Go to Norway to see the lights I thought! A nice week in the snow, northern lights dancing along the horizon and a bit of photography - perfection. How wrong could I be. Sommarøy on the island of Kvaløya is north of Tromsø, well into the Arctic Circle. In November you expect a little bit of snow.
However the pressure was dropping, an Arctic storm was on its way. We did the best we could visiting Ersfjordbotn and the wooden village of Straumengård but the snow was coming in. It started slowly, gentle flurries as we photographed the wooden village.
A little more snow at the river but then twilight came, the blue hour was stunning. Maybe it would be alright and the forecast was wrong.
Hmm, no chance of that.
By supper time the wind was howling and it was make or break. We had to go first thing or be stuck for the next five days. However stunning Sommarøy Arctic Hotel and the island of Kvaløya were, this storm was not going to help with the hunt for aurora.
Staying at Sommarøy Arctic Hotel
The hotel is about 90minutes drive from Tromsø, located on a small island reached by a bridge. Apparently it is beautiful, but we didn't actually see much! The hotel rooms are really warm and snug, with wifi and hot, strong showers. The meals each night were lovely and the staff made us welcome, even though it was the winter season in horrendous weather conditions.
The hotel backs onto the fjord with vast skies and northern lights if you are lucky. It is the perfect location for weather watching from the comfort of your own balcony. There are lots of options from conventional hotel rooms to sea houses on the beach and fishermen’s cottages.