Lockie and I have spent the last few weeks checking out the sights in and around Tromsø, Norway. Let me just start by saying, that Northern Norway is out of the world! The natural beauty here is truly gobsmacking! From snow covered mountains, crystal clear fjords to dreamy pastel sunsets, it will leave you speechless time and time again!
Visiting Tromsø or Northern Norway in general, over winter is a must! Visiting between September and April is ideal as you will get the chance to see the amazing aurora borealis or as most call it, the northern lights. They say that Tromsø is the best spot for viewing the northern lights, making your chances quite high over your visit. I can’t argue with that at all, over our first 5 days here we spotted the magical green lady 3 times! Our first sightings were from our campsite located in Tromsdalen, which is just over the main bridge into Tromsø. As the campsite is quite lit up and so is the city, you still see her but she is not as clear as if it is when you are away from the city lights.
We took the van, on two occasions, whilst in the Tromsø region and headed to the coast to get away from the city and camp out to wait for the aurora borealis to come out and dance for us. We were so lucky and on both occasions she came out and put on a magical show. If you head to Tromsø and have a car, we definitely recommend heading to Tromvik or Sommarøy to find a nice dark spot to wait it out. Definitely be prepared to freeze your butt off and be on the lookout for hours. They say she can come out between the hours of 6pm and 6am. We have noticed most nights between 8-11pm is where we have spotted her best. When planning your stake out, always check the weather forecast a few hours before, to ensure the sky’s will be mostly clear so your chances are higher to see her and you aren’t left disappointed. We’ve been told, if the sky is clear it’s pretty likely she will come out to play at some stage over the night here and if the temperatures are cooler than usual, your chances increase again. Trust me, once you spot her, you won’t be able to look away and suddenly you stop focusing on how frozen your limbs actually are. The northern lights can come out for only minutes or for several hours. She can come and go in waves or tease you faintly. It’s a game with her so be ready to play.
Another amazing winter experience here in Tromsø is a visit to the Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Experience. Here you get the chance to meet the traditional Sami people of Norway and their beautiful reindeer herd! The experience goes for 4 hours from pick up to drop off and it is one of the best experiences we’ve done to date! I’d definitely go back again in a heartbeat! Feeding these incredibly hungry creatures out in the open in nature, is something else!
We were also lucky enough to take the Tromsø cable car or ‘Fjellheisen’ which takes you to the top of the opposing mountain to the city of Tromsø. From here, you get an entire above view of the whole island of Tromsø and its surrounding islands. We visited at sunset and picked a cracker of a day! We watched the sun set behind the mountains, as it left behind a magical pastel sky. We stayed up there for around 1.5-2 hours and managed to see the city lit up as the night sky set in. They have a café at the top of the cable car where you can sit and sip hot chocolate from its panoramic glass window front! Just magic! They say you can see the northern lights from up here if you head up late enough and pick a good night!
The last really cool experience that we recommend to do whilst in Tromsø is to visit the Mack brewery. This is the northern most brewery in the world and it is full of so much history! They have a micro-brewery located right in town so it is the perfect Saturday afternoon activity! You also get a free tasting which is an added bonus, as beer here in Norway can be expensive, especially when you are out and about.
There are loads of other cool things to see and do here but these are our top picks that give you your moneys worth! I hope this information is useful on your trip to Tromsø! We are hitting the road tomorrow, ready to see more of this amazing country!