Tromso is a little city-island far north of Norway, further than the artic circle. It is connected to a whole archipelago of islands and fjords by two large bridges. Its geographical location is ideal to observe the Northern Lights. And despite the latitude, it is not too cold (-10 maximum).
As soon as we arrive by plane, we are amazed by the landscape. The pilot makes a small sightseeing tour before landing by closely skimming the snowy mountains.
WHAT TO DO IN TROMSO?
Many organizations offer dog sledding trips at similar prices on Tromso, all around 200 euros. I managed to find one a bit cheaper with ActiveTromso for about 160 euros. It was a very good choice. The appointment was at 8:45 in front of the Radisson Blu Hotel. The organizer Tore, who owns the huskies’ breeding, welcomes us and takes us by minibus to his home on Kvaløya island. He provides us all necessary equipment: big coat, trousers and huge shoes for snow. Then we take the bus heading to the starting point of the ride. Dogs await us wisely but it doesn’t last long. As soon as the driving instructions are finished, they understand that the departure is coming and start barking really loud.
We remove the brakes and let’s go for 3 hours of slides in a wide plain at the bottom of the mountains. There are no breaks to exchange drivers so be careful not to wait for organizer instructions, do it when you want.
Once it is over, we go back to the breeding where we tie the dogs and drink a hot chocolate / tea / coffee by the fire. There is nothing to eat. So bring your own food because it is kind of sportiv and makes hungry.
We listen to the adventures of Tore by the fire. He tells us about the great expeditions/ races he did with his 18 dogs. It is really his passion and it is nice to hear and how he bounds with this acitivity and his dogs that he trains for the competition.
Then around 14:30, the minibus bring us back to Tromsø (30/40 min).
I booked the snowmobile tour with Lyngsadventure located near LyngenAlps. These are the Arctic Alps! The starting point is Camp Tamok located at 1h30 by bus from Tromsø.
I am not a big fan of motor vehicles, so my motivation was to enjoy this exceptional place and its amazing landscape lost in the middle of nowhere.
The tour does not fit the description of the ad but no regrets. We start by driving in the middle of the forest of birches then drive higher and higher and the landscape becomes more and more impressive.
After 15km, we arrive at a 1000 m point of view where the sun shines and the view is beautiful.
We are almost at the meeting point between Finland, Sweden and Norway. It’s time for a photo shoot and then we go back to Camp Tamok.
Back in camp, we go in a large teepee to drink coffee, tea, chocolate but also eat a fish soup and a typical dessert.
At around 14:30, the bus leaves heading back to Tromsø. We enjoy superb views with sunset. It is amazing and we want to go back through this road the day after.
ROADTRIP ON THE ARCHIPELAGO
Our one day road trip around Tromso:
On the way we stopped by the frozen Ramfjord Fjord where a fisherman set up his fishing nets. He was there with his snowmobile, reassuring to walk on ice!
Then we continue our way almost until to the city of Elsenes and we turn around with a small detour to Lakselvbukt at sunset. The light and colors are unbelievable.
SE BALADER A TROMSO
Tromso is a charming little town with its small houses lined up and colored. Despite its location, it is dynamic thanks to tourism and the university. It is ideal to walk there in the evening when returning from excursion. We discover a real mix between modernity and pretty old houses.
NORTHERN LIGHTS IN TROMSO
Due to its latitude, Tromso is ideal for observing the famous Northern Lights. 4 evenings on the spot and every night they made their show. They were very strong and well visible, even from the city center.
To get the most out of the show, the best is to isolate yourself away from the light pollution of cities and if possible with mountains and fjords nearby. It makes a magical scenery. Then you have to be very patient and watch the sky.
For the pictures some adjustments are necessary to be well prepared and the tripod is essential.
It is necessary to configure as below :
Shutter speed: approx. 25
High ISO: minimum 800
Focal length: 2.8
It is also necessary to find a place oriented north.
And here is the results!
WHERE TO EAT IN TROMSO?
- Huken Pub – An original and cozy decoration with friendly and smiling service. It feels good to escape the cold a few hours. It is not so cheap but remains affordable. Burger (185 NOK ~ 20 euros) beer / cider (~ 10 euros)
- Skarven Vertshuset – Bar atmosphere with typical and good food.
Idea price for a meal for two: whale (225) Salmon (225) bottle of German wine (375) – Total 100 euros.
- Skarven Biffhuset
Warm and Nordic atmosphere like mountain chalet with typical cuisine. It’s more stylish and more expensive than its neighbor Vertshuset. The reindeer is excellent. Pay attention to the salmon for non-lovers of sweet-salty meal. As an appetizer, the small spicy shrimp (but not too much) are delicious.
Idea price for a meal for two: Shared starter, two courses (reindeer + salmon), bottle of wine and shared dessert = ~ 1300 NOK
WHERE TO SLEEP IN TROMSO?
We stayed in an airbnb at Knut O (84 € / night) near the island of Kvaløya at the edge of the Kaldfjorden Fjord (about 20 min from Tromsø).
It was ideal, quiet and well located for viewing the Northern Lights. We even saw it from the window. There are buses but the ideal remains the car for more freedom.
Here is the view at sunrise:
WHEN TO GO IN TROMSO?
This trip was from the 3rd to the 7th of February. I do not know if it was luck but the conditions were ideal. For 4 days, bright sunshine and not too cold (-10 ° C maximum) with the added bonus of the Northern Lights every night.
During this period, we could enjoy the daylight from 9am to 3:30 pm / 4pm. But the low sun gave incredible light.
HOW TO GO TO TROMSO?
I played a lot with the dates, the starting points, point of arrival, etc … and ended up finding a good price for this destination at this period.
I paid 280 euros with SAS for the following route:
- Stuttgart to Copenhagen; Copenhagen to Oslo; Oslo to Tromsø (departure Friday morning 6h- duration: ~ 6h)
- Tromsø to Oslo; Oslo to Paris (departure Tuesday 12h30 – duration: ~ 6h)
- Rent a car (Sixt: 350 for 4 days, insurance included +70 euros of gasoline for more than 400 km).
- Do not make excursions every day. Take a day or two to wander around by car and / or snowshoeing / skiing.
- Take an Airbnb to be in an amazing setting outside the city. It also avoids the restaurant too often.
- Everything is closed on Sundays (except a supermarket downtown)
- Be careful if you park at the port (right next to the radisson blu hotel), the ticket has to be paid in an application (which did not work for us). There is no way to pay without this application. The fine is 70 euros but it can be contradicted. The easiest way is to go to the tunnel parking.
- Watch out for slippery roads when walking.
Airline tickets: 280 euros (Stuttgart to Tromsø, Tromsø to Paris) + 60 euros per person of luggage
Hotel: 84 euros per night airbnb
Activities: 160 euros for dog sled + 210 euros for the snowmobile.
Car: 350 euros for 4 days (sixt)
Supermarket: 100 euros (breakfast, in case and dinners)
Gasoline: 70 euros (400 km)
Restaurant: 50 euros + 100 euros + 140 euros
Total / person: 1200 euros
Despite the excessive prices of Norway, this journey has amazed us every moment and we do not regret a second the necessary budget.
5 to 6 days allow to fully enjoy the scenery and Nordic activities to do on site. A unique and exceptional experience in the far north.
It is a destination that I highly recommend !!