Whale Watching and Northern Light Chasing in Tromsø Norway
We’re all here with the hope of seeing orca, or killer whales. We have an early sighting some way off in the distance, but the orca dive down and out of sight – it looks like they’ve gone. Moving further out into the fjords the RIB stops in an open body of water and we spot them again – orcas in the distance are heading our way. Surpassing my fingers-crossed silent wishing, we are quite suddenly surrounded by orcas. There are pods of them in every direction – surfacing, diving, hunting. The herring in the fjords is in bountiful supply and we’ve clearly floated into the all-you-can-eat buffet.
I don’t know where to look first. We’ve all forgotten the cold, the thick mittens have been abandoned, and we all swing our cameras around trying to catch the spectacle. I think I’m squeaking with excitement, or maybe that’s the orcas. Some whales surface close to the RIB, exhaling loudly through their blow holes, and giving us a close-up of their striking markings, as others circle the herring in hunting pods of up to nine whales, all while the marine biologist onboard tells us more about the whales, their behaviours and the environment. I’m half concentrating, half just blown away by what’s in front of me.
Whilst in Tromsø and between the mind-blowing once-in-a-life-time outdoor activities, there are a number of museums, the beautiful Arctic Cathedral and many delicious high-quality restaurants to while away the dark wintery afternoons in. Mathallen serves up great wine and the warming fish stew is perfect for a post-whale watching lunch. Other great restaurants include Emmas Drømmekjøkken where the fish au gratin will put you into a delightfully full and sleepy state, and Fiskekompani for the freshest seafood and the chef’s choice 3-course menu.
If you still want more adventure, wrap up warm and take the Fjellheisen cable car up into the mountains and enjoy the spectacular view back down over Tromsø and the fjords, as darkness draws in and the city lights come on, you’re rewarded with a sea of twinkling lights and potentially the chance to glimpse more auroras.
A truly magical place, Tromsø should be on everyone’s winter escape list.