5 Amazing Tours Under the Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway

Emma KellyMay 20, 2019

Witnessing the Northern Lights is up high on many peoples bucket lists, and for good reason. Seeing the sky illuminated with colors really is the experience of a lifetime. There are a few places in the world where you can enjoy this phenomenon, however, Tromsø in Norway is undoubtedly one of the best places on earth. Plus, this charming city is also your gateway to some excellent outdoor activities.

So, why not combine your Northern Lights experience with some great activities? That way you can have lots of fun in the day and hunt the Aurora at night. We’ve pulled together an awesome list of the best ways to see the Northern Lights in Tromsø. Keep reading to get excited!   

1. Go for Some Epic Ski Touring in the Lyngen Alps


Slightly east of Tromsø, you’ll find the awesome Lyngen Alps and its fantastic ski slopes. This is not just any ski destination though. You get the amazing fjord landscape to admire, great snow, and then in the evening, you’ll be able to find a good spot to see the lights. 


Northern Lights Tours
Ski tour during the day, hunt the Northern Lights at night. Photo courtesy of Fredrik Aspo.

Tailor your trip to suit your plans, choose from one day or multiple days of ski touring in the Lygen Alps with Northern Lights seeking included.

2. Enjoy a mix of winter outdoor adventures!


There are so many awesome activities on offer around Tromsø, it’d be a shame just to do one.  From dog sledding or snowshoeing to a fjord safari aboard a boat or cross country skiing, Tromsø is an adventure Mecca. Plus, while you’re galavanting in the Norwegian outdoors there’s a high likelihood you’ll catch sight of the aurora borealis.


Northern Lights Tours
Experience sledding, a typical arctic activity. Photo courtesy of Graham Austick.

Book this multi-activity adventure in the Lyngen Alps with certified guide Graham.

Northern Lights Tour
Cruise around on a snowmobile. Photo courtesy of Graham Austick.

3. Enjoy Ice Climbing Under the Polar Lights


Lyngen, close to Tromsø is home to many great ice falls. These icefalls vary in size and are perfect for ice climbing. You don’t even need experience as a certified guide can find something to suit your level. A great time of year to ice climb is during the winter months. Even in the polar night, there are still a few daylight hours and there is more chance to see the Northern Lights. Win, win. 

Join Fredrick on an adventure to remember as you tour around, climbing ice and seeking out the Northern Lights.

4. Go Sailing Along the Norwegian Fjords


Northern Lights Tour
See the Northern Lights from a fiord. Photo courtesy of Bruno Beauvais.

Make the most of the magnificent fiords that surround Tromsø and the Lyngen Alps and set off on a sailing trip. You’ll be able to take in the beautiful landscape of the mountains, visit traditional fishing villages and alight at different stops for activities like snowshoeing. You may also see some exciting wildlife, like the humpback whale or killer whale. Then, you can find a bay to dock for the night so you can take in all the glory of the aurora borealis.


Northern Lights Tour
Combine aurora spotting with whale watching. Photo courtesy of Bruno Beauvais.

Join certified guide Bruno on this excellent 8-day sailing expedition for a special Tromsø northern lights tour. 

5. Take a Snowshoe Trek & Chase the Aurora


Why not try out some snowshoeing near Tromsø? Northern Norway is one of the best places on earth to go snowshoeing. There’s awesome snow cover, beautiful landscapes to hike across and cozy alpine huts to rest in. Then, the icing on the cake, you’ll get the chance to see the spectacular aurora borealis. You can’t ask for more than that!


Northern Lights Tour
Enjoy breaks from snowshoeing to take in the sights. Photo courtesy of Ernst Marti.

It doesn’t matter if you have no experience at all, Ernst will take you on a weeklong guided snowshoeing tour that includes the Northern Lights.  

What makes Tromsø one of the Best Places in the World to See the Northern Lights?


Tromsø is located in the middle of the Northern Lights Oval, the geographic region where there’s the most likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights. While the city sits north of the arctic circle, it’s unique in that it benefits from warm currents from the Gulf Stream. This keeps temperatures mild and makes your Northern Lights experience a little less frosty. Plus, even though Tromsø is a city, it’s pretty secluded, so you don’t have to venture far to find a dark place to get a good view of the lights.

When is the Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Tromso?


You need darkness to see the lights so, the best time to see them is between September to April. The polar night from mid-November to mid-January is even better. You’re going to have a fair bit of darkness between this period, which is good. But the timeframe that you want to be hitting is from 8 pm to 2 am. This is when the lights are at their strongest. Weather is also important. If there is any kind of cloud cover, it will be either difficult to see the lights or you won’t get the full experience. If you can, go on your hunt for the aurora borealis on a clear night.


Where to Go in Tromso to See the Northern Lights?

When you’re hunting the Northern Lights you want to avoid any artificial lights, likes those found in the city. So, leave the city center and head to one of the awesome locations nearby. Some ideas for places to go include, Lyngenfjord, the longest fjord in Troms county. Another option would be the traditional and picturesque fishing village of Uløya. Or, head to Lyngseidet a small village nestled between the impressive Ullsfjorden and the Lyngenfjorden fjords.


Northern Lights Tours

How to Get to Tromsø?


One easy way to get there is to fly. Tromso has an airport with both domestic and international flights coming in. Another option is to take a train and a bus, there is no direct train to Tromso but if you take the train to Trondheim, you can connect onwards on the bus. If you want to road trip your way through Norway, you can even drive. This will take a couple of days though, and you may face challenging weather conditions.


So, now you’re armed with all the information you need, there’s no reason why you can’t book your Northern lights trip today and experience the ultimate bucket list experience!


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