Is watching the Northern Lights in your bucket list? Well, it was for us!
Located just 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø makes it one of the top 10 places to view the elusive Aurora Borealis. The best time to visit is from late August to early April, when the sky is the clearest. Be sure to check the KP index readings for the best time to hunt for these lights.
From November to January, Tromsø would experience Polar Night – when the sun does not rise above the horizon. It got a little depressing without sunlight as we were used to the tropical sunny weather. I simply couldn’t imagine myself stationed here for the long run, but the people in Tromsø seemed very happy. You’ll be surprised research has shown that residents of Tromsø does not experience seasonal depression. Then again, I wouldn’t mind watching the blanket of stars twinkle every night and the occasional Northern Lights dancing for me across the horizon.
Once the last bit of light disappeared into the night at 3pm, we got ourselves ready to start the chase.
Unfortunately for us, it rained almost all day, and our chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis were getting slimmer by the minute. The only way we could see it was to drive inland, away from the rain. Lucky for us, our guide was prepared to drive all the way to the borders of Finland in order for us to catch a glimpse of the beautiful green lights. Our first thought was that even though it was a very long ride, who wouldn’t want to take this opportunity to visit another country while chasing the lights?
A little under two hours, we stopped briefly in Skibotn to check the weather conditions, and continued towards Lullefjellet Mountain Nature Reservation. The sky had started to clear up fast, revealing the abundance of shimmering stars. Can you see the build up on the edge of the mountains?
We put ourselves to good use and helped to set up our little camp fire with reindeer pelts to keep us warm.
Nothing like a good old fashioned campfire with toasted marshmallows on ski sticks. We huddled in the cold, and we waited patiently.
Before we knew it, the Northern Lights decided to make their first appearance! Although they were faint, they became stronger and we could see the glow with our own eyes as well. It formed like a celestial ribbon dancing across the night’s sky.
Finally, we got to see what we travelled over 9,600 kilometres for and it was definitely worth braving the cold for! Not everyone gets to see the Aurora Borealis on their first hunt, we were extremely lucky that night.
What are you waiting for? Start planning for your trip and catch one of nature’s most stunning performance in front of your very eyes.
Find out how to get this experience below, but bear in mind that it differs depending on the weather forecast and a little stroke of luck! Don’t despair even if you don’t see it, the nature itself makes up for it.
Get a tour with Chasing Lights for a complete and full experience.
I highly recommend the Northern Lights Minibus Chase experience for first-timers as they provide you with photography tips, a solid manfrotto tripod, and additional thermal wear in case you’re under dressed.
Adult 1,800 NOK for the first chase, 1,700 NOK for the second chase and 1,500 NOK for the third and subsequent chases.
The cheapest and fastest way is to catch a budget flight from Oslo to Tromsø. There are more than 5 flights from low-cost airlines such as Norwegian or SAS that flies daily. The journey takes almost two hours.
Otherwise, an alternative route is to take a flight to Oslo, switch to a train to Bodo and finally, drive/bus to Tromsø.