>  Europe   >  Engholm Husky: This Place is for the Dogs

I’ve managed to swallow the moose they served for dinner, without too much trouble, but I know that I absolutely cannot stomach the dried reindeer heart.

When I shake my head at the proffered plate/wooden plank, C looks at me like I am committing some kind of heinous crime. How dare I refuse the painstakingly salted and cured heart? It doesn’t help that Agri is sitting next to me, chowing down on the jerky like it’s his last supper.

But dried reindeer hearts are just par for course at Engholm Husky. Things are done differently here, from the handmade, design cabins to the casual service environment to the pure, local food. Pure as can be it seems, since the moose we’ve just consumed was shot and prepared by Sven himself last fall.

We later find out that the 50 odd huskies residing on the farm, live on a combination of meat soup, moose heads when available, leftover reindeer bones from the herders in the area, and any roadkill that’s available for consumption (no lie). The diet seems to work, because the dogs are as strong as can be, effortlessly running up, down and through the deep layers of snow that I sink into, every time I am unceremoniously thrown off the dog sled.

And it’s our day on the dog sleds that is undoubtedly the highlight of our 4 night stay at Engholm Husky. Sure, there’s the lovingly designed and handmade cabins, the organic as they come meals, and the peace of the icy landscape, but it’s clear to us a few days in, that this place is for the dogs.

King of the "dog" castle

King of the dog “castle”

Our Tips for a Stay at Engholm Husky

Rent a car
Engholm Husky is 6km away from Karasjok, the closest town, so unless you have a car, you have no choice but to eat what is offered at the lodge, cook your own meals, walk to town, or pay for a very expensive taxi.

We had a fun and somewhat exhausting day trying out the 6km walk, but truthfully, once we got there, it was difficult to find a restaurant that was open. We ended up having coffee in a gas station convenience store, because it was the only place we could find available.

Bring Your Own Food
Meals at Engholm Husky are not cheap. A la carte dinner for 2 people costs 600NOK ($110), breakfast is $43, and a packed lunch (which consists of you packing up a few things from the breakfast items) is $30. Eating 3 meals a day at Engholm’s would set you back $92 per person.

Dinner is an interesting and special experience for certain. We were fed freshly caught salmon, moose stew and various things I would never prepare for myself, and our final meal was served around a campfire in their unique open-roofed Barta log cabin. But breakfast was of the pretty standard cheese, cold cuts and bread variety, and of course, lunch would be the same.

To us, $184 per day felt like an awful lot of money to spend on 1 special dinner, standard breakfast and a bagged lunch, so we came prepared with food to cook in our well equipped cabin’s kitchen.

Since the closest grocery was 6km away, we bought all of our groceries in Helsinki before we flew into Ivalo, thinking it would be cheaper, but there’s a reasonably priced grocery store in Ivalo Town, right across the street from the bus station.

In hindsight, I would’ve cooked almost all of our own meals. Dinner is worth partaking of once or twice, because you’ll get to try moose meatloaf or some other out of the ordinary food, but otherwise you’ll get greater value by just preparing food yourself. Yes, grocery is a little more expensive then at home, but not enough to justify $184 per day for 2 people.

Unless you’re partaking in one of their programs, minimize your stay
I’m going to preface this by saying that the cabins are amongst the most unique places I’ve ever seen. Made of natural stone, pieces carved by hand from wood, with lamps made out of found bird feathers, and animal horns for coat hangers, they really are extraordinary.

*Click each picture for a closer look

We paid close to $400/night for our stay there (including breakfast and dinner), but the sheets were never changed and the cabins were never cleaned. I’m all for the rustic, take care of yourself experience, but at $400 per night, I feel that the sheets should’ve been changed at least once during a 4 day stay. It was a strange hybrid of luxury accommodation and hostel, and I’m not 100% sure it works purely as a source of accommodation.

But the reality is that there are limited human resources at Engholm Husky. And the limited human resources at the lodge are focused mostly on the dogs and the guests going on week long husky safaris. Understandable. It’s the bulk of their business.

That said, I would still recommend a few nights stay at the lodge, especially in combination with one of their dogsledding day tours. It’s a “different place” indeed.

Just don’t stay too long…

Have you ever stayed somewhere too long? Did it impact your travels?


  • June 7, 2014

    Wow what an amazing experience. Raffles is jealous and says to tell you the he’d like to try the Moose Meatloaf and that he’d even be brave enough to try reindeer heart…as long as it isn’t from one of Santa’s reindeers! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • June 9, 2014

      Lol…tell Raffles that he’s much braver than I am, and that the moose meatloaf was very yummy and I think he’d like it. Also that I’m 99% sure the reindeer isn’t one of Santa’s… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • June 2, 2014

    This brings me back when I first read your blog. It’s the fact that you mention about the spendings. People need to know these things, and you did an awesomr, outstanding job sharing this. You know me, I love the food adventure part. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I never overstayed. But there is that one time where I paid a parking lot during the day and had to sleep there because I had been driving too long. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • June 3, 2014

      Thanks Rommel! I have a few more of the Breakdown style posts on each place we visited coming soon. Just gotta get through writing about them first. ๐Ÿ˜€ Lol…I know you love the food adventure. You and my hubby would get along well.

      I’m glad you stopped in that parking lot and slept. It would’ve been dangerous otherwise. Lol…but you paid for it? Haha, must’ve been your cheapest “hotel” stay ever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • June 1, 2014

    Jeez, those prices! Though I would definitely splash out for at least one of the dinners. I bet fresh moose meat tastes good. Does it? ๐Ÿ™‚ No way I would try a dried reindeer heart, though. Just the thought makes me sad! The cabins are gorgeous, but yeah, I’d only be able to stay 1 day, maybe 2!

    • June 1, 2014

      Crazy, right? We really should’ve just cooked most of our our own food, and then it would’ve been much more affordable…like around $250 for accommodation (which is okay for that place I think)…. but yes, the moose meat was actually really delicious. Not gamey at all, and with completely it’s own flavour.

  • June 1, 2014

    Yikes! That’s expensive. It does look and sound pretty amazing though. We stayed at an all inclusive, wooden lodge at Lake Baikal, but it was much cheaper. There were no showers though – only a traditional banya (sauna) that had to be booked ahead each day.

    • June 1, 2014

      I had to look up Lake Baikal, but wow it looks really gorgeous. We should’ve gone there instead. Haha! :p

      In hindsight, I think it was too much, and I wouldn’t do it again, but I got all caught up in the “let’s give ourselves the best chance to see the northern light, we’re spending so much money already dialogue.” Sigh.

      • June 1, 2014

        It’s funny how that works – when I overspend in one area, it makes me more extravagant in others, even though it should probably do the opposite!

  • Sha

    May 31, 2014

    Hmm, exotic fare. Not too sure whether I would have tried it if given a chance. Tastes like chicken?

    • June 1, 2014

      It was tough for me, that’s for sure…but the moose was actually quite yummy. And it has a taste all it’s own – definitely more towards the beef side than the chicken side though…

      Have you ever tried alligator? Now that is delicious, and more on the chicken side. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Sha

        June 1, 2014

        Haha…nope! Have not tried any of them. I was thinking about trying kangaroo meat when I was last in australia but I chickened out….haha!

        Now that you’ve mentioned alligator, it definitely makes me curious…:D

  • May 30, 2014

    Moose and reindeer? Wowser! Guess we would have to try if everyone is eating it & that’s all that is served… ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Great post and great photos as always! We are totally needing to get ourselves to Scandinavia!

    • June 1, 2014

      The moose was very tasty actually! though I had to do a little mental gymnastics to eat it (I’m a bit squeamish about food). Scandinavia would be affordable for you guys I think (with OZ currency), but for us, it was crazy expensive. We won’t be going there again until money is no object!! ๐Ÿ˜‰


post a comment