Welcome back to ‘Traveller Stories’, where we share unique experiences from amazing locations you can visit through holidaylettings.co.uk. Earlier this month, Libby Austin took the trip of a lifetime when she travelled to Norway in search of the Northern Lights.
After many years dreaming of seeing the northern lights, we decided it was time to make it a reality. Following plenty of internet research, we decided to head to Tromso in Northern Norway. Tromso is one of the more easily accessible places north of the Arctic Circle and, as well as the opportunity to see the lights, offers the beautiful Fjords and opportunities for whale watching, husky sledging, snowmobile safaris and plenty of other outdoor activities.
We pre-booked a Northern Lights Chaser Tour ahead of our arrival. On the night, our guides drove us about an hour out of Tromso to the edge of a beautiful fjord near the village of Grotfjord, where we set up camp for the evening. Snow suits, woolly socks and boots were provided which were certainly appreciated as we stayed out from about 6.30pm to 1am. We were also kept warm with hot soup, sausages and hot chocolate around the campfire whilst we eagerly awaited the lights.
Our guides offered help with camera settings and lent us tripods so that, even as an amateur, I could capture photos of the wonderful northern lights. And… wow. We witnessed the most spectacular light show that went on for hours! The lights danced across the sky in shades of green, pink and purple and at times, seemed to fill the whole sky. Words and pictures can’t really do this phenomenon justice – to see it for real in such a beautiful location is something very special.
During our stay, we booked a whale watching safari which departed from the harbour in the city centre. We had about an hour and a half boat ride out to the whale feeding areas which provided another great opportunity to enjoy the magnificent scenery including views of the famous Lyngen Alps.
When we reached the aptly named Whale Island, we saw large numbers of both Orcas and Humpback whales. There were countless pods of them feeding on Herring. It was fascinating to witness these huge creatures working together to herd the Herring up to the surface and then leaping out of the water as they swallowed up gigantic mouthfuls of the fish.
For us, the lights and whale watching were the highlights of our trip but there are plenty of other activities in Tromso. We visited the interesting Polar Museum, walked across the bridge to take a closer look at the striking architecture of the Arctic Cathedral and took a daytime scenic tour around the fjords. At night, there’s a good choice of places to eat and drink; we enjoyed Rorbua Pub and Bla Rock Cafe.
Retrace Libby’s steps north of the Arctic Circle with a stay in this spacious cabin in the stunning Ersfjordbotn village, close to Tromso and the Ersfjord mountains.
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