Lights

Way up north, the countryside of North Troms is in many ways the perfect locale to experience the magnificent Aurora Borealis. Far from the city, the surroundings are mostly free of disturbing artificial-lights that often make it hard to spot the elusive lights.

Thanks to this key factor, this area is considered one of the best in the whole country to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

A visit to the homelands of House of Hegelund in the middle of the Polar Night, when the sky turns ink black by 3 PM, is an authentic experience with our untouched Arctic nature.

The Midnight Sun

After surviving the cold, harsh winter, nothing enthuses North Troms locals more than the thought of the long-awaited Midnight Sun, which can be experienced from May to July. Over the years, many families developed their own little rituals and traditions surrounding this beloved time of the year. At the Hegelund family home, it was common to sail to one of the countless remote islands in Karlsøy to enjoy a snack of a locally-brewed Mack beer and a seagull egg while admiring the bright summer sky.

Nowadays, gazing at the triumphant Midnight Sun illuminating the ocean in the middle of the night from atop a rugged mountain landscape is still a beloved tradition that has even spread from the locals to international visitors.

Whale Watching

The arctic coast of North Troms has been permanently inhabited since the end of the latest Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago. While humans soon settled the coast of Norway all the way up here, the first inhabitants of this beautiful archipelago were actually not humans, but sea mammals, such as seals, and most importantly, whales.

The first inhabitants of this beautiful archipelago were actually not humans.

In the old days, whales were an important economic resource and their oil, as well as their meat, was crucial for the survival of the local population. Nowadays, not much hunting is taking place anymore, and the waters of the archipelago can be seen teaming with Orcas almost every single winter day. Nowadays, both locals and international travelers can often be seen sailing boats through the fjords to get a sight of these majestic beings.

In some very special occasions, the Orcas are joined by the much larger Humpback whales, who swim all the way from the Caribbean to feed on a local specialty of note: fresh herring!