28 Feb Norway 3 of 3
For our last post in Norway- let’s go to the Arctic! From the cities of Oslo or Bergen you can’t get to Tromso (Norway’s main Arctic town) directly on a train so you can either take a bus, the Hurtigruten, or fly (2 hours). You should fly. Norway is a huge country!
About a third of Norway lies north of the Arctic Circle and with a population of 393,000, this is the most populated arctic region in the world. Tromsø lies far north of the Arctic Circle and is a vibrant university town. In Tromso, the summer nights are long and sunlit, and while winter nights are dark and cold, the northern lights can light up the darkness with a spectacular display. The town is on the waters edge of some of the best fjords and you could spend a day hiking around them, an evening on a boat trip through them, and a night looking at them from your hotel or restaurant. If you go during the winter, you can take Northern Lights or Dog sledding tours as well as spend time glacier hiking, checking out Sami history, and seeing the world’s strongest tidal current, Saltstraumen.
A great itinerary: if you want to see more of the Arctic after Tromso take the Hurtigruten – seeing the North Cape and arriving in Kirkenes, Norway – located by the Russian border – two nights later. You can do snowmobile safaris, husky sled excursions, Barents sea tours, and see the border. You can then fly to Helsinki or Oslo (2 hours) or drive to Rovanemi, Finland (6 hours), seeing the Arctic Circle painted on the ground, for a full tour of the Arctic.
For the super adventurous, Norway also has the Svalbard archipelago (400 mi north of mainland Norway); which includes Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world. Although hard to get to, they are semi-accessible and you won’t be nearer to the North Pole then this!