When we went to Tromso (Jan 2018) we had the pleasure of meeting the green dancing fella.. on the plane home.. FANKS! Not ideal, but thanks for showing up at all, it was a very excitable plane ride home even though it was on the left hand side and we were on the right. CHEERS!
But if you're lucky enough to be visiting Northern Norway during October and March, chances are pretty high for the meet and greet. (When you see him give him the middle finger from us!)
We're super lucky to have made SO many friends on our trip. With all of them being local Tromsonians (I'm making it a word) we hit the jackpot with insider information and unlocked the secrets to finding the aurora!
One of our newest (and highly valuable) friend Ingus gave us his top 3 places to spot the aurora. Being a local, he knows his stuff and is constantly out chasing it and photographing the magic.
Remember, you'll probably need to head out of the city to escape the light pollution - this isn't always necessary but the darker the surroundings, the brighter the show.
Pros and Cons of an aurora Chasing Tour
If the place is good and clear for the Northern lights, there will most probably be a tour for it! We always recommend going yourself (if you can, if it's dangerous/mountainous or needs a guide, obviously get a guide ya plonker!) But it is cheaper and you feel more like a real aurora chaser! Plus if you don't find them, get fed up or tired, you can turn around and come home.
Pros of the tours are that you can just sit back and relax until you arrive at your destination, or if there are no lights, they will move on to another spot. They also give you some very good tips on how to use your camera to capture the lights and usually refreshments are given out (the only reason I would go.)
All images belong to ingus - Check his insta - @Ingus_r
Tips for the Northern Lights
- It needs to be a very clear night
- Try and get away from the city lights to a place with less light pollution
- The Forecast - we used Norway Lights to check the likeliness of seeing the lights that night.
Top 4 places to see the Northern lights are:
Around an hours drive from Tromso and said to be an easy hike - I wouldn't know. I hate walking on flat road nevermind climbing mountains. But not everyone is as lazy as me and eats cake for breakfast.
I shouldn't be so against mountains, if you google this one the view from the top looks absolutely incredible! It's around 2 and a bit miles up and the same back down. There is parking and a pathway so no need to use your brain power too much or pay for a guided tour (but the do offer these). An hour up and an hour down, take water, cake, anything you need.
A 25 minute drive north from Tromso is an area of great beauty. Quite like myself.
No hiking or biking mate this ones for us! YAS!
Head towards the water and set up your little tripod.
For the people who eat oats, fruit and tigers for breakfast. This 6-10 hour round trip hike (oh my nan..that honestly hurt me to write that, I've got sweaty palms now) needs special shoes and i'd guess a hefty amount of vodka. You absolute mess.. just why?
If you are into your fitness (I envy you) this steep scramble is for you. No takers? HAA!
1 hour 40 minute drive from Tromso - but who cares we're not doing it. F you pay me.
The only one of the list we actually visited! But 'bloody nora' was it incredible!
Only around a half an hour drive from Tromso, an ideal photo op for what northern Norway has to offer your eyes. Just park in the little opening near the red house and walk a minute round the corner - trust me, it's not hard to find, look how HUGE it is!
If all else fails these are some spots given to us by a local guide:
Kattfjordeidet, Kattfjord, Sommaroy, Balsfjord, Skibotn, The Finnish border.
We both hope your northern light chasing mission is a fabulous success. Send us some pictures if you manage to spot it - we won't be jealous AT ALL.