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      our holidays > Winter Snow Breaks > Norway > Tromsø Northern Lights Break

Tromsø Northern Lights Break

Deep within the Arctic Circle

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Mr P Lockwood  Pickering March 2019

For my 70th birthday my wife and I took this trip to Tromsø in the hope of fulfilling a long-harboured desire to see the Northern Lights. We were longstanding customers of Inntravel so we already had confidence in their arrangements - including their local partner Dan "The Aurora Man" responsible on the spot for the key component of hunting the Lights - but there was a lot riding on Mother Nature.

We were lucky, treated to an exceptional and memorable show. (As it turned out, this occurred on our second night, the original night having been cancelled owing to adverse conditions - a mechanism to swap nights being wisely built into the schedule by Inntravel and by Dan who keeps an experienced eye on meteorological data.) Check out Dan's website www.arcticx.no for his credentials and the reviews replete with praise on tripadvisor. It was awesome. One feature of the experience is that Dan emails you the professional quality hi-res photographs he takes of your night - this superseded the need for my feeble snaps so I could relax and just watch (and not get cold exposed hands).

We did other stuff, too. In Tromsø, ignore Polaria in favour of Polar Museum; take a bus to Tromsø Museum (a day travel card is worth it if you do three or more single journeys); another bus to the cable car (fjellheisen) over the bridge to get the stunning view over the island; we unfortunately missed both of the cathedrals (the old wooden one in the centre and the new Arctic Cathedral over the bridge) on account of limited opening times in the afternoons only; we did find the local pub and craft beer scene thriving at the well-established brewery tap for Mack at Ølhallen, the more locals pub at Jernbanestasjon (this means 'railway station' but is curiously just themed on rail memorabilia as the train doesn't reach here), and our favourite Bryggeri 13 (a very friendly new microbrewery, bar and eatery). Our other main booked activity - there are so many to choose from and so many providers that Inntravel simply refer you to the comprehensive tourist office website www.visittromso.no - was a sightseeing tour by minibus around the fjords. (No risk of upsetting our travel insurers with this one.) We thoroughly recommend Pukka Travels for our unpromising but in the event atmospheric and photogenic tour alongside less-known fjords with ice floes and coloured boathouses through snow and grey low-slung clouds for a picnic by a beach in the snow, and a sighting of reindeer.

We normally do walking or cycling holidays with Inntravel - this one was equally reliably organised and in many extraordinary ways more memorable. Oh, and we tacked on a couple of nights in Copenhagen, which Inntravel have covered as a city break  - no disappointments here either. We paced ourselves, used our Copenhagen Card to advantage, found some extra bars, cafes, restaurants to recommend, and returned very pleased. (Pity our boiler wasn't working when we got home but we had been hardened by our trip. Yes, take very warm clothing and a capacious wallet.)

Mrs O Hammock  Oban February 2019

Hindsæter: A hotel with local atmosphere and stunning food, though be aware that meals can take up to 2.5 hours. Rooms are small and quite dark with not enough room for two open cases, but the shower was good. There is a lovely lounge with good views but it's cold after dinner. Snow shoeing is great, as is the guided ice canyon walk, but we didn't feel it was a suitable location for beginners' cross country skiing, better for intermediates and experienced. The snow was sadly very poor so we weren't able to ski anyway. The best feature of this trip is that there are a number of activities if the snow isn't good.  There is a great café down the road, otherwise one is dependent on the hotel and there is no free tea or coffee so it's quite expensive. It's also good place to go if you like group activities. However, we preferred both Fefor and Sjusjoen and we will be back to those, whereas we wouldn't return to Hindsæter.

Tromsø: superb! We loved the hotel and its location on the waterfront and the food is very good, with no fuss about it. It's worth pointing out the free supper which is more than enough though they call it 'light'. There is plenty to see in Tromsø and we happily spent five days there. Dan and the Aurora tour are the highlight - we were very lucky as we saw them from the hotel for two nights but Dan took us up into the mountains where we saw a wonderful display. Guests should be aware that the trip can last a long time and I have never been so cold in my life despite the fire and the polar suit. It's worth walking over to the Arctic Cathedral and I loved the concert of northern music in the Tromsø Cathedral.

Inntravel note: These customers enjoyed our Nordic Experience holiday in Hindsæter followed by our Northern Lights Break in Tromsø.

 

 

Mr T Hammock  Oban February 2019

We had a fantastic trip to Tromso. We loved the experience of staying in a snowy arctic city right beside the harbour. We saw a superb aurora display over the harbour on our very first night. The Northern Lights tour itself was... and I really think this is the right expression... mind blowing! It was extremely cold but we stood by a wood fire under the stars, drinking hot chocolate, watching and photographing one of the greatest shows on earth. We are so glad that we booked two extra days. We got to know the city a bit, saw the sights, felt the beat, enjoyed museums and concerts, and also got some good cross country skiing. Very glad that we went and very likely to return one day.

Mr & Mrs G Carlile, Walton on Thames   February 2019

My wife and I had a wonderful trip, which exceeded our expectations, with the Northern Light excursion being a particular highlight. Tromso is a very interesting and enjoyable centre where we made independent excursions husky sledding (we would recommend Tromso Villmarksenter) and on the city's cable car. One of the major winter attractions in the city was whale watching which, had we known in advance, we may have booked. The Hotel With was an ideal base, and very comfortable for our stay.

Michael, Chislehurst   February 2019

The Northern Lights excursion with Arctic Experience was excellent. Dan Steinbakk is an exceptional guide and showed great commitment in finding our group a location with clear sky (on an otherwise cloudy and stormy night). And the Lights were magnificent. Well worth the whole trip.

Mrs H Randles  Gloucester January 2019

We used the Villmarkcentre for the dog-sledding. Cafe A Dragoy A/S took some finding - it was part of a large fresh fish shop in a newish shopping centre on the harbour front, but we had a very good meal there at a reasonable price. Small basic menu but very well cooked. We were pleased to have YaK Trax (spikes) with us - lost one of mine on evening 1 but their Norwegian equivalents are readily available so no real problem. The Norwegians don't seem to need them but we felt much safer wearing them on the ice and snow - walking around town and over the bridge to the cable car lift was easy with them on.

Mrs J McMillan  Mansfield January 2019

Inntravel booked our bus trip to see the Northern Lights and it was worth every penny. We were a small group of 8 people and Dan our guide was fantastic. He took us away from the tourist area and set up in a quiet spot where we saw the most incredible aurora display. Good boots, thick woollen socks and thermals are recommended though as it does get very cold outside at night.  Tromso is very safe and easy to get around simply by walking or using the local buses. The information provided by Inntravel was completely accurate and incredibly useful. They are simply the best travel company I have ever booked with. There is absolutely nothing I can fault about this trip or the staff at Inntravel, we were constantly kept informed and updated, even telephoning me from England to ensure I get had been contacted about a slight change to the itinerary due to weather, which I had. All travel documents arrived on time, beautifully presented in a folder with a step by step guide about our holiday. This is a very professional company with knowledgeable and amazing staff who care about their customers. Would we use you again, yes, absolutely without a doubt. Would we recommend Inntravel to others, we already have.

Mrs C Booth-Mayblin  Sheffield January 2019

The hotel was so friendly and helpful, the information inn travel provided was excellent and Tromso was truly beautiful. Dan our northern lights leader was fantastic. The holiday was everything we hoped it would and more. 

Anon   December 2018

The Tromso Northern Lights break was a great trip although we weren't lucky enough to see the lights themselves on this occasion! The guide tried his best as we were out for over 8 hours and even went into Finland but the weather was just too overcast. I knew it was not guaranteed before going so I'll have to do another trip to see them. The hotel in Tromso was good and centrally located with nice staff. We added a two night stay in Oslo on the way home which again was excellent. The hotel was central and good and the Oslo pass was a great addition as it gave access to lots of attractions and transport. All together a great trip. 

INNTRAVEL NOTE: These customers enjoyed our Oslo City add-on at the Hotel Bristol following our Tromsø Northern Lights winter break

Ms P Scott  Wallingford February 2018

Being new to Inntravel, and having worked in tour operating (skiing and summer) I was most impressed as I am generally critical as you might imagine having been in the trade! Very well done. An excellent tour from that first phone call on a Sunday evening when I didn’t expect anyone to answer the phone to the end of the tour.  We will use you again definitely maybe for a walking tour. Please keep us on your mailing list and send brochures. Thank you to al involved.

Miss K Scott  Wallingford February 2018

HIGHLIGHTS: seeing the Northern Lights, 5 hour cruise & reindeer sledding. TIP: pay for excursions in the UK.

Anon   February 2018

Great city break. Enjoyed the Lights every evenings even from the hotel which has an ideal location and a traditional feel on the seafront. Unfortunate that most places are shut in Sunday. The Northern Lights excursion with Dan is a 'must'. So well-organised and keen to keep his guests happy with the whole experience. Well worth it.

JJ   February 2018

Based on our experience given that airport transfers were not included, SAS being a pretty basic airline and the one excursion we booked with Inntravel was cancelled at short notice...we feel we'd probably have been better just organising the whole trip ourselves.

J & B, Yorkshire   February 2018

The hotel was highly recommendable - enjoyed the waffles and the raspberry jam was out of this world.

Dan out 'Lights' guide was excellent - supportive, interesting to talk to about arctic living and survival (his work in the army!); refreshments lovely and plenty to go at - we enjoyed the bonfire while we waited for the lights to appear.....which lucky for us, they did!

Suggest book tours on the internet, buy return tickets on airport bus, take crampons for boots, and plenty of available funds to enable you to really take advantage of the experience of Tromso and the arctic winter

name   January 2018

dress warmly but not bulky , have easy on/off snow boots . Highlight aurora fantastic also pleasure to experience dawn to dark and all the shades of light in a normal work day time slot.

Mr D Pechey  Stockport January 2018

The Wandering Owl Arctic Landscape day trip was excellent with an engaging and knowledgeable guide.  The half day Dog Sledding activity at the Villmarkssenter Tromso was an exciting snow outing.  

Mr R Simms  Tamworth December 2017

Clarion Hotel With - excellent value as we also received complimentary afternoon tea and evening meal. View from upgraded room fantastic. 'Arctic X' excursion to view the Northern Lights was fantastic! We were lucky to see a fabulous show, but Dan the guide was an excellent choice, too! Very experienced and knowledgeable, provided hot food and drinks, warming fire and clothing if necessary and a fabulous video of the experience. Would recommend him highly!

 

 

anon   December 2017

This was a repeat of our trip taken in 2016. The weather wasn’t great for us to see whales but Dan's willingness to travel a good distance on snow-covered roads made sure we had a memorable view of the aurora.

 

INNTRAVEL NOTE: Dan led the Northern Lights excursion for these customers

Mr M Brown  Redhill November 2017

We couldn’t have asked for a better travel company. The service was amazing. The hotel was perfect and the activities unforgettable. I can’t wait for my next adventure with Inntravel. 

Mr A Evans   March 2017

An excellent short break which we thoroughly enjoyed. Lovely personal hotel without large groups, close to all activities.

We did the 5 hour snowshoe hike as an optional additional excursion. This was fantastic. The time includes a 45 minute drive each way but this gave us an excellent opportunity to experience the snowy countryside outside of tromso in daylight. the hike itself is about a 120 minute climb to the summit of a small hill and 60 minute return. The views on the weay up are stunning, let alone from the summit. Walking in the snowshoes was great fun and quite physical but as we are keen walkers, it was relatively straight forward. Hiking boots would be essential. We booked it in advance through the Tromso Outdoors website. Should a bit more be made of this walk in the Inntravel materials provided for the Tromso Northen Lights Break as many clients may already be keen walkers?

One other thing we discovered is that there are lots of walking and snowshoeing opportunities from the top of the cable car. This was quite a revelation. Once away from the immediate area of the cable car, there were very few people on a gloriously sunny day on the extensive, gentle slopes of the hill. If we do the Kirkenes trip [Around North Cape] which starts from Tromso, we will probably come a day early, hire snowshoes for about £20/day each from Tromso Outdoors and go up the cable car. 

Mrs M Sutcliffe  Manchester March 2017

We enjoyed the dog sledding excursion booked through the tourist office.

Mrs P Bramidge  France March 2017

The hotel is in a great position overlooking the harbour - very warm, comfortable, friendly atmosphere and we were impressed with the meals - especially the waffles in the afternoon! 

We booked a dog sledding half day excursion which was great fun - it included time to play with some husky puppies in addition to the sled ride, followed by lunch. We were lucky to have crisp snow and blue skies and it was a highlight of our stay. We also visited Polaria and the Arctic Cathedral - both well worth the time spent there.

R and B, Kent.   February 2017

We were fortunate to see the amazing Northern Lights on all three evenings in Tromsø thanks to the clear, calm weather. From talking to others, this was quite unusual. The word 'awesome' is overused but was the only suitable adjective to describe seeing the Aurora. A half-hour walk up the hill and out of the city was repaid with the best view, due to less interference from light pollution. This also enabled us to experience a city covered in a thick blanket of snow where life continues to function smoothly – such a contrast to England!

We went this far north hoping to see the Northern Lights and lots of snow and our expectations were more than met. We will definitely return.

One tip – snow grips were essential on the snow and packed ice which was found on most pavements and paths.

Oslo provided a complete contrast but actually felt colder due to the cloudy, snowy weather. The Oslo Pass is good value and there is more than enough to do to justify a three-night break.

INNTRAVEL NOTE: These customers enjoyed a city stay in Oslo following our Tromsø Northern Lights winter  break

Mrs M Skinner  York February 2017

The "Aurora Chasing" night was the highlight of our holiday and totally exceeded our expectations. Dan from Arctic Experience was a real star, friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic - as well as a very good photographer.

It is worth thinking about researching and booking any other excursions e.g dog sledding, that you might want to do before you go as these can get booked up quickly.

Mr A May  Aylesbury January 2017

The 'Hunting the Northern Lights' trip was excellent - we had to drive a couple of hours to find a break in the clouds but it was well worth it. The tour guide Dan was first class, really knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm.

anon   January 2017

The trip to hunt the Northern Lights with Dan was excellent.

Mrs J Fisher   December 2016

We had a very exciting trip to Tromso - we were extremely lucky in as much that we saw the Northern Lights to their full potential, and also the fact that at the time that we went it was mild weather and not minus temporatures.  The fact that we went on a Monday we only had one chance to see the lights with Dan (included in our trip) because of this we also booked, separately, a trip with another company called Arctic Explorers for our first full evening in Tromso.  They were extremely professional company, and took you to a warehouse where you were given an insulated suit/boots/mitts.  They also provided hot drinks and hot soup.  That evening we were extremely lucky and apparently it was the best "show" that they had had for some 3 weeks.   I would fully recommend this company.  With Dan the next evening, he also provided hot drinks etc., but his suits were not so warm and we had to put them on at the back of the van when we arrived at the chosen destination for viewing.  I think we had been so spoilt the night before that although we did see them they were not as good as the night before.  The weather didn't really help that night either as it was a bit cloudy, but Dan certainly knew his stuff and tried very hard to find the lights for us, getting back into Tromso at 3 am!!  Overall a fantastic trip, and one I will remember all my life.

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