This Spring I fell in love with Norway after a fantastic holiday visiting Tromsø and skiing in Kvitfjell. All I knew before my holiday was to bring multiple layers and that if I’m lucky, I may see the Northern Lights. We had a fantastic itinerary with plenty to do to please everyone, here’s a run down of my top things to do in Tromsø, plus why I’m ditching the Alps for skiing in Norway.


Tromsø is a small city in Northern Norway in the Arctic Circle. It has a beautiful, cosy, quaint, quiet atmosphere with plenty to visit and do for those wanting to relax, explore, and for adventures. I visited Tromsø in the last week of March and was expecting it to be cold…it was! Most days the sun shone in the morning and it clouded over in the afternoon. The temperature was between 0 and -10, and I wore 3-4 layers to keep me warm. 

Spring in Tromsø StephieAnn
Spring in Tromsø Outdoor Sauna StephieAnn

Sauna in the Arctic Sea

The Pust sauna in the center of Tromsø floats on the Arctic sea. It’s a small, mixed-gender sauna with steps leading down into the water for those brave enough to take a plunge in the icy waters. I’d recommend booking as it gets busy and with small changing rooms, make sure you have your swimming costume on underneath and everything prepared to change clothes at speed! It was a fun experience and I felt really brave for swimming in the sea and thankfully for the hot sauna afterward. 

Northern Lights 

Seeing the Northern lights is not guaranteed and is quite rare. We went at the end of the season and it wasn’t the main reason for visiting Norway. In Tromsø, there’s a great chance being so North, improved a lot more if you book a tour to ‘chase’ the Northern Lights. This gets you access to an expert guide who will drive you outside Tromsø to find the best patch of sky. Tromsø is often cloudy at night, hiding the sky. We drove about an hour and a half outside Tromsø where our guide started a fire and bought out cake, hot chocolate, and soup. It was extremely cold, -15 and I wore 7 layers of clothing and still shivered standing next to the fire. Within 30 minutes of arriving, the lights started! It was incredibly exciting and we watched for several hours as they faded, grey stronger, and danced in the sky. 
Tromsø in Spring and Skiing in Norway, Kvitfjell
Winter Hiking Things to do Tromsø StephieAnn

Fjellheisen Cable Car and Hiking Storsteinen Mountain

A 30 minute walk from the centre of Tromsø is a cable car that leads up to a fantastic viewpoint over the city. We hired snow spikes and hiked from the cable car to the high point. It was a hard uphill hike but the view was worth it! Back at the viewpoint, theres a cafe-come-restaurant and if the skies are clear, there’s a chance to see the Northern lights.  

Reindeer Sledding and Feeding

Booked through Tromsø Arctic Reindeer Tours, this was one of my favourite experiences. It was relaxed and wonderful on a sunny day. I enjoyed it far more than I expected, the reindeer were friendly and fun to be around, the Sami talk was engaging and the lunch was delicious and plentiful with both veggie and meat options available. It was a great experience for everyone.
Things to do Tromsø StephieAnn

We packed a lot into Tromsø including a visit to the Troll museum, fantastic for discovering Norse folklore and legends as well as a snowshoeing tour and visit to the Arctic cathedral.


Skiing in Kvitfjell, Norway


From Tromsø we took an internal two-hour flight to Oslo before hiring a car and driving two hours to Kvitfjell. It sounds like a long journey, but having driven before from the UK to skiing in the Alps, it was fine.
I’ve skied extensively in the Alps and Dolomites as well as the USA and Canada, but never Norway or Scandinavia.  I’d describe myself as an intermediate-advanced skier and enjoy a leisurely green or blue as well as challenging myself with blacks and off-piste skiing. We skied in Kvitfjell as well as having a day in Hafjell, a 40 minute drive away. 
In our party, there’s those who want to ski every day, half days and those who can’t ski due to injuries.  Kvitfjell is a small resort with a great mix of runs suitable for everybody. If, like me, you like skiing fast, there’s a fantastic black Olympic run where I went top to bottom, trying not to stop in under 5 minutes. There’s easy runs, perfect for learners and kids as well as fun, ‘official’, ‘through the trrees’ runs with punching bags and sponge hands to hit as you go past, plus ski parks and slalom courses. 
The snow condition was good, even though the locals said they’d had better that season. We were skiing at the beginning of April where the sun doesn’t set until 8pm and the snow was hard in the morning, softer in the afternoon – but not slushy as it often gets in the Alps that time of year. 
Winter Walking Kvitfjell Norway StephieAnn

Winter Walking in Norway Ski Resorts

Kvitfjell or Hafjell don’t have any steep peaks but rolling hills. Because it is much further North, it doesn’t need as much height as the rest of Europe and this gives a beautiful panarma as well as an opportunty for walking. Norway specialises in cross-country skiing. Although I don’t participate in cross country skiing, I love winter walking and you can use the cross-country paths for this too – ensuring you don’t tread in the ski grooves! The paths are easy to follow and you can access them by road, or by using a ski-pass to go up or down the ski lifts to the start. They often pass closeby a restaurant – perfect for meeting up with skiers for lunch. The snow wasn’t thick enough for snow shows, but we did purchase walking snow grips which stretch over your boots. These were fantastic and I wouldn’t want to walk without them. 

Cabin Apartments and Mountain Restaurants

Every restaurant and place I stayed in Norway was beautiful, scandi chic, wood, newness, hugye feeling. We booked a cabin in Kvitfjell with airbnb that felt very new and unused. It had a large table, an open and functional kitchen, large sofas and sauna in the bathroom! We cooked most evenings and enjoyed relaxing in the space. The ski resorts seem set up for staying in cabins with plenty of modern, spacious apartments available and easily accessible.
Things to do Tromsø StephieAnn
Skiing in Norway Kvitfjell StephieAnn
The mountain restaurants are equally luxurious with a mix of traditional and modern spaces. Booking for lunch is a must, you can do this easily online or by calling. A few of our favourite were:
Vidsyn in Hafjell – a spacious restaurant with large windows and a modern menu
Varden in Kvitfjell – Rustic and boho chic, perfectly located for those winter walking
Tyrihans in Kvitfjell – Very picturesque, rustic, and traditional decor with a fantastic pizza menu

What I found in Norway was magic, I honestly can’t wait to visit again. It was a beautiful experience with swimming in the Arctic sea, walking mountains, seeing the lights, feeding reindeer, and skiing. It’s not somewhere I ever thought I’d visit, or knew what to expect. It would be a perfect weekend away, a place to explore and surprisingly fantastic skiing.