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Norsc Holidays
Tel: 01297 560033
(from outside UK +44 1297 560033)
The Court, The Street, Charmouth, Dorset. U.K.  DT6 6PE
Norwegian Holiday Specialists
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Tour 5

The Arctic City of Tromso (Northern Lights / Midnight Sun)

 

This tour will take you far beyond the Arctic Circle to experience the vibrant city of Tromso, the stunning mountain and fjord landscape in the surrounding area and, with a little luck, the amazing sight of the Northern Lights in winter or the midnight sun in summer.

 

The city of Tromso in Northern Norway is sometimes called the "Paris of the North" is an ideal base from which to experience life in the Arctic. Tromso occupies a dramatic location on an island with spectacular coastal and mountain scenery in all directions, including the Lyngen Alps not far away. There are several excellent museums of arctic wildlife and polar exploration, you can visit the Arctic Cathedral, and you can take part in the numerous outdoor activities both winter and summer (cross country skiing, dog sledding, glacier walking, hiking, kayaking and fishing are just some examples). There is an excellent afternoon / evening excursion by scheduled bus through the Lyngen Alps and up the coastal road to the town of Skjervoy, returning to Tromso on one of the Hurtigruten coastal voyage ships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season:

May to September:

In the summer months the days are long and from late May to late July the sun is above the horizon 24 hours a day.

October - April:

This is the time to visit if you want to see the ‘aurora borealis’ or Northern Lights. This is a natural phenomenon which can only be seen with clear skies and the right atmospheric conditions, but with a little luck you will experience this extraordinary sight. November to March is generally reckoned to be the best time. Activities dependent on snow such as dog-sledding or cross-country skiing are best done in January or later. February or March offer the best combination of good snow conditions, and a good balance of darkness and daylight for activities, sight-seeing and viewing the Northern Lights.

 

Travel to Norway: Daily flights with a choice of times from Gatwick via Oslo with fares from under £200, or from Heathrow via Oslo with fares from approx. £250 return. Flights are also available from other UK airports via Oslo, including Manchester and Edinburgh. We are always happy to advise or research flight options for you.

 

Travel in Norway: Only a short transfer from the airport is necessary, either by airport bus or taxi. Car hire is not essential, but we can quote for this if you want to explore the area independently.

 

Hotels: We recommend the Clarion Collection Hotel With on the waterfront in the centre of Tromso as a result of many good comments from our guests. Cost is approx. £70 per person per night in a double room. This rate includes a light evening meal and free coffee, tea and waffles during the day as well as the usual buffet breakfast which makes it very good value for money. Alternatives are the Clarion Bryggen or the Rica Ishavshotel which are also on the waterfront and have more extensive facilities.

 

Duration:   We recommend at least 4 nights to give 3 full days in Tromso to explore the city and to enjoy some of the activities or excursions offered. Stay longer if possible, especially in winter as it will increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.

 

 

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The city of Tromso in the ‘blue light’ of winter.

 

The Northern Lights stretching high into the night sky are one of nature’s most breathtaking events.

The Arctic Cathedral is well worth a visit during the long hours of twilight in midwinter.

The Hotel With on the waterfront is frequently recommended by guests.

Tromso and the surrounding mountains in full daylight and late winter snow.

All photos above: Destinasjon Tromso.

Variations: A similar itinerary is possible to the large town of Alta, further north and east of Tromso. The Northern Lights can be seen more often here, but the town itself and surrounding scenery is less attractive than Tromso. Snow condtions are more reliable and so there are some great winter activities including dog-sledding and snowmobile safaris. Norway’s famous ‘Igloo Hotel’ is built here every year entirely of ice and snow and its possible to stay in it from January until it melts in April.

 

If you are using flights via Oslo it is very easy to combine a visit to the Arctic with a stay in Norway’s capital city.

All our tour suggestions can be varied to suit your own requirements. Prices vary according to the dates of travel, standard of accommodation and many other factors. We do not quote headline prices 'from £xxx' which can be very misleading. An indication of costs is given above. We can normally prepare a costed itinerary  to suit your requirements free of charge.

 

If you would like us to prepare a tailor-made tour to suit you please contact us.  We will need to know your preferred dates of travel, number of passengers and your most convenient UK airport.

Activities: The Visit Tromso website has lots of information in English, including activity programmes for both summer and winter, and a detailed page about the Northern Lights. We can pre-book activities for you, or you can make your own arrangements while you are there.

 

The following links will give you lots more information about what is on offer. We will be happy to give you some advice about which activity to choose and we can book at the same price shown online with no booking fees.

 

Lyngsfjord Adventure

Very detailed web site offering day or evening trips as well as longer adventures, mainly in the spectacular Lyngen Alps area inland from Tromso. Dog-sledding in daytime or  under the Northern Lights by night, snow-mobile trips and reindeer sledding, and a night in a log cabin are just some of the trips available

 

Natur in Nord

Ivar Haugen specialises in small group trips to experience at first hand the unique nature of arctic Norway, mainly in the coastal fjord area around Tromso. With Ivar you will experience the infectious enthusiasm for life  and good humour so typical of northern Norwegians. If you are fit, his ‘crash’ course in cross-country skiing is not to be missed. The ‘Northern Lights Bus’ will enable you to search out the Lights if views are limited by the weather, or you can spend an evening at the Ramfjord farm in  spectacular mountain surroundings and with a little luck the Northern Lights in the sky.  A special meal of locally sourced food is served in a traditional Sami tent.

 

Tromso Villmarkssenter (Wilderness Centre)

This is the longest established of all the local activity companies whose base near Tromso offers dog-sledding trips, Northern Lights evenings and many other trips.

 

Guide Gunnar

Gunnar’s trips emphasise his particular enthusiasm for cooking using ingredients from the arctic region, Northern Lights trips, and also cross-country skiing at all levels.

 

Kjetil Skogli

Joanna Lumley’s film about Norway for the BBC in 2008 featured some very moving scenes the Northern Lights. Tromso based photographer and Northern Lights enthusiast Kjetil Skogli was the man responsible.  Anyone can now join Kjetil for an extensive tour by minibus which will maximise your chances of seeing the Lights, and enable you to capture them to best effect.on your camera.  His website has many wonderful photos of the Northern Lights taken on his trips.

 

Spectacular natural scenery and traditional ‘lavvu’ tents at Lyngsfjord Adventure basecamp.

Dog-sledding is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. (Tromso Villmarkssenter).

 

 

While reindeer sledding is rather more sedate and romantic (Lyngsfjord Adventure).