Winter adventures in the Arctic Circle
Brrr may be the first thing that comes to mind. True, but that is part of the fun. You can buy new clothes for warmth or bring out the items that have been sitting in your closet for awhile. Once you have the items for warmth packed, now you can board that flight from Oslo north to Tromso. Once you arrive in Tromso, there are many accommodations available whether you like an AirBnB setup or hotel.
Now for the activities in the wintertime, they seem endless and that makes it hard to choose which ones to do with your time there. If you are visiting during the Polar Nights between November to January, I would definitely recommend a Northern Lights tour, as this time of year the sun doesn’t rise at all. Tromso is also located at 69 degrees north latitude making it an ideal location to spot the Northern Lights. When I visited Tromso recently, I was shocked by the activity we had the luck to spot on our night tour. You can see them with your naked eye, but they show up more colorful with a camera. The guide can help you setup the appropriate settings to capture the lights with your camera. Once you get a glimpse and catch some shots on your camera you get to dream of what a magical site you just saw.
Onto a new day, you can decide to book a cross country skiing tour, snowshoeing tour, a Sami culture tour, reindeer sledge, dog sledding and mushing, a day in the fjords by boat, or ice fishing. I would suggest looking at the snow accumulation before deciding on what tour is best fitted for you and what adventure you are seeking.
As for food, please do yourself a favor and book a reservation at Emma’s Drommekjokken (Dream Kitchen). You might even be lucky enough to meet Emma yourself as you walk in. It is a classy place with very tasty food using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. We started our meal off with a mushroom soup, followed by duck, and finished with a gingerbread cake accompanied with a berry sorbet. I heard her cod fish is to die for as well.
There was not a lot of snow when I was in Tromso, so we ended up heading north to Alta for some dog sledding. We chose to book with Trasti & Trine for a full day of dog sledding. I must say, I am an animal lover and these dogs enjoy some love and attention but they really just want to RUN! Being a musher for the day is thrilling and memorable. Also, the guides from Trasti & Trine were very accommodating and knowledgeable. The Trasti & Trine Lodge property is inviting with housing accommodations, a well respected restaurant and a bakery. If I was visiting with my foodie boyfriend, we probably would have stayed here and indulged in all of the goodies they offer.
While in Alta, there is a nearby town called Sorrisniva which builds an igloo hotel every winter. With being close, we stayed a night on reindeer hide over an ice cube bed. Now they also provide you with sleeping bags for -30 degrees and a pillow. It felt like glamping in an igloo. I had a great night of peace and quiet sleep. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel also has a fabulous restaurant onsite with a head chef of only 27 years old. When I heard that my expectations were questionable. However, I was blown away by the presentation of each dish and each bite. They use locally sourced foods so the menu changes seasonally. With wintertime, you will notice the menu gives way to fresh locally caught fish or wild meat from the region. I was able to enjoy my first time tasting Grouse and Reindeer heart. Both were delicious. The wine selection accompanied the food very well. After a bottle of wine and chocolate mousse with blackcurrant sorbet for dessert I was living my best life in an igloo in Norge.