Friday, 4 March 2016

Tromso, Norway

I have recently returned from three incredible nights in Tromso. We booked our flights around a year in advance with Norwegian Air for £162.50 each return including a checked bag between two people. Flights are from London Gatwick direct to Tromso and take around 3hrs 30mins in each direction.

The flight lands early evening in Tromso and the captain dimmed the plane as he saw a sighting of the Northern Lights. It was a crazy and magical moment watching the green lights jump around outside from the plane window. After landing we took a quick 15 minutes taxi, which cost 180 NOK to our hotel. After much research we decided to stay at The Viking Hotell. We booked a two bedroom apartment, which had two large double rooms, a huge kitchen / lounge and big bathroom with under floor heating. The apartment was literally around the corner from the hotel and we were able to leave luggage and use the hotel reception when we needed. There is also a little toilet to change in before your flight if leaving after check out.

For our first evening we had a little wander around the town before deciding on a bar for a few drinks, a burger and some fries. The bar was called Blarock CafĂ© and was full of locals, which is always a good sign. Tromso isn't cheap, a burger, a basket of fries, a glass of wine and a local pint of beer was £30! However, the food / drink was nice and it was good to get out for a couple of hours. On our way back to the apartment at around 11pm the northern lights made an appearance. We stayed up watching them dance with different colours on and off for around three hours, it was amazing!

Our second day was spent with Artic Explorers doing both their Fjords tour and Northern Lights hunt as detailed in other blog posts! Although we did make both breakfast and dinner in the apartment through the use of a large SPA supermarket literally down the road. Again, a six pack of beers, three pizza's, salad and coleslaw was around £30! We actually bought some wine at Gatwick, which was a good shout as it is difficult to source wine in Tromso. They have a special shop yet despite directions we did not find it.

For our second day we had a lie in, which was needed before exploring the town centre. We came across a little local restaurant right by the waterfront for lunch. We entered at 12pm and within half an hour the place was heaving. The menu was all local dishes and all exceptionally delicious. The restaurant was called Kaia and I can thoroughly recommend. We had reindeer stew, a gorgeous beef entrecote in a creamy sauce with vegetables, a fish soup and some king crab and garlic king prawns. For two starters, three main dishes, a beer and service charge we paid 1,200 NOK.

That evening we headed to Lyngenalps for Dog Sledding and our final day was spent Ice Fishing both detailed in previous blog posts. Before returning to the airport we had a quick cheeky pizza at Yonas. A small is four slices and a medium is perfect if you want to feel stuffed! Two small pizza's and a coke were £30. You order at a self service till like Nandoes and then wait at a table for your food. They do a lunchtime buffet, which is much better value. They have lots of different flavours, your usual's like Hawaiian but we tried a fish, a lamb kofta and best of all beef with BĂ©arnaise sauce.

FYI for your return journey Tromso airport is small, there is a pub and an upper crust but don't arrive hours before your flight as there isn't much to keep you entertained. Unfortunately we didn't see the Northern Lights one final time on our return journey but we had, had such an amazing time in Tromso and some incredible displays that we could hardly be disappointed.

If you fancy a winter break then look no further than Tromso! It's a lovely little town with loads of good bars and some decent restaurants. It's also full of outdoorsy activities and most importantly is excellent for Northern Lights hunting!