Looking for Rudolph the red nosed reindeer in Tromsø

Reindeer sledding and Sami experience

If you are looking for reindeer, forgot about Rudolph and go on a reindeer sledding tour with the Sami people.
They are known for looking after the reindeer , feeding them, raising them and protecting them in the wintertime from predators. So from the far North they bring them together around the Tromso area in the Arctic reindeer camp. It’s a huge piece of land with enough space to herd the reindeer.
Visiting the Sami people and their reindeers was an awesome experience. Usually reindeer are very shy and they would run away if you would spot them in the wild, but at the Arctic reindeer camp it’s possible to get close to them and feed them.
I took a bucket with some reindeer food already in it and made some noise by shaking my bucket and the first reindeer where approaching towards me.
When you feed the reindeer hold the bucket with your arm stretched and don’t lean too much over with your head down, or you could get a reindeer horn in your face.


After feeding the reindeer, I walked around taking some pictures, watching the animals react to all the people visiting them, until it was time for me to go on the sled and let a reindeer pull forward on the ice. Ice sledding on a frozen lake with a reindeer leading the way, how more awesome can it get !

The tour that I booked said it was only 10 minutes, but in reality it was double that time and worth the extra money. It’s also possible to book the same tour with just feeding the reindeer, but I wanted to go on the ice with the sled and happy I did.

There was also food included on this tour, ironically, it was reindeer stew, reindeer meat with potatoes and carrots in a delicious sauce. I got two portions and it really fills up your stomach very well.
After I finished my meal I got together with all the other visitors and the Sami people in a big tent. In the center a big fire was made to bring warmth and light into the place.
Then we listened to the stories the Sami women had to tell.
It was about their traditions, experience of herding the reindeer for centuries, about the different clothes they wear, the songs they sing and also learning us more about the reindeer.
Definitely recommend this tour if you want to get up close with the reindeer of the Arctic.

 

Tromsø above the Arctic Circle

Tromso or Tromsø as it’s written in Norwegian, is a magical place in the North of Norway. This place in the province of Troms in Norwegian lapland is getting more and more popular for those wanting to travel to the Arctic and have an amazing Arctic experience with lots of activities to choose from. In the wintertime there is only 4 days of daylight with long Polar nights and the possibility to see the northern lights just adds to the excitement of visiting this place.

The Town of Tromsø is very tranquil, it has a small centre, you can walk it all on foot as everything is nearby, shops, restaurants,the harbour.

Tromso Harbour

What is there to see in Tromsø ?

The Domkirke which is the most Nordic Cathedral in the world and at the same time the only wooden Cathedral in Norway.

The Arctic Cathedral which is a Cathedral that looks like an Iceberg and can be reached easily just by Crossing the the Tromso road bridge, it’s the first building you will see. The front of the building has a big cross at the entrance and at the back of the building you will see a big colorful mosaic glasswork.

Fjellheisen Cable Car

After crossing the Tromso bridge from Tromso  Island to mainland Tromso over the strait of Tromsøysundet go up the street next to the Arctic Cathedral and turn right at the Spar shop and follow the signs Fjellheisen to get to the Cable Car station to take the cable car up the mountain from which you have a great view over Tromso.
In wintertime try to go before 2pm as it gets dark after that, still with a nice view over Tromso and it’s city lights. I personally liked more the clearer view. There’s also restaurant on top of the mountain where you can try the reindeer burger with a local Norwegian beer like I did. I stayed on the mountain about 1 hour and half before taking the cable line down again and walk my way back to the city center the same way I came by crossing the Tromso bridge.

The Domkirke, the only wooden Cathedral in Norway

Arctic Cathedral

side wall of the Arctic Cathedral

Arctic Cathedral

glasswork at the backside of the Cathedral

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taking the cable car

clear sky view, last hour of daylight

view over Tromso Island

Arctic selfie

great views over the mountains and the visitors footprints in the snow

Cable line endstation on the mountain

what a view, it’s getting darker

another great view

Tromso and the Tromso bridge at 3pm in the afternoon dark sky

Restaurant at Fjelheissen

trying the reindeer burger

Where to stay ?

I stayed in the Tromso Activities hostel which is a very good hostel.
It’s possible to book tours here and the friendly staff will help you with that. The hostel is a budget friendly alternative to the rather expensive hotels in Tromso. It’s not the cheapest hostel I’ve stayed in, but still better than the expensive hotels.
There are not many hostels in Tromso and it’s the only one I could find online that matched my budget.

My hostel in Tromso

How to get from the airport to city center?

Easy , just take bus 42 to the city center, cross the parkinglot and buy a ticket from the ticket machine. Above the ticket machine there is a screen that shows the waiting time for your next bus. A ticket is about 3 euros , a cab would cost you 5 times more about 15 euros. You don’t need cash in Norway, you can just use your credit card for everything.

crdit card ticket machine outside the airport to buy my bus ticket for bus 42

The main reason why I came to Tromso

Offcourse to do the Activities like Dog sledding, meeting the reindeer and the Sami people and offcourse the Northern lights. More about this in my next post.