Living in Tromso without a car is just one thing: plain annoying. Visiting Tromso without renting a car however is totally possible but of course, it depends on what you want to do. If you just want to visit the main sights and museums in town and go on a guided Northern Lights safari at night, you really don't need a car.
However if you'd like to get outside of town and explore the beauty of Northern Norway at its best, I can highly recommend you to rent one!
Tromso is a beautiful city, no doubt. But the raw beauty of the Arctic is best explored outside of town at one of the many fjords, mountains and beaches. Unfortunately the regional bus service totally sucks so that really the only way to explore the region around Tromso is by car.
Today I'm going to present 5 hidden gems to you that can only be reached by car and that should totally be on your itinerary if you visit Tromso for more than just 2 or 3 days.
Hella is situated on Kvaløya, the so called whale island, and it takes about 45 minutes to get there by car, depending on whether or not it's reindeer season...
It has everything from ancient rock carvings to a guesthouse where they serve delicious cakes, to a little open air museum, and finally a picture perfect viewpoint at the fjord where, if you bring some fishing gear, you can even catch yourself some dinner!
And the best part, if you visit at around 2 o'clock in the afternoon, you can watch the Hurtigruten cruise ship slide by right past you to make its way to Tromso.
Hella is the perfect stop on the way to our next hidden gem Sommarøya and you can easily spend 2-3 hours there, weather permitting.
This little island, that locals refer to as the summer island, is much more than just a hidden gem. It resembles a Caribbean paradise with sandy beaches and turquoise waters!
Only accessible by a bridge, this island is literally situated at the end of the world, or at the very least on the margins of Tromso with a 1 1/2 hour drive to get there. Due to its location at the coast, it's very windy there and the weather can change quickly so that you might want to think twice about going for a swim.
Admiring the beach from the warmth of your car or the local cafe however, is a great alternative! And if you want, you could even stay on the island and hunt the Northern Lights at night. Sommarøy Arctic Hotel has lovely fishermen's cabins that must certainly guarantee you a good night's sleep!
From one sandy beach to another, Grøtfjord is the hotspot for locals to sun-bathe on those rare summer days when temperatures rise above 20 degrees.
The little village situated at the coast, 45 minutes from town, is the perfect starting point for a hike in the mountains or even a fishing trip on a boat. Yes, Grøtfjord is where I went on my very first fishing adventure and despite not having caught a thing, I'll forever remember that day I got to visit Grøtfjord for the very first time.
Ersfjordbotn is one of the closest hidden gems to Tromso with only a 30 minute drive to get there. This little village at the fjord is perfect to watch the Northern Lights at night or even whales during the day in winter.
I particularly enjoy the dramatic scenery of the place with tall mountains embracing the village and fjord beneath them.
Our last hidden gem is situated at the Malangen fjord, about one and a half hours from Tromso. It's the perfect spot to watch the Midnight Sun, go hiking or fishing or just relax at one of the cabins at Malangen Resort.
This place is postcard perfect and ideal if you'd like to explore rural Northern Norway. I mean just imagine to see the Northern Lights from your cabin balcony!
So no, you don't need car if you plan on staying in the city during your stay. But if you'd like to experience what the Arctic really is like, definitely rent a car and hit the road!
Recommended routes: You can visit all the gems on the island Kvaløya (so Hella & Sommarøya, Grøtfjord and Ersfjordbotn) on one day while I would recommend you to actually stay in Malangen instead of just driving there and back.
For more information on visiting Tromso, check out my guidebook:
Which of these gems would you like to visit most?
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WELCOME TO WANDERFUL WEDNESDAY!
Consider yourself a wanderer?! Well then, this Blog Hop is for you!
Meet your hosts: Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World.
Here on Wanderful Wednesday we hope to promote an open and supportive community for like-minded bloggers- expats, travelers and all kinds of wanderers!
The linkup will take place every Wednesday at 8AM GMT.
Wanderful Wednesday Guidelines:
1. Link up a wanderful travel related post below! One per blogger per week please!
2. Spread the LOVE! Blog Hops are all about hopping around & getting to know others within the community! At the very least please try to comment on one other post before you go!
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4. Don’t forget to grab the button or link back to your wanderful hosts! Help us spread the word and let’s get others involved!
My favourite post from last week was "A First-Timer's Guide to Bourbon Street" by Carrie Lippert. Carrie has me totally hooked to explore the South of the US and even though Bourbon Street by night sounds a little to rough for me, I'd love to explore it by day and stuff my face with soul food! Thanks for linking up with us Carrie!
Now it's your turn. Link up your wanderful post below!