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Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

In cooperation with: Visit Norway
London, United...
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Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Hi All,

After some informed advise on the Trondheim forum, I have now made plans for a trip to Tromso as below:

1. Arrive in Tromso from London on January 18th around 10:00

2. Stay 3 nights in Tromso (have tentatively booked Rica Ishavshotel but open to suggestions)

3. Booked a NL tour for the second night with Guide Gunnar based on the excellent reviews and posts about him and from him

4. Flying out on the 21st afternoon via Oslo

Having done a bit of research on this forum, I realise that 3 nights is not enough to guarantee a great sighting of the lights - unfortunately this is all me and my wife can take off from work for at that time so will try and make do with what we have.

I realise that January is super cold but only if we plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. I am considering hiring a arctic jacket/parka from Tromso Outdoors as the good brands in the UK are super expensive and don't see them being used after the trip but will buy the thermal inners and snow pants/boots etc. from London.

I will also try different settings on my Nikon D5000 camera based on the excellent tips on this forum so that we can capture the memories.

I would love to do a husky sledding trip (not sure if my wife is up for a physically demanding activity in the freezing temperature) but they seem to be very expensive (£150 pp) - are there any shorter duration but inexpensive ones?

Also am considering hiring a car for the last day to maybe drive out on our own to get another shot at the lights - I think that I am a pretty good driver but not sure if arctic driving requires any special skills (other than higher levels of concentration on icy roads - any advise on driving tips or places to drive to are very welcome.

Tromso seems to be quite expensive in terms of eating out - while I don't mind spending on a good meal once or twice on the trip are there any recommendations on regular restaurants which would serve a good hot meal for 2 for about £40?

Finally - any other thoughts or ideas on how we can make the most of our trip would be brilliant - especially as it is a kind of surprise gift for my wife (her birthday being in January) - will have to tell her before we travel though (so she can plan the clothes).

Finally, thanks to all the peeps who take time out to answer queries and help guys like me to plan what is hopefully a successful (seen NL twice) and memorable trip.

Cheers!

Oslo
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1. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Driving on icy/snowy roads you of course need to be more focused and allow generous safety margins (compensate for longer breaking distance etc). Special skills include "reading" the road surface (understanding how careful you must be) and in particular regaining control of a skidding car (anit-skid system helps).

Harstad, Norway
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2. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Restaurants can be found right here on TA and you can refine according to price range, rating etc.

Many will have their own web-sites where you can study their menus.

Do bear in mind that Tromsø is not a large place, so there is not an awful lot of restaurants.

tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g190475-Tromso_T…

London, United...
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3. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Thanks OsloViking & klimaflyktning.

Any advise on choosing between Rica Ishavshotel, Viking Apartments and the Radisson Blue hotel?

They all seem to be priced similarly and I have made provisional bookings for all 3 :)

Harstad, Norway
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for Bergen, Norway
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4. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Sorry, no idea as I have only spent two nights in paid accomodation in Tromsø in all my life. What are relatives for !!

Please study the recent reviews right here on TA, use your common sense and choose. An apartment is convenient if you want to save on eating out by doing self catering. Location, location, location. Rica is known for the best breakfast in town - included in the room price.

Tromso, Norway
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5. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Rica have the best breakfast, BLU the smallest room, Viking the best apartments and With have best price where a evening meal are included.

And With have also lovely view to the harbour, but remember to ask about it by booking!

There's 20 hotels in the city and the next years it will come 3 more, where The Edge will be the most fancy one..;)

Salisbury, United...
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6. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Clarion With include a complimentary dinner buffet. I think it's billed as a light buffet but it more than satisfied out appetite. They also had waffles in the afternoon and hot drinks when we returned from NL watching.

If they still do this deal it saved us a fortune as we didn't eat out.

Gloucester
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7. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Dog sledding may seem pricey but they only have a few mths of oppirtunity but dogs need care and food all yr

London, United...
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8. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Thanks everyone for all the advise. Will probably wait to book the husky trip once we get to Tromso.

I will end up hiring a car for the first evening probably to drive around and chase the lights on our own - unless we get a snowstorm or something :)

London
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9. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

Just comeback form Tromso, if you rent a car , get a 4x4 excellent roads around, no special skills need it if you drove on snow before, don't waste your money on guides or tours( the chareg its about £150) for NL.

To see the light you need clear or partial clear skies, check teh weather on www.yr.no and drive that night where the clear skyes are, the NL may not appear, the guide will not do you a refund!!!!

10. Re: Trip plan Mid Jan 2014 - advise & thoughts appreciated

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