Get thee to the northern lights. If you have to beg, borrow or – well, work three jobs – book a flight to Norway now. It’s the ultimate Bucket List getaway.
Tromso sits in the middle of the Magnetic North Pole, a zone encircling the North Pole. In this area Tromso is perfectly situated so that you’re likely to see nature’s own colorful silent movie flickering around you. While there are other areas in the region that boast equally fine views, those are sparsely populated areas. Tromso offers the best chance for U.S. vacationers to see the lights.
Get there if you can
Start by flying into Tromso Airport Longenes (TOL), centrally located just five minutes from the city center. True: it will cost you a small fortune flying from LA and it’s a drain to fly for 20 hours or so. That’s why you should consider extending your trip with a night in New York or Boston. It will cut your travel time and slash the price a bit. For example, flying to New York from LA round-trip, one person, is as low as $300 if you fly out midweek in mid-December. It’s about $2400 roundtrip from New York to Tromso in mid-December, but just $1600 a month later. From LA it’s a little less, depending upon the airline.
Even if you spend a few hundred dollars on a New York mini-break, you’ll still be ahead. The scourge of jet lag will be severely offset if you spend a day recharging your batteries in the Big Apple.
When to see the lights
The lights, also called the “aurora borealis” are most easily viewed between Sept. 21, the autumn equinox and the beginning of spring. That’s largely because it’s dark between 6 pm and early 1 a.m.
According to the website visitnorway.com,
If you come in December or January, you experience the polar nights with atmospheric evenings and very short days. In February and March the days are longer and you see more of the snow-clad landscapes during daytime, and the evenings still offer maximum chances to spot the northern lights.
Thus, now is an excellent time to book especially if you enjoy cold weather and relish the idea of standing out on a frigid, cloudless night gasping as the soft gold, green and violet swatches of color ignite the Northern sky.
What else to do while in Tromsø
The city of Tromsø (Norweigan spelling) is located on the island of Tromsøya in the county of Troms, 350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. So of course, whom will you find at the North Pole besides Santa? Reindeer.
Reindeer races are a fun family treat and attract visitors from the world over. Visit during “Sami Week” — organized by the Saami people — and enjoy the annual reindeer event. Racers stand on skis behind their reindeer on a 201-meter (about a 12th of a mile) track. The Reindeer Championship begins Feb. 8, 2015. Samis are the indigenous people of the region, whom English speakers call “Laplanders.”
For more information on this event, click here.
For information on where to stay, visit the I Like Tromso! website: http://www.visittromso.no/en/Accommodation/
For information on other events in Tromso such as dog sledding, cycle or helicopter tours and cultural attractions, please visit: http://www.visittromso.no/de/Attractions/
Also see www.visitnorway.com for more info.