2020 was supposed to be the year of so many trips and to see new places, but Covid-19 appeared and all the plans were canceled (until next year, I hope). But before this Pandemic situation, I had the luck to visit Rome, Italy in January and and the Aurora Borealis in Tromso in February.
Today I’m going to talk about my trip to Tromso and if you want me to talk about Rome (like what to wear, see and eat) let me know in the comments.
To visit Tromso, first thing you need to know is that it is an expensive trip. And that you need to have things planned and booked with time. You will understand what I mean at the end of this post.
As you already know, I’m from Portugal, so that means that doesn’t exist direct flights to Norway more specifically, to Tromso. I think that for Oslo you can find one, but I’m not sure. I went on 31 January from Lisbon to Amsterdam, where I stayed for 6 hours (was an easy wait because the airport of Amsterdam is soooo good and have a lot to see and buy), then I went on another flight to Stavanger because that was the main place where I was going to stay in Norway. Stavanger is such a cute and picturesque city, I enjoyed, I did Curling for the first time, climbed Fiords, soo good, YAY.
Well from Stavanger I catch a flight to Bergen and then another one to Tromso, where I finally arrived to spend there 2 nights and 2 days.
Preparation of the trip
To go to Tromso, you need to be prepared to cold weather. I went in February because it usually is the best time to see the Northern Lights. It’s cold there, in the morning it was -10ªC and the sun just shine for a few hours. In the two days that I was there, in the afternoon we had always a snowstorm. Can you imagine negative temperatures, with wind? You need to be prepared.
I research a lot for what was the best clothes and shoes to go to Tromso, and I can say that I was never cold there because the purchases that I did were amazing and so worth the money I spent.
I have a problem with my feet, I need to have them always warm. Just for you to know, I sometimes use in the middle of the summer wool slippers, so I needed to buy something to handle -30ªC. I research what was the best option and ended up divided between the Adirondack from UGG (I love my Uggs) and Sorel Joan of the arctic. Honestly because of the price I bought on @Netaporter the Sorel Joan of the arctic, and I love them, my feet were always warm even at 2 AM with -20ªC in heavy snow.
Another important part, was the jacket. It had to be one good for snow, wind, and cold. I bought a snow jacket from @Oneill with a lot specifications and one of them was handle cold up to -30ªC. Best purchase ever, I felt always so cosy in there and also stylish because it accentuate the middle, giving you a nice figure even with some layers of clothes.
Because I do ski, I already have ski pants, also blouses appropriated to winter and socks, so I didn’t need to buy them. The ski jacket that I had, was not enough for the cold, and that the main reason why I had to buy the O’Neill coat.
Another thing you need to prepare for the trip is to book the activities that you want to do in advance or you can arrive there and find that all the organized trips are full.
Because we were there just for two nights, we booked for the first night the Aurora trip and for the morning after feeding the Redeems and be with the Sami (local tribe).
The second night it would depend on what you could see in the first try.
What is a Northern light or Aurora Boreal? It’s a physical phenomenon that occurs when the solar winds are stronger than normal. Electrically charged particles released from the sun collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen when they enter the earth’s atmosphere, which we see as green, yellow, red, or orange light in the sky. The Northern Lights generally occur at an altitude of 80 to 500 km above the ground.
What needs to occur for you to be able to see the Northern Lights?
- Clear sky
- Night, mostly between 17pm and 2AM
- Kp index more than 2
The adventure begins…
We arrived at Tromso on the morning of February 3rd. The first opinion that I had from Tromso, was that I arrived in Winter Wonderland. Everything was white, the streets, the mountains, the road, everything. I had visited Andorra and Sierra Nevada many times, so snow was not new to me but I was never expecting so much of it. Tromso is also very small, you can walk to everywhere.
In the afternoons we walk to meet the place and get fascinated by it. If you go there I have to advise you to visit the local store “Rein Love Brand Store“. They have clothes with such good quality and made there.
We visited the Polaria, where we could see a show of sea lions and much more and also visited the Arctic Cathedral, beautiful outside but doesn’t worth the money spent to visit the inside.
We were supposed to also catch the Tromso cable car but was starting a snowstorm so we decided to leave it for the second day.
At night we had the anticipated Northern Light trip, that made me so excited to see.
All the excursions usually leave the pick point between 5 PM and 7 PM, because sometimes you need to go to Finland or further to see something.
We put all our expectations for the first time trying to see the Northern lights in the company Northen Soul Adventurous. And why them?
We booked this trip in December and we used some points to decide which one was the best.
- First, we researched the good and oldie Tripadvisor in what were the best trips to see the Northern lights in Tromso and Northern Soul Adventurous was in the first place.
- Then we wanted a small company with just a maxim of 7 to 10 people because it’s the best way to have a better experience. When an Aurora appears, it can be dancing for hours in the sky or just a few seconds, so imagine a big bus with 50 people all wanting a professional photo taken by the guide. It would be impossible.
- Third, we needed to have someone taking professional photos, because I’m not a professional photographer and the camera that I pick to Tromso was not the best one. Ohh forget the phones, they can’t take photos of Auroras. The memory of seeing an Aurora will always be in my head but who doesn’t want a picture of it?
- Four, it doesn’t have a specific region. What I mean is that if the only possibility to see something in that night, we needed a company that would want to drive 2 or 3 hours to Finland or Sweden if needed.
Northern Soul had all this, so we booked and on February 3 we went for the first time, try to see the Northern Lights. It was a snowstorm that night, and I can honestly say that I can’t understand how it’s manageable to drive in that situations where you couldn’t see anything in front of you, just snow and snow. I take the hat to our guide Alex, he was amazing. Our tour had 7 people, which were all nice and friendly.
That first night was not the best night to see the Northern Lights, the KP index was just 2, we had a snowstorm and the sky was full of clouds. Alex decided that the best chance that we had to see was go in direction of Finland to find a zone with a clear sky. After two and half hours of driving, we stopped in a zone 3 minutes away from Finland and set our spot in the middle of the snow. Exactly in middle, because to go there we needed to walk with snow by the hips. We waited and had some dinner that the company gave us.
On that night we were blessed because you could have a glance at the Northern Lights. In the human eyes you needed to focus to see it, but by the length of the camera it was there all green in the blue sky. It was almost 2A.M. when we decided to give up on seeing something else. The forecast was not giving the best hope so we drive back to Tromso.
I arrived at the hotel so happy to be able to see the Northern Lights but a little bit disillusioned because I thought that I could see more with my own eyes, not just with a camera. At the end of that day, I was excited but I thought that it had to be more.
On the second day, we already had a booking for a trip to see Redeems, feed them, and know the story of the Sami people. We went with the company Tromso Arctic Reindeer and I don’t have complaints to do – well organized, they gave us food, warmers if necessary. On that morning it was extremely cold, -15ªC at 10 AM. We had the option of experience the sled pulled by Reindeer, but we decided not to do because they are wild animals not domesticated to push people.
It was a really good morning, I took more than 100 photos just with Reindeers and the landscape that just by itself could take your breath away. I loved to meet the Sami people, to know about their culture and customs. Oh, and the food was delicious. I highly recommend it.
We arrived at Tromso at the beginning of the afternoon and didn’t have anything else booked in our last night. We had a glimpse of the Auroras on the night before and because the forecast for that day was not positive, we didn’t book to see the Auroras in the second day. In the road back to Tromso we talked and realized that it was almost an once in a lifetime opportunity to be there, and we decided to try again, yes it’s super expensive, more and less 150€ for one night when the chances to see the Auroras was not in our favor, but that way we couldn’t say that we didn’t try, and there were people that spent seven days going every single night and didn’t see anything.
So we arrived in the afternoon in Tromso after the Reindeers and went to try to book a trip to see the Northern lights for that night. It was starting a snowstorm, and the wind was extremely strong and cold. Every single company was full for that night, and in Tromso exist more than 100 companies.
Something was saying to me to not give up. Did you read our post about the motivation books? I wrote there that already happened to me some things that I think was the power of the law of attraction. One of them was in Tromso. Let me explain…
Every single company was booked for that night, it was our last night and we had put in our minds that was our last chance to see the Northern lights, even with all the forecast saying that was not the best night.
We entered in the tourist shop in Tromso, where all the nice ladies said that unfortunately all the companies were booked for that night. We stayed there to have more sheltered and to see some souvenirs when a person enters the store to cancel the book that he had for that night (a two-person place). We immediately stayed in their places.
We enter the bus of that company that honestly I can’t remember the name and the bus was full. The guide didn’t know what happened, the ladies on the store also didn’t know. What everyone knew is that there were two more people on the bus. Almost an hour later, discussing that we paid for that trip, saying that we had the papers, and that was our last night to try to see the Auroras, the guide realized what had happened. The people that canceled the trip were already with that company the night before and said that they were not going anymore. The company without knowing, booked other people on the computer, the places that were vacant and in theory were ours. We were the outsiders and the guide said that to compensate he was going to try to find a tour to us.
He called to many tours, and all were full but with insistency, he found one. He went away and we stayed in the store waiting for the new guide.
The tour that they arranged us was the Skadi adventures Norway. Every single bad thing that happened, the turns that that trip gave and all the nerves that I passed too, all was compensated with the Skadi Adventures Norway. It was a perfect trip. Skadi adventurous is a family company that organizes private tours, giving you home cooking food and a good experience to see the Northern lights around Tromso. Being a private tour is already a huge plus, usually, that type of tour cost 400€ or more for two people. Our guide that unfortunately, I can’t remember the name was so nice, super professional, and never gave up on trying to find a place to see the Auroras.
In the beginning, we were a little afraid because all the companies were going to Finland. After all, it was the best place to see it and the Skadi Adventurous didn’t go there. Our guide knew so much of the places around Tromso where it had a good place to try and see it that all our worries disappeared.
And Beauties, we had the best night ever, all our dreams came through. The Northern lights danced above us with all its glory for hours, with all the colors that were possible. We saw them dancing in green, white, pink and all at the same time. Our guide said it was the best night of the season and the forecast was saying the opposite.
I recommend the Skadi Adventures Norway to everyone, and if I go back I will book with them for sure.
We heard that the companies that went to Finland didn’t see anything. Now you understand the power of the mind and the law of attractions?!
The next morning we left this winter wonderland and went back for Stavanger.
Do you want to know more? what is your opinion in this post?
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