Nicknamed the ‘Gateway to the Arctic’, Tromsø is located 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and is the largest urban and cultural centre in Norway.
Considered as the capital of the Arctic, the modern city of Tromsø is also the starting point for many polar expeditions. This city is known around the world because it’s a famous observation point for the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) that occasionally illuminates the night sky from September until March. However, it doesn’t stop here, there are a number of other attractions to discover in Tromsø, such as a superb aquarium, several museums and the most northern botanical garden in the world. In downtown Tromsø, next to the vast frozen plains, there’s a variety of outdoor activities to take your pick from, just to name a few; dog sledding, ice hiking, sea kayaking and snowmobiling.
If you are lucky enough to visit this wonderful Scandinavian region, we’ve prepared a selection of activities for you to try in Tromsø which are guaranteed to satisfy your thrill-seeking taste buds.
Embark on a snowmobile adventure that takes you deep into the wilderness and gives you a chance to discover the impressive Norwegian mountains and the magical Northern Lights. Set off on an outing that takes you beyond the picturesque mountains and through the spectacular snow-covered Finn Valley, climbing 900m above sea level. This trail covers 15 km in each direction and gives you around two and a half hours of quality snowmobile time.
Explore the Nordic landscapes of Tromsø under an umbrella of Northern Lights during an evening dog sled trip. Guided by head torches and Alaskan Huskies, you’ll be safely transported to the Norwegian mountains where you could be lucky enough to witness the green shimmer of these magical lights. If you like speed, then drive your own pack of race Huskies and learn the historic practice of mushing! After the excursion, cosy up around a fire and enjoy a good old Bacalao (local stockfish cooked in a tomato sauce) or a Bidos (a meal prepared with reindeer meat, broth and vegetables).
Strap on your snowshoes and explore the natural arctic terrain on foot with this demanding, yet classic, alpine sport which makes walking on the snow accessible to all. This unmissable experience is tailored to those who want to get up close and personal with the natural beauty of Norwegian landscapes. An experienced guide will take you on a tour through the beautiful mountainous fjords, Tromsø valleys and will give you the chance to spot some of the Norwegian wildlife such as reindeer, elk and different types of birds.
There are very few places on the globe where you can admire a sunset at midnight and gazing upon the midnight sun aboard a sailing boat in Tromsø is one for the bucket list. This may not be the most extreme activity you can do in Norway, but the experience is as awe-inspiring and memorable as any other on our list, as the midnight sun is so filled with mystery. On board a comfortable Catamaran, soak in the golden landscapes of the Arctic, a magical place where time is lost, and extreme climates push the environment to create fantastic landscapes. While sailing through the polar night, the crew will prepare a homemade Norwegian meal while you wait for the Aurora Borealis to put on a spectacular show in the sky above you. Furthermore, keep your eyes peeled as you may be lucky enough to spot eagles, Arctic birds, seals, dolphins and even whales!
Discover the beautiful coastline of Håkøya Island by sea kayaking in Tromsø. Being situated so close to the Arctic Circle offers many advantages, one of which is the beautiful midnight sun in summer. This is a time of year when the sun never sets and leaves a beautiful golden glow on the Norwegian fjords. Surrounded by the Nordic nature, high mountains and fresh air free from engine noise, will allow you to feel closer and more connected to nature than ever before. Exploring Tromsø in a sea kayak also allows you to admire and appreciate the marine fauna in their true habitat to give you a truly authentic experience. This really is an incredible adventure that we believe, should you be lucky enough, everyone must do at least once in their life! Surrounded by the Nordic nature, the high mountains and the fresh air that takes us away from our urban life, giving you a chance to find your inner peace while physically pushing your body in a way only the kayak can do.
There’s several ways to enjoy the fantastic landscape of the Arctic Circle, and if you’ve got the luxury of time, hiking is a great way to appreciate nature at its true value. Just a stone’s throw from Tromsø, you’ll find Breivikeidet, a beautiful area known for its picturesque Nordic panorama, birds and wildlife. From here, you can also see the beautiful peaks of the Lyngen Alps with professional guides leading you on a glacier expedition along the rooftop of Europe.
In this part of the world, it’s possible to be transport on a sled which is being pulled by something other than Huskies. Here in Norway you’ll have the opportunity take a trip on a reindeer sled and feel the thrill of these majestic animals taking you on an original and memorable ride in the fresh powdery snow. Samis have been using reindeer for hundreds of years to transport equipment and people, and this activity is perfect for anyone who wants to explore and learn more about the unique and fascinating Sami culture. Also, with a little luck, you may be able to listen to a traditional Joik on a night hike under the northern lights.
Safari with Whale Watching
Admire Humpback and Orca wales on a marine expedition from Tromsø. Jump aboard a boat for a fabulous journey through the picturesque fjords to Skjervøy and Whale Island. Take in the wild landscapes and familiarise yourself with the beautiful Norwegian marine world. Sit back and enjoy the show or get involved with helping the research team gather behavioural observations on these marine animals. As a bonus, and weather permitting, you could have the rare opportunity to listen to the enchanting whale songs.