Winter is strongly associated with snow, but the perception changes when you live in one of the northernmost regions, such as Tromsø. Winter is not only about snow here; one of the eagerly anticipated attractions is the Northern Lights or Aurora.
If your city is located beyond the Arctic Circle, there is a possibility that you can see the green lights dancing every night in winter.
Due to Stockholm’s position, which is far from the Arctic Circle, it is very rare for the people of Stockholm to see the Aurora.
Equipped with a camera, tripod, winter jacket, and Long Johns, I and some friends flew to the largest city in the northernmost part of the world called Tromsø. Tromsø is a favorite place to see the Aurora not only because it’s a relatively large city but also because its geographical location makes it less cold compared to other northern cities.
Similar to our previous trip to Iceland, one way to explore Tromsø is by using a car. The rental car prices are affordable, with a 4-5 passenger car available for around 3000 SEK for 5 nights.
You can use buses to get around the city, but the cold temperatures of minus a few degrees Celsius and snow as high as one meter can make waiting for the bus unpleasant. Additionally, many beautiful places are located outside the city, so using a car is a must here.
During our 5 nights in Tromsø, we planned to visit several places. Here is the list of places we planned to visit:
- Day 1: Arrival and immediate Aurora hunting in Ersfjordbotn.
- Day 2: Road trip to Tromvik and Fjellheisen Cable Car.
- Day 3: Road trip to Senja Island.
- Day 4: Road trip to Sommaroy.
- Day 5: Departure.
Aurora has become a common sight in Tromsø, a photo near our accommodation.
Day 1: Arrival and Immediate Aurora Hunting in Ersfjordbotn
Upon arriving at our accommodation, the owner informed us that we could see the Aurora tonight. The owner was so used to seeing the Aurora that he even knew when it might appear just by feeling the temperature. He suggested going to Ersfjordbotn because of its strategic location and the lack of surrounding light pollution. Besides, this location is a beach with two high hills on the left and right, making the Aurora viewing experience even more enchanting.
We spent the night in Ersfjordbotn, and the temperature was about -4 to -6 degrees Celsius. Don’t forget to bring winter boots and waterproof pants because of the thick snow. When we arrived, we could sit on the snow without worrying about getting wet.
It didn’t take long for us to see the Aurora. Here, we could see the Aurora with the naked eye without adjusting the camera’s shutter speed because the dancing Aurora in the sky was clearly visible.
Aurora view in Ersfjordbotn.
Day 2: Road Trip to Tromvik and Fjellheisen Cable Car
Tromvik is one of the fishing towns in Norway where the catch is usually exported to other European countries. Besides being a fishing town, Tromvik is also a tourist destination where you can enjoy skiing in winter and choose fishing as a holiday activity in summer.
Since the journey from Tromsø to Tromvik only takes 1 hour, we chose to take a cable car in the evening to see Tromsø from a height. The place is called Fjellheisen and is located 10 minutes from the center of Tromsø. For 230 NOK or about 340,000 Indonesian Rupiah, we could ride up to 420 meters high and enjoy the view of Tromsø.
View of Tromsø from the hill.
Day 3: Road Trip to Senja Island
The journey to Senja Island can be considered one of the best road trips I’ve ever experienced. It’s about a 3-hour drive from Tromsø, and Senja offers spectacular sunset views.
The road to Senja.
Bergsfjorden, one of the views on Senja Island.
Devil’s Teeth, one of the views at the tip of Senja Island.
Day 4: Road Trip to Sommaroy
Sommaroy is a summer vacation spot for the locals. Perhaps it’s because there is a sandy beach here. It’s very hard to find sandy beaches in Scandinavia, which might be one of the reasons Sommaroy is a tourist attraction in the summer.
On our last day in Tromsø, we explored the city to buy souvenirs. Like typical Scandinavian cities in winter, the thick snow creates a unique landscape in this city.
One corner of Tromsø city.
One of the northernmost churches on Earth.
Tromsø can be considered a complete tourist destination, where you can see the Aurora and enjoy beautiful scenery. Maybe I should visit again in the summer.
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