Usually, my posts are about 5 days in a city/region but for Tromsø, I’d also like to include nights because if you’re there at the right time of year, the nights can be very magical due to show put on by Northern Lights.
I’ve been to Tromso twice and two things that I learned are it’s good to rent a car and stay in Tromsø city instead of staying in nearby Islands. Tromso city itself is a small yet very lively city to hangout in so I suggest that staying at walking distance from city center.
Best Time to Visit Tromsø
In my humble opinion, September, October, March or April are the best months as it’s not very cold and nights are still long enough to have complete darkness so you can also enjoy Northern lights.
Before we get on to details, here is our roadtrip video from April 2019.
Usually direct flights to Tromsø are only from within Norway. If you’re flying outside Norway, chances are you’ll be taking a connecting flight. As usual we took the first day a bit easy and we suggest you to do the same.
The city’s historic center, on the island of Tromsø, is distinguished by its centuries-old wooden houses. It has many shops, a nice church and awesome port. Get lost in the small town walking from Pier to shops.
Dinner at Biffhuset Skarven
One thing you should know that eating out in Norway or whole Scandinavia is very expensive. But if you chose the right restaurant, its well worth the money. We went to Biffhuset Skarven for dinner and it was great food and I’d totally recommend it!
Northern Lights at Skulsfjord
If the sky look clear, I suggest take a drive to Skulsfjord. Drive all the way to the end of Fv58. Park your car at the parking lot, put on warm clothes, gloves etc and take a walk a bit further up on snow next to water. When it’s fully dark and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see one of the most magnificent show nature has to offer.
Northern Lights at Finnvikvatnet
Now start driving back towards Tromso and after a drive of 10-12 minutes, you will enter a tunnel, at the exit of tunnel, pull over in the parking on your right next to lake Finnvikvatnet.
It’s a hidden gem that I found by luck, on the way back, lights go a lot more intense and I was looking for some place to pull over and park and luckily I came across this place. Here we saw the Northern lights together with the show put by rockets sent in space by Norwegian space agency.
Visit Grøtfjorden, Tromvik and Rekvik
Those are 3 small villages you will be driving to today before doing a nice hike. Keep in mind that depending on season, all 3 villages can be quite empty meaning no cafe or place to buy water or visit toilet.
Grøtfjorden is small village next to white sand beach and white snow covered mountains. Take a walk across the beach and enjoy nice views around
Rekvik is a small town built northwest on Kvaløya in the municipality of Tromsø . To get to Rekvik you have to drive to Tromvik and then southwest across the mountain. Again small villages but views are amazing!
Brosmetinden, the mountain located on the northeastern side of Kvaløya, is an easy and rewarding hike.
The trail starts next to parking spot between Rekvik and Tromvik. The trail is very straightforward and well marked but the marking can disappear in snow in cold weather. It’s a 2-3 hours, 4 kilometer round trip hike.
Sunset at Ersfjord
Assuming that you would spend good amount of time of the day, if you plan the drive back, you could catch a beautiful sunset at Ersfjord.
Dinner at Full Steam Tromsø
This place was suggested to us by locals. We tried whale and seal meat there and dried fish as snacks. Really tasty! A must visit place.
Fjord Boat Tour
We booked through polaradventures.no and I can’t recommend enough. It was a small boat with very lovely host and photographer. This 5 hours long boat ride took us through Fjords and a small fishing boat. We were also served delicious soup. You also have opportunity to fish in the sea.
Northern Lights at Vasstrand
Before it gets too dark, start driving towards Vasstrand. After passing Kalfjord, you will be driving through some dark spots perfect for taking photos of Aurora. Keep in mind that roads can be a bit icy, depending on what time of year you go there.
Nattmålsfjellet is another small mountain on the island Kvaløya which is easy to hike and with a great view over Ersfjord. It can be accessed from two sides; from the Ersfjord side (then it is called “Klokka ti”), or from Kattfjordeidet where it is called Nattmålsfjellet.
Driving from Tromso, you’ll first passing Kaldfjord, turn left to continue on 862. After turning, drive for 5 kilometers, you should see a small parking spot on your left. Park there and start hike from there. It’s a easy 2 hours hike to top and offers amazing views from there.
You will be driving to Sommarøy (summer island) next and on the way you can hike a small hill called Ørnfløya. It is not steep at all and is an easy hike and from the top, you get an amazing view over the small fishing village Sommarøy and Hillesøy.
Drive all the way to this small parking spot, keep in mind that the parking is small with 2-3 cars max. Park there and start hiking to the top. It’s a 30 mins hike to the top and offers nice 360 views from there.
Drive to Sommarøy
Sommarøy is an old fishing village popular for destination due to its white sand beaches and scenery. It’s still would be too cold in March/April/September/October to swim but it’s still worth a visit.
Northern Lights at Kattfjordeidet
On the way back to Tromsø, make a stop at Kattfjordeidet to see Northern Lights.
Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral)
Today, you will be going to the other side of Tromso, first take a walk through the bridge to the Arctic Cathedral which is an imposing church constructed from concrete & aluminum in the 1960s, with a striking glass facade.
Next, take the cable car up to mountain ledge Storsteinen (421 m above sea level). It’s a 4 minutes ride and offers amazing view on Tromso city.
Hike to Fløya
Fløya is a great hike that gives a fantastic view of Tromsø and the surrounding islands. The trip up to Fløya is suitable for both children and adults.