Situated some 248 miles (400 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle, Tromso is perfect for a polar getaway. With snow blanketing the landscape from January through April, opportunities for winter activities abound. See below for our top picks for winter adventures in Tromso.
Tromso is situated right in the heart of the Northern Lights oval—the ring circling the North Pole where the lights are most commonly visible—and they can often be seen streaking across the night sky. Northern Lights tours take participants to areas with low light pollution, such as the small island of Sommarøy or Skibotn on the shore of the Lyngen fjord, to hunt for the elusive phenomenon.
Embark on a boat trip into the fjords of Northern Norway. Search for humpback and killer whales during a cruise around Kvaloya (Whale Island), and look out for sea eagles soaring overhead. Travelers can also try polar fishing, dropping a baited line into these icy waters in an attempt to catch halibut.
Snowmobiling and Dog Sledding
With so much snow on the ground, the indigenous Sami inhabitants of Northern Norway have long had to rely on alternative modes of transport to get around, many of which visitors can now try for themselves. Speed through deep snow on a snowmobile, or traverse tranquil Arctic fells on a reindeer-pulled sleigh. Dog sledding tours are also available.
Snowshoe hikes in the Tromso area lead through the peaceful snow-carpeted wilderness, offering views of mountains and fjords, while cross-country ski lessons help first-timers get familiar with the technique before tackling groomed trails. For those who crave an adrenaline fix, the Lyngen Alps (Lyngsalpene) northeast of the city are famous as a winter playground for experienced climbers and extreme skiers, with many off-piste opportunities for ski touring in snow far above the spectacular fjords.