Tromsø, Norway

October 2015, 217 miles inside the Arctic Circle.

I had a little jaunt around Europe in late 2015 with the very loose plan being to fly in to Helsinki and then out of Tromsø five weeks later. Tromsø (like most of the Arctic region) always sounded fascinating: a city of that size well inside the Arctic Circle surrounded by stunning scenery. My trip was a bus ride from Narvik, which I chose purely because I liked the idea of making it to Tromsø by land rather than flying.

For personal reasons I had to rush the last few days of this trip, which meant some frantic re-arranging plans in Tromsø and that, unfortunately for the trip, meant hitting a couple of days of bad weather. The snow was starting as I arrived and didn’t let up much over the next couple of days.

A couple of holidays this far north has shown that the weather in the Arctic changes fast. Blue sky can become dull and grey or snow within a few minutes and change back to sunshine in no time. During the flashes of blue sky and sun, the snow-capped mountains surrounding the city looked incredible. The photos below certainly don’t do justice to the landscape in any way. I also didn’t get the chance to get outside of the city and missed out on seeing Fløya and Kvaløya. Next time!

Despite the whale watching trip being cancelled due to the weather (there were 13 whales in the bay at the time), and the Northern Lights being a no-show, it was a great trip and hopefully won’t be my last in Tromsø.


The best of a fairly poor bunch of photos, not helped by the awful weather.


When the weather was at its worst I visited the Polaria (the world’s most northern aquarium) and the Polar Museum.

The aurora

I’m including this only for completeness – it is not a Northern Lights shot I would ordinarily share. However, it’s also a chance to mention that the Tromsø Safari trip was the most enjoyable ‘chase’ of the Northern Light trips I’ve been on. We drove around two hours into a valley towards the Swedish border. Unfortunately, despite finding some clear sky, low activity meant no (proper) sighting.


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