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Arctic Circle | Travel News

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The Arctic Circle is the largest pristine area on the planet. A perpetual winter wonderland that despite extreme weather and months of darkness, the Arctic has a good life. Some of the toughest creatures have made this place their home,

It is a large ocean surrounded by land masses and opened by small straits that connect it to the Pacific and the Atlantic. In these waters, several nations such as Russia, Canada, the United States, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway or Finland look at each other and are separated by a mass of ice that floats on the water.

If you are not afraid of the cold and the Arctic Circle is one of those places you have not seen as an experienced traveler, then you should go to Tromso, the largest city in the circle arctic polar located in Norway. The Northern Lights are simply magical!

chasing the aurora borealis

If you are an ecotourism fan, the main reason for visiting Tromso is probably to see the famous Northern Lights.

Located at nearly 70° north between fjords, islands and mountain peaks, it is the largest city in the north of the country and the second most populated north of the Arctic Circle after Murmansk in Russia.

Given its excellent location, in the middle of the Northern Lights ring, it is the perfect place to start your adventure around the Arctic Circle, as in Tromso there are more chances to see the Northern Lights, regardless of the cycles of the sun.

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Normally, to see the Northern Lights from the Arctic Circle, it is best to take a route to the outskirts, but if the sky is clear, it is possible to see the Northern Lights just above the city itself. Depending on weather conditions and solar activity, this atmospheric phenomenon can be observed from late August to April.

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Also, due to the Gulf Stream, Tromso has a milder climate than other destinations at the same latitude. Its average temperature is around -4 ºC in winter, but if your goal is to see the Northern Lights, remember that temperatures can vary between 5 ºC and -25 ºC, so you should dress appropriately.

If you don’t want to do this activity on your own, another highly recommended alternative for trying to contemplate this atmospheric phenomenon during your stay in Tromsø is to go on a Northern Lights safari with a guide. There are many companies that will take you to the best viewing areas because before you go they check the weather forecast and use this accurate information to decide where to go.

It is a most complete and entertaining experience since during the bus trip, the guides tell some myths about the Northern Lights as well as the scientific explanation. Also, once in the viewing area, they help travelers set up the camera to get the best photos and give some instructions on how to shoot them for the most impressive result. Also, at the end of the excursion, they offer hikers hot chocolate and cookies, which helps to warm up the body.

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Tromso is nature in its purest form

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Tromso is located in the heart of arctic nature surrounded by mountains and fjords. In fact, they’re so close to the city center that they can even be seen from the main street.

A good way to get to know the landscape that surrounds this city is to combine the experience of seeing the Northern Lights with those of spotting sea eagles and seals just 30 or 45 minutes by car from the center. You can also choose to take a sleigh ride pulled by huskies. It used to be a very common means of transport because huskies are very strong animals capable of pulling the sled at high speed through ice and snow.

This is a highly recommended excursion to do in this part of the Arctic Circle as you will be able to feel the bond between man and dog in such a harsh environment. Many local companies offer this excursion depending on the needs of the travelers and the experience they want to have. Traveling by sled and personally caring for the huskies is an unforgettable experience.

Soak up its rich culture

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When you are done exploring the nature of this part of the Arctic Circle, the next step is to soak up the culture of this city.

On the one hand, you can discover the different churches of Tromso. The most photographed is the church of Tromsdalen for its particular architecture. It is known as Tromso Cathedral but the truth is that it is just a parish which was built by architect Jan Inge Hovig. Its iconic pyramid shape is unmistakable and many theories circulate about its meaning. Some say it looks like an iceberg and others like Haja Island.

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Although known as a cathedral, there are actually two different cathedrals in Tromso: the Protestant (neo-Gothic style dating from the 19th century) and the Catholic (the northernmost in the world), both made of wood .

On the other hand, during a visit to the Polar Museum, you can learn about the history of Arctic exploration. It dates from 1830 and inside are sections dedicated to the seal hunt, the lives of northern trappers, the explorer Amundsen, and more.

Skansen, the oldest house in town, is another of Tromso’s most interesting places near the Polar Museum to get an idea of ​​what life was like here in the past. It was built as a customs post in 1789 and is surrounded by small old houses built in the 19th century and a beautiful garden.

Despite the cold, this city has a rich cultural life and many notable events such as the Sami Week, the Polar Night Half Marathon, the Tromso International Film Festival or the Northern Lights Festival take place during winter . Other events that are very popular with visitors are the New Year’s Concert and the Northern Lights concerts at the Arctic Cathedral. Do not miss them !

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