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Discover the 11 best places to see the Northern Lights around Tromso !

Northern lights in Tromso

Ok so you’re in Tromso, you want to see the northern and you don’t know where to go. That’s normal, you’re not the only one to have this question. After months and months spent in Tromso during the past years, I now know where to go according to the weather forecast, I have my favorite places, and some very efficient.

Because to see the northern lights, you need to have a place with a wide view, correctly oriented. Don’t chose a too narrow place, otherwise you may not see everything.

Orientation is important! The widest the best to enjoy the lights. You should have west and north, east is a good plus. South only for strong auroras.

So, here is my list of the 10 best places to see the northern lights around Tromso! Some of them are in the beautiful Kvaloya island. And below some good advices to chase the lights.

1. Grotfjord

This is my favorite place around Tromso. A magnificent fjord, perfectly located, ultra photogenic, with a lot of possibilities. But yeah, I know, i’ve just told you not to go in a narrow fjord. Even if it’s a really impressive fjord, Grotfjord is not narrow. Its mountains are really beautiful, lots of nice peaks. Facing north, it’s great to see the lights coming.

So my advice would see to go by the sea, directly in the fjord (there are some paths do go down at the bottom of the fjord). But the nice thing is that you also have great viewpoints on all sides of the fjord! And also before, for example above the Grotfjord village.

northern lights tromso

2. Kattfjordvatnet

That’s a classic one. Kattfjordvatnet is a lake located in a beautiful valley on the way to Sommaroy. Not far from Tromso, this is more than a viewpoint. You literally have maybe 10 places to stop to see the lights. Because the lake is huge, very long, close to the road, with a lot of park lots for 10km, you won’t have any difficulty to park here. The lake is facing beautiful mountains, and during winter it’s totally frozen, so this is a huuuuge playground !

There are two problems. The first one is that this place is popular among the northern lights tours, as it’s not far from Tromso and you have a wide view. But honestly, this is by far big enough for everybody. Second issue, when the cars go by the road, some lights can enlighten the mountains. So if you’re doing timelapses, that’s not the best place !

aurores boréales kattfjordvatnet tromso

3. Sandvika

Not far from Sommaroy, there is a nice beach. Well ok, there are a lot of crystal clear beaches in that area. But Sandvika has a lot of advantages ! First, it’s facing north, with a very wide view in all the directions. Views are nice, some mountains. This is not as beautiful as Grotfjord, as impressive, but much wider !

The good thing is that there are usually not so many people there. It’s a bit windy (yeah, that’s Sommaroy), but honestly that’s ok. And sometimes you can see reindeers on that beach, the icy on the cake!

Northern lights Tromso Sommaroy

4. Signaldalen

That mountain is one of the most famous in Norway. And the good thing is that’s a very nice place to enjoy the northern lights ! This is facing north west, the view is quite wide, the mountain is really photogenic. And there is not a lot of people coming here.

You can have a lot of different views from the mountain, by the river or not, so there are many possibilities. You also have south, the only bad thing is east, as there is a huge mountain just there.

Northern lights Signaldalen Tromso

5. The road to Skulsfjord

A very wide view, buuut very windy ! On Kvaloya (again) if you take the road to Skulsfjord, just before the tunnel you’ll find a perfect place to enjoy the lights, with a view west-north oriented. But other directions are good too ! This is a nice view over Vengsoya.

So if you can handle the wind, honestly that place is made for your !

aurores boreales tromso skulsfjord en Norvège | Blog Vincent Voyage

6. Kvaloyvagen

Maybe not the most spectacular place, but one of the most efficient. The road to Kvaloyvagen provides a really good and wide view to enjoy the lights. From a beach, you’ll have a view over east-north-west, with the mountains as a foreground.

Just go right before the tunnel to Ringvassoya and drive for 5 minutes, just after the small fisherman cabins, there are many places to go by the sea. Even after, closer to Kvaloyvagen, you’ll also find some other nice places.

Northern lights Tromso kvaloyvagen

7. Grunnfjord

A place i’ve discovered not a long time ago. Because the weather is often better east of Ringvassoya, this place is one of the most popular, even if it’s a bit far from Tromso (1h30). But you have a very wide view, there is room for everybody, but that’s kind of windy.

So this place could save you if it’s cloudy over Tromso, as it’s often different here. I’d just say the only issue is, more than the tours, you are at the end of the Ringvassoya island. So if the weather is not good, then you have to drive a long time to go back to another place.

Grunnfjord northern lights Tromso

8. Breivikeidet valley

One of the coldest place around Tromso, if not the coldest. It’s often 10 minus than the other places around Tromso. But colder means drier sky, and then less clouds. That’s why I like that valley, there is a kind of micro climate there and surroundings are beautiful. Beautiful mountains, wide views, views over the Lyngen Alps, or even further at Nakkevatnet. Honestly, this valley provides a lot of possibilities, even if there are not a lot of park places on the main road. But you’ll easily find the perfect place !

aurores boreales breivikeidet tromso norvege blog vincent voyage

9. Telegrafbukta beach

Maybe you’re in Tromso and don’t have a car to escape the city lights. Then, here is a solution for you. Telegrafbukta is a beach south of Tromso, around 40min walk from city center. There, the light pollution is lower and this may be the only place to see the northern lights in the city with good conditions.

You’ll have a wide view, with some street lights over Kvaloya, maybe some other people, but honestly that’s really not that bad 🙂

aurores boréales tromso telegrafbukta en Norvège | Blog Vincent Voyage
Photos instagram Norvège

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10. Fjellheisen

Another great place if you don’t have a car. Fjellheisen is the top of Tromso’s cable car. It offers a great view over the city, the mountains, and of course you can easily see the northern lights. There are many possibilities, from the small coffee shop, the platform or by walking outside.

Even if there is possibilities to go down by foot, that’s very slippery during winter so be careful with the timetable not to miss the last one !

Fjellheisen aurores boreales Tromso Norvege | Blog Vincent Voyage

11. Kilpisjärvi

Ok it’s not around Tromso, even not in Norway. But Kilpisjärvi is a very good alternative when it’s cloudy in Tromso area. As the border between Norway and Finland is materialized by mountains, the weather is often different. This is finnish Lapland so it’s much colder, but the weather is in general very good.

Even if in Kilpisjärvi there is only one main road, you can find some possibilities around it, in the small roads or in the big car parks. Surroundings are not as beautiful as in Norway, more flat, but this is really a good alternative.

Aurores boréales Kilpisjarvi finlande

Some advices to find a perfect place

The best places are the ones you find by yourself. That being said, here are some advices to help you to find good places. But don’t forget that you first MUST be under a clear sky, without clouds.

  • Check the weather forecast. Apps and websites like Yr.no but I mostly use Ventusky and its cloud coverage. You must find clear sky, first. Be careful, the weather forecast changes everytime !
  • Avoid the light pollution. This is why you should escape from Tromso, but not only. You also take in account the street lights
  • You must have a wide view, ideally with east-north-west if you can. For your first northern lights, don’t go to too narrow places, as the idea is to see them. After you can try some more aesthetic and narrow places.
  • Be right on time ! easy to say as we don’t know when they come. But be ready at 7:30pm during winter, before if you can, but not after 8pm, you could miss a big part of the show. So you need to know where to go, sometimes it takes 1h to be in place.
  • Have some warm clothes. It’s colder by night, autumn or winter, but don’t forget you will not move, you’ll be in the cold, feet in the snow, and with probably some wind. Having warm clothes, boots, gloves, and more, is really important
  • Know how to take photos of the northern lights, be prepared before the lights come. Find how to use the night mode in your cellphone if you use it, how to do the focus with your came, that kind of stuff
  • But, mostly, drive and check during the day to find the good places, so that you won’t have any bad surprise when you check during the night

The best tours to see the northern lights in Tromso

If you want to book a tour to see the northern lights, that can be a good idea. I explain everything in that article. There are several reasons to book a tour, and all of them are good ones :

  • you don’t drive
  • you want to optimize the chances to see the northern lights
  • you don’t know how to do, so I would advice to book at the very beginning and then go by yourself
  • you prefer to let specialists chasing the lights for you, and that’s a very good reason as the guides are in general very good ones !

So here are 4 very good companies, with excellent guides, you can book with them without any doubt. These are small groups, and they will try their best to make you see the lights in good conditions (from 120 to 180$) :

If you have any question or need advice, don’t hesitate to send me a message via this form

In conclusion

As I previously said, the best places to enjoy the northern lights are the ones you find. Of course I enjoy the ones i just gave you, but everytime I go there, I love driving in the area to find new places, according to the weather, which is the most important criteria.

So when you discover Tromso area during the day, don’t hesitate to search for places, to ask yourself if that place could be a good one. Don’t forget to check if there are city lights and street lights, that kind of recommendation.

But if you check the weather and go to one of the places above, you will surely spend an incredible night under the northern lights 🙂

Don’t forget there are many other activities in Tromso. I gathered them in this article, but the main ones are dog sledding and whale watching.

Northern lights tromso

3 articles qui devraient vous intéresser

Discover the 10 BEST activities in Tromso during winter !

Découvrir Tromso en Norvège toutes les activités

If you are here, you are wondering what to do in Tromso. And that’s good ! Because I’m going to bring you a lot of answers in this article because there are a lot of activities during winter !

The very good thing is that some activities are free. Some obviously not (like dog sledding, whale watching), but nature is free, northern lights are free. And the norwegian nature is truly exceptional.

So if you still have doubts about what to do in Tromso (you can discover this city in that article) during winter, i’m quite sure you’ll definitely decide to come at the end of this article 🙂

1. The northern lights !

Obviously, if you’re here, in Tromso during winter, seeing the northern lights is one of your objectives. And, I have to say you are at the perfect place because Tromso is one of the best place in the world for that.

Perfectly located under the “aurora oval”, the chances to see the northern lights is very high every day, when the sky is clear, even if the data are not good.

And Tromso is also good because that’s really easy to find good and nice places far from light pollution. So you can take your car, drive to avoid the light and the clouds, enjoy the auroras 🙂

And if you need a tour to see the northern lights, you can check this article that explains how to chose the correct tour.

Here are 4 tours I strongly advice :

And here are 11 places to see the northern lights around Tromso !

northern lights tromso

2. Discover the wonderful landscapes !

Be careful, the Tromso area provides some of the most incredible landscapes of Norway ! You definitely have to discover them and not stay in Tromso itself.

The best way to discover the region is to rent a car, and wander everyday in a new place. For example, I would strongly advice you to go to Kvaloya and the two roads to Tromvik, via Ersfjord and Grotfjord, and the one to the Sommaroy archipelago.

Also, go to discover the Signaldalen valley and its incredible mountain, the fabulous Lyngen Alps, the Breivikeidet valley and the Nakkevatnet lake.

And if you don’t drive, some tours will help you to discover the area via an incredible journey. You also have the possibility to discover these landscapes by a boat tour, one of the best experiences to do !

nakkevatnet tromso

3. Go dog sledding with furry friends !

This is one of the most popular activities in Tromso, and in arctic countries. Dog sledding is also one of the funniest ! Because yeah you’ll ride a sled, you’ll have a lot of great sensations, but you’ll also meet very sociable and lovely animals. The dogs are so cute and this is really funny to see them just before the ride, when they know they are about to run.

Because they are made for this, they will enjoy it more than you. And you, you will have an incredible experience. Just be careful with the safety instructions, don’t go too fast in the turns, but this is not dangerous as it’s full of snow.

Discover all the possibilities in Tromso in this article !

faire du chien de traineau en Norvege

4. See whales and orcas

Another incredible moment upthere.

Whales and orcas are visible 3 months per year around Tromso. Not a very long period but a very active one ! You’ll see plenty of them, hunting the fishes, maybe playing with the boat. This is an unforgettable experience !

Even if they moved from Tromso to Skjervoy (2 hours away), there are still a lot of possibilities like a really nice and respectful one, an hybrid boat.

So, don’t wait until it’s too late, they are only here from early november to end of january !

observation des baleines et orques à Tromso

5. Go snowshoeing and other winter sports

So if you’re here during winter, with plenty of snow, it would be a pity not to enjoy the favorite activity of local people : going out. With incredible mountains and valleys, this is the perfect place to go snowshoeing or skiing!

It always surprises me when I’m up there, when people in Tromsø stop working at the end of the day, they immediately go to valleys to sky. And their favorite thing is to go up the snowy mountains and go back. Sometimes by night but it’s more dangerous! Just be really careful about the risks of avalanche, and take the information before.

Snowshoeing is the easiest way to start discovering the nature, to go to the valleys, for exampe Breivikeidet and Kattfjord !

vue skulsfjord vengsoya kvaloya tromso norvege

6. Meet and feed the reindeers

If you’re lucky, you can see reindeers by the road or in the fields. But even if we know their favorite places, they wander a lot and sometimes you can spend a week without seeing them.

So in these farms you can discover the Sami culture and their reindeers (because in Norway, only Sami can have reindeers). You can also have the possibility to feed these goofy and friendly animals, and why not go on a sled!

Around Tromsø you only three reindeers centers, offering all the same possibilities. Of course, the classic Tromso Arctic Reindeers, the most famous one. But you can combine a reindeer visit with the famous Ice Domes at Camp Tamok !  Or why not the reindeers under the northern lighs ?

où voir les rennes à Tromso Norvège blog voyage

7. Go fishing with a local fisherman !

At the Tromsø Harbour, you have some possibilities to go fishing on a boat led by a fisherman. And that’s quite funny! I did it during summer and I don’t regret it. It’s of course open to beginners, and the good thing it’s that this is very easy to catch fish. Looots of them are here.

You have at least two possibilities. The real fisherman who brings tourists with him and do some tours. Not every day but you can find it in the harbour.
The other possibility, much easier and comfortable is a kind of catamaran to go fishing in these beautiful landscapes. It goes every day.

In general they offer you the fish or they can even cook it for you at the end of the trip !

port tromso sous la neige | blog vincent voyage

8. Ride a snowmobile

If you like strong sensations, speed or if you want to try something different, then snowmobile can be for you.

During winter, this is one of the main activities, one of the funniest too ! You will ride your machine for a few hours, at high speed but without any danger! These snowmobiles are really stable and this is something easy to do, even for beginners. The really good thing is that you can reach some places unavailable by foot (or snowshoe).

Be careful, they usually ask your driving licence.

There are only 3 possibilities of snowmobile around Tromso :

9. Fish in a frozen lake

This is a more confidential activity, because there are less tours doing it, but this is a funny one.

When you’re in Scandinavia during winter (or any frozen place) you always see locals on the lakes, sitting on a chair, and waiting. They are fishing. This is both a useful activity, because you bring food, but also a very relaxing one.

First, you need to learn how to dig in the very thick ice. It seems to be easy but not at the first attempt !

And after, you “just” have to wait. Seems to be easy right ?

10. Enjoy a neverending sunset

Last but not least, and I would even say one of my top 3 activities, the sunset and sunrise lights are crazy. And the good thing is that they dure at least two hours ! As we are far north, you really have time to enjoy the sunset (and sunrise if you can wake up). Obviously you need to have the sun, so it won’t be possible from the 27th of november to the 15th of january. And then, it’s paradise !

I would strongly recommend Sommaroy, there are a lot of beautiful viewpoints. For example Ornfloya over the archipelago, on the bridge, the Sandvika beach… But this can be almost everywhere, you “only” need a good sky, not too cloudy 🙂

Coucher de soleil Tromso sommaroy

11. Discover the city of Tromso

Tromso is really a nice city, and not only for its numerous activities. Obviously, during winter you’ll have a lot of snow, but the city deserves to be discovered, even when it’s snowing. I love walking in the old town, taking a coffee and a kannelbole in a cozy place.

Wandering in the old town

The city center of Tromso is nice. Lots of old wooden houses, small streets, a really nice harbor and many places to enjoy a coffee. Walking here is not a waste of time, even if it’s small you won’t regret it 🙂

There are some guided visits of the city, to discover all the highlights of this beautiful city. Check it out here !

lever de soleil tromso norvege | blog vincent voyage

Polarmuseet : the polar expeditions museum

A super interesting little museum that I just visited, the Polar Expeditions Museum traces over 100 years of hunting and discovery expeditions to Svalbard and the North Pole. The adventures of Roald Amundsen, the first seal and bear hunts, are very well told. This is obviously not an apology for Arctic hunting, but as Tromso was the starting point for all these expeditions, they are very present in the history of the city.

Polaria museum

A museum dedicated to the arctic environment, wildlife with sea lions, and the northern lights. So I admit that I was a little disappointed, it’s not a big museum, but the films are interesting and you can watch the sea lions eat. I think it will especially appeal to children with the possibility of learning more about them. Prices are high but there are good discounts for families. See the Polaria Museum website to find out more.

The arctic cathedral

It is very easily recognized with its specific architecture, the Arctic Cathedral is one of the emblems of Tromso. From the port, there is a beautiful view of it. On the other hand, I don’t know if it deserves a visit. The interior is very classic, very Nordic, modern. But relaxing! And the entrance costs 50NOK or 5€.

pont cathedrale tromso norvege | blog vincent voyage

The Fjellheisen cable car

A place that I love and that I talk about here, the view of Tromso from the Fjellheisen cable car is superb. Obviously during the day and at sunset, but also for the observation of the aurora borealis. It’s not just limited to that. Indeed, we are on a large plateau, so we can walk quite far on the mountain. On the other hand, be careful, there is a lot of wind! See The Fjellheisen website for info and tickets.

coucher de soleil tromso kvaloya norvège | blog vincent voyage

If you have any question or need of information, don’t hesitate to send me a little message via this form


In Tromso (which you can discover much more widely here), it’s not just about the Northern Lights. Okay, that’s still the main motivation, but we’ll find plenty of other super cool activities. Special mention to the adorable dogs, but as indicated in this short one-week itinerary in Tromso, between the landscapes to visit in Kvaloya, the aurora and other activities, there is no risk of being bored. It’s also a question of budget because the activities are mostly expensive, but if you’re a little short, then all the free visits and walks will satisfy you. There is something for all tastes and all budgets in Tromso, and that’s what’s really good 🙂

And for accommodation, you can consult this article on hotels in Tromso, it helps to see things more clearly.

ville tromso norvege | blog vincent voyage

3 articles you could be interested in

When and where to go Dog Sledding in Tromso – the ultimate guide !

chien de traineau Norvege Tromso

First of all, I wanted to talk about the dog kennels and conditions there. I visited a few between Tromso, the Lofoten Islands or Finnish Lapland, so now I have a good overview.

First of all you have to know that dogs looooove to run. They are really made for that, they love it. When they know they’re going to go out, they’re all crazy and when we have the misfortune to press the brake a little to avoid being ejected, they look like “what the hell are you doing man?!” . So on that, it’s not about exploitation, really.

About the kennels, inevitably the big ones are more industrial, but the dogs are well treated there. In winter they all go out very regularly, while out of season they also go out but a little less. Those whose mushers know they will not run away can be released during the day. But you should also know that summer is more complicated for them in terms of climate. They are winter dogs so they cannot provide the same effort. The lady of the small Lofoten kennel told us that her dogs, above 10°, were too hot and had to be preserved.

In short, all that to tell you that it’s a great activity and especially with dogs who only ask for that and who are well treated. There are probably exceptions, but I’m lucky not to have seen any. So the ones I’m going to tell you about here, there’s no problem.

Dog sledding is one of the best things to do in Tromso. You can find all this list of activities in this article.

faire du chien de traineau en Norvege

Why is Tromso a great place to do dog sledding

So technically, dog sledding requires snow, dogs and a sled. Not very complicated. But in fact, it needs a bit more and that’s why Tromso is not bad, it needs flat, large and flat areas so that the dogs can run. Although the region is very mountainous, this kind of place is found in several valleys, like Breivikeidet and Laskvatn in particular, but also south of Kvaloya which is much less hilly, or south like surrounded by the mountains of Camp Tamok. In the Lofoten Islands it is much more difficult because there are only mountains and there is only one musher in the whole archipelago.
It must also, of course, be a region with snow for a good part of the year and in that Tromso is a safe bet.

Finally, Tromso is great because it allows dog sledding in a fantastic setting, surrounded by mountains.

Dog sledding Tromso

What is a dog sledding like?

Well, clearly, it’s too nice. First, it is not you who will choose the dogs. They are chosen according to their form and temperament of the moment, I advise you to ask how they are selected, how to choose the order, those who are in first position (the leaders), it’s super interesting.

Once chosen, however, it’s up to you to dress them and it’s quite funny. You have to put the harnesses on them, they are used to it and they allow you do do it, but as it will be your first time, you will be a little clumsy and they will look at you with pity, like “you’re really not good at it”.

Then the serious things begin. We will explain to you how it works, in pairs, one lying or sitting, the other standing to drive. The mushers will explain the only maneuver to be made, namely braking. Ideally when it picks up too much speed and a turn comes, otherwise it will be like my wife “ahhhhhhhh! puf!” (literally).
We will also explain to you that you should not take photos and film at the same time as you are driving, otherwise you can lose your balance since you have a gripping hand. Well, it depends on your level of confidence, huh. I did it, it’s a little olé olé but it can be done.

It will last between 1h and 3h, depending on the tours, and you change in the middle. It goes by quickly even if it’s quite sporty so don’t hesitate to take a long tour if you have time because it’s really nice.

faire du chien de traineau en Norvege

When can we do dog sledding in Tromso ?

Oh well, if I tell you that dog sledding requires snow, I shouldn’t surprise you too much. So it will only depend on that, the first big snowfalls, a snow that holds so as not to damage the paws of the dogs.
The last two years, it started at the end of January in Tromso, there hadn’t been any big snow before. And as the snow is holding, it will easily last until April. But it can start earlier! I remember a snow season that started in November, while in 2020 the snow was still falling in mid-May.
There is also a possibility if there is no snow, they will do it with kind of kartings, that’s also funny !

So it depends a lot, but try your luck, if the tours offer it is that it is available, quite simply 🙂

How to chose your dog sledding tour in Tromso

So we will find several tours, and we will have to make a choice according to several criteria:

  • the size of the kennel: well, it’s a criterion and not too much in itself, because there aren’t a lot of kennels in the Tromso region. There are two large ones nearby and a smaller one further away. I really liked having a fairly confidential kennel in Lofoten, but concretely, it’s not going to change much and especially the two main ones here are two quite big.
  • the price: there is something for everyone. We start at 180€, it can go up to 230€ depending on the size, the duration and sometimes for no reason.
  • the activity itself: some offer dog sledding under the northern lights, it can be a great activity. Please note that this is not always available. Others will only offer the visit of the kennel, it’s much cheaper so you have to be careful about that
faire du chien de traineau en Norvege

My recommendations

Avec toutes les infos que je vous ai données, je vais vous simplifier encore plus la tâche avec un petit tri. On va trouver ces options :

  • 1h30 of dog sledding close to Tromso, in the most popular kennel, 195$ (discover it here !), 195€
  • 1h30 in the famous Camp Tamok, surrounded by incredible mountains, with a visit of the Ice Domes ! 200$ (discover it here!)
  • The northern lights with the dogs in a kennel (be careful, not always available!), from 110$ (discover it here!)
  • Snowshoeing and kennel visit, 108$ (discover it here!)
Dog sledding Tromso

Some advices and useful information

  • Price: well it’s still not cheap, but there are all kinds of prices. It starts around 180€ at a glance, it goes up to 230 (without seeing too much difference, I admit).
  • Difficulty: Not difficult in itself. But it does require a bit of attention and it pushes on your arms and abs when driving the sled. It’s a bit sporty, but doesn’t require to be in good shape
  • Who it’s for: Well, it depends. It’s physical, some accept children from 7 years old (not to drive, eh), others only adults. It will also be necessary to avoid if you are pregnant, plastered, this kind of pathology.
  • is it dangerous ?: well no, it’s not strictly speaking dangerous. On the other hand, you can easily be ejected from the sled, especially when you are driving, if you’re distracted. But the idea is to fall in the snow so that’s fine. On the sled itself, you must above all store your feet and especially not allow them to stick out. So no, this is not dangerous 🙂
  • If we are afraid of dogs: the dogs are soooo lovely. Others are not going to see you because what they want is to run. But they are hyperactive! So absolutely not dangerous, but they wriggle, even to cuddle them. And if they are selected, it’s also for their sociable side, so they won’t mess with you. All of them I saw were perfectly sociable.

If you have any question or need information, don’t hesitate to send a little message via this form 🙂

See the dogs when it’s not winter

If, like me, you want to see the dogs when it’s not the sledding season, it’s possible! First, some kennels must be open from time to time (but not during high season) to visitors. Then, two great activities are offered.

First of all we will offer you the training of the puppies. Well, I did it, it’s more of an outing with a lot of cute puppies that you have to make run. We spend a lot of time with them, it’s funny, they’re crazy, it’s really nice. And then we can spend time with the bigger dogs.
You can find it out here.

But you have another activity that looks very nice, it’s going on a hike with the dogs. As they need to exert themselves (and so do we!), we therefore have the possibility of walking them in the magnificent landscapes. And after there is a visit to the kennel and patting the dogs.
To be discovered here! 

voir les chiots à Tromso
voir les chiots à Tromso

In conclusion

There you go, I think I’ve told you everything! It really is something fun to do. There is no mistreatment, the dogs are super friendly, hyperactive, sociable. It’s going to go quickly, it’s a very good experience, I hope I have convinced you 🙂

And don’t forget that you can also see reindeers as well as whales!

3 articles you should be interested in

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What to do in Tromso ? The ULTIMATE guide for your holidays !

preparer son voyage tromso norvege aurores boreales

There are plenty of adjectives for Tromso. The highest city in the world, the arctic capital, the Paris of the north, the capital of the northern lights. Okay, that’s all kind of true. It is the northernmost city, it is indeed the capital of the auroras (we will inevitably talk about it in this article) and, surprisingly, it is well nicknamed the Paris of the North (Norden Paris, we see it almost everywhere), but this is not at all for architecture which has nothing to do with Paris. While the rest of the country was not necessarily very into clothes, the inhabitants of Tromsø were always on top of fashion and elegance.

I love Tromso for a lot of reasons. First, the city is nice and pleasant. No big building, lots of recent condos or wooden houses, a very cute city center. In addition, the surroundings are exceptional in terms of landscapes, from fjords to mountains. You can do an incredible amount of activities, walks, you really won’t get bored. It is the outdoor city par excellence.
Finally, it is the capital of the northern lights. And it’s not a legend. It’s true. The city is ideally located and almost everything revolves around the auroras, whether in a tour or by yourself. We will find a lot of great places to observe them away from light pollution.

So obviously, we will see more precisely, the cost of living is high, but Tromso and its region deserve to stay there for a few days minimum, especially if it is your first stay in the far north to observe the northern lights, because everything is easy there.

I gathered here my knowledge of many years of travel to Tromso hoping that you will find all the information to prepare your trip serenely. You will find the articles and then a whole series of questions/answers.

preparer son voyage tromso norvege aurores boreales

5 reasons to go to Tromso

  • Incredible landscapes, fjords and mountains !
  • The northern lights of course !
  • Everything is easy. Easy to discover, to book, to come, to enjoy. Ideal for a first trip in the North
  • Seriously, there are a lot of great places to see and many activities !
  • Last but not least, the city is beautiful

The best places to see in Tromso and its area

In Tromso and its region, there are really a lot of things to see, and even not to mention the activities. These are places that can be reached relatively quickly by car.

Visit the beautiful city of Tromso

It seems obvious, I know, but do not hesitate to take some time to visit Tromso, especially the city center, its old wooden houses, its harbour, but also the center of the island and its lake. In height, we have a beautiful view of the two banks of the city.
Also drop by Telegrafbukta, it’s a nice beach and if you don’t have a car it’s a good place to see the Northern Lights. Cross the bridge on foot, see the cathedral and the view from the other side.
Two museums can be done there : the Polar Museum and Polaria.

aurores boréales tromso ville en Norvège | Blog Vincent Voyage
ville tromso norvege | blog vincent voyage

Kvaloya island and its fjords !

Kvaloya is really an essential. A big island with 3 main roads which are all superb. The one that goes to Tromvik (then Rekvik if conditions permit) and passes through two superb fjords, offers a rather magical view, especially on the Grotfjord side. Then that of Sommaroy, a funny little Nordic paradise for which the road is fantastic. You will have to go through Ersfjord in particular.
You will also probably be able to see reindeer here and there, especially on the pretty road that goes to Skulsfjord. In short, we can spend days discovering Kvaloya 🙂

Discover Kvaloya in this article !

Fjord Ersfjord ile de Kvaloya Tromso
Aurores boréales sur Kvaloya à Tromso

The Lyngen Alps

Watch out, little gem. Well ok it’s not juuust next door, but the Lyngen Alps compete with the Lofoten islands for the title of the most beautiful landscapes in Norway. Stunning mountains rising steeply from the sea, an ever-snow-capped peak, and crazy views from the shores. The Lyngens are therefore appreciated from other sides, from Breivikeidet or Skibotn (but we will talk about it later) to admire them from afar but especially on the spot with the magnificent fjord which almost cuts the island in two, or in the lost village of Koppangen. On the other hand, the distances are very long and you will take many photo breaks, plan a long day trip or more !

Lyngen Alpes à Tromso en Norvège
Fjord dans les lyngen alpes à Tromso en norvège

The Signaldalen mountain

On the road that leads to the Lyngen Alps, to the south we will fork to the right to sink into a valley and face one of Norway’s most emblematic mountains, Otertind. Ultra photogenic in a pretty valley where there are not many people, we will have many viewpoints, take advantage of the river to take great photos.

Discover the Signaldalen valley in this article.

Aurores boréales Otertind signaldalen Tromso Norvege
Aurores boréales Otertind signaldalen Tromso Norvege

Fjellheisen viewpoint

I’d simply say this is the best view in Tromso. From the nearby mountain, the cable car offers a fantastic view of the city (which is on an island), the mountains of Kvaloya behind. And in addition there is the possibility to go far enough and to walk around. It’s a fantastic place for the sunset and also for the Northern Lights! On the other hand, it’s windy, a lot of wind.

Click here to discover Fjellheisen

Fjellheisen vue Tromso en Norvège coucher de soleil | Blog Vincent Voyage
aurores boreales fjellheisen tromso en Norvège | Blog Vincent Voyage

Breivikeidet Valley

Half an hour away from Tromso, we will find a great valley, a great place for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, but not only. The mountains are superb, there is not much traffic and we will find quite a few places to observe the northern lights. On the other hand, be careful, here it is really colder than elsewhere! During other seasons, there are many hiking departures and when you reach the end you have a superb view of the Lyngen Alps.

By pushing a little, we will take the road that leads to Sjursnes and it is really worth it. We arrive in another valley and there will be absolutely no one, as well as no network! Which is rare in Norway. We will follow a beautiful river that promises beautiful photos, and we will arrive at a magnificent calm lake, Nakkevatnet, ideal for reflection and the sunset. Finally, arriving at Sjursnes, we will still have a beautiful view of the Lyngen, majestic mountains!

vallée breivikeidet Tromso
lac Nakkevatnet tromso

Lakselvbukt surroundings

Here it is a very nice little area where there are hardly any tourists. On the road that goes south from Tromso, take the one that goes left to Laksvatn. You will see lakes and then a magnificent fjord. Little advice, do not go down there by car, but by foot.

Continuing is even better. Do you see the cover photo of the article? It’s taken a little further, when you have a great view of the Lyngen (them again!), before arriving at Lakselvbukt, a pretty peaceful place between magnificent mountains. And there you have a choice. Either go up along the Lyngen, west side, a superb road but which ends in a dead end at Jovik, or go back down into the valley, a very pretty road with lots of vantage points for the aurora.

Route vallée Tromso
Route vallée Tromso

The northern lights road to Skibotn

A route that I discovered lately and which is really worth it. It’s far, okay. But it’s nice! All you have to do is go around the Lyngen Alps and cross to the other side via the south, in particular by the Signaldalen road. First the portion between Nordkjosbotn and Oteren is very nice. Then it becomes the Northern Light Road, the road to the aurora borealis. Well, it’s very marketing but in fact we’re going to have a lot of nice places to land, in front of the Lyngens, superb unobstructed views, especially when approaching Skibotn.

lakselvbukt tromso
Route Tromso

What are the best activities to do in Tromso

We will really have a lot of activities to do. Between the landscapes to visit, the northern lights to admire, the huskies to pamper, the reindeers to feed and many others, it is impossible to get bored in Tromso. Below, I have listed many activities to do, free and paid, hikes or sea trips. There are quite a few that are suitable for children.
if you want something more complete you can check this article with all the best activities during winter !

What is certain is that it is impossible to get bored in Tromso, so here are some examples:

  • Whale watching and orcas: possible from the beginning of November to the end of January in general, it is a really nice activity. Obviously you need a bit of luck because nothing is guaranteed. But if it’s the right season, I think it’s something to try because it’s an experience that can be fantastic. In addition, the setting is still cool, it will be in the Norwegian seas and fjords, that’s fine! And we can do it with a new electric boat that is more cetacean-friendly
observation baleines tromso Norvege blog vincent voyage
  • Do dog sledding : this is also a really nice activity to do in Tromso ! For two reasons. First, you’re with the dogs and they are really lovely and funny. Kind of hyperactive Faire du chien de traineau : ça aussi c’est vraiment sympa et pour deux raisons. Tout d’abord être avec les chiens qui sont adorables, a little crazy, super affectionate and a bit hyperactive. Getting on a sled is the guarantee of a good little sequence full of adrenaline and it’s fun.
chien de traineau iles lofoten
  • See the northern lights : an essential, of course. I talk about it in many articles in order to help you  to know everything, find the right places. You can obviously see them for yourself rather easily (depending on the weather) but also the possibility of going through an agency. In this article I give you all the advice to choose your tour.

Talking about the northern lights tours, I strongly recommend these 4 ones :

Trouver Aurores boreales en Norvège, Tromso, Senja | Blog Vincent Voyage
  • Go see the reindeers at a Sami camp: reindeers are emblematic of the region. You can see them on the side of the road, see herds here and there with a little luck, I give you a few places in this article. But going to see them in the Sami camps is a funny experience. We can feed them, be very close to them, and also take a sled ride. A great experience for adults but especially for children!
où voir les rennes à Tromso Norvège blog voyage
  • A thrill activity is also possible. Go snowmobiling! You will need a driver’s license, it will take you a full day, but you will be in fantastic landscapes riding your mechanical steed.
  • Obviously visit the fantastic landscapes: I told you about it at the very beginning, there are a lot of places to visit in the surroundings of Tromso. Between Kvaloya, the Lyngen Alps, or even each road, you are likely to be amazed. The best is to take the car, drive at your own pace, take regular photo breaks. But if you don’t drive, then you have the opportunity to experience that with a tour. I did this a few years ago, it was great. Well now I prefer to do it myself, I must admit. But don’t miss Kvaloya and Tromso’s surroundings !
Northern lights tromso
  • Go fishing with local fishermen: this is something I did in the summer and in the Lofoten Islands. However, it is easy to do that in Tromso. A lot of companies offer it, but it’s something different that I can recommend if you’re not too seasick. It’s fun to do I think 🙂 But on the other hand, it’s not cheap . I only found one tour online, but on the port of Tromso I remember seeing several posters.
  • Picking the many small berries that swarm in autumn: if you go to Tromso between mid-September and mid-October, you will see that all the locals are stuffed outside with baskets and park everywhere along the road. The cause ? they are going to do some picking, that is to say stock up on arctic berries. And I confirm that there are really a bunch of them, almost everywhere, so it’s worth a try for those with a sweet tooth 🙂

5 great hikes around Tromso

This area is great for hiking. There is something for every taste. Easy ones, long ones with big elevation changes, walks… all in superb landscapes. I will offer you some below, but on the other hand I do not recommend in winter because of the snow and the ice, but some must be able to be done 🙂

  • Brosmetinden: a very nice hike, quite short of 4km, which offers a superb view of the mountains around Tromvik and then on the ocean with the island of Senja in the background. Truly magnificent.
  • Floya: this is the walk that starts from the Tromso cable car. Well I advise you to start from above because the slope to go up there is steep. But once up there you have a huge space with great views of Tromso and the surrounding mountains. Watch out, a lot of wind!
  • Nattmålsfjellet: a nice walk that takes you to a crazy view of Ersfjord. Ersfjord is the most famous fjord of Kvaloya, and there you can see it from above and it’s superb! It climbs a little but frankly it’s ok.
  • Ornfloya: you know Sommaroy? Would you like to see the archipelago from above? Then this walk is made for you! You have a full view of the islands and Senja. Very easy, 40min walk. Honestly, very nice.
  • Sorbotn: so it’s a very nice walk that has no name. It starts from the villa of Sorbotn, you have to pass under a bridge and follow the river to get to the mountains. 1 hour of walking in nature later, we find ourselves surrounded by mountains and above all with a superb little river, small lakes, an idyllic and very calm place because there is absolutely no one there.

What animals to see in Tromso

Nature is everywhere around Tromso and so is wildlife! It requires a bit of luck, but you can see many animals relatively easily. The great classic remains the reindeers, but this winter I saw moose for the first time. There is no breeding as for the reindeer so it is rarer. I saw a lot of them between Skibotn and Nordkjosbotn, south of Tromso. There are some in the Signaldalen valley in particular.

On the marine fauna side, we will have whales, killer whales and dolphins, but it depends a lot on the season. Now the vast majority leaves at the end of January, but after that it is still possible to see some with luck. In March I was able to see dolphins near Alta for example. Also many otters, sea lions.

chien de traineau bébé tromso
observation baleines tromso Norvege blog vincent voyage

Northern lights in Tromso

Tromso is, for me, the best place to see the Northern Lights. Why ? because the extreme north of Norway is located under the “aurora oval”, i.e. the latitude where the northern lights pass by default.

In northern Norway, they can be seen from late August to early April. Outside of this period, there is no more night, so you can no longer see them. But they are still there 🙂

If you want to go through a tour to see the Northern Lights, do not hesitate to read this article which helps you identify the right one.

I have listed in this article some of the best places to enjoy the northern lights around Tromso :

And here you can find all my articles about the northern lights !

If you have a vehicle and you like to wander, then you can go see the northern lights by yourself. It’s quite simple, there are just a few things to do beforehand like checking the weather, finding the corners without light, well oriented (I have listed several of them in the links above).

Don’t forget a few essential items such as heavy clothing because waiting in the cold and snow is not pleasant for everyone. But also things like a thermos of tea, something to snack on while waiting, a headlamp.

Check the weather, see where the cloud cover is, move around, be patient. And there you will have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

If you prefer to go through a tour, then I recommend these 4 ones, very reliable, friendly, small groups and not too expensive:

preparer son voyage tromso norvege aurores boreales

How to go to Tromso

By plane

Quite frankly, this is the easiest and fastest way. From France, to go to Tromso you have to make a stopover in Oslo/Copenhagen/Stockholm/Helsinki. We will have a total of about 4 hours of flight, plus the wait at the transition airport.
If you come from North America, you usually have to make a stopover in London or Germany.

The internal flight network is excellent with Norwegian and Wideroe, a company which serves small local airports in omnibus mode. It’s super convenient. Do not hesitate, in addition to flight comparators, to look at these companies for yourself.
To make Paris-Tromso, a super practical flight is the one that departs from 2 p.m. from Paris CDG with Scandinavian Airlines to arrive at 7 p.m. on site. Well, there’s a very quick stopover in Oslo which makes you run a bit if the plane is a little late, but since it’s a connection with a lot of people, they wait, it’s practical.

I’m starting to have my little habits, I very often take the same flights between the following companies: Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian, Finnair (a new Helsinki-Tromso connection). However, my last time was with Air France via Bergen and it was not more expensive.

To go to Tromso it is quite easy to have flights for less than 300€ roundtrip from Paris. My last one, in the middle of winter, was 160€ roundtrip, without luggage (with SAS). Well, on the other hand, in general, they are very happy with the luggage, which can increase the bill by a nice 100€.

My advice: be flexible on your dates. The price varies greatly from day to day. I was thus able to go from €400 to €160 by postponing my flight by 2 days.

In any case, you must compare the prices before. The dates, the companies. I use at least two comparators (given the price of a trip to Norway, if I can save a few tens of euros here and there, I don’t deprive myself!). So I mainly use Kayak and Momondo. Also go directly to the companies to take a look.

By car or campervan

I am often asked if we can go to Tromso, by car or campervan. It depends on two things. Dirst,  the season. In winter (ie from October to May), I strongly advise against doing it because of the climate. The locals have snow tires which are ultra efficient and for good reason. When it snows, it’s no joke. Example this winter, in the middle of a storm, I did 60km in 2h30. But ultimately, the snow is not the most important. The snow settles on the road by force, forming a kind of layer of ice of several cm (it easily exceeds ten cm), like a permafrost, which takes a long time to melt. Especially far from the sea where it is very cold. That is to say that we drive on ice, all the time.

Otherwise, if it’s during summer, given the price of van rental in Norway (ie very very expensive), I think it’s a good idea. But the road is long (3 days drive I would say to go to Tromso from Paris), so it’s worth it if you have 3 weeks I would say.

The easiest way is to take the ferry in the north of Denmark (Hirtshals) which takes you to Kristiansand in the south of Norway, and then go up either by the coast (Stavanger, Bergen, the fjords, Alesund, Trondheim, Bodo…) or via the central route, the E6.

Car rental in Norway is not expensive. If we do it a little in advance, we will pay between 30 and 40€ per day. Very far from the prices of Iceland for example.
Gasoline depends on the day. It varies enormously. You can take 1.5 NOK all at once (imagine petrol taking 15 cents overnight). So it can be at the price as in France, or much more expensive. When you see it at 16NOK or less, go for it, because the next day it can be 18 😀

Currently (2022), the price is more from 20 to 26 NOK per liter.

By train

For fans of 100% train, beware of headaches. It is more complicated, and especially longer. To reach Norway by train, you must first go through Copenhagen, then cross to Gothenburg and then Oslo.

The Oslo-Bergen route is considered one of the most beautiful lines in the world.
But to go all the way to the north, there it becomes funnier. From Oslo you can go to Bodo, then you have to take either the boat or the bus to reach Tromso. Or from Stockholm one can go to Narvik. Narvik is in Norway, further north than Bodo, but strangely not accessible from Norwegian lines. Weird weird. So to go to Tromso only by train is impossible.

Hurtigruten boat

The Hurtigruten, the Coastal Express, is a boat, a real institution, which connects all the towns on the coast with each other. Thus, you can easily reach Tromso from Bergen, Bodo, Andenes… you can choose to make only a short trip or the “big one“, which goes from Bergen to Kirkenes, at the border with Russia.

tromso ferry hurtigruten | blog vincent voyage

When to go to Tromso

It all depends on what you want to find. If you want the northern lights, although they are visible from late August to early April, I recommend two periods:

  • autumn: september until mid october. Finally, until the first snowfall. Because you can hike, you have the aurora, you have the colors of autumn and a still decent climate, and always enough light.
  • winter: from the end of January to mid-March, to have correct weather and above all brightness. The month of January is correct and much better than December which generally combines rotten weather and lack of brightness. November is half and half, not that bad.

To take advantage of the midnight sun, I would probably advise against April as there is still quite a bit of snow that is melting and not all the roads in the center are open. But from May to August, it “should” no longer snow, the weather should be good, and you can hike without worry.

Afterwards, the weather, especially in Norway, is far from being an exact science and it can change almost all the time, from one hour to another, from one fjord to another.

But I would mostly say : Tromso is ALWAYS a good destination, whenever you go there

preparer son voyage tromso norvege aurores boreales

Tromso during autumn

Before, I went to Tromso only in winter, but that was before. In 2020 I discovered Tromso during autumn and it is truly magnificent. It’s a different vibe, you won’t get the snow and all its activities, but there are so many things to do and perks.

I will give you a more specific article, but in autumn, that is to say from mid-September to roughly mid-October, you will have the superb autumn colors, the orange and flourishing nature. Yeah, that’s wonderful. Then at this time you have the northern lights. And since there is no snow, you have all the accessible hikes, all the elevated viewpoints, a lot of physical activities. Is it better than winter? Frankly it’s another atmosphere, something totally different, but still with the northern lights.

Route vallée Tromso

Weather and temperatures in Tromso

During winter, it’s freezing! But it’s dry. That is to say that unlike a good big wet cold that takes to the bones, here the cold is dry and bears much better.

There are two different climates I think. On the coast, it will never be really very cold. In general etween -5 and -10, rarely less. But possibly with a lot of wind, a very icy wind.
On the other hand, as soon as we move away from the sea, there we will enter temperatures like in Lapland. Very quickly we will lose a good ten degrees and even more. In Senja for example last year, I had -5/10 in the fjords but -35 at the entrance to Anderdalen park. A real big cold.
In Tromso it’s a bit the same. In town or on Kvaloya, it will never be very very cold, but if you go to the Breivikeidet valley or to Signaldalen, there you can gently lose about twenty degrees.

Spring and autumn, it is rather to expect 0-10° and summer varies enormously between 5 and 30 (but more reasonably 10 and 20). It is therefore totally unpredictable, it is one of the surprises of the country!!

Two good apps and websites for weather in Norway : Yr.no (gives a good overview) and Ventusky to have something very precise

preparer son voyage tromso norvege aurores boreales

Midnight sun and polar night

This is the particularity of the countries in the far north (and also in the far south), we have two periods that I find very nice. The midnight sun is the sun that never sets. It’s not just having light at night, it’s really sunny at 2-3am. And it’s funny because it gives you a lot of energy! You can have an aperitif until midnight, wake up in the sun at 4 a.m. and your body will say to itself “wouhou! it’s late!”. It’s a funny feeling. You can wear a mask for your eyes, it can be useful.

The polar night is… well the opposite. The sun no longer rises, no longer exceeds the horizon. we have a little light for a few hours. December 21, the longest night, it’s really dark all the time. It may sound depressing, but it’s fun to see too. Conversely, the body is all flattened. As soon as it’s really dark, hop, you want to sleep, it’s crazy how the body depends on the light. We get used to it over time. But the advantage is that we can have an aperitif at 2 p.m.! The downside is that you can’t enjoy the scenery too much.

We can think that the midnight sun is preferable to the polar night. And yet, when I ask the locals what they prefer, they can’t choose. This is also why they stay put, especially in the far north.

gryllefjord norvege senja village | blog vincent voyage
Photos instagram Norvège

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How to get around in Tromso area

There is a good bus network to connect all the cities together (Tromso, Andenes, Finsness, Alta…) all year round, but for shorter distances (Tromso-Sommaroy for example) it is more complicated . Especially in winter. Look carefully at the timetables on this site.

The easiest is by car. And driving here, even in winter, remains simple because the cars are very well equipped for it. It will just be necessary to avoid sudden gestures and keep the safety distances.

Car rental in Tromso

Renting a car in Tromso is the best option to enjoy nature. By doing it early enough, it will cost 30$ a day, and we will have something very good. It is not necessary to take a big car because first the speed is limited between 60 and 90km, then the small cars are very well equipped, finally the roads are in very good condition. So a Volkswagen Polo or equivalent is more than enough, even in winter, except if you have a lot of luggages !

I would still advise to have: automatic gear box, unlimited kilometers (you can do a lot of driving while wandering in these landscapes), watch out for the size of the trunk if you have a lot of equipment, air conditioning. A gadget that makes winter more enjoyable are the heated seats.

It is more practical and generally cheaper to take the car from the airport (Tromso Langnes). But make simulations, it is better to do it in advance, and above all compare. To compare I mainly use a site: Kayak.

Aurores boréales Otertind signaldalen Tromso Norvege

Driving on the snow

Even if you’ve never driven on snow or ice, that shouldn’t stop you from renting a car up there if you wish. Quite honestly car rentals are great. You will have competition winter tires, sometimes with spikes, which hold the road extremely well. I did tests to take steep paths, it is done well. I previously had a lot of apprehension (hey, , don’t laugh, I drove a Twingo for more than 20 years) and it always goes well.
For driving, the basic rules are to put even greater safety distances because the braking distances are greater. Do not make any sudden gesture, no sudden movement, no sudden braking or accelerating, otherwise it will skid.

But the roads are plowed regularly. As soon as it falls, they bring out the heavy artillery and they are very effective. As soon as a road becomes too snowy or dangerous, they close it. As simple as that.

So no, have confidence, if you know how to drive, you will know how to drive here, with caution and common sense, it’s worry-free 🙂

Tromso car parks

Well, if you have a car, another cost to keep in mind is car park. Because the whole center is paying and is far from cheap! But the big advantage is that there is a huge parking lot under the hill. Because, clever, they have optimized the space of the island by digging under the hill and putting several roads and a large parking lot there. On the other hand, it is expensive, €3 per full hour and €1 per off-peak hour (6 p.m. to 7 a.m. + Sunday). The advantage of this car park is that you can pay by card. Because there are other small outdoor car parks, as well as in certain streets, you pay via an app (Easypark), and you have to clear snow. So for the same price, I prefer the underground parking!

Find an accomodation in Tromso

Trouver un hôtel

Well, sorry for the suspense, but accommodations inTromso are expensive. First of all because this is the case in all Norway, but also because the hotel offer in Tromso is limited. It is a small island which is already totally full and therefore, especially in very touristic times when the offer is much lower than the demand. We will therefore have two types of accommodation: hotels and Airbnb. There is camping, but I strongly advise against it in winter.

In that article about hotels in Tromso, I give details about prices according to low/high season.

We will find very few hotels for less than 100€ per room. Even the single room. Out of tourist season, it is more easily doable. The disadvantage of hotels in the center is that there is no private parking. I tested at least these hotels:

  • Enter Viking Hotel: not bad, not that expensive
  • Enter Amalie : great location, expensive, always some rooms available. Good breakfast
  • Radisson : really good service, perfect location, great breakfast
  • Thon Hotel Tromso : I love Thon hotels in Norway. Great beds, incredible breakfast. Correct location in Tromso
  • Scandic Ishavshotel : maybe the best hotel in town (except the Clarion The Edge but more expensive), with great beds, a great breatkfast

Find a flat in Tromso

If you need more space and want to stay in the citycenter, you can find some nice flats. Still expensive but for 4/6 persons that could be a great option !

First this little nice flat around 100$, this modern one barely more expensive, this 45m² one has a crazy view and a transparent roof, for only 110$ ! For something more spacious, you have this beautiful house at 150$. Last but not least, even more spacious and modern, this superb 110m², or for big families or groups, this huuuge flat of 150m² for 15 persons !

If you have any question or need some information, don’t hesitate to send me a message via this form :).

Useful information

Cost of living in Tromso

It is very expensive. In the supermarket, it’s more expensive than in France, as if we were always shopping at the mini-market at 3am, so a nice 20% more. But quite honestly, it’s fine if we don’t splurge. And tip, at Extra, they sell prepared meals every night. It’s greasy, it’s Norwegian, but it’s hot and not that bad. Like the taco-baguette, truthful.
Drinks are much more expensive, whether in supermarkets or restaurants.
The restaurants were originally very expensive, but with the immigration (Italians, Asians…) which opens new restaurants of rather good quality, the prices are lower than before. Before, in Tromso, it was difficult to find a dish for less than 25/30€. So with drink and dessert it was 50€ per person for something normal. Now it is possible to find dishes at 15€. But the very good restaurants remain very expensive, at more than 50€ per head, some of which at 80€. The typical ones too.

The main activities, for example here in Tromso, are not given and cost more than 100€. On the other hand, nature is free. And it’s the best activity 🙂

Afterwards, for those who know, the good surprise is that it’s cheaper than in Iceland for example.

ville tromso norvege | blog vincent voyage

Security in Tromso

You will feel really good there. As in all Nordic countries and other parts of Norway, there is no criminality, no robbery. Tromso is a very safe city. Well, it must be said that in winter there is no one hanging around outside, that helps. But you can leave your car open with stuff in it, that’s okay. You can leave your phone on the table at the restaurant when you go to the bathroom, no problem.

Luggage storage

So it seems that there is a locker at Tromso airport. However I’ve never seen it 😀 But it would be 60 NOK per day, that’s fine.

Otherwise in the city center, if you cannot leave your luggage in the accommodation (if you are not in a hotel for example), you have 3 possibilities:

  • in Jekta shopping center
  • on the 3rd floor of the Nestranda shopping center in the city center
  • on the 1st floor of the ferry terminal

Internet and Wifi

Norway is included in the European plans, both in data and in voice. The 4g coverage is great in the whole Tromso region (well ok, in all of Norway) and better than in my Parisian apartment. We will also find wifi available everywhere just in case.

Means of payment

In Tromso you can pay absolutely everything by card, it’s the default payment method and  paying by cash will be annoying. Tips can also be given by card.

Taxis and mobility

In Tromso, we only have taxis, no other services like Uber. And taxis are quite expensive !

All the articles about Tromso

Find below all the articles about Tromso and its region, activities, places to see, the best spots for the Northern Lights. All the information is in these articles or below!

Articles about Tromso in English

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How to see the Machu Picchu in ONE day from Cusco !

Voir le Machu Picchu au Pérou

I am the first to say that Machu Picchu is worth staying there for a full day, that you have to arrive early, before the groups, and enjoy the end of the day. But I am aware that not all of us have this possibility and that we sometimes may only have one day to devote from Cusco. And there I think it would be a shame to deprive yourself of Machu Picchu because yes, in one day, you can do a roundtrip from Cusco and visit this superb citadel.

Let’s see it all!

How to do a roundtrip from Cusco to Machu Picchu in one day

Well, it will take a little planning, but if you want to organize your round trip to Machu Picchu yourself in one day, you will need to:

  • book your train ticket
  • book your tickets to Machu Picchu
  • book your tickets for the bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu

All this you, have to do it in advance. Train and entrance tickets are limited and it is the most visited site in the country.

lamas au Machu Picchu

The train between Cusco / Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes

You have no choice, you have to take the train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo if you want to make the roundtrip in one day.

A company does Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes, it’s Peru Rail. Another does Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes is Inca Rail.

There are many more trains that travel between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes. So what you can do if the return times don’t suit you is to come back to Ollantaytambo with a later train and take the bus to Cusco.

Here are the possible times. But it is ESPECIALLY necessary to pay attention to the starting point. During the rainy season, the station of Wanchaq, in Cusco itself, is closed, so you will have to leave from Poroy (a bit further). But there are bus connections included in the tickets. As soon as the tickets from the center of Cusco are available, I will add the schedules.

Be careful, Cusco – Aguas Calientes takes almost 4 hours! While from Ollantaytambo it is much faster. About 1h30.


    • 6h40 / 9h54 am
    • 7h30 / 12h11
    • 8h25 / 12h11
    • 9h05 / 12h24
    • 5h05 / 6h35 am / Perurail
    • 6h10 / 7h40 am / Perurail
    • 6h40 / 8h01 am / Incarail
    • 7h05 / 8h27 am / Perurail
    • 7h22 / 8h48 am / Incarail
    • 7h45 / 9h15 am / Perurail

As we can see, it is much more efficient to leave from Ollantaytambo, because we arrive at 8am in Aguas Calientes. So you can take a bus from Cusco (a good 2 hour drive) or a taxi. And you will arrive early on site.


Here the idea will be not to miss your train, otherwise you will have to stay in Aguas Calientes. In the same way, you have two possibilities, return to Cusco directly, or to Ollantaytambo and then take the bus.

  • AGUAS CALIENTES – CUSCO (Poroy ou San Pedro)
    • 3h20 / 7h05 pm / Poroy
    • 4h43 / 8h23 pm / Poroy
    • 4h43 / 9h23 pm / San Pedro
    • 2h30 / 4h04 pm / Incarail
    • 2h55 / 4h31 pm / Perurail
    • 3h20 / 5h08 pm / Perurail
    • 3h48 / 5h29 pm / Perurail
    • 4h12 / 5h50 pm / Incarail
    • 4h22 / 6h10 pm / Perurail
    • 4h43 / 6h31 pm / Perurail
    • 5h23 / 7h02 pm / Perurail
    • 6h20 / 8h05 pm / Perurail
    • 7h00 / 8h41 pm / Incarail
    • 8h50 / 10h20 pm / Perurail
    • 9h30 / 10h54 pm / Incarail
    • 9h50 / 11h35 pm / Perurail

We see it here, a lot of possibilities to return to Ollantaytambo. And since there are a lot of buses between Ollantaytambo and Cusco, really this is what seems to be best if you want to stay longer in Machu Picchu.

peru rail train machu picchu

Recommendation and example

We can see that we really have a lot of choice in the trains, thanks to the Ollantaytambo station. And that can allow you to stay quite a few hours up there.

Let’s take an example :

  • Departure bus Cusco – Ollantaytambo 4h (yes, it hurts)
  • Arrival Ollantaytambo 6:15 a.m.
  • Train Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes of 6h40
  • Arrival Aguas Calientes 8am
  • Bus to Machu Picchu at 8:30 (probably a little later with the queue)
  • Arrival at Machu Picchu at 9am
  • Visit of 3 hours minimum
  • Bus back down at 12:30 p.m.
  • Arrival in Aguas Calientes at 1 p.m.
  • Train whenever you want from 2 p.m., either for Cusco or for Ollantaytambo

So with that, we can see that there are two things that will vary your stay:

  • how long you want to stay in Machu Picchu (2h, 5h?)
  • are you an early riser?

The earlier you arrive, the more you can enjoy the citadel, but thanks to late trains and buses, you can arrive a bit later as well. I think that an arrival until 10am in Aguas Calientes will not be a problem. But you will be in the big tourist groups.

machu Picchu Pérou

How to book your bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

That too you will have to book it in advance. Almost everyone takes it the day before at the Aguas Calientes sales office, except for the groups that arrive the same morning. So to avoid having to queue (quite a long time), I advise you to buy the round trip ticket here.

If you want to buy it locally, I give you all the information in this article. The Consettur sales office is located on Avenida Hermanos Ayar.

bus machu picchu aguas calientes

Book your ticket to the Machu Picchu

I would say with the train that’s what you need to book first. Because this is the most visited site in Peru and ESPECIALLY the places are limited to avoid too many people (and I confirm that it remains perfectly correct, and it is great).

In high season, you will have to plan a few weeks in advance. In low season, several days. Example there, November, I am doing a simulation, the first ticket available is 2 weeks later.

The entrance ticket costs around 150 soles. And you absolutely have to choose an entry time. It will be necessary to calculate your time of arrival according to your train and the bus.

Once inside, on the other hand, you really stay as long as you want.

Machu Picchu Pérou

Price and times : useful information

So, to sum up, here’s what you can do:

  • take the train from 6:40 a.m. (Ollantaytambo)
  • arrive at Machu Picchu from 8:30 am
  • stay as long as you want, until closing time (since you have trains until 9:50 p.m.)

That leaves a lot of possibilities! and that’s cool, I didn’t expect that at all when I started this article 🙂

For the price, booking all this yourself will cost you approximately:

  • minimum 160$ return train
  • 30$ bus to go from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • 40$ entrance ticket
  • the bus/taxi to go from Cusco to the train station (Poroy) and back, around 5$
  • the bus/taxi to go from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, probably from 15$ (more for the taxi)

A roundtrip for a day with a tour from Cusco

If organizing all this doesn’t excite you, then you can go through a tour that will take care of absolutely everything:

  • bus/shuttle transport between your hotel and the train
  • train tickets
  • bus to Machu Picchu
  • entrance tickets
  • guided tour!
  • visit to Aguas Calientes
  • return to Cusco

We are on a little more expensive than an organization alone (from 300$), but you also have the guided tour, by a certified guide.

lamas machu picchu

Sleeping in Aguas Calientes or Cusco

And if you finally want to sleep in Aguas Calientes, then I suggest the Maq’tas B&B, an unbeatable value for money at less than 40$. Or the Sacred Stone, a 3* only slightly more expensive and even better!

In Cusco, you can find out more in the dedicated article, but I suggest the superb Casona la Recoleta, or the very nice Nao Victoria Hotel, 2 steps (really) from the square.

machu picchu pérou


There you go, you know almost everything! Honestly, I had no idea it would be so easily possible. Ok it takes a little organization, but I thought we could only stay a short time in Machu Picchu. However, thanks in particular to the trains to Ollantaytambo, it is perfectly feasible! And it’s very cool 🙂

If you have ric rac on your schedule, then this organization is for you. And as suggested just above, if you don’t want to worry about bookings, then a tour can do it for you. Even easier 🙂

So now we have no more excuses not to go and see this marvel!

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What to do in the Colca Cayon ? See the condors and much more !

canyon de colca condors au pérou

Watch out, it’s beautiful! The Colca Canyon is one of the wonders surrounding the city of Arequipa in the south of the country. And, honestly, his reputation is not at all usurped. The canyon is really beautiful, one of the deepest in the world, super impressive.

But the question that everyone is asking (well ok, that I was asking myself), what can we do in the Colca Canyon? What should we see? Wel,l there are really a lot of things. Of course the condors, but also small villages, an archaeological site, and of course hiking.

I’ll explain it all to you below!

And don’t forget the Colca Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in Peru !

condors canyon de colca pérou

Map of the best places in the Colca Canyon

In this map, you’ll find all the places I talk about in this article. Miradors, churches and villages, hotels, anything that could be useful to you 🙂

Condors canyon de colca

How to see the condors in the Colca Canyon

This is THE main attraction of the Colca Canyon and the main reason to come and visit it (we’ll see, there are plenty of other reasons). There are many Andean condors, magnificent and huge birds of prey flying in the early morning.

To see these condors, it’s relatively simple, let’s see all this:

Where to see the condors in the canyon ?

Well, it’s simple because they have their nests where the Cruz del Condor mirador is. So this mirador is the best place.

Nevertheless, don’t stay with the crowds, because there is A LOT of people. Walk away to the right, there are plenty of other places a few hundred meters away and there are a lot fewer people.

Above all, you can go to the big natural platform in 15min walk, noted mirador del Cura on google maps.

But a bit to the west of the Cruz del Condor viewpoint can also be interesting, you will also see them there (for example the Granja del Colca).

Further east, before entering the area, you will have little chance of seeing them because the canyon is not super deep (well, relatively eh, that’s already very good! but not for condors). But it’s really around the Cruz del Condor that we have the best chance of seeing them, with plenty of opportunities to get away.

Condors canyon de colca
Condors canyon de colca

What is the best time to see the condors

It is said that the condors take advantage of the early morning to come out. Especially between 8am and 10am. This is also why the tours try to arrive at 8 am to stay an hour.

We arrived a bit after 8 a.m., there were the condors, but they were especially out and flying from 9 a.m. and it lasted until 11 a.m. After that it calmed down. But even from 10 to 11 a.m., they were all outside.

In the afternoon, there is much less activity. At the end of the day, while visiting the (extra!) Granja del Colca accommodation, and its crazy view of the canyon, there was a condor flying quietly above us.

So! To summarize :

  • The condors are mostly visible from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • tours will mostly be there from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • It depends on the days and hours, and their mood, take your time, stay as long as you can

How much does it cost

Entrance to the condor area costs 70 soles per person. Not the whole canyon, just the approach to the watchtower. This ticket is valid for a week

mirador canyon de colca
mirador canyon de colca

Miradors of the Colca Canyon

Inevitably, when we are in a canyon, we will seek to see crazy views. And that’s good, there are plenty of them here! And from Maca, or even a little before, we’re going to have plenty of them until Cabanaconde and even after. As they are on the side of the road, I might as well tell you that they are difficult to miss! Except the one of Cabanaconde precisely. Here are the main ones :

  • The mirador Cruz del Condor, we have already talked about it, is really one of the good places and not only for the condors, also for the views because it is huge. And also a nice place for sunset
  • Cruz de cura, at the other side of los condores, really not bad and nobody
  • The Achachihua viewpoint in Cabanaconde, perhaps the most beautiful view and the most plunging
  • The Tapay viewpoint, between Cruz del Condor and Cabanaconde, quieter, not bad for seeing the condors and absolutely no one
  • the Wayracpunku mirador, with a great view of the terraces
  • the Antahuilque mirador, a bit like the previous one, right next to it, very nice
mirador canyon de colca
mirador canyon de colca

The different villages in the Canyon

Of course, we are in Peru, so there are small villages everywhere, and the canyon is not an exception. And as often in Peru, each village has its own identity and above all there is a rivalry. Chivay and Cabanaconde, each at one end of the canyon. Two populations which, since the dawn of time, cannot stand each other but must live together. And the funny thing is that this rivalry is mainly … in hats. In Cabanaconde, they are super proud of their hats (with good reason) which they find much more difficult to make than those of the neighbors of Chivay. But who are nice too.

And in Chivay, there is a small superiority complex that passes average. It’s funny, it’s Desperate Housewives version Peruvian villages.

tenue cabanaconde
tenue cabanaconde


I admit that I didn’t really appreciate this little town, gateway to the canyon.

Chivay is the only place where you can trade, fill up, withdraw money, do some real shopping. So a lot of activity, trucks. Not particularly beautiful but it must be said that its main square was in total renovation, it does not help.

Chivay is also the main tourist center, meaning that a lot of excursions can be booked from there. Many hotels as well, restaurants.

In the evening, there is a market in its main square.

And I repeat, this is where you need to fill up with gas and draw cash (at Casa Andina). You will have no other choice then.

Chivay canyon de colca


The village at the other end of the Canyon. If you are mobile, go there because it’s nice. The square is pretty, a beautiful little church (which was obviously closed when we wanted to go there), a few restaurants and inns.

But Cabanaconde also has some peculiarities. The Cabana people and their very colorful clothes, also their hats. It is not rare to see in the streets a lady dressed in this very local outfit (must be hot down there).
By the way, you can go to the local museum at the entrance of the village. You will have several models with the clothes but it is especially dedicated to Juanita, the mummy discovered not too far from here. They are super proud of this museum! You get in with the condor ticket.

But in Cabanaconde there is a great viewpoint, in one of the deepest places in the canyon. This is the Mirador de Achachihua.

Also Cabanaconde is the starting point for hikes. A small (but difficult!) road that goes to Sangalle. It’s not far eh, but a drop of 1100m.

And also a trek called “el clasico” over 2/3 days. You descend to the bottom of the canyon towards the mirador de los condores, then return to sleep in the small villages at the bottom. To finally go up abruptly the last day. It seems to be great

cabanaconde canyon de colca


Where I stayed (at the Miskiwasi, great place!). Nice little village, a pretty little square and a very cute church (which was also obviously closed when I wanted to visit it).

It’s much quieter than Chivay but there are still some accommodations, a cafe, something to eat.

And great thing, even in the village you can have a magnificent starry sky, see the Milky Way without any worries!

yanque canyon de colca
yanque canyon de colca


Maca is the THE canyon’s tourist market. Well, it’s not very big, a small place and that’s it. Many tours go there to do their little shopping and there are therefore artisanal products. You will also be able to see women in local outfits from Cabanaconde, hats from Chivay as well.

But in Maca there is also (another one!) a very pretty little church that I was able to (finally!) visit. Nice interior but really nice exterior.

There is also a statue of which they are very proud, showing the Inca warrior Cahuide killing Pizarro the colonizer. Another representing a dance scene, but in a somewhat strange position, let’s say.

Just next to Maca, we will find another nice church, in Lari. On the other hand, I didn’t visit it because I didn’t know about it until after (see the smart guy) but it seems that it’s really worth it!

maca canyon de colca

Several hikes in the Colca Canyon

So first of all, I would like to point out that I did not do these hikes. These are classic hikes that I found while researching and don’t seem to be out of reach.

  • Cabanaconde – Sangalle
    A classic hike that takes half a day (if you are athletic) or a day. Because it is a question of going down to the bottom of the canyon until the small oasis of Sangalle, a surprising place at the edge of the river. It is also a good place to sleep.
    But the difficulty is to go up. Because we are on 1200m of elevation, all of a sudden. In altitude, yes. So it can be a bit difficult. Cabanaconde offers the most beautiful views of the canyon so it’s definitely one of the hikes to do if you don’t have too much time.
  • El Clasico, 2/3 day trek
    The idea is always somewhat the same, starting from Cabanaconde, descending by another path towards the mirador del condor. So precisely by leaving early you will be able to see the condors. Once down, there will be several villages over several kilometres, including Sangalle but not only! So you can go to San Juan de Chuccho, go up a bit to Tapay, then go to Llahuar, finish in Sangalle and go back up on the last day.
    The other possibility is to do Sangalle, Llahuar, San Juan de Chuccho, then go back up, maybe that makes more sense.

If you want to hike with other people, some companies offer 2-day tours to enjoy the canyon and hike in it, from Arequipa. It’s around a hundred euros including accommodation.

randonnées canyon de colca

What else to do in the Colca Canyon ?

The road to the canyon via the Salinas

This road is really superb and it is worth taking your time if you have a vehicle.

First of all you will pass next to the two volcanoes Misti and Chachani. Take the 34A road, the road is good. The road that passes between the 2 volcanoes is a fairly bumpy track, so for this one you absolutely need a 4×4.

The landscapes are already magnificent once out of Arequipa. Volcanoes therefore, to the right and to the left, beautiful mountains for an hour.

Then, we really arrive in the Altiplano and its very specific landscapes. The impression of being on top of the world (we’re not there yet but it’s getting closer!), very arid, volcanoes, again. We arrive in the Salinas national park.

But above all, it is here that you will come across a lot of animals. Llamas, alpacas, lots of vicuñas. That’s why you have to take your time if you can, because you can see them quite closely all along the way, especially from Patahuasi.

salinas y aguada blanca arequipa
lamas salinas y aguada blanca

Also you can stop at the mirador de los Volcanes. A superb viewpoint on the volcanoes (hence its name, thanks captain obvious), including one that smokes regularly. The view is really nice and you can walk around a bit.

On the other hand, be careful, we are almost at 5000m altitude, so it can be surprising!

Volcan Arequipa

Some archeological sites

Like Arequipa, it is not necessarily the region where you will find the most Inca and pre-Inca sites. However, there are a few :

  • Uyo Uyo: ancient capital of the Colca Canyon, it was the center of the Collagua culture, the first enemies of the Cabana
  • Kallimarca: accessible only on foot from Cabanaconde, the site offers a beautiful view of the village, the canyon and the terraces
  • The fortress of Chimpal: also a Collagua site, it seems that it is a beautiful 5km hike to access the site, but it climbs! (yes I know we are in a canyon, normal),

See the Colca Canyon with a tour from Arequipa

Colca Canyon in ONE day

This is what the majority of tours will offer you from Arequipa: the visit of the Colca Canyon in one day. It’s a big day because we’re going to leave very early, the objective being to see the condors. However, as we have seen, these condors are mainly active between 8am and 10am (well they are extra until 11am) and you have to arrive in this time slot.

So the program is (roughly speaking, it varies a bit depending on the tour):

  • departure around 3:30 am (uuuuh yes!)
  • arrival at Chivay around 6am
  • breakfast and departure for the condors (one hour drive)
  • arrival around 8am, we stay a good hour at the mirador
  • then visit the different villages on the way back (Yanque, Maca also for shopping…)and the other mirador (Antahuilque, Wayrapunko…)
  • return with observation of animals along the road, the mirador de los volcanes, to be back in Arequipa around 5/6 p.m.

So it’s a huge day, we can enjoy of the canyon relatively well, we see the condors, the small churches, the landscapes. It’s a very good overview in my opinion, for not particularly expensive (from 25€), especially if you don’t have a vehicle.

condors canyon de colca pérou

Colca Canyon in TWO days

The 2-day Canyon version is also interesting. It has almost the same course but takes much longer. For instance :

  • the first day you take the time to visit the Salinas and in particular discover its animals
  • in the afternoon you go to the thermal baths
  • in the evening you have a typical Chivay musical dinner

The next day you have the classic program of condors, villages and miradors. The big advantage is that you don’t have to stuff yourself all the way in the morning.

The hotel is included in the price, and after checking all offer you something very correct. 3* (local) so that’s fine.

Prices are around 80€ per head.

Interesting option, you have the option of going to Puno (Lake Titicaca) rather than returning to Arequipa.

Canyon de colca pérou

Useful information about the Colca Canyon

Cash machine and gas station

You have to be careful, in the canyon there is ONLY ONE cash machine and only one gas station. Both are in Chivay (entrance to the canyon so you really have to plan ahead)

The ATM is at the Casa Andina hotel.

The gas station is open late, expensive, and cash only.

If ever, like me, you messed up your gas estimates, then in Cabanaconde you have someone selling gas jerrycans. It’s super expensive but it can help out.

Entrance fee to the canyon

The canyon is free but not the condors section. A little before the mirador de la Cruz del Condor, we arrive at a sort of checkpoint where tickets are sold. It’s 70 soles per person and it’s valid for a week.

It’s not pricy, but it goes to the communities and the maintenance of the site (one of the most touristic in Peru). You cannot buy online and you only pay in cash.

When to come to the Colca Canyon

There are two seasons in the Colca Canyon:

  • the dry season: from April to November (be careful, in these two months it can still rain a little)
  • the rainy season: from December to March

You can come all year round to the Canyon, but if you want to hike, then I think you will have to avoid the rainy season. Because we will have rock falls, impassable paths, it will become much more dangerous.

On the other hand, just after the rainy season, April / May, it seems that it is the most beautiful because everything is green. The locals’ favorite season.

canyon de colca pérou
canyon de colca

How long to stay

It will mainly depend on one thing: whether you want to hike or not. There are hikes of several days, so it will greatly influence the duration of your stay.

But let’s assume you’re not hiking. In this case, I advise to do 2 days and 1 night. We can do it in 1 day, the tours do it. If you don’t drive then yes you can do it in a day with a tour.

But in 2 days you can take your time to see the animals in the Salinas. Arrive in the afternoon and take a drive through the canyon.
The next day, you can therefore leave early to see the condors, then go to Cabanaconde, do the various watchtowers (there are quite a few), buy small things in Maca and leave quietly in the early afternoon.

Concretely, you can stay longer too because you feel really good there. We did 2 nights, I admit that a little more would have been great!

How to go to the Colca Canyon ?

By car

From Arequipa, by car it is quite simple. And besides, it’s beautiful.

Well, you have to get out of the city, it takes about 45min, and then above all you will go through the Salinas, arrive in the Altiplano and meet lots of animals! So it will take you time because you will stop to see the vicuñas, alpacas, llamas.

Then we arrive in a more mountainous region, we see the volcanoes smoking, the viewpoint of Patapampa, at 4900m. And the descent that begins in the Canyon.

Normally it takes 3h15 to come to Chivay. Normally. With the stops, easily count an hour more.

If you want to rent a car, I recommend this section in my article on Arequipa, with the rental numbers

route canyon de colca

By bus

You have to go to the bus terminal (located 2km south of plaza de armas) if you want to go with a collectivo (public bus). Several companies offer their services, but from what I’ve read (I haven’t tested them), you should take either Reyna or Andalucia. Because the others would really not be crazy (a canyon and Peruvian driving, it can be a tad dangerous).

The journey costs between 15 and 20 soles, lasts 3h15. The bus does not stop to take pictures, it really is a direct bus.

With a tour

Clearly, we talked about it previously, going to the canyon with a tour is the simplest thing without necessarily being expensive. Having seen several along the way, they stop to see the animals in the Salinas, and that’s cool.

We are not managing our time but we don’t do anything, the tour handles everything, so why not !

Where to sleep in the Colca Canyon

There are mainly 3 places to sleep in the Canyon (and also a great fourth one!) :

  • Chivay : I didn’t really enjoyed that city but it’s a really practical one, with most of the hotels. Everything goes from Chivay, it gives a lot of possibilities and it’s not expensive. We can find :
  • Yanque : a nice small village a bit further, quiet and with a nice plaza de armas
  • Cabanaconde : the village at the end of the canyon, ideal if you want to hike as most of the hikes starts from here or ends here. There are many nice small lodges
  • My favorite accomodation. The most beautiful view, the best location. You’re absolutely alone in the canyon here, you can see the condors in a fantastic landscape.
hotel canyon de colca


There you go, you know almost everything about the Colca Canyon! We obviously think of condors and it is true that it is a magnificent spectacle (especially if we move away a bit from the crowd). But we also have crazy views, we have magnificent hikes that will put your calves to the test, pretty villages. No really, I hope you can stay more than a day, but in any case you will be amazed!

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Where and how to go Dog Sledding in Finnish Lapland ? The ultimate guide !

chien de traineau Norvege Tromso

I first wanted to talk to you about the condition of dogs in kennels. Having visited a few of them (especially in Norway, but also a pair near Rovaniemi), you should know that the dogs are very well treated. Well fed, they go out often, stretch their legs and there is not animal abuse.

Because these dogs love to run. Really, they are made for that, born for that, they only ask for that. As soon as they know they’re going out, as soon as they see customers, they go crazy and putting the harness on them to attach them to the sled is a bore because they really want to go fast 😀

When we have the misfortune to press the brake a little to avoid being ejected or because it’s going too fast, they all turn around like “what the hell are you doing man?!”, really, they love to run .

On the kennels, inevitably the big ones are more industrial, but the dogs are well treated there. In winter they all go out very regularly, while out of season they also go out but a little less. Those whose masters know they will not run away can be released during the day. But you should also know that summer is more complicated for them in terms of climate. They are winter dogs so they cannot provide the same effort. The lady of the small Lofoten kennel told us that her dogs, above 10°, were too hot and had to be preserved.

So, dog sledding is one of the best things to do in Finnish Lapland. You can also find all the best bookable activities here!

faire du chien de traineau en Norvege

Why is Finnish Lapland a great place to go dog sledding ?

The recipe for dog sledding is not very complicated. You need dogs, a sled, snow. Well ok, it’s very easy to find in Finland. But it’s not over! You also need flat field. Large flat spaces. And for that, we can say that Finnish Lapland is perfect. As I say in this article, in Finnish Lapland, there are lakes, forests, plains, trees… in short, nothing but flat! So the locals have absolutely no difficulty finding a sufficiently large flat piece of land.

And the good thing, as we will see below, is that you can find sled dog companies almost everywhere, in all tourist places, whether in Levi, Rovaniemi, Yllasjärvi or even Inari.

And all these places have snow not far from 6 months a year, so ideal conditions, especially for dogs who need cold to be totally happy.

Frankly, Finnish Lapland is really great for dog sledding because you will be surrounded by huge expanses of snow, forests of trees petrified by the cold, frozen lakes.

How is a dog sledding tour ?

The first step is to choose the dogs that will be assigned to you. It will depend on their shape, their mood, the rhythm that we want to put also because some dogs are much faster than others. Choosing the dogs is an art, and frankly it’s super interesting so I advise you to ask lots of questions to the mushers to find out how they choose them, why this one goes to the front line, how they define the order.

Then normally (especially in small kennels) you have to dress them up and that’s funny. It is a question of putting on the harness that will attach them to the sled. They are excited but let you work, even by strangers (they are really adorable), except when you take a little time to equip them, because it’s not super easy. They look at us “but you’re really not good at it, man”.

One last step before you get started is the security part. How to drive a sled, what actions you need to know. And there it is still simple: you have two pedals, one to brake and one to stop the sled. Really not rocket science. To know when to use them, it will be your survival instinct, to avoid being ejected during a turn a little too tight (true story). Because it goes fast, very fast! Dogs are real athletes.
Also, you will have to avoid being too close to the sled in front of you. But then it’s common sense.

Finally, we will also tell you that while driving you cannot film or take photos. It’s not wrong, because it’s not stable. And when you start it is better to have both hands on the sled. It’s a little difficult, but in a straight line it can be done.

A tour lasts between 1h and 3h, depending on the agency, and you change in the middle between the one driving and the one enjoying. Even if it’s very sporty, we work a lot on the abs, thighs and arms, it’s super pleasant even for the driver. It goes quickly, it’s really a great experience!

faire du chien de traineau en Norvege

When to go dog sledding in Finnish Lapland ?

Really, it will depend on the snow. There reservations start mid November until April. The tours rarely start before because there won’t necessarily be a lot of people and the snow is coming later and later. But for the high tourist season, which is from December to March, there will be absolutely no problem in all of Lapland, there is always plenty of snow.

The angencies will not start with the first snowfall, but you need snow that holds well, packed down, so that the dogs can easily run on it without damaging their paws.

Where to go dog sledding in Finnish Lapland? The different tours city by city

The different tourist spots in Finnish Lapland are far from each other. So if you’re in Rovaniemi, you’re not going to run to Levi. That’s why I’m going to offer you the agencies city by city.


As Rovaniemi is the biggest city in Finnish Lapland and the main tourist spot, inevitably we will find many companies and it is difficult to see very clearly.

It is a bit more expensive than in more confidential places, but less than in Tromso. Here we are in the 150/170€ in general.

The reference up there is Apukka Husky. Excellent reputation, very professional, at 160€. So honestly, it’s okay!

Discover Apukka Huskies here !

A nice and longer alternative is to pair:

  • reindeer
  • dog sledding
  • snowmobile

For 6 hours and “only” €195. I have never tested this activity but frankly the feedback is excellent and it seems very reliable. A tour I VERY strongly recommend to have a great day for not (too) expensive.

Discover it here !


There are several companies that do dog sledding in Levi. Unfortunately, a lot are not necessarily that good, ie they are expensive for a short duration.

But we have Eanan Levi who is very good, very good feedback and much cheaper than the others! We are at 130€, they pick up at the hotel if necessary and have an excellent reputation.

Discover it here !


These 3 cities are really located next to each other, within 10km. So you can easily go from one to the other for activities.

  • Kittila, the reference is All Huskies. Not expensive, from 150€ for a long ride.  Discover it here.
  • Yllasjärvi, another great place : Rami’s Huskies. Offer short, from 90€ to long rides (145€). Discover it here.
  • Akaslompolo, another nice place here, for a beautiful ride, from 130€. Discover it here.


I haven’t found it in Muonio, but in Akaskero there is a great team, offering half day, daily tours, and also tours for several days and even a week. That could be great !

Discover it here!


In Kilpisjärvi, at the very top of Finland, border with Norway, we have a small touristic place where we find a small family agency that offers dog sledding from 60€: Destination Kilpisjarvi, which offers several other activities like reindeer, aurora borealis. Discover it here.

faire du chien de traineau en Norvege

Some tips and information

  • Price: it will depend on the duration and the places. We can say that it starts at 90€ up to 200 for long journeys.
  • Difficulty: there isn’t really any difficulty, it’s sporty, it pushes on the abs, arms, thighs, but it doesn’t require great physical condition. Everyone can do it. Just have a little balance when driving the sled.
  • Who it is for: Well, that depends. It’s physical, some accept children from 5 years old (not to drive, eh), others only adults. It will also be necessary to avoid if you are pregnant, in plaster, that sort of thing.
  • Is it dangerous: well no, it is not strictly speaking dangerous. On the other hand, you can easily be ejected from the sled, especially when you are driving. But the idea is to fall in the snow so that’s fine. On the sled itself, you must above all store your feet and especially not allow them to stick out.
  • If you are afraid of dogs: then they are really lovely in general. They are selected for their sporting abilities but also for their sociability. If they can bite humans, then they can’t be in the kennel, it’s as simple as that. So they will never be mean to you. Let them approach, avoid sudden gestures anyway. But they want hugs. Others are not going to calculate you because what they want is to run. They are hyperactive! So absolutely not dangerous, but it wiggles, so it can surprise, especially children.

If you have any question or you need some information, don’t hesitate to send me a message by clicking here 🙂


And There you go! I believe I have told you pretty much everything I know and I hope I was able to provide you with the information you need if you want to do dog sledding in Finnish Lapland. There are many agencies, good and not so good, so pay attention to the reputation, the duration of the tour (super important). But it’s really a great experience so don’t hesitate 🙂

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What to see in Kvaloya Island, an amazing place around Tromso !

aurores boreales grotfjord kvaloya tromso norvege blog vincent voyage

Around Tromso, we will find exceptional landscapes. Mountains, fjords, valleys, all extending easily within a radius of 100km around the city. And after many stays there, I still discover more, trip after trip.
So here I will dwell on one of the most beautiful islands in the country, 2 steps from Tromso: Kvaloya, located northwest of the city.
Super easy to access, just cross the bridge next to the airport, Kvaloya is a condensed version of Norway and contains everything we need to keep us busy for a few days and amaze us. And, in addition to that, it contains dozens of super nice viewpoints to observe the northern lights

Kvaloya has roughly 4 routes, 3 of which really worth it. And as in winter it gets dark early, with the photo breaks, a road will really occupy a full day! Especially if you meet reindeers 🙂


It’s the classic, the must-see on Kvaloya, and accessible by bus (see the timetables here). The Ersfjordbotn fjord is superb, ultra photogenic. A large impressive fjord that can be observed from a viewpoint above or from the water’s edge. You can easily approach it, but also go to the small port and the peninsula which gives an even better view.

The first view of Ersfjord is up to the hill, there is a car park with a great and wide view. Nice to enjoy the northern lights too !

Full west oriented, this fjord is a nice place for sunset. But for the northern lights, it might be too bright because of light pollution, both the main place or down to the water. But you still can take nice shots !

For the main point of view in height it is easy to park and from there you can walk everywhere or even take a nice hike at the top of the mountain. It seriously climbs!

Otherwise you can go down to the level of the fjord, the best is to leave the car at the level of the factory on the left. There is also a cafe which is excellent!

ersfjordbotn vue fjord kvaloya tromso | blog vincent voyage
ersfjordbotn aurores boreales kvaloya tromso | blog vincent voyage
ersfjordbotn vue fjord kvaloya tromso | blog vincent voyage

The road to Sommaroy

Sommaroy is a small set of islands at the western end of Kvaloya. It’s one of the new fashionable destinations because it’s very heavenly, between white sand beaches, transparent water, hiking trails. The road crosses the center of the island, in a pretty valley, before going through two superb fjords along which you can easily stop. The arrival on Sommaroy gives a superb landscape with the mountains in the background, and its very “Norwegian” bridge :). We will have a lot of stopping points for the auroras, very well oriented.

First, in the first valley, stop by the Kattfjordvatnet lake. Many points of view yes, lots of parking possible, some even better because without the cables, in winter you can walk on the lake. And all facing a beautiful mountain.

Then it’s even more beautiful, you go through a very long fjord, a smaller one and then you have a view of really beautiful, different mountains. From here you have great views for the sunset. Pass by Sandvika, the small beach where you can sometimes find reindeer. Then 2/3 views before the famous bridge.

This bridge, besides, I also advise you to go by foot because the view on both sides is great. On one side the mountains of Kvaloya, on the other the mountains of Senja. Really perfect!

Then in Sommaroy, full of small beaches before the village, small walks. And even a coffee! This one saves life when it’s cold.

Coucher de soleil sommaroy
Aurores boréales Norvège

The road to Tromvik

Tromvik is a super cute fishing village, including a sunset to die for. And the road to get there is for me the prettiest on the island because it really takes the view. Between the two fjords that are Kaldfjord and especially Grotfjord, magnificent. Its small village is also cool with a nice beach, especially under the snow. And on top of that, we have a superb view of the island of Vengsoya. And all of this gives great vantage points for the Northern Lights. Sometimes a little light, but we’ll deal with it very easily 🙂

This road really goes for Grotfjord, which you reach after 40min. A super beautiful, deep fjord, where you can stop absolutely anywhere on both sides but especially at the bottom of the fjord, where you can get close to the water. Sometimes we have seals and otters bathing in the fjord 🙂 This fjord is also one of the best places for the aurora!

After Tromvik, you can take the road to Rekvik if it is open, the view is really nice, there is a very nice hike outside winter and you still face Senja.

northern lights tromso
aurores boréales kvaloya grotfjord
tromvik kvaloya coucher de soleil tromso norvege | blog vincent voyage
plage route tromvik kvaloya tromso norvege blog vincent voyage

The road to Skulsfjord

Surprisingly, it’s a road that I discovered late. And yet, it is really cool because it goes towards the north of the island, notably passes by a magical (but damn windy!) viewpoint over the whole north of the island, to go down again towards the village of Skulsfjord passing by a corner with the trees petrified by the cold.

So to get the beautiful view, on the road to Skulsfjord you will take a left just before the tunnel. It’s a great place to see the Northern Lights and see the scenery.

After that, the valley that goes down towards Vengsoya is also superb and sometimes we meet reindeer. We’ll have a nice little beach (but not crazy for the lights).

Once in Skulsfjord, leave your car at the far end, in the parking lot, and go for a walk. In general the path is clear enough in winter to go to the opposite of the island and have a magnificent view. It’s also very nice for the aurora borealis with a beautiful view!

vue skulsfjord vengsoya kvaloya tromso norvege
coucher de soleil skulsfjord tromso norvege blog vincent voyage
aurores boreales skulsfjord kvaloya tromso norvege blog vincent voyage

The road to Kvaloyvagen

Much less traveled, this road has the advantage of offering beautiful viewpoints for the aurora, little light, and a lot of reindeer, which is quite nice. A little before the village of Kvaloyvagen, we will have super nice little lakes. It also allows you to go to the other island of Ringvassoya (another great place around Tromso !). Besides, if we’re not careful, we take the tunnel that leads to it, a classic mistake.

Before the tunnel, to have the best views on the auroras, you have to continue towards Kvaloyvagen and it will be just after the fishing huts, 5 minutes further, we can go down to the beach. Further on, there are a few lakes and a place without lights also to see the aurora, very nice, towards the old Sami camp.

route kvaloyvagen kvaloya tromso
aurores boreales kvaloya tromso norvege | blog vincent voyage

How to see the northern lights in Kvaloya

Kvaloya is a bit of a place to be to see the aurora when you are in Tromso. Indeed, the island, as we have seen, has several fjords, lakes, roads without light with very high visibility. We have easy access to an unobstructed view to the north, east, west, and in addition in a magnificent setting. So that’s naturally where we go, and quite often the agencies too.

So i’ll propose you a few viewpoints :

  • road to Kvaloyvagen, a few km before, there are some fishermen cabins and beaches
  • Kattfjordvatnet, a lot of places to stop by the lake to see the lights
  • Grotfjord, all along the fjord, and also at the bottom of the fjord
  • The view over the village of Grotfjord
  • The road to Rekvik
  • Sandvika by Sommaroy

But there are many more !

How to see the northern lights in Kvaloya

You don’t have a car or want to maximize your chances of seeing the northern lights ? So it’s better to go through one of the good tours in Tromso. Not all are good, but some are really excellent. I have listed below 4 where you can go without any hesitation ! Prices vary between 120 and 180€

How to visit Kvaloya with a tour

When you don’t have a car, or even to be able to discover the best places without worrying or driving on frozen roads (even if it’s easy to do), you may want to go through a tour. There is everything you need in Tromso. So I suggest you the ones I know, from whom I have heard good things, whose opinions are very good and above all, avoid large groups. The ideal is between 4 and 8 persons, to enjoy it and have time. My first visit to Kvaloya was with a very big agency and it wasn’t crazy, so now I’m more careful 🙂

aurores boreales sommaroy nordfjorden en Norvège | Blog Vincent Voyage

Find a hotel in Kvaloya

Finding an accommodation in Kvaloya is not that easy. We will find some hotels just close to Tromso, in Sommaroy, Kaldfjord. If you plan to spend more time on the island than in Tromso, this is a good alternative. And above all, it’s still quieter and some places can be perfect to see the aurora.

The Sommaroy Arctic Hotel is located on the Sommaroy Archipelago, a beautiful place! Otherwise the Ersfjordbotn Brygge, located in the idyllic fjord of Ersfjord, not cheap but superb.
Finally, a hotel that does not look like much but is especially worthwhile for its location and price, the lovely Melishome, ideal for observing the aurora, at less than 60€!

In conclusion

Kvaloya is truly a little gem to discover when visiting Tromso. You have to take the time because there are a lot of spots for photos, you come across reindeer, fjords, the colors change all the time. In general I do not do more than one route per day because even if going to Tromvik or Sommaroy takes only one hour, we will take so many breaks that the day will pass very quickly! Especially if you go there in winter when the days are very short 🙂

aurores boreales sommaroy nordfjorden en Norvège | Blog Vincent Voyage

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How to chose your tour to see the northern lights in Tromso ?

Où voir les aurores boréales

Seeing the Northern Lights is the dream of many people but it is not always easy, especially at the beginning when you are not sure how to deal with it. In this blog I have already explained to you several times how to look for the northern lights, if you could see them in town and especially in Norway, but for a whole host of reasons you may prefer to go through a tour. Sometimes it’s necessary, sometimes you can do without it. But above all, you have to choose it well so that the experience, which must be magical, does not turn sour. It’s rare, but it happens. So the objective of this article is not to push you to go through a tour or on the contrary to prevent you from doing so, but rather to guide you whether or not you need one and especially how to choose it, according to some essential criteria. Let’s go !

Why to book a tour to see the northern lights in Tromso ?

To tell you the truth, during my first two stays in Tromso I went through a tour to see the northern lights. The first evening was to find out how to do it, how it worked and gain a little confidence, as I was afraid of driving in the snow, I didn’t know where to go, how to find the lights.

But in front of the multitude of tours and guides, I asked myself a lot of questions. As my objective was to see the auroras but also to learn how to photograph them, I left the classic agencies to go through photographers who offered tours. And, well, it wasn’t bad. Moreover, since the time that I go there, I meet guides on the spot, some have become friends, so I learned to differentiate the “good guide” from the “bad guide”.

So, here are below some reasons to book a tour, and once again, this is not something mandatory 🙂 This is a way to increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.

Because you don’t drive

The Northern Lights are much better visible away from city lights, villages, streetlights in particular. And moreover, depending on the weather, you have to be mobile. However, if you do not have a driving license or if, like me the first time, you are a little afraid to drive on snow and ice, the tours meet this need and it is still really useful.

You can see the northern lights without moving outside Tromso, but unless you are in an isolated hut it is rare that you are in the best conditions in terms of light. You can check Telegrafbukta if you don’t move from Tromso city center, a place without too much light.

Northern lights tromso
Northern lights tromso

Because you don’t know where to go

That’s the main reason I took a guide the first time, I didn’t know where to go, how to search. Fortunately, since then I have improved. The tour guides know the right places and know how to study the weather. But yes, I confirm that at the beginning we are lost, we put pressure on ourselves if we do not see them, we want to optimize our chances. So to learn how to do it, I find it useful.

In this (super long) article I explain the basics of auroras and how to find them.

To optimize the chances of seeing them

The guides know where to go, study the weather and the wind to find out where the clear skies are. When the weather is ugly over a fjord, that doesn’t mean it’s ugly everywhere in the region. You have to be able to be mobile, change places and above all know where to go. It is thus necessary to study the weather, the direction of the wind, to anticipate where the clouds are going. And the guides all know each other in a region, they give each other advice, have a whatsapp group in common. It’s not a competition, and that’s pretty cool.

That is acquired with experience. When you become addicted to the dawn, you will know how to use the different applications and anticipate just by looking at the sky.

For the weather, the Yr.no app and website are not bad for getting an overview. But I especially recommend Ventusky, which gives very precise cloud cover hour by hour. Beyond the weather at the instant, look at what is happening, how it will move and in which direction.

Aurores boréales Otertind signaldalen Tromso Norvege
Aurores boréales à Senja Tromso en Norvège

To be with a guide

The big advantage of going through a tour or a guide is… that you are with a guide. Meaning that we don’t have much to do, we don’t have to drive for hours (really, to find a patch of clear sky, we can drive 3 hours to Finland for example) and general the guide takes care of us very well. He’ll make a fire, has coffee/tea, snacks and often has plenty of stories to tell. While waiting for the northern lights, which can take a little time, we are with the group, with the guide, it passes the time in an interesting way.

To learn how to photograph the northern lights

That is important too, but it will not interest everyone. Depending on the agency you choose, you may have photographers with you who will teach you the basics of Northern Lights photography. This is the criterion on which I chose my two guides a few years ago, as I wanted to have great memories.

The best I’ve found on this topic are Wandering Owl in Tromso. They have some very good photographers and will seek to find slightly different corners.

At Northern Horizon they also have good photographers for example.

If you want to dive deep into northern lights photography, you can check this article

tungeneset aurores boreales fjord Senja Norveve | Blog Vincent Voyage
aurores boreales signaldalen norvege blog vincent voyage

The disadvantages of going through a tour

Clearly, I’m not going to lie, there are some disadvantages :

  • We are not in control of our schedule, if the guide says we are going back, then we are going back (around midnight / 1 a.m.)
  • We are with people, so it depends a lot on the feeling of the group. If there are 2-3 loud persons, it can get annoying, but it’s really rare
  • It has a certain cost. At least 120€ per person. It lasts 6/8 hours but it’s not cheap
  • There may be a bad surprise with the tour, a guide who is not having a good day, who does not go far and not in a nice place. This is rare, but it can happen so this is why you will have to choose your tour carefully
  • Falling on a too large group.

But what is certain is that not seeing the aurora borealis will not be the fault of the tour. Indeed, as all the tours and all the guides have the same information, if there is no dawn, there is none for anyone. And with very few exceptions, they will all do their best to find a patch of clear sky. But if the sky is clear and the auroras are not there, well they are not there.

gryllefjord norvege senja aurores boreales | blog vincent voyage
aurores boréales Senja Norvège photographier | Blog Vincent Voyage

How to chose your northern lights tour in Tromso

Here are some criteria you should pay attention when you chose your tour, and then avoid unpleasant surprises


I do not recommend being too stingy about the price. In general, good tours in Tromso are priced between 120 and 190€, if it’s less, it’s because there’s a trap. Either there are too big groups, or they don’t go too far or the service is degraded, no real guide, no drink, just an average driver and that’s it. So don’t pull the price down too much.

Here are a few examples of good companies and their prices :

Group size

I have always chosen small groups (between 3 and 8) and I have also seen big bus arrive. It’s cheaper, but the coaches are a bit of hell. The northern lights, I want to enjoy them, not to have noise everywhere. It’s a moment apart, of calm and zenitude so when it’s loud, it’s complicated, and my experience is clearly degraded. Afterwards, it is suitable for some tourists, especially those on small budgets, but you will not take full advantage of it. Up to 12 is fine, 6/8 is really good.

If you want to look at what it looks like for the bigger and cheaper groups, you can see here, under 100€.

Photos aurores boreales en Norvege Senja Tromso | Blog Vincent Voyage
comment Voir les aurores boréales en Norvège Senja Tromso | Blog Vincent Voyage

Company size

It may be silly, but big northern lights companies do not necessarily provide the same quality of service. I prefer small companies because it’s more personal, less factory-like and generally the groups are smaller. Also, I have the feeling they try more. When I asked locals I knew which tours to avoid, only large companies came out. I’m not saying that all tours of all big companies are not good, but I advise to favor smaller tours.

Company’s reputation

It’s super important, look at the opinions on the tours, the companies. On my side, I prefer to go through resellers such as Getyourguide, Viator, which display the name of the tour, because they publish the reviews. Sort the reviews in chronological order, otherwise it can be biased, it is often the best reviews first. The overall rating is important but especially the latest reviews.

If there are photographers among the guides

When a tour says they have photographers, don’t hesitate to go check it out, see what they do for photos, if they are real photographers or not. This is an important criterion for me because a photographer will have an eye for finding the right places, the most photogenic, because he also goes there for himself. In addition they give advice for photographing the northern lights, which is not a luxury.

breivikeidet aurores boréales tromso en Norvège | Blog Vincent Voyage
aurores boreales grotfjord tromso en Norvège | Blog Vincent Voyage
Photos instagram Norvège

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How is an evening with a guide

Frankly, it’s super simple.

  • the guide has prepared his route in advance according to the weather, knowing in which direction to go
  • in general we have an appointment at a specific place between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., in Tromso it is in front of the Radisson for example
  • there is at least a 30-minute drive to first be sure to get away from the light pollution and then find a nice spot, without too many people. But it can take up to 3 hours by road depending on the weather.
  • the guide can make a bonfire, which is quite practical because standing still in winter, it’s not that easy !
  • you will also have snacks, hot drinks, that’s cool
  • if the weather is not great, then you will move until you find a place with better weather
  • do not hesitate to ask the guide for advice on taking photos
  • keep your nose up
  • and in general we pack up around 1am, after the big northern lights which has just ended, the ideal is to be back between 1am and 2am. But if you left further (eg Kilpisjarvi 3 hours from Tromso), inevitably it will be later.

In general, there is a refund only if the tour is canceled before departure. If the tour is still scheduled and the weather is not good or there is no Northern Lights, then there is no refund. On the other hand, they spin discounts to go back with them.

comment Voir les aurores boréales en Norvège Senja Tromso | Blog Vincent Voyage
Aurores boréales sur la plage d'Uttakleiv iles Lofoten Norvège

What you should not forget before going out

Here is your checklist before going to see the Northern Lights:

  • do not forget to have charged the batteries of your camera (because the cold drains them much faster)
  • and to have made room on the memory card
  • to take the tripod, essential for long exposures
  • take water and something to eat, you never know
  • charge your phone battery
  • take a headlamp
  • take some other layers of clothing, socks, gloves, hat, so as not to freeze in place and to be able to add/remove quickly
meilleurs endroits voir aurores boréales senja norvege tromso blog vincent voyage

Which tours should you chose in Tromso ?

In Tromso, there are a lot of tours. Well ok, that’s the capital city of northern lights. Some of them are really serious, with really good guides, photographers, will do their best to find clear sky and bring you in nice spots.

These ones are very good ones, this is why I recommend them. It doesn’t mean the other ones are not good. I don’t know all of them, I know some. Good ones, bad ones.

But my FIRST advice would be to check the reviews from customers on the platforms. This is really important.

So, I strongly recommend these 4 tours:


Here it is ! I think you know everything 🙂 Not everybody needs to book a tour to see the northern lights. But if you want to, if you want to optimize your chances, if you first need all the information to chase them by yourself after, yes you can go. If you don’t know how to start, where to go, then book it. That’s not cheap, but by chosing a GOOD tour, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

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What do you think about the northern lights ?

15 of the most beautiful places to see in Peru!

plus beaux endroits du pérou

Because Peru is a huge and fascinating country, because there are REALLY things to see everywhere, and because I’m starting to know it pretty well, I’m offering you a list of 15 places you absolutely must discover.

So of course, since these places are so scattered around the country, it will be difficult to see everything in one trip, so unfortunately you will have to come back. What a pity 😀

Obviously this list is totally subjective, dozens of other sites deserve to appear. And also I put here only the places I visited. So no Chachapoyas, Choquequirao, for example. But this list will grow when I can really tell you about these new places.

Here we go, let’s find out what it is about !

Map of the most beautiful places in Peru !

In this map, I put all the places listed below.

We can see that it is quite spread over the whole territory, hence the need to go there several times to really enjoy all the regions!

1. The whole Peruvian civilization at the Larco Museum

Why am I putting this museum at the top of my list? Because it will allow you to understand a lot of things about Peru, all the pre-Columbian and pre-Inca civilizations.

Before heading away from Lima and exploring Peru, learning more about the Moche, Nazca, Huari and many other civilizations will allow you to connect many pieces of the Peruvian cultural puzzle. So I think you have to visit this museum first, that should be your first place to see in Peru.

In this museum, you will already find two timelines with the different civilizations and the achievements of each. Yeah, that’s useful.

But also thousands of ceramics specific to each civilization, treasures discovered in each archaeological site, precise explanations (which is not a luxury in Peru). It’s really exciting! Afterwards you will be unbeatable 🙂

You can discover more about Lima in my article (in French translated soon!)

musée larco lima
musée larco lima

2. Nazca lines and Palpa

Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of our time. What do these geoglyphs represent, what are they for, who won this giant drawing contest?

The Nazca and Palpa geoglyphs are fascinating. There’s a man waving on a hill, a spider, a monkey, a hummingbird and hundreds more. And all this can be discovered from above, with a plane ride that will amaze you.

Recently, they notably found a cat, hidden under the dust and which was discovered thanks to the help of the wind. Something new is found from time to time.
And what makes it even more exciting is that the Nazca civilization was not the first to do this. The Palpa, next door, did it several hundred years earlier, with “the sun family” in particular.

Discover the Nazca Lines, come and work your imagination to find out where they come from and what their purpose was. And no, there is no UFO landing strip!

lignes nazca avion désert Pérou | Blog Vincent Voyage
lignes nazca citadelle désert Pérou | Blog Vincent Voyage

3. The incredible city of Cusco

Probably the most beautiful city in Peru. Cusco is more than a leap into the past. In Inca history, in colonial history. It’s a beautiful and exciting city, with things to see everywhere!

The architecture is superb, the small stone streets on the hillside are too beautiful and have a crazy charm, and above all at every street corner we are in the history of the Inca Empire, we have vestiges absolutely everywhere, whether through the many museums but especially through archaeological sites like Saqsayhuaman. And again, here I am only talking about the city itself. Because the surroundings are fantastic!

Cusco is in the mountains, and the Incas had built their empire around it so we will obviously find temples like Machu Picchu, Choquequirao or Pisac, but wonders of nature like the colored mountains, the sacred valley, some fantastic treks.

Discover Cusco and its area in this article ! (translated soon)

que faire cusco perou
visite de Cusco plaza de armas au Pérou

4. Machu Picchu obviously !

How not to talk about Machu Picchu when talking about Peru and the essential places?

So yes, it’s ultra famous, it’s touristy, it’s so classic. But it is really an exceptional place, which needs to be discovered by taking your time and especially by arriving early and leaving late to enjoy without the tourist groups. And there it is a real happiness!

In addition to the architectural prowess, because they had to have fun building this complex at the top of the mountain, the surroundings of Machu Picchu is exceptional. The views are fantastic, really, in the mountains, head in the clouds.
You can combine this with one of the two hikes overlooking it, but watch out for the calves, it hurts!

To come to Machu Picchu, the easiest way is to come by train from Cusco. But it can also be done on foot via treks!

You can discover Machi Picchu from Cusco in this article !

visiter machu picchu montagne cusco pérou | blog vincent voyage
visiter machu picchu montagne cusco pérou | blog vincent voyage

5. The Vinicunca rainbow mountain around Cusco

The rainbow mountain of Vinicunca is one of the wonders around Cusco. A very atypical mountain in a magnificent place, it is one of the essentials. Touristy yes, but rightly so! Because it is truly unique. A set of red mountains, and a mountain that lives up to its name of rainbow with lots of layers of colors.

Located at an altitude of 5000m, this mountain is easy to access but requires a certain amount of acclimatization time. The good thing is that getting there does not require a big effort except for the last steps which climb well! But you will be really rewarded, the view is magnificent, and by pushing a little you have a stunning 360° view!

Discover the rainbow mountain in this article !

montagne arc en ciel vinicunca cusco
montagne colorée vinicunca cusco

6. Whale watching in the north

Did you know ? winter in Peru is a great season to see whales. And even better, the Peruvian north coast is a perfect place to meet them, like Mancora or Punta Sal. From July to October, it is therefore the reproduction period for humpback whales that you can come and admire (well, not in full action eh, they remain modest).

For having seen whales in several places in the world, the Peruvian north coast is really an excellent place. The whales are numerous, relaxed because the activity is not huge, and you can also see dolphins, turtles or rays. It’s really here that I was able to enjoy them the most, and see them jump a bit far away!

voir les baleines au Pérou mancora punta sal
voir les baleines au Pérou piura

7. Americas’ oldest pyramids in Caral

And yes, there are pyramids in Peru! In general, we mainly think of the Aztec and Mayan pyramids, but those of Caral, in Peru, are much older! They are from the same period as the pyramids of Egypt, namely 5000 years ago, just that.

This surprising site, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is made up of several pyramids in relatively good condition, and in a very nice place. The valley of the pyramids of Caral is between beautiful mountains, we understand why the first civilization of the American continent settled there!

Caral is located 3 big hours north of Lima. It can be visited more or less easily because it takes time, but it is really worth it!

pyramides caral
pyramides caral

8. The famous Titicaca lake and its surprising islands

Another classic yet essential from southern Peru!

Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. Perched at an altitude of 3800m, this magnificent expanse of water is best known for its populations who live there on small reed islands, the totora. These are the Uros and Titinos islands, communities that tamed the lake several hundred years ago to escape Inca domination, and who still live there ever since. Now they are developing tourism to show their way of life.

But there are other communities like on Taquile Island, the kings of weaving, on an isolated and super peaceful island. As well as pre-Inca remains around the lake!

iles uros lac titicaca pérou
iles titinos lac titicaca pérou

9. Arequipa and its beautiful architecture

Before knowing Arequipa, I thought that Cusco was obviously the most beautiful city in Peru. But now… we can debate ! Arequipa, the white city, is magnificent. A very beautiful city center, a superb and (surprisingly in Peru) soothing plaza de armas, with its cathedral and all the arches that surround it.

But Arequipa is also incredible because the city is surrounded by volcanoes including the Misti, and canyons. It’s a fantastic region to discover, a rather arid region, where it’s a real pleasure to drive and take the roads in the middle of nowhere (and in addition people drive well, I might as well tell you that it’s surprising).

Discover Arequipa in this article !

plaza de armas arequipa unesco
centre historique Arequipa pérou

10. Toro Muerto petroglyphs

One of the places that really impressed me the most in Peru. It is simply the largest rock art site in the world. Imagine, over hectares and hectares, thousands of rocks on which very old representations are engraved or painted.

These drawings representing life at the time, the domestication of llamas, fishing scenes… we see a lot of fauna, birds like condors. But above all, it tells us about their way of life, the difficulties they encountered in particular in terms of drought, which they tried to fight with the dances of the rain.

Not easy to get to, 3 hours from Arequipa, it’s a truly exceptional place.

pétroglyphes toro muerto arequipa
pétroglyphes toro muerto arequipa

11. See condors and much more at Colca Canyon

A classic, but an exceptional place.

The Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world, truly magnificent, where you will be amazed all along the way. There are also many hiking possibilities, not easy because of a very big elevation gain.

But we especially know the canyon for its condors which fly every morning! And that is a truly magnificent sight. So between these condors, the landscapes and also the trip from Arequipa which is superb via the salinas, it’s really a must.

Discover more about the Colca Cayon in this article !

mirador canyon de colca
canyon de colca condors au pérou

12. To marvel at the Museo del Senor de Sipan

Let’s head north again with one of the best museums in Peru. The museum of the royal tombs of the Senor of Sipan, in Lambayeque, contains the remains of the most important discovery from the Moche civilization: the tomb of the Senor of Sipan. If this discovery were considered at its fair value, then it would be as famous as the tomb of Tutankhamun. Just that.

First of all because the Moche are a very important ancient civilization from northern Peru, which provided a lot of archaeological sites such as adobe pyramids, but did a very heavy gold work. The graves of the most important people were therefore filled with gold, objects, relics.

This museum is an excellent preamble to the discovery of the northern Peru civilizations , extremely rich but yet little known, before attacking the amazing archaeological sites.

musée senor de sipan lambayeque
musée senor de sipan lambayeque

13. Discover the richness of Chan Chan

A côté de Trujillo, dans le nord du pays, se trouve l’ancienne cité de Chan Chan. Imaginez une ville qui s’étend sur plusieurs dizaines de km, entre Trujillo et Chiclayo. Chan Chan était la plus grande cité du continent américain précolombien. Et les principaux vestiges sont cette partie de Chan Chan, accessible au public, avec ses fresques magnifiques et son histoire passionnante.

Le site de Chan Chan, bien qu’inscrit à l’Unesco, est pourtant menacé car totalement laissé à l’abandon. En le montrant, le partageant, on participe à augmenter sa visibilité et sa notoriété afin de peut-être lui redonner le prestige qu’il mérite.

Chan chan pérou
Chan chan pérou

14. The numerous pyramids of Tucume

Exciting and surprising! That’s what you’re going to feel when you arrive in Tucume (well actually you’re going to let out an “oh fuck!”) .

Imagine a site with 26 pyramids (and still, the excavations are not finished), in good condition (excellent for some), pyramids which all have different shapes because they are made of adobe, which is a friable material and therefore the pyramids have altered by heavy rains.

Tucume is a vestige of the Sican civilization (which is also called Lambayeque), a civilization halfway between the Moche and the Chimu, which left an enormous mark in the region.

This huge site can be visited on foot, very freely, there are in addition to the pyramids frescoes with engravings representing in particular fishing scenes, marine life. The museum is nice, is done rather quickly.

Funny thing, the adventurer and researcher Thor Eyerdahl (known especially here for Kon Tiki, see his great museum in Oslo, and whom the locals call Doc Thor) fell in love with this place and launched other excavations and initiated the museum.

pyramides de tucume pérou
pyramides de tucume pérou

15. Paracas and Ica desert

3 hours from Lima, there is a little paradise, a nature reserve where you can notably discover superb marine fauna such as sea wolves, penguins and superb birds. This is the Paracas, a truly peaceful place, but which is also the origin of an important civilization of the same name. In particular, we can discover a huge geoglyph: the candlestick, whose meaning is still unknown.

Straddling the sea and the desert, the Paracas are also a superb gateway to the Ica desert, a place out of time, where you will find the surprising oasis of Huacachina, a canyon or skeletons of sharks, whales or crocodiles. In the middle of the desert, yes!

paracas pérou
dunes huacachina pérou


Here it is ! And these 15 sites are only a tiny part of the wealth of Peru, whether it is cultural heritage or fantastic landscapes. Each region has a lot to offer, many archaeological sites and crazy landscapes.

So really, take the time, enjoy, discover!

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